NIH library sets archiving standard

The National Center for Biotechnology Information's archiving Web page

The National Library of Medicine has created a standard model for electronically archiving and exchanging scholarly journal articles.

"These electronic files are created to meet the needs of the Internet — usually without much thought given to the long-term archiving of the content," said David Lipman, director of the library's National Center for Biotechnology Information. Researchers have been trying to find ways to make the content available online since the mid-1990s.

On June 10, the library, which is part of the National Institutes of Health, released two Document Type Definitions (DTDs) that will simplify journal publishing and increase the accuracy of journal articles.

The DTDs define a format for the creation of journal content in Extensible Markup Language. This allows for portability and reusability and can also support print publication.

The archiving and interchange DTDs also define articles and provide publishers, aggregators and archivists a format to exchange content.

The library has also created an XML interchange structure working group to monitor and make changes to the standards. Library officials also are looking to create standards for textbooks and online documents.

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