NISO Publishes Journal Article Tag Suite (JATS) Standard
Provides common XML format for exchanging journal content

The National Information Standards Organization (NISO) announces the
publication of a new American National Standard, JATS: Journal Article Tag
Suite, ANSI/NISO Z39.96-2012. JATS provides a common XML format in which
publishers and archives can exchange journal content by preserving the
intellectual content of journals independent of the form in which that
content was originally delivered. In addition to the element and attribute
descriptions, three journal article tag sets (the Archiving and Interchange
Tag Set, the Journal Publishing Tag Set, and the Article Authoring Tag Set)
are part of the standard. While designed to describe the textual and
graphical content of journal articles, it can also be used for some other
materials, such as letters, editorials, and book and product reviews.

"Although this is the first version of JATS as an American National
Standard," stated Nettie Lagace, NISO Associate Director for Programs, "the
specification has a long history as the National Library of Medicine (NLM)
Journal Archiving and Interchange Tag Suite, commonly referred to as the NLM
DTDs. Those DTDs were based on an article model that was used in the
National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI)/NLM PubMed Central
project to archive life science journals. The original PubMed Central
article model was expanded in scope with support from Harvard University
Libraries and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, in collaboration with Inera,
Inc. and Mulberry Technologies, Inc., resulting in 2003 in the full NLM
Journal Archiving and Interchange Tag Suite. The Tag Suite had reached
version 3.0 prior to initiation of the NISO standardization process."

"Since its initial release, the Archiving and Interchange Tag Suite has been
widely popular," said B. Tommie Usdin, President of Mulberry Technologies,
Inc. and Co-chair of the NISO JATS Working Group. "The format is being used
to tag thousands of journals worldwide and is used for the journal archives
at PubMed Central and Portico and by the online publisher HighWire Press.
The Library of Congress and the British Library have announced their
intention to use these models for archiving electronic content."

"Taking JATS through the NISO standardization process will bring awareness
of the Tag Suite to a larger and more varied audience," explained Jeffrey
Beck, NCBI Technical Information Specialist at the National Library of
Medicine and Co-chair of the NISO JATS Working Group. "We expect this wider
audience will find uses for the Tag Suite in new applications, beyond its
traditional uses in journal publishing and archiving."

"We are pleased that the NLM project team brought this valuable standard to
NISO for wider dissemination," stated Todd Carpenter, NISO Executive
Director. "We will be supporting a standing committee to continuously update
the standard and NLM will continue to host the user documentation and
schemas that support the standard."

The JATS standard is available as both an online XML document and a freely
downloadable PDF from the NISO website
( Supporting documentation and schemas
in DTD, RELAX NG, and W3C Schema formats are available at: 

Cynthia Hodgson
Technical Editor / Consultant
National Information Standards Organization
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