The related-links section of DITA topics is a special structure that contains links. Links support navigation from a topic to other related topics or resources.
Links are different from cross-references. While cross-references occur only within the body of a topic and can target any element in this or other topics, links only represent topic-to-topic connections, or connections to non-DITA resources. Links occur after the body of a topic, in the related-links element.
Links can also be managed indirectly using DITA maps, which provide a more efficient way to manage links. Using maps to define links avoids embedded pointers in each topic. This helps keep topics free from specific contexts, and makes it easier to reuse those topics in new locations.