15 April 2019
The National Information Standards Organization (NISO) has announced the formal publication of a new update to the JATS: Journal Article Tag Suite standard, ANSI/NISO Z39.96-2019. The purpose of JATS is to define a suite of XML elements and attributes describing the content of metadata and journal articles while using a common format that enables the interchange and exchange of that content. This update, Version 1.2, is fully backwards compatible with the previous JATS Version 1.1, which was released in 2015. The added elements and modifications made in 2019 allow greater flexibility in existing models while enabling support for emerging publishing practices.
"In an environment where researchers upload preprints and then subsequently may wish to provide an edited version of a preprint or otherwise indicate changes made over time, versioning is increasingly important. The elements 'article version' and 'article version alternatives' have been introduced to allow such versions of an article to be described in the various instances that may be encountered or uncovered," said Tommie Usdin, President of Mulberry Technologies and co-chair of the NISO JATS Standing Committee.
"Equally critical in the modern research environment, JATS now includes metadata tags for providing descriptions of non-monetary support – support that may come in the form of access, data, facilities or other contributions," said Jeffrey Beck, NCBI Technical Information Specialist, National Library of Medicine, and co-chair of the NISO JATS Standing Committee
Nettie Lagace, Associate Director of Programs, NISO, indicated additional enhancements. "Version 1.2 includes four new attributes for naming (and possibly linking to) a general or controlled taxonomy or vocabulary and a specific term within the vocabulary residing in a setting outside of JATS. Content providers won't have to embed the definition of a vocabulary term in every document that uses it. That can aid in resolving issues of disambiguation and thereby smooth the discovery process for students and researchers."
Other enhancements include the addition of the inline index term to the narrative text to allow the automated generation of indexes and the @style-detail attribute on <styled content> to reflect accented content in Eastern languages more accurately.