Metanorma: Aequitate Verum

Typical sections in OGC


The easiest way to ensure that you are following the document structure that OGC demands, is to use a Metanorma template.

If you author a document type that doesn’t have a template, check a sample document for better understanding how to structure that document.

Typically, an OGC document contains the following content order:

Preliminary sections


The following clauses are preliminary elements, and are moved into the frontispiece of the document (in Metanorma, the “document preface”).

The OGC DocTeam has specified that all these elements are MANDATORY in OGC documents (in this order):

The Foreword and Introduction are not recognised as part of the document preface by default [added in].


Additional preliminary sections are allowed but not encouraged. There are two mechanisms for adding additional content as preliminary elements:

  1. Add their content in the Full Preface as additional sub-sections

  2. Add them as additional preliminary elements


The abstract is recognized as the first clause with an abstract style attribute:

== Abstract

This standard describes a conceptual and logical model for the exchange
of groundwater data, as well as a GML/XML encoding with examples.

Executive summary

The Executive Summary section is entered as a clause with the title “Executive summary”.

Example 1. Setting the Executive summary
== Executive summary

This is the executive summary...

This clause is mandatory for Engineering Reports, and only allowed for that document type [added in].


A preface clause is recognized as a full section, with the title “Preface”. The Preface clause may contain subclauses. [added in]

Example 2. Setting the Preface
:received-date: 2019-01-01

== Preface

Your preface text...

=== Preface sub-clause

More preface text...
Previously, the Preface section can be specified by text entered after a .Preface label, which has to be placed between the AsciiDoc document attributes and the first AsciiDoc section title. This behavior is now deprecated in favor of specifying the Preface as a real section to allow better reflection of content order.


“Keywords” are entered as document attributes as :keywords:, with the value as a comma-delimited list.

Prefatory text is generated automatically.

Example 3. Setting the Keywords attribute
:keywords: ogcdoc, OGC document, groundwater, hydrogeology, GWML2

Security considerations

The Security considerations section is entered as a clause with the title “Security considerations”.

Example 4. Setting the Security considerations section
== Security considerations

The following security considerations apply...

If the security considerations are not provided in the source document, the clause is inserted with the text “No security considerations have been made for this standard.”

Submitting organizations

“Submitting Organizations” are entered using the :submitting-organizations: document attribute.

The values are entered using a semi-colon delimited list.

Prefatory text is generated automatically.

Example 5. Setting the Submitting organizations attribute
:submitting-organizations: Geological Survey of Canada (GSC), Canada; U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), United States of America


“Submitters” are entered using a table, contained in a section with the title “Submitters”.

Any table included in a Submitters section is automatically unnumbered [added in]
Example 6. Setting the Submitters section with OGC membership status
== Submitters

|Name |Affiliation |OGC member

|Steve Liang | University of Calgary, Canada / SensorUp Inc. | Yes
Example 7. Setting the Submitters section without OGC membership status
== Submitters

All questions regarding this submission should be directed to the editor or the

|Name |Affiliation

|Boyan Brodaric |GSC
|Alexander Kmoch |U Salzburg

Additional preliminary elements

The OGC DocTeam has specified that additional preliminary elements are allowed but not encouraged. This is useful for document backwards-compatibility and cross-published standards at other SDOs.

Additional preliminary elements should be encoded under the [.preface] element, and they will be rendered after the five mandatory preliminary elements.

Example 8. Setting additional preface sections
== Preface


== Intended audience


Terms and definitions

The terms and definitions is used to define important terms and cite them throughout the standard.


The references section contains normative references, it is considered a “bibliography” section.

In OGC there are commonly two “bibliography” sections. The “References” section for normative references, and the “Bibliography” section which is for informative references.

Content sections

After the sections above, any number of content sections can be added.

Annex sections


Annex sections are declared by prepending the [appendix] tag above the section declaration. Annexes can be added as necessary.

An annex can either be normative or informative. By default an annex is marked informative.

In order to declare a normative annex, use the obligation attribute in the following manner: [appendix,obligation=normative]

Example 9. Example of creating a normative versus an information annex
// Without declaration, an annex is informative.
== Informative annex title

// A normative annex.
== Normative annex title

// A informative annex with explicit declaration
== Informative annex title

Annex clauses are placed after all content sections, right before the bibliography section.


OGC documents can contain an optional “Glossary” as an annex that provides terminology for informative purposes.

The Glossary section can contain terms imported from other documents only meant for illustrative purposes.

The Glossary section is recognised as an annex with the title “Glossary”, or marked up with [heading=glossary] [added in].

The “Glossary” annex does not support symbols, abbreviations or other sections. Only terms and definitions are allowed. The terms are rendered in the same format as in the "Terms and definitions" clause.

The “Glossary” section, when exists, is placed as the last annex section before the “Revision history” section (if it exists).

Example 10. Markup structure of a Glossary annex containing terms and definitions
== Glossary

=== geospatial

relating to geographic and spatial information


=== spatial

A glossary section with a customized name can be encoded as follows.

Example 11. Example of Glossary annex with custom name
== Customized glossary section

=== geospatial

relating to geographic and spatial information


Revision history

A “Revision History” is an optional section that contains description of changes per revision.

It is always placed as the last annex section if it exists. [added in].

Currently, this section is not machine-readable. However, OGC has plans to make it so. For future compatibility, please encode the table in the format described in the example below.
Example 12. Example of the “Revision history” section from OGC 20-010
== Revision history

|Date |Release |Editor | Primary clauses modified |Description
|2020-06-04 |0.9.0 |C. Heazel |all |Draft for review
|2020-06-07 |0.9.1 |T. H. Kolbe |Chapter 10 |Bibliography was added