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Last modified: July 15, 1998
SGML/XML Bibliography. Introduction


The following bibliography on SGML represents a subset of bibliographic data on SGML I have collected since 1986, and have published in various formats. References to the earlier collections are given in the main SGML bibliography page. The present compilation provides references for the most essential publications on SGML, and representative titles from the larger corpus of secondary literature. It references documents currently relevant to understanding and implementing the SGML standard as well as documents of historic interest. Eventually, I hope to be able to provide a subject index for these references and for the larger database of bibliographic materials, and perhaps database access. Meantime, using the database indexed search facility or searching the full text as string data will provide some subletly in access. For those willing to work with the source, searches may be specified in terms of text objects delimited by the SGML markup.

Database Maintenance: Your Contributions Are Needed

Suggestions for additions or improvements in usability are most welcome. The most important contributions you can offer are citations. Please send communication regarding omissions/corrections/additions to Robin Cover

The SGML Markup

The markup used in the bibliography comes from a tag set based upon HTML, or, if you prefer, a local DTD with a few necessary HTML tags thrown in. The markup is intended not to break the current generation of HTML 1.0 and HTML 2.0 browsers, and to provide an encoding usable by SGML applications which actually understand document structure. Users interested in this provisional markup strategy or its justification may read the brief explanation. If the markup confuses your HTML browser, please write and tell me about the results you observe (give the browser name, version number, computing platform, etc.). When HTML 3.0 - or some recognizable form of SGML designed for the Net - is stable and is commonly implemented in the standard browsers, and when electronic stylesheets take the place of hard-wired display implementations, this provisional encoding will probably disappear.

The Copyright: Caveats

The bibliography is under copyright claim -- whatever claims may justifiably be made for the results of intellectual work, original prose, data structuring, added meta-data, and the forging of cross-references -- since I intend to use this material in a larger published bibliographic essay. At the same time, the data is placed into public view for use by researchers and SGML implementors. Users are thus free to use the data locally in any way that benefits their research. No form of public (e.g., Internet, Extranet) redistribution or dissemination is authorized, however.

A qualifying note must be offered on the copyright and "ownership" of abstracts. These comments supplement the general warnings publicized in the "Caveats and Disclaimers" document, applicable to the entire document collection. The abstacts and summaries are very mixed in terms of origin: in some cases, I have keyed in the published abstract. At one time, I thought it was good evidence of "copyright correctness" to obtain permission from publishers to reprint abstracts in the SGML bibliography. I tired of this formality quickly, since the publishers simply did not care. Formally, they may "own" the prose of a printed abstract (I don't know), but since republishing abstacts in subject bibliographies only heightens the visibility of their publications, publishers are happy to receive the free advertising. In many other cases, I have composed summaries and abstracts myself. In some other cases, I simply don't know where abstracts or summaries came from because they were forwarded to me in email from colleagues. In yet other cases, it's evident that the abstracts are derived from online databases. In other cases, I have excerpted liberally from network postings (with attribution), or placed entire documents on the Web server.

A final concern relates to mirroring of documents found on the WWW. In all cases, it is my intention to place links to mirror copies of documents only in conjunction with the official URL, and to indicate clearly that the local copy is a mirror. Additionally, if the original document contained inline images, I normally do not mirror these -- satisfied that the textual content will provide the reader with the basic information and will lead the interested reader to the canonical source. Mirror copies are part of the historical record, but they are never meant to be used as a "current" copy except in a pinch. I will never mirror a document against the will of the author.

Given this mixture of origins and the shifting public ethos with respect to copyright of electronic materials and mirroring Web documents, I wish to clarify the following: (1) I intend never to lay claim to intellectual property owned by anyone else, nor to have reused materials that authors prefer not be reused, and (2) I will, with public apology if necessary, make a speedy attempt to rectify any possible "copyright" infraction or inadeaquate attribution that any entity wishes to raise as a grievance. Please communicate with me if you feel your written work has been improperly attributed, incorporated into the database against your wishes, or otherwise handled with infelicity. Address: Robin Cover, 6634 Sarah Drive, Dallas, TX, 75236; Tel: +1 (972) 296-1783; Email:

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