This document describes a set of principles, guidelines, and requirements for the preparation of bibliographic references and citations in works that are not themselves primarily bibliographical. It is applicable to bibliographic references and citations for all kinds of information resources, including but not limited to monographs, serials, contributions within monographs and serials, patents, cartographic materials, artworks, performances and diverse electronic resources, such as research datasets, databases, programs and applications, Web archives and social media, music, recorded sound, prints, photographs, graphic and audio-visual materials, archival sources and moving images.
This document provides a system for citing information resources that renders deterministic output, such that a citation generated by this system can be uniquely mapped back to the originally defined set of source elements. This system is intended to be applicable across multiple languages. Citations generated by this system are machine-parseable. The citation system described in this document can be used as a configurable framework for building citation styles.
This document does not specify a data model for machine‑readable citations, although such specification may be provided in a separate document or added to a later edition of ISO 690.
Guidelines for legal citations, such as references to cases, statutes or treatises, are not addressed in this document, since such guidelines are usually country-specific1. Recommendations with regards to what kind of information resources may or may not be cited, or describing the risks involved with, for example, citing social media, are not within the scope of this document2.
1 For example, the ALWD Guide to Legal Citation, and Bluebook, are commonly used in the USA depending on jurisdiction acceptance.
2 Academic institutions or scientific publishers may not accept references for some information resources such as Wikipedia articles for research papers and other scientific documents.