Data Modeling - Reference (connect, link to)


Reference is the name of a relationship that is directed where an entity (source, first) refers to another entity (target, second)

We say that the source entity references, cites, or otherwise points to the described entity.

The target entity is called the reference of the source entity, the referent.



  • A refers to B
  • A references B
  • B is referenced by A
  • B is a reference of A
  • A is the referent of B

HTML anchor

The most known example is the HTML anchor element where:

  • the source page with the anchor is known as the referent.
  • the target page defined in the hypertext reference attribute is known as the reference.


Dublin Core has:

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