JATS Subset and Schematron: Achieving the Right Balance

Ensuring that published content adheres to the publisher’s business and style rules requires the implementation of quality-control solutions that encompass the entire enterprise, including vendors and in-house staff. The solutions must span the entire life cycle of the manuscript, from XML conversion to production to post-publication enhancements. Two techniques that may help in achieving this goal are 1) developing Schematron and 2) making a JATS subset. Both come with costs: Schematron change management requires development and maintenance of an extensive testbase; making a subset requires comprehensive content analysis and the knowledge of the publishing program’s direction. Achieving the right balance between the two techniques may reduce the costs associated with them.

In this paper, we revisit the notion of “appropriate layer validation” at the current state of technology. We share the experience of running a successful large-scale quality-control operation that has been accomplished by using a combination of JATS subset and Schematron. After demonstrating what Schematron change management entails, analyzing the advantages and costs associated with building Schematron and with creating a subset, and considering several validation scenarios, we conclude with the suggestion that the two techniques, when used in tandem, may complement one another and help control software development costs.

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