Report Element: A report element (or model element) is an piece of the model structure (representation structure) of a financial report. Report elements can be grouped into categories: network, table, axis, member, line items, concept, abstract. Terms used by different XBRL taxonomies may vary, but the underlying role of report element categories do not change. For example, the term "hypercube" is used in XBRL whereas "table" is used to describe the same category of report element in the US GAAP XBRL Taxonomy and IFRS XBRL Taxonomy.

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Report elements contained within or defined by an XBRL taxonomy MUST clearly be defined such that they can be categorized into one of the following groups of report elements: Hypercube, Dimension, Member, Primary Items, Concept, Abstract. The following summarizes how the category of report element can be unambiguously detected:

  • Hypercube - a hypercube can always be detected by the value of the substitutionGroup attribute value of xbrldt:hypercube. Other terms used for hypercube include Table, Cube, Matrix, Array.
  • Dimension - a dimension can always be detected by the value of the substitutionGroup attribute value of xbrldt:dimension. Other terms used for dimension include Axis or Aspect.
  • Member - a member can always be detected by the value of the dataType attribute value of nonnum:domainItemType from the namespace identifier http://www.xbrl.org/dtr/type/non-numeric.
  • Primary Items - a primary items report element can always be detected by the fact that it is the last child of a hypercube within the presentation relations and that it has an abstract attribute value of "true". Other terms used for Primary Items include Line Items.
  • Abstract - an abstract can always be detected by the fact that it is not identifiable as a hypercube, dimension, or member and that does have an abstract attribute with the value of "true".
  • Concept - a concept can always be detected by the fact that it is not a hypercube, dimension, member, primary item, or abstract (i.e. it is NOT abstract).

This rule implies that every XML Schema element defined in an XBRL taxonomy schema can be categorized into one of these groups and that the term "report element", or "XML Schema element" or "element" or XBRL element should never be used. Rather, the terms hypercube, dimension, member, primary item, abstract, or concept should be used to discuss such report elements.