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NP2021_Subsetting the JATS DTD

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posted on 26.05.2021, 20:22 authored by Charles O'Connor
Slides from “Solving problems with standards"

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Subsetting the JATS DTD – So What?

As scholarly publishers transition from manual, PDF-based workflows to automated, XML-based workflows, they will find important advantages in subsetting the JATS (Journal Article Tag Suite) DTD.

JATS was designed as a descriptive, not a prescriptive, DTD, so it allows for different ways to capture the same content and information. While this was necessary to accommodate widely divergent journal styles and legacy content, the looseness of the DTD poses problems for people building tools to bring XML forward in more automated publishing workflows. For example, building an online XML editor that allows all 11 ways of associating authors and affiliations would be unnecessarily complex and expensive to develop and maintain.

Fortunately, the JATS DTD was also designed to be easily subsetted. Content analysts can narrow the variations that developers are required to build to, making automated systems cheaper to develop and more robust. A well-designed subset that considers industry initiatives such as JATS4R also aids in making XML content more machine-readable and thus more discoverable.

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