We are happy to announce that this morning we posted the Release Candidate build of the Article Authoring Add-in.

Over the past couple of months, the community has provided very useful feedback based on the Beta 1 release.  We feel that we have refined the overall experience and addressed the key elements of the feedback we have received in this Release Candidate of the add-in.  Thank you for your engagement and support.

Starting with a simplified install experience, this latest release has a number of improvements under the covers, from enhancing the XML that is generated to improvements in the user interaction, especially for the Journal Panel.  We encourage you to download this new build and evaluate it as part of your workflow.  As you think of using the different functionality provided by the add-in, please send us your comments and requests for future releases.

Let's do a quick recap of what the add-in provides:

  • Open/Save files into the National Library of Medicine XML format

XML documents in the NLM format can be opened from within Word, edited, and saved, both as Word files and back again as XML.  The add-in also includes support for the NLM book format.

  • Access to Metadata from within the Word user interface

Author, article, and journal metadata is accessible through the user interface exposed by the add-in, enabling the editing of all information that is part of the NLM format.  Software developers can also write tools and applications to create or access this data programmatically, for example connecting the data in a document to a database.

  • Incorporating NLM semantic elements within the Word document

Starting with Sections, semantic elements appear explicitly within the document, and enable authoring in a more structured manner, better preparing the document contents for analysis, validation, and search.

  • Ability to create and use templates

The add-in installs a set of example templates: a blank article template, a blank book chapter template, and a sample article template with keywords and sections.  The blank articles are particularly useful for starting new articles, or for providing structure to content pasted in from another document.

We feel that the add-in supports the evolution to the greater use of XML as the underlying format for archiving articles.  Specially as part of the transition to electronic-first or electronic only publishing, the add-in should prove useful in generating XML content, without having first to take articles through the traditional print oriented and page layout based processes.  The resulting XML content can then be transformed for presentation, making use of the semantic information in the document to determine presentation parameters.

In addition, the add-in should be particular useful to journals/publishers in the biomedical fields, where many articles are now required to be submitted to PubMed Central for archival.