Electronic Editing - Editing, Proofreading, Tagging, and Display

AMA Manual of Style - Stacy L. Christiansen, Cheryl Iverson 2020

Electronic Editing
Editing, Proofreading, Tagging, and Display

Publishers and editors need to be cognizant of the various modes of delivery of their content (digital and/or print) and how the content will be used; they should then customize their processes accordingly.1 Many have discovered the benefits of having both print and digital products derived from a single source, which minimizes the possibility of discordant versions and allows for publication to different outputs quickly and accurately.

In addition to editing the content of a document, manuscript and technical editors often need to add structure (eg, markup or styles) and linking (internal and external links) to facilitate typesetting and publication and to ensure that the content can be archived and reused.

There are many different markup languages and approaches; one of the most common approaches used by scientific and technical publications is discussed briefly here.

Note: Many of the terms used in this chapter are defined in Publishing Terms, chapter 22.

21.1.1 Editing With XML.

XML (extensible markup language) is both machine and human readable, creating a structure and avenue for data exchange, transformation, and reuse. It provides rules for naming and defining parts of a document and their relationship with each other.1 XML uses tags in start-end pairs (such as and ) to define the elements in that piece of content. In XML, all the content is enclosed with tags that identify what the data are (eg, the article’s title is tagged ). The tagged content can be validated using a schema or DTD (document-type definition). The DTD defines the overall structure of content and helps ensure consistency across documents. For example, the JAMA Network journals use a DTD based on the National Library of Medicine (NLM) DTD, which is endorsed by the National Information Standards Organization.2

XML resulted from the need for publishers to simultaneously output print and electronic content.1 XML is used to define the structure of a document, rather than simply its appearance.3 Because journals tend to use the same or similar content structures and styles from issue to issue or article to article, XML is ideal for providing both consistent structure via tagging and the flexibility to output in various modes (eg, print, website, app). XML is freely available4 and does not require specific software.

Editing in XML can be performed using an XML editor, software with added functionality to facilitate the editing of XML, or a plain text editor. XML editors have added facilities, such as tag completion and menus for tasks, that are common in XML editing based on data supplied via the DTD.

The JAMA Network journals accept author-submitted documents (typically created in Microsoft Word) and export valid XML from those files with tagging that conforms to the NLM/JATS (Journal Article Tag Suite) DTD. At that point, the content can be used to create proofs for print, PDFs for digital publication, and HTML (hypertext markup language) for the journal website and apps and to deposit with databases such as PubMed and CrossRef. For more on JATS tagging, see https://jats.nlm.nih.gov/publishing/tag-library/1.2.