Management, Governance and Support

For any tag set, it is critically important who makes the decisions and where the money comes from. Anybody cannot just modify a tag set at any time. There needs to be a process for requesting changes and a process of approving changes and Quality Assurance. Somebody has to pay (this stuff ain‘t free!) for both creating and maintaining a tag set. Maintenance costs can be very long term (JATS is nearly 20 years old). Documentation needs to be a line item (explicitly) in someone‘s budget.

There are also budget implications for who writes the documentation. Technical writers are cheaper than vocabulary developers (on the whole) but may need more management and guidance. Technical people such as programmers will know all the answers, but may not be as articulate as Tech writers. Using one group to rework the prose or check the other can be a useful strategy.

JATS employs a hybrid model, with volunteers at NISO controlling the technical content of JATS and with the non-normative supporting materials, (schemas, samples, and Tag Libraries) funded and hosted by the United States National Library of Medicine (NLM). In practice, JATS users request tag set changes on a comment form on the NISO site. The JATS Standing Committee, chaired by Jeff Beck of NLM and Tommie Usdin of Mulberry Technologies, meets regularly by Zoom to determine solutions to technical issues. The schemas (DTD, XSD, and RNG) and the Tag Library documentation are maintained by the JATS Secretariat (Mulberry Technologies, Inc.).