Enabling Journals to Better Connect with Scientific Authors in a Digital World



REDMOND, Wash. — May 30, 2008 — At the annual meeting of the Society for Scholarly Publishing in Boston, Microsoft announced the wide availability of the Beta 1 release of the Article Authoring Add-in for Microsoft Word 2007. In addition to enabling Word users to open and save documents using the National Library of Medicine’s XML Journal Publishing format, used for the authoring of scientific articles, the Beta 1 release adds support for the NCBI Book format, used for authoring book chapters for digital books.


Enabling Journals to Better Connect with Authors in a Digital World

A key value of the Article Authoring add-in is in enabling editors at scientific and technical journals to create article templates, tailored for their individual journals’ requirements.  These templates will assist authors in writing articles with greater consistency in relation to the structure of the articles, better reflecting the content requirements of the journals, and in expressing semantic information which is key for the search and consumption of articles in digital form.


“The Add-In is a very positive development that will help scholars to write and tag their articles in the industry-standard NLM XML DTD, and will help publishers to process these articles in their editorial and production departments. We are pleased to be working with Microsoft on testing and refining this important tool that will benefit scholars and scholarly publishers alike”, said Ahmed Hindawi, CEO of Hindawi Publishing Corporation.


Preserving Information for Archiving and Search

The Article Authoring add-in enables authors to express a greater variety of semantic information, and metadata, as part of writing articles.  This semantic information, captured in the XML format and preserved based on the extensibility in the Open XML standard, will prove valuable in improving the results from search queries and for the long term archival of scientific information.


In addition to preserving information that is native to Microsoft Word, the Beta 1 release of the Article Authoring add-in also preserves Math information from controls, such as Design Science’s MathType, when saving Word documents to the NLM XML format.  Paul Topping, President and CEO of Design Science, Inc., stated that "We were happy to work with Microsoft to add support for Equation Editor and MathType equations to the Article Authoring add-in. Since at least 85% of the articles containing math submitted to scientific journals have equations in those formats, this support is critical."


The Open XML standard, with its capabilities to support custom-schemas, enables the Word add-in to support the entire set of rich information encoded by the NLM format. The add-in also provides easy access to the metadata in the NLM format, both by journal editors and by authors, directly from within the Word user interface.  The broad availability of the Beta 1 release provides a way for the different communities, such as authors, journals, digital archives, and software vendors, to evaluate the technology and provide feedback, guiding further development of the add-in towards its initial release in the second half of 2008.


Information on how to download the Beta 1 release of the Article Authoring Add-in for Microsoft Office Word 2007 can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=09c55527-0759-4d6d-ae02-51e90131997e&displaylang=en.