|HTML5 (Working Draft 29 March 2012)
The cite element represents the title of a work (e.g. a book, a paper, an essay, a poem, a score, a song, a script, a film, a TV show, a game, a sculpture, a painting, a theatre production, a play, an opera, a musical, an exhibition, a legal case report, etc). This can be a work that is being quoted or referenced in detail (i.e. a citation), or it can just be a work that is mentioned in passing.
A person's name is not the title of a work — even if people call that person a piece of work — and the element must therefore not be used to mark up people's names. (In some cases, the b element might be appropriate for names; e.g. in a gossip article where the names of famous people are keywords rendered with a different style to draw attention to them. In other cases, if an element is really needed, the span element can be used.)
The cite element is obviously a key part of any citation in a bibliography, but it is only used to mark the title
A citation is not a quote (for which the q element is appropriate).
<p>My favorite book is <cite>The Reality Dysfunction</cite> by
Peter F. Hamilton. My favorite comic is <cite>Pearls Before
Swine</cite> by Stephan Pastis. My favorite track is <cite>Jive
Samba</cite> by the Cannonball Adderley Sextet.</p>
<p>According to the Wikipedia article <cite>HTML</cite>, as it
stood in mid-February 2008, leaving attribute values unquoted is
unsafe. This is obviously an over-simplification.</p>
<p><cite>Universal Declaration of Human Rights</cite>, United Nations,
December 1948. Adopted by General Assembly resolution 217 A (III).</p>