Beware of the laughing horse: Managing a back-catalogue conversion

The International Standardization Organization (ISO) is an independent member-based non-governmental organization with 161 national standards bodies. ISO brings together experts to develop voluntary consensus-based International Standards. These are then disseminated through the ISO national membership. In 2011, ISO embarked on their XML journey, with the following aims:

  1. Creation of a central repository of standards
  2. Improve speed to market also for national adoptions
  3. Broaden readership
  4. Reduce or avoid duplication of costs
  5. Streamline ISO production processes

The base DTD chosen was JATS and customizations were made to be able to capture standards-type metadata and content. This became known as the ISOSTS (standards tag set). The first acid test of the DTD was to create the central repository with content in a common form, ie, convert ISO’s legacy content from Word/cPDF/scanned PDF to ISOSTS-compliant XML. How ISO went about this task is the subject of this paper.

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