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PRISM Aggregator DTD Version 1.0 For Electronic Publishing

Industry Milestone: New Standard for Online Content Ready for Prime Time

Time Inc., LexisNexis, Hearst Publishing, Platts/McGraw-Hill, ProQuest and Others to Begin Using PRISM Aggregator Specification for Content Delivery and Acquisition

Alexandria, VA, USA. October 27, 2003.

Publishers, aggregators, syndicators and other content companies are now ready to exchange content for secondary licensing using a standardized XML format -- the newly released PRISM specification, the PRISM Aggregator DTD (Document Type Definition) Version 1.0.

Time Inc., a founding member of the PRISM (Publishing Requirements for Industry Standard Metadata) Working Group involved in development of the new DTD, is working with its aggregator partners, including PRISM members LexisNexis and ProQuest, to put the new format into production by the end of this year. "Time Inc. recognizes the importance of the IDEAlliance PRISM standard for the publishing industry. The Aggregator DTD provides a consistent format for content that will make our delivery of information much more effective," said Anne Considine, Associate Director, E-Content Management Group for Time Inc. "With the release of the PRISM Aggregator DTD specification, we can start testing XML-based content feeds with our aggregator partners. We expect to go live with PRISM over the next several months."

The new PRISM Aggregator DTD was developed by members of PRISM, an IDEAlliance Working Group, in close cooperation with publishers and content aggregators. The new DTD is a use case of the PRISM specification offering a standard format for publishers to mark up and transmit magazine and journal content to aggregators and to push data to their internal web sites.

"The PRISM Aggregator DTD provides Hearst with an excellent opportunity to automate and simplify its distribution of electronic content to its various partners," said Amre Youssef, Director of Publishing Technology for Hearst Publishing. "This step is helping to extend our capabilities in XML-based communications."

"LexisNexis welcomes the release of the PRISM Aggregator DTD as the standard for exchanging magazine and journal content. The benefits of the standard to the publishing community are obvious. We intend to work immediately in partnership with publishers who provide us with PRISM content to make sure that we can take full advantage of the standard's benefits," said Chet Ensign, Senior Director of Architecture and Development Services for LexisNexis.

By providing the industry with a standardized vocabulary and rules for defining content electronically, the PRISM Aggregator DTD enables aggregators to lower their costs of bringing new sources of information online. It also enables them to publish the content online more quickly, making it more valuable both to them and to the owners of that content.

"Having a single format increases efficiencies in content processing and speeds the integration of new content and new business partners into our production acquisition workflow," said Joe McConnell, previous Director, Manufacturing Systems Development, ProQuest Company.

"We anticipate that using the PRISM Aggregator DTD will streamline the production of XML-based content for our content management workflow and in distribution to our aggregator partners," said Sue Ballantine, Director of Content Management, Platts, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. "We'll be testing the new format throughout the month of September and plan to roll it out to our aggregator partners at the beginning of October." The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. is an early adopter of the PRISM specification and has been using PRISM metadata in production for almost two years.

To demonstrate these roll-outs, IDEAlliance will host a seminar in the spring of 2004 to demonstrate the DTD in production. Members of the publishing community will be invited. For more information, visit the PRISM web site at

About the PRISM Aggregator DTD

The PRISM Aggregator DTD provides a simple, flexible model for transmitting article content and PRISM metadata from publishers to aggregators, content syndicators, and to internal web sites. It provides an explicit way of describing the article markup and metadata to support processes such as corrections, additions, deletions and updates.

"The new PRISM Aggregator DTD provides a framework for companies to integrate XML early on into their content workflows and to produce content that conforms to aggregators' needs", said Linda Burman, Chair of PRISM and CEO of L.A. Burman Associates Inc. "With a standard DTD there is a straightforward path for publishers. There is no longer the need to deploy resources to decide on a format and then build it."

The Aggregator DTD is the result of a comprehensive review of publisher and aggregator requirements begun in September 2002. The DTD, combined with extensive documentation and samples, is now available for download from the PRISM website at URL, It is being put into testing and production by companies such as Time Inc., LexisNexis, ProQuest, Hearst Publishing and The McGraw-Hill Companies' Platts division.

The PRISM aggregator DTD includes basic structural elements found in any serial publication or web-based editorial, such as paragraph headings, photographs and sub-headings. Future releases of the DTD will include additional elements to aid searching and to help track copyright ownership, rights and permissions information, and license agreements.

The PRISM working group has adopted well-established industry standards as part of its specifications. The PRISM Aggregator DTD provides customization of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) XHTML standard and a set of PRISM metadata that augments the widely-accepted Dublin Core metadata standard. Where appropriate, PRISM will continue to adopt additional complimentary standards in the future. The PRISM specification was first released in April of 2001.

About the PRISM Working Group

PRISM, (Publishing Requirements for Industry Standard Metadata) is an industry standards group hosted by IDEAlliance (International Digital Enterprise Alliance). The member companies are involved in content - creation, categorization, management, aggregation and distribution - both commercially and within intranet and extranet frameworks. Their interest in PRISM is the need for a common metadata standard as a basic part of the content infrastructure. The PRISM Working Group is open to all IDEAlliance members and includes: Adobe Systems, Inc., Artesia Technologies, Inc., Cadmus Professional Communications, CMP Media, LLC, ContentGuard Inc., Gruner + Jahr USA Publishing, Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S., (HFM), Hearst Magazines, L A Burman Associates Inc., LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier plc., Wolters Kluwer Health a division of Wolters Kluwer North America, The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc., Oracle Corporation, OverDrive, Inc. Platts, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc., ProQuest Information and Learning, Publishing Connections Inc.(PCI), Sheridan Press, Taxonomy Strategies, Time Inc., and Vodafone Global Products. To learn more, go to or

About IDEAlliance

IDEAlliance (International Digital Enterprise Alliance) is a not-for-profit membership organization. Its mission is to advance user-driven, cross-industry solutions for all publishing and content-related processes by developing standards, fostering business alliances, and identifying best practices. IDEAlliance has been a leader in information technology since 1966 (founded as Graphic Communications Association) having fostered the development and adoption of standards such as ADIS, GRACoL, ICE, JIFFI, Mail.dat, papiNet, PRISM, PROSE XML, SPACE XML, SGML, and XML. Learn more about IDEAlliance at

Prepared by Robin Cover for The XML Cover Pages archive. See details in the news item: "IDEAlliance Working Group Publishes PRISM Aggregator DTD for Online Content." Also, the Snapshot of PRISM Aggregator Message (PAM) DTD from the ZIP archive. See also: (1) the news story "XML 2003 News Standards Summit Seeks Interoperability and Convergence"; (2) "Atom as the New XML-Based Web Publishing and Syndication Format"; (3) general references in "Publishing Requirements for Industry Standard Metadata (PRISM)."

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