Five important principles have governed the elaboration of EpiDoc techniques and tools from the beginning:
- EpiDoc and its tools should be open and available to the widest possible range of individuals and groups; therefore, all documents and software produced by the EpiDoc Community are released under the GNU Public License
- Insofar as possible, EpiDoc should be compliant or compatible with other published standards: we should strive to avoid re-inventing wheels or creating data silos
- Insofar as possible, EpiDoc projects should work collaboratively and supportively with other digital epigraphy initiatives, especially those sanctioned by the Association Internationale d’ Épigraphie Grecque et Latine
- In the arena of transcription, EpiDoc must facilitate the encoding of all editorial observations and distinctions signaled in traditional print editions through the use of sigla and typographic indicia
- We avoid encoding the appearance of these sigla and indicia; rather, we encode the character (or semantics) of the distinction or observation the human editor is making. The rendering of typographic representations of these distinctions are accomplished using XSLTs or other methods.