The related information links of a topic (<related-links> element) are stored in a special section following the body of the topic. After a topic is processed into its final output form, the related links are usually displayed at the end of the topic, although some Web-based help systems might display them in a separate navigation frame.

Links specified within the <related-links> element are typically displayed together with links generated based on a map context; see DITA linking for more information on map based linking.


  1. Links within a <linklist> element must appear in the order defined, while those outside of a linklist may be sorted and displayed in a different order or location (based upon their role, target, importance, or other qualifiers).
  2. PDF output typically ignores hierarchical links such as those with roles of ancestor, parent, child, descendant, next, previous, or sibling, although this behavior is not required.



These models represent only the default document types distributed by OASIS. Actual content models will differ with each new document type.
Doctype Content model
topic, concept, ditabase, glossary, glossentry, glossgroup, reference, task, machineryTask, learningAssessment, learningContent, learningOverview, learningPlan, learningSummary (link or linklist or linkpool) (any number)

Contained by

Doctype Content model
topic (base), topic (technical content) topic
concept topic, concept
ditabase topic, concept, task, reference, glossentry
glossary, glossentry, glossgroup topic, concept, glossentry
reference topic, reference
task (strict), task (general), machineryTask topic, task
learningAssessment topic, learningBase, learningAssessment
learningContent topic, learningBase, task, concept, reference, learningSummary, learningAssessment, learningContent
learningOverview topic, learningBase, learningOverview
learningPlan topic, learningBase, learningPlan
learningSummary topic, learningBase, learningSummary


- topic/related-links


The following indicates that the two external links are always applicable to this topic, regardless of how the topic is used.

<related-links scope="external" format="html">
  <link href="">
    <linktext>Example 1</linktext>
  <link href="">
    <linktext>Example 2</linktext>


Name Description Data Type Default Value Required?
type Describes the target of a reference. See The type attribute for detailed information on supported values and processing implications. CDATA #IMPLIED No
role The role attribute defines the role the target topic plays in relationship with the current topic. For example, in a parent/child relationship, the role would be "parent" when the target is the parent of the current topic, and "child" when the target is the child of the current topic. This structure could be used to sort and classify links at display time. See The role attribute for information on supported values.

The role attribute values sample and external are deprecated.

(parent | child | sibling | friend | next | previous | cousin | ancestor | descendant | sample | external | other | -dita-use-​conref-​target) #IMPLIED No
otherrole Indicates an alternate role. This value is used when the role attribute is set to other. CDATA #IMPLIED No
format The format attribute identifies the format of the resource being referenced. See The format attribute for details on supported values. CDATA #IMPLIED No
scope The scope attribute identifies the closeness of the relationship between the current document and the target resource. See The scope attribute for more information on values. (local | peer | external | -dita-use-​conref-​target) #IMPLIED No
univ-atts attribute group (includes select-atts, id-atts, and localization-atts groups) A set of related attributes, described in univ-atts attribute group
global-atts attribute group (xtrf, xtrc) A set of related attributes, described in global-atts attribute group
class, outputclass Common attributes described in Other common DITA attributes

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