NISO Launches New Project to Develop XML Standard for Producing Standards Documents

    The National Information Standards Organization (NISO) voting members have approved a new project to standardize the ISO Standard Tag Set (ISOSTS) in line with JATS (ANSI/NISO Z39.96-2012 JATS: Journal Article Tag Suite) for application by standards development organizations (SDOs) and use in the standards ecosystem. In the process of formalizing ISO STS-a variant of JATS-as an ANSI/NISO standard, this new NISO initiative, NISO STS, will support input from many organizations that have begun to use it in their own publication production processes.

    “There are currently several DTDs used for tagging standard-type information based on JATS and a number of other independently developed DTDs. This variation impedes interoperability across standards and inhibits collaboration between our organizations,” states Robert Wheeler, Director, Publishing Technologies, ASME, one of the project proposers. “ISOSTS is one of these JATS derivatives, created in 2011 by ISO, the International Organization for Standardization. The DTD and documentation have been openly available and used by a number of ISO members. It will be beneficial to all standards stakeholders to have the standards community collectively contribute to this new standard based on ISOSTS.”

    “It is important that as related specifications evolve they remain synchronized,” explains B. Tommie Usdin, President of Mulberry Technologies, Inc., co-chair of the NISO JATS Standing Committee, and vice-chair of the NISO Board of Directors. “Creating an official relationship between ISOSTS and JATS will ensure that standards are interoperable and compatible with a wide variety of other technical documentation. This will reduce costs for standards creation and help streamline standards dissemination.”

    “There are many benefits to moving this work forward within NISO,” adds Todd Carpenter, Executive Director of NISO. “This initiative can align ISOSTS with JATS under a single maintenance structure and ensure compatibility between this and potentially other ‘flavors’ of the tag suites. NISO is pleased that this work, based on an ANSI/NISO standard, will be supported by so many standards organizations. It will improve the future of standards publishing and ultimately aid standards’ end users.”

    Participation in the new NISO STS initiative is encouraged from those familiar with standards production, publishing systems and XML. Familiarity with JATS is also helpful. Individuals interested in participating on this working group should contact Nettie Lagace (