Titles in the main text [208]


Encoding of titles in bibliographic entries and in running prose, using <title>, including criteria for identifying titles


The WWP encodes titles which appear in the main text (that is, within <text> and not within <titleBlock>) using the <title> element.

We consider a title to be the proper name of the work mentioned, so only references which are in fact proper names should be encoded with <title>. We do not require that the title be correct or complete to qualify for <title>; however, the wording and presentation should be formalized enough to make it clear that the printer intends to convey that this is a title, rather than just a passing, vague reference. Thus we wouldn’t tag “I read Donne’s Sermons today” as <title>. Similarly, we don’t tag a reference to the author’s name used metonymically for his/her works (e.g. “I read Bacon the other day”).

In some cases, works may be referenced in what seems like a conversational manner, which makes it difficult to tell whether the title has been mentioned or not, particularly given that capitalization and even italics are not always a reliable guide during this period.

I read Bacon’s Essays

I read Bacon’s essays

I read Bacon’s Works

Since the value of the reference is slight compared with the work of tagging it, we under-tag rather than over-tag, so in cases of doubt, we will not use <title> but will leave the reference untagged.

Special cases:

"The Bible" is not a title.

The names of the books of the bible are tagged with <title>.

list all entries