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NISO Publishes Journal Article Tag Suite (JATS) Standard

The National Information Standards Organization (NISO) announced August 22, 2012 that it has published JATS: Journal Article Tag Suite as a new American National Standard (ANSI/NISO Z39.96-2012). JATS is a continuation of work done at the National Library of Medicine's National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) to create and support the NLM Archiving and Interchange Tag Suite, commonly referred to as "the NLM DTDs." A DTD or Document Type Definition is a set of markup declarations that define a document type for a Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML)-family markup language, such as XML and HTML.

JATS is a standard markup model for publishing, authoring, and archiving journal articles and other documents. It defines elements and attributes for describing textual and graphical content of journal articles and other materials, which allows publishers and archives to preserve the intellectual content of journals independent of the form in which that content was originally delivered. In addition to the element and attribute descriptions, JATS includes three journal article tag sets: the Archiving and Interchange Tag Set, the Journal Publishing Tag Set, and the Article Authoring Tag Set.

Originally developed as the data structure for journals participating in NCBI's PubMed Central archive of life sciences literature, the Tag Suite has achieved strong acceptance among publishers and authors, with more than 70% of publisher content deposited into PubMed Central currently arriving in the standard format. The Tag Suite also has been adopted by the Portico and Highwire Press archives, the British Library, and the Library of Congress for electronic journal articles.

Further information about JATS is available at NLM's JATS Web site (

The National Library of Medicine, the world's largest biomedical library, is a component of the National Institutes of Health.