Using Open XML to author scientific and technical articles


Pablo Fernicola has the news today that we’ve released a tech preview of an article authoring add-in for word 2007. This add-in leverages the Open XML formats to translate into the XML formats defined by the National Library of Medicine. http://blogs.msdn.com/exscientia/archive/2008/03/20/Technology-Preview-Launch.aspx

Here’s another great example of the power you get when you’re able to save into an open xml standard from within Office:

OpenXML as the Enabling Technology

Starting from the OpenXML content simplifies the conversion process from one XML format to another, but beyond this, there are a couple of OpenXML features that make the overall solution come together. In future postings I will cover these in more detail, but custom schemas and the ability to store additional information in the file (through the Open Packaging Conventions) are key in being able to package the content and metadata in a single file, which can then be opened and edited by any tools as part of the publishing process.

Here’s a great quote from David Lipman, M.D. (Director of the National Library of Medicine’s National Center for Biotechnology Information):

“We are delighted that Microsoft has chosen to support the NLM DTD, building on Office 2007, and has produced this technology preview as a proof of concept. Having a tool that will automatically transfer an author’s work from Microsoft Word into the NLM DTD will benefit authors as well as publishers. We are eager to see Microsoft make the release version of this tool available to the community.”

-Brian

Comments (5)

  1. Jake says:

    I know this sounds like trolling but does anyone know whether LaTeX is still fashionable in scientific circles? Back in the ’90s when I left the university world LaTeX was dominant but no idea what has happened since then.

  2. Dave S says:

    "he ability to store additional information in the file (through the Open Packaging Conventions)"

    Does Pablo know that -any- files can be extended in much the same way using WinZip? And the information is not quite in a file, but is splattered across a number of files that are just zip’ed together?

  3. jones206@hotmail.com says:

    Dave S.

    No, we didn’t know that Dave. Thanks for the informative post… very enlightening. 🙂

    BTW, if you aren’t aware of the extra information OPC allows you to convey when roundtripping additional information in a file, you should familiarize yourself. It’s much more than simply dumping extra stuff into a ZIP package.

    -Brian

  4. Dave S. says:

    Care to substantiate the difference between "extra information" and "extra stuff?" It’s sure to be a fascinating take on information theory.