Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) L. Romary
Request for Comments: 6129 TEI Consortium and INRIA
Category: Informational S. Lundberg
ISSN: 2070-1721 The Royal Library, Copenhagen
February 2011 The 'application/tei+xml' Media Type
This document defines the 'application/tei+xml' media type for markup
languages defined in accordance with the Text Encoding and
Status of This Memo
This document is not an Internet Standards Track specification; it is
published for informational purposes.
This document is a product of the Internet Engineering Task Force
(IETF). It represents the consensus of the IETF community. It has
received public review and has been approved for publication by the
Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG). Not all documents
approved by the IESG are a candidate for any level of Internet
Standard; see Section 2 of RFC 5741.
Information about the current status of this document, any errata,
and how to provide feedback on it may be obtained at
Copyright (c) 2011 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the
document authors. All rights reserved.
This document is subject to BCP 78 and the IETF Trust's Legal
Provisions Relating to IETF Documents
(http://trustee.ietf.org/license-info) in effect on the date of
publication of this document. Please review these documents
carefully, as they describe your rights and restrictions with respect
to this document. Code Components extracted from this document must
include Simplified BSD License text as described in Section 4.e of
the Trust Legal Provisions and are provided without warranty as
described in the Simplified BSD License.
The teiCorpus documents provide the ability to bundle multiple
documents into a single file.
A document having <TEI> root element
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" ?>
A document having <teiCorpus> root element
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" ?>
... second document ...
... third document ...
TEI and teiCorpus files are often given the extensions .tei and
.teiCorpus, respectively. There is a third type of file, which often
is given the suffix .odd. ODD ("One Document Does it All") is a TEI
XML document that includes schema fragments, prose documentation, and
reference documentation. It is used for the definition and
documentation of XML-based languages, and primarily for the TEI
Guidelines [ODD]. In other words, ODD files do not differ from other
TEI files in syntax, only in function.
3. Fragment Identifier
Documents having the media type 'application/tei+xml' use the
fragment identifier notation as specified in [RFC3023] for the media
4. Security Considerations
An XML resource does not in itself compromise data security. When
being available on a network simply through the dereferencing of an
Internationalized Resource Identifier (IRI) [RFC3987] or a URI, care
must be taken to properly interpret the data to prevent unintended
access. Hence the security issues of [RFC3986], Section 7, apply.
In addition, as this media type uses the "+xml" convention, it shares
the same security considerations as described in RFC 3023 [RFC3023],
Section 10. In general, security issues related to the use of XML in
IETF protocols are treated in RFC 3470 [RFC3470], Section 7. We will
not try to duplicate this material, but review some aspects that are
important for document-centric XML as applied to text encoding.
4.1. Harmful Content
Any application accepting submitted or retrieving TEI XML for
processing has to be aware of risks connected with injection of
harmful scripts and executable XML. XML inclusion
[W3C.REC-xinclude-20061115] and the use of external entities are
vulnerable to various forms of spoofing, and can also reveal aspects
of a service in a way that may compromise its security. Any
vulnerability of these kinds are, however, application specific. The
TEI namespaces do not contain such elements.
4.2. Intellectual Property Rights
TEI documents often arise in digitization of cultural heritage
materials. Texts made accessible in TEI format may be unrestricted
in the sense that their distribution may be unlimited by Digital
Rights Management [DRM] or Intellectual Property Rights [IPR]
constraints. However, TEI documents are heterogeneous. Some parts
of a document may be unrestricted, whereas others, such as editorial
text and annotations, may be subject to DRM restrictions.
The TEI format provides means for highly granular attribution, down
to the content of individual XML elements. Software agents
participating in the exchange or processing TEI may be required to
honour markup of this kind. Even when there are no IPR constraints,
intellectual property attribution alone requires that document users
be able to tell the difference between content from different
4.3. Authenticity and confidentiality
Historical archival records are often encoded in TEI and legal
document may be binding centuries after they were written.
Digitization and encoding of legal texts may require technologies for
assuring authenticity, such as cryptographic checksums and electronic
Similarly, historical documents may in part or in their entirety be
confidential. This may be required by law or by the terms and
conditions, such as in the case of donated or deposited text from
private sources. A text archive may need content filtering or
cryptographic technologies to meet such requirements.
5. IANA Considerations
5.1. Registration of MIME Type 'application/tei+xml'
MIME media type name: application
MIME subtype name: tei+xml
Required parameters: None
Optional parameters: charset
the parameter has identical semantics to the charset parameter
of the "application/xml" media type as specified in RFC 3023
Identical to those for 'application/xml'. See RFC 3023
[RFC3023], Section 3.2.
See Security Considerations (Section 4) in this specification.
TEI documents are often given the extension '.xml', which is
not uncommon for other XML document formats.
This media type registration is for TEI documents [TEI] as
described here. TEI syntax is defined in a schema [TEIschema].
Applications which use this media type:
There are currently no known applications using the media type
There is no single initial octet sequence that is always
present in TEI documents.
Common extensions are '.tei', '.teiCorpus' and '.odd'. See
Recognizing TEI files (Section 2) in this specification.
Macintosh File Type Code(s)
Object Identifier(s) or OID(s)
6.1. Normative References
[RFC3023] Murata, M., St. Laurent, S., and D. Kohn, "XML Media
Types", RFC 3023, January 2001.
[RFC3470] Hollenbeck, S., Rose, M., and L. Masinter, "Guidelines for
the Use of Extensible Markup Language (XML)
within IETF Protocols", BCP 70, RFC 3470, January 2003.
[RFC3986] Berners-Lee, T., Fielding, R., and L. Masinter, "Uniform
Resource Identifier (URI): Generic Syntax", STD 66,
RFC 3986, January 2005.
[RFC3987] Duerst, M. and M. Suignard, "Internationalized Resource
Identifiers (IRIs)", RFC 3987, January 2005.
[TEI] "TEI Guidelines", <http://www.tei-c.org/Vault/P5/1.8.0/