Glossary of eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL)

August 25, 2022by Team IRIS CARBON0



An attribute of an XBRL element that indicates the element is only used in a hierarchy to group related elements together.

Abstract Attribute

An abstract attribute appears on item definitions in schemas with the possible values of true and false.


Arcs link concepts to each other by associating their locators.

Arcrole Attribute

An arcrole attribute defines the use of an arc and documents the kind of relationship that the arc expresses.


A property of an XBRL element such as its name, balance type, and data type.


A differentiation of facts within an instance document. Each axis offers a way to classify facts.



The attribute of a monetary item type that designates the balance of the element as debit, credit, or neither.

Base Taxonomy

A taxonomy is used as the starting point for an XBRL report.

Block Tag

An XBRL tag that represents the content of an entire section of a report. A block tag may include text, numeric values, tables, and other data.

Built-In Dimension

A dimension that all facts require and which is defined by the XBRL specification.

Business Report

A document used to convey information to serve specific reporting needs. A business report such as an annual report is typically periodic.

Business Validation Rules

Business validation rules are included in taxonomy as XBRL formula rules. They help software to check the quality of an XBRL report.


Calculation Linkbase

The calculation linkbase lists the arithmetic relationships in an XBRL report.

Calculation Relationships

Relationships between numeric items in a report.

Calculation Trace

The results of all calculations in an XBRL document are given in the tree view.

Calculation Tree

A calculation tree represents the relationships between taxonomy concepts to help describe and validate simple totals and subtotals.

Closed Reporting

A reporting program that prescribes the data points to be reported. Preparing reports in closed reporting is like filling out a form or a template.


An organization that retrieves XBRL reports for regulation, collection, and/or analysis of business data. For example, market regulators.


An XBRL taxonomy element that provides meaning to a fact being reported. For example, the XBRL elements for “Profit” and “Turnover”.


An end user of the information contained in XBRL reports.


Company-specific or report-specific information needs for tagged data to be understood in relation to other information.


A cube is a combination of a set of dimensions and a set of concepts.


Data Point

A line item in a financial report against which an XBRL tag is placed. A data point and its assigned value make up a fact.

Data Type

The kind of data – monetary, shares, decimals – to be tagged with the element name.

Data Type

Data type identifies the data storage format that can hold a specific type of data or range of values for the concept.

Data Type Attribute

This attribute indicates the data expected for concepts. The most common data types are monetary, shares, string, etc.


An attribute that expresses the number of decimal places to which numbers have been rounded in an instance document.

Definition Linkbase

A definition linkbase is used to represent pre-defined and self-defined relationships between the elements in an XBRL report.

Definitional Taxonomy

A compilation of the elements in a reporting taxonomy. A definitional taxonomy is not meant to be referenced directly in an XBRL report.


A specific aspect of a data point that describes one of its characteristics.

Dimension Default

Also called a default member, it provides the default dimension value for facts where the dimension is not reported.

Dimension Value

A value is used as a dimension when defining a data point.

Dimensional Structure

A dimensional structure is how a cube is defined in a taxonomy.

Document Data

Data within a Microsoft Office document. In a generic sense, the term could mean one cell in MS Excel or one word or paragraph in MS Word.

Document Identifier

Every Office document that has Disclosure Management non-data source mappings is assigned a document identifier.


A set of related values is available to define a dimension.

Domain Member

An element that represents one of the possibilities of a domain.


A discoverable taxonomy set (DTS) is a collection of taxonomy schema documents and linkbases.



A business or financial concept defined in the taxonomy according to XBRL specifications

Entity-Specific Disclosure

Disclosures are specific to a reporting entity or a small number of reporting entities. They do not have matching elements in the base taxonomy

Entity-Specific Taxonomy

A taxonomy created by the preparer of an XBRL report and containing customized XBRL tags that represent entity-specific elements.


An ordered list of values for a fact that is defined by a taxonomy.

Extended Link Element

Extended Link Elements are a logical grouping of elements representing a set of relationships between concepts and defined in a schema.

Extension Taxonomy

A taxonomy that adds to the base taxonomy. Extension taxonomies are built by entities other than the one that built the base taxonomy.



An individual unit of information in an XBRL report. A fact has a corresponding concept, value, and dimensions that define a data point.

Fact Value

Data with XBRL concepts associated with it.


Filings are documents submitted to a collector or regulator. Filings may include XBRL reports as well as extension taxonomies.

Filing Guidance

Documents accompanying filing rules and designed to help entities with XBRL report preparation. May include guidance on XBRL tagging scope.

Filing Rules

Filing rules specify the technical requirements of an XBRL reporting mandate, including XBRL taxonomy versions and specification modules.

Financial Statements

Reports containing financial information about an entity for a specific period.

Formula Linkbase

A specification developed by XBRL International to build a general mechanism to create formulae based on XBRL concepts.

Formula Trace

The organized result of all formulae in an XBRL document in a tree or presentation view.



Trees or structures are used to depict and navigate relationships.


Imputed Value

A value that is not provided but is calculated based on other numbers.

Inline Xbrl

Inline XBRL allows entities to prepare digital documents that are machine-readable and human-readable at the same time.


A technical term for a kind of element in XBRL.

Ixbrl Report

An iXBRL document embeds machine-readable XBRL tags in an HTML document viewed using a web browser. See the definition of Inline XBRL.



