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Created: October 28, 2003.
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IDEAlliance Working Group Publishes PRISM Aggregator DTD for Online Content.

The IDEAlliance PRISM Working Group has announced the publication of a new PRISM Aggregator XML DTD designed for use by publishers "to mark up and transmit magazine and journal content to aggregators and to push data to their internal web sites." Described as a "new standard format for publishers to use in transmitting content for online usage to aggregators and syndicators," the PRISM Aggregator DTD was developed in partnership with commecial publishers and content aggregators.

The PRISM Aggregator Message DTD "combines a 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. The current DTD includes basic metadata and structural elements that will be found in any serial publication or web-based editorial. The XML DTD provides an explicit way of describing the article markup and metadata to support processes such as corrections, additions, deletions and updates. 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 (Publishing Requirements for Industry Standard Metadata) working group "was established in 1999 by a group of companies primarily involved in the production of serial and web-based editorial content. This group includes publishers, other rights holders, systems integrators, software developers and content aggregators."

About the PRISM Aggregator DTD Version 1.0

The PRISM specification [itself] defines a collection of metadata elements for common publishing needs. To apply them in specific situations, it is necessary to define formats, typically through a series of DTDs (Document Type Definitions), that combine PRISM metadata with content markup to support those specific processing objectives.

The PRISM Aggregator DTD incorporates several namespaces including: XHTML, Dublin Core (dc), PRISM Inline Markup (pim), and PRISM Aggregator Message (pam). The prism namespace contains elements suitable for a wide range of content publications, licensing and reuse situations. The pam namespace contains elements specific to the aggregator message. The pim namespace defines elements for inline metadata such as locations, organizations, personal names, works, events, quotations, etc.

The aggregator DTD can be sent with one of four values in the pam:status element. This element indicates whether to process a document in the aggregator message as an addition, correction, deletion or update. 'Add' Indicates that this article is new, add it to the database. If the article identifier already exists, throw an error. This is the default case if no status element is defined. With 'Correction', the article ID should already exist in the database. The article being sent should have a <prism:hasCorrection> element that contains a text description of what needs to be co rrected. Aggregators should display the correction block to the reader of the article, at either the beginning or end of the article. 'Delete' - the article ID should already exist in the database. Remove that article. If a reader attempts to access it, display a message that the article has been removed at the request of the publisher. 'Update' - the article ID should already exist in the database. Remove the old article and replace it with the current one..."

Using the Aggregator DTD does not require changes to the current workflow of content between suppliers and aggregators. It can be used as simply a new format. However, adapting your processes to conform to it will provide many advantages and financial benefits to you and your business partners.

  • The use of a single, industry-standard format for extraction and acquisition reduces the errors and costs of tracking and deploying multiple formats to communicate with multiple business partners.
  • The use of a single format for all organizations speeds the processing of content and speeds the integration of new business partners into your workflow. If a new partner is using a format that you can already handle, little if any process change is necessary to transmit content between you. The value and accessibility of the content will be increased because time to market is reduced.
  • The use of a common industry format reduces the barrier to entry for all publishers and content aggregators. This is especially valuable for smaller organizations.
  • Aggregators manage content from a large numbers of sources. Today, you receive metadata in as many different formats as you do content. By providing a common metadata standard, PRISM helps everyone in the electronic content business track, use and re-use their content.
  • Providing content encoded in XML adds to the content's value because it makes it possible to repurpose it for multiple opportunities... The inline XML markup that lets you identify names, key phrases and other important data elements within an article or paragraph, makes it easier to format them, search for them and turn them into links. This ability will also greatly contribute to search and display flexibility. Standardization of the use of special characters gives you wider access to more scientific symbols and foreign characters...

By enabling the delivery of detailed information in a consistent format, the new PRISM DTD allows publishers and other content-related companies to better communicate with a broader range of partners who are just now standardizing on XML. Many major publishers, other content rights holders, and developers of software tools and information and retrieval systems have indicated their plans to support this standard..." [adapted from the Guide to the PRISM Aggregator Document Type Definition (DTD) v. 1.0]

About PRISM (Publishing Requirements for Industry Standard Metadata)

The PRISM Working Group was established in 1999 by a group of companies primarily involved in the production of serial and web-based editorial content. This group includes publishers, other rights holders, systems integrators, software developers and content aggregators who face common content application challenges such as re-use of content in multiple media types, rights and contract management, better access to content archives, and faster, less expensive exchange and integration of disparate sets of content across the enterprise and with outside business partners. The representatives of these companies believe that developing and adopting a standard set of XML metadata will assist them in managing and automating their labor-intensive content workflow processes.

The result of this collaboration is the PRISM specification. The PRISM specification defines a standard for describing, exchanging, and reusing content in both print and electronic publishing contexts. The Working Group released Version 1.0 of the PRISM specification in April of 2001. Version 1.1 was released a year later. The PRISM specification is built on a strong foundation of existing standards such as XML, RDF, the Dublin Core, and various ISO specifications for locations, languages, and date/time formats. On top of this base, it defines a small number of XML namespaces and controlled vocabularies in order to meet the goals of interoperability, interchange, and reuse.

For instance, to meet the need for better discovery of information through more granular classification, the PRISM namespace provides an extensive array of elements for describing the subject of an article such as Event, Industry, Location, Organization, Person and Object Title..." [adapted from the Guide to the PRISM Aggregator Document Type Definition (DTD) v. 1.0]

From the PRISM Announcement

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 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.

"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."

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