HUTpubl : structured publishing at the Helsinki University of Technology

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B3 Vertaisarvioimaton artikkeli konferenssijulkaisussa
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This paper describes HUTpubl, an SGML-based project conducted by the HUT [Helsinki University of Technology] Library. The goal of the project is to establish a working SGML/XML-based publishing model for HUT scientific publication series. In-house project partners include the Department of Automation and Systems Technology, and the Department of Computer Science and Engineering. HUTpubl is also a member of an umbrella project RAJU (Rakenteinen julkaiseminen yliopistoissa), a newly formed consortium of three Finnish universities. RAJU seeks to define guidelines and to give recommendations for the use of structured documents in higher education in Finland. The paper elaborates on lessons learned in HUTpubl, both technical and those more closely related to finance and workforce. Findings in other related projects and research activities are also included. Electronic publishing in general is confronted with a multitude of demands and hopes, expressed by users on one hand, and by institutions on the other. One of the key issues concerns long-term availability of digital information. In addition, research findings indicate that users would like to place more detailed full-text information retrieval requests. Due to differing interests, some users focus their attention to figures, others in tables or bibliographies, to name just a few examples. Furthermore, there is a wish to deliver publications on many platforms, which asks for suitable mechanisms of combining information with different sets of output specifications. In all these three cases, the capabilities of todays desktop editors fall short. Yet they are among the most frequently used tools to produce scientific publications. It is claimed that the answer would lie in the use of structure-oriented editors and descriptive, platform-independent markup. But the move is not a trivial one. One of the first big challenges is the author himself. To what extent is he willing to modify his working habits? Does he accept the possibility of letting someone else define the layout of his work? Another major issue is the publication process. The nature of changes in workflow are as much organizational as they are technical. There is no easy way to copy existing publishing models from one university to another, as lucrative as it might seem.
electronic publishing, SGML, XML, publishing process
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