NISO STS and Linked Data
The primary purpose of NISO STS is to support document markup for production, interchange, and archiving of the complete text of standard documents, with the associated metadata necessary to support those activities. Therefore, NISO STS is not defined in an RDF-enabled way. In addition, NISO STS is a descriptive rather than a prescriptive standard, so it does not mandate a way to make ontological or linked-data connections. Nevertheless, the NISO STS Suite provides several tagging constructs that are useful in making a NISO STS document as RDF-friendly as is practical in an application specifically designed for full text document production:
- Every element in NISO STS has either an optional or a required attribute of type ID. These attributes were added to enable document creators to provide URIs at any level they choose in the document. These IDs can be used to make the document, or a portion of the document at any level of specificity, directly addressable.
- Every element in NISO STS can take an @xml:base attribute. This attribute provides a base URI for identifiers within the XML document. While this mechanism provides an inward-facing linkability rather than a pointer to an external ontology, @xml:base can be used to support link-bases into the XML and external semantic interpretations layered over the XML.
- There is also an easy mechanism to add RDF-a attributes (or any other attributes) to every NISO STS element. The NISO STS DTD model provides two parameter entities (%jats-common-atts; and %jats-common-atts-id-required;) that can be used to add any attributes a user may prefer to all of the elements in the Tag Suite (except those out of our control, such as MathML elements). These are the two parameter entities that give each NISO STS element an ID and an @xml:base. In the JATS world, which NISO STS has adopted, these parameter entities have been used to add RDF-a attributes to each element in a JATS document collections. The two are available in NISO STS for similar uses.