A label describes XBRL taxonomy components to a human reader. Labels can be in multiple languages and of multiple types.

Label Linkbase

A label linkbase stores the labels used in an XBRL report and links them to their respective elements.

Label Type

A name that distinguishes an element and indicates the circumstance of its use.

Line Item

Elements in the rows of a table such as a financial statement.


A technical term to describe an XBRL relationships file.


A reference to taxonomy schema element definitions that uniquely identify each concept.



The process of identifying the taxonomy elements that match the disclosures in financial statements.



The label that sets apart an individual element in a taxonomy


Open Information Model (Oim)

The Open Information Model (OIM) is a strategic initiative by XBRL International to modernize the XBRL open data standard.

Open Reporting

An XBRL reporting environment where report preparers decide the data points to disclose. This is common in financial reporting where disclosure is principles-based.

Order Attribute

Determines a relationship sequence. In the presentation linkbase, it helps display elements in the order defined for each element.


Parent-Child Hierarchy

A relationship between elements where one element is subordinate to the other.

Period Type

An element attribute that indicates the reporting period as instant or duration.

Periodtype Attribute

It is used to describe the measurement period of the concept and may be assigned one of two values – instant and duration.


A person or entity that creates XBRL reports, is often in compliance with regulatory requirements.

Presentation Linkbase

The presentation linkbase expresses the relationships between various XBRL elements used in a report.

Presentation Relationships

A view of the relationships between arranged elements to help users navigate the taxonomy via hierarchies.

Presentation Tree

The hierarchal structure of taxonomy elements that helps users visualize or navigate the taxonomy.



Information that accompanies a taxonomy component and provides a link to external information about the element.

Reference Linkbase

Most taxonomy elements refer to concepts defined by specific literature. The reference linkbase stores relationships between the elements and their references.

Reference Part

A part of a reference, such as a chapter and a paragraph number.


A connection between two concepts using the XLink standard, with ‘from’ and ‘to’ being the endpoints.


To process an instance document into a human-readable layout.

Reporting Taxonomy

The taxonomy with whose elements the contents of a report are to be tagged. XBRL reports are validated against the reporting taxonomy.



A feature found in instance document creation software helps scale numeric data by value so that users need not key in multiple zeros.


An XBRL tag that allows additional information to be associated with facts in an instance document.


A technical term for an element declaration file.


A reference to the naming authority for entity identification.


A tag that allows additional information to be included in the context of an instance document.

Sign Value

Denotes whether a numeric fact in an instance has a positive or negative value.

Standard Label

This is the default label for an element. Extensions override the standard label.

Structural Element

Taxonomy elements that contain cubes, dimensions, and domains.



An element that organizes a set of axes and a set of line items.


Tagging is a method of preparing an XBRL report by mapping the values in a business report with the elements in an XBRL taxonomy.


A taxonomy is a dictionary or a collection of XBRL elements. These elements define or provide meaning to the facts in an XBRL report.

Taxonomy Architect

A person is responsible for decisions on how taxonomy is designed.

Taxonomy Author

A person or entity is responsible for defining the content of an XBRL taxonomy.

Taxonomy Component

Any part of a taxonomy that can be defined.

Taxonomy Entry Point

A subset of the ‘view’ of taxonomy is identified by a unique URL or set of URLs.

Taxonomy Owner

A person or organization maintains the content, design, and structure of an XBRL taxonomy.

Taxonomy-Defined Dimension

A dimension that is unlike a built-in dimension in that it is defined by a taxonomy.

Text Block

A text tag that represents narrative text.

Text Tag

A fact that represents textual information.



A process to check XBRL reports for conformance with XBRL specifications and basic hygiene such as the appropriate use of taxonomy.

Validation Rules

Rules that allow entities to check the quality and interoperability of XBRL reports.



An attribute of the calculation relationship that works in conjunction with the balance of the parent and child numeric elements.

Weight Attribute

An attribute necessary for the calculation of Arc elements to indicate the multiplier to be applied to a numeric item value.



XBRL stands for eXtensible Business Reporting Language. XBRL helps entities present business information in a machine-readable format.

Xbrl Context

Defines information about the business entity, a reporting period, and an optional Scenario.

Xbrl Element

A machine-readable element is present in an XBRL taxonomy.

Xbrl Formula Rules

Validation rules are defined in a taxonomy using the XBRL formula specification.

Xbrl Instance Documents

XML files containing financial information mapped with elements from one or more XBRL taxonomies.

Xbrl Report

A report that contains XBRL machine-readable tags against disclosures.

Xbrl Reporting Template

XBRL reporting templates are used in closed reporting programs and represent a tabular view of a taxonomy for presentation or data entry.

Xbrl Schema

XML Schema is the World Wide Web Consortium standard for the specification of XML instance documents and vocabularies.

Xbrl Specification

Description and guidelines of the XML semantics and syntax used in the construction of XBRL.

Xbrl Tag

A machine-readable element that needs to be mapped to financial disclosure.

Xbrl Tuple

Facts containing multiple values and identified by a single XML concept holding nested items.

Xbrl Unit

The unit pertains to a numerical value such as currency or shares.


An advanced format that combines the powers of the XBRL and CSV format to help collect high-volume granular data


An advanced format that combines the powers of XBRL and JSON to make data easy to use and achieve higher Interoperability


Traditionally, XBRL is based on XML or eXtensible Markup Language.

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