The Publications Office has selected BITS (Book Interchange Tag Suite) as an XML mark-up model suitable for the production of general publications.

BITS provides a common XML format in which publishers and archives can exchange book content, including book parts such as chapters. It provides a set of XML DTD and schema that define elements and attributes to describe textual and graphical contents.

In order to facilitate the reusability, BITS makes a tag set adequate for supporting interchange, archiving, format-conversion and publishing. More details can be found here.

The Publications Office is preparing the use of the following version of BITS schema customised to meet the requirements of general publications.


The documentation of the BITS schema, which applies to all general publications, is available in the following link:

BITS schema documentation

Schema location

Customised BITS schema

Download a zip archive of the BITS schema including external modules and the test instances

External modules

MathML: to be used in cases where editable mathematical content needs to be integrated in the publications.

XLink: to be used as the standard method to create internal and external links in the structured publications.

XInclude: to be used in cases where large size multi volume documents need to be produced such as multilingual versions that will be treated as a single publication having multiple volumes, or in cases of mixed publications integrating chapters/parts already produced in the past for other publications.

Samples and test instances

XML_Test_Instance_1_Model_Base.xml: a “real life” XML instance, covering most relevant structural elements e.g. list, table, glossary, etc. It includes extracts from relevant pages of various existing general publications, each extract being specifically identified with a comment.

XML_Test_Instance_2_Reference_Structures.xml: a “technical” XML instance covering the main data structures that can appear in general publications.

Some examples of document types

  • xml and pdf of a guide document (Let’s explore Europe!)
  • xml and pdf of a guide document (THE EUROPEAN UNION EXPLAINED / How the European Union works / Your guide to the EU institutions)
  • xml and pdf of a guide document (Europe: What’s it all about?)
  • xml and pdf of a special report (The effectiveness of blending regional investment facility grants with financial institution loans to support EU external policies)
  • xml and pdf of a special report (Inland Waterway Transport in Europe: No significant improvements in modal share and navigability conditions since 2001)
  • xml and pdf of a journal document (Crop monitoring in Europe / MARS Bulletin Vol. 23 No 5 (2015))
  • xml and pdf of a journal document (Implementing the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) / An overview of legal reforms in EU Member States / Focus Bulletin 5/2015)
  • xml and pdf of a financial report (EU budget 2012 / Financial Report)
  • xml and pdf of a general report (General Report on the Activities of the European Union — 2013)
  • xml and pdf of an annual report (Annual Report 2014 / Synopsis of the work of the Court of Justice, the General Court and the Civil Service Tribunal)
  • xml and pdf of an annual report (Annual Report 2014 / European Ombudsman)
  • xml and pdf of an Index of terms (Terminology of European education and training policy / A selection of 130 key terms)

Mapping Table
Download the Excel Mapping Table to Formex and HTML5.

IMMC Reference
The Inter-institutional Metadata Maintenance Committee which has defined and maintains the core metadata schema to be used for general publication can be found in the following link.

This webpage is under construction. The BITS schema is customised for the general publications at the Publications Office.

For technical questions: XML Helpdesk []
For questions related to the production of general publications: Secretariat []