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PRISM Gains Traction and Announces Companion Specifications

Working Group Members Hearst, LexisNexis, Time Inc. and Others Develop Standardized Markup to Automate Common Publishing and Content Processes

San Francisco, CA, USA. September 09, 2002.

Members of PRISM (Publishing Requirements for Industry Standard Metadata), an IDEAlliance Working Group, today announced they have expanded the group's scope by creating standardized XML DTDs (document type definitions) based on the PRISM standard.

The new DTDs will address common content applications faced by publishers and aggregators, and are designed to help lower costs by providing a single format for all organizations to maintain. In addition, having a standardized XML format lowers the entry point for smaller organizations that can now send their content to aggregators who plan to implement the DTDs to receive content from larger publishers. Lastly, providing the articles in XML offers more capability, since organizations will now be able to markup their content in new ways.

"This is excellent news for PRISM and demonstrates the tremendous value provided by having a consistent language for publishers and other content providers," said Amre Youssef, Director of Publishing Technologies at Hearst Magazines. "This also broadens the applicability of PRISM metadata to the industry as a whole."

The DTDs are being developed to enable members of the Working Group, as well as other companies wishing to adopt PRISM, to more easily implement the specifications. The PRISM Group's goal is to address critical, yet common business workflow problems for content companies by providing XML DTDs that combine PRISM metadata with specific types of content markup.

As part of today's announcement, the PRISM Group will be making available this month an XML DTD for describing magazine article content to enable automated delivery to aggregators and other companies. The DTD extends PRISM metadata with markup to describe article content such as paragraph headings, photographs and sub-headings.

"By enabling the delivery of detailed information in a consistent format, the new DTD allows publishers and other content-related companies to better communicate with a broader range of partners who are just now standardizing on XML," said Ron Daniel Jr., Principal of Taxonomy Strategies and editor of the PRISM specification. "Having a standardized format describing magazine article content will cut the costs associated with aggregating content, while the use of PRISM and XML provides greater capabilities for publishers."

"Companies like ours manage content from a large number of sources," said Chet Ensign, Sr. Director of Architecture & Development Services at LexisNexis. "Today, we receive metadata in as many different formats as content. We believe the PRISM standard, by providing a standard metadata vocabulary, can help us streamline our processes significantly."

Since its establishment in 1999, the PRISM Working Group has grown and diversified. Publishers such as Hachette, McGraw-Hill and Time Inc. are now joined by newer members such as Hearst Magazines, Gruner + Jahr, Lippincott, Reed Business Information US, and LexisNexis. Marketing professionals, application providers, linguists, publishers, content aggregators, standards architects and developers have joined to take advantage of the standard's ability to help them automate and manage their content workflow process, while jointly developing specifications that work for all content.

"It has become clear to all organizations and especially to major publishers that being able to better manage their content through standardized metadata is critical for helping them to reduce production costs and create new revenue vehicles," said Linda Burman, Chair of the PRISM Working Group (representing LingoMotors) and CEO of L.A. Burman Associates. "In a market faced with tremendous budget constraints, participating in and leveraging the PRISM standard to automate processes has become a necessity for many businesses, and better positions them for competitive adaptability in the future."

Over the past year, the PRISM standard has gained traction as companies have begun to use it in actual production processes.

"Time Inc. will employ the PRISM vocabulary as our metadata platform for our migration to XML based content management workflows this year. The PRISM standard will give our licensing and archive operations a rich structure for sharing content internally and for providing content to database companies," said Peter Meirs, Director Alternative Media Technologies, Time Inc.

The PRISM standards specify metadata designed to assist in automating, repurposing, archiving, production, aggregation, rights tracking and redistribution of publishable content both within and outside the enterprise. Standardizing on descriptive metadata automates time-consuming processes and provides tools for interoperability so that organizations can more easily and automatically acquire, exchange and find content across multiple repositories. The specification also now defines DTDs that use PRISM metadata and content markup.

About the PRISM Working Group

PRISM, (Publishing Requirements for Industry Standard Metadata) is an industry initiative hosted by IDEAlliance and sponsored by a group of companies who have an interest in creating and using a common metadata standard as a basic part of the content infrastructure. The group consists of companies who are involved in content creation, management, aggregation and distribution, whether commercially or within intranet and extranet frameworks.

The PRISM Working Group is open to all IDEAlliance members and includes: Active Data Exchange, Inc., Adobe Systems, Incorporated, Systems Inc., Apago Inc., Artesia Technologies, Inc., beingmeta, Inc., CMP Media, LLC, ContentGuard Inc., Context Media, Inc, Creo Products Inc., DeepBridge, Inc., Gruner + Jahr USA Publishing, Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S., (HFM), Hearst Magazines, Innodata Corp. Interwoven, Inc., LA Burman Associates Inc., LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier plc., LingoMotors Inc., Lippincott, Williams and Wilkins a division of Wolters Kluwer North America, The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc., Oracle Corporation, Publishing Connections Inc.(PCI), Quark Inc., Reed Business Information US, Stellent, Inc., Taxonomy Strategies, Time Inc., and Vignette Corp. To learn more, go to or

About IDEAlliance

IDEAlliance (International Digital Enterprise Alliance) is a not-for-profit association dedicated to serving those publishers, information technology organizations, and corporate enterprises interested in creating, developing, and deploying standards and best practices for digital media and content management. Learn more about IDEAlliance and about conferences such as XML 2002 at


PRISM Working Group
Linda Burman
Tel: +1 416/699-7198

Prepared by Robin Cover for The XML Cover Pages archive. See: "Publishing Requirements for Industry Standard Metadata (PRISM)."

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