Astronomical Data Center


The Science Journal ARTICLE XML Markup Language: SJAML

ADC's XML Research
eXtensible Data Format (XDF)
Science Journal Article ML (SJAML)
FITS Markup Language (FITSML)

Most publication houses are using SGML for electronic mark up of pages intended for hardcopy. Since XML is a major subset of SGML with W3C backing and greater database compatabililty, many publication houses are naturally considering switching to or including XML. Now, if authors were also to switch to XML for their manuscripts, it would greatly reduce the work load at the publication houses and reduce the number of errors that are introduced in the translation process. XML is also a logical progression for authors since it is rapidly becoming incorporated into editors such as Word Perfect, Microsoft Notepad, Emacs, etc. There is an XML standard for equation markup, MathML, and equation editors exist for it. It is easy to put these manuscripts onto the Web; all one needs is to link to a standard cascade style sheet (CSS2). In addition, we have a scientific XML data (table/image) format. Eventually, something along these lines can be an end to end solution for data from experiment/observation through analysis to publication.

With fewer transformations needed on article text, equations, and tables, less human intervention will be required and fewer human errors will be introduced. Proofing documents entered as XML to publication houses could someday be unnecessary.

This page allows users to examine several demonstrations we are developing to show the power of the Science Journal Article XML Markup Language (SJAML).

Note that since this work ended at the ADC when the ADC closed, the National Information Standards Organization (NISO) created a standardized set of tags for journal articles and archives to exchange content called Journal Article Tag Suite (JATS). This has become ANSI/NISO standard Z39.96-2012. However, SJAML, is meant mainly for the authors of journal articles and therefore should be a much smaller set of tags than JATS. Perhaps a subset of JATS could be used for this purpose. The minimal set that allows the publishers to understand and typeset the article would be the goal.

Document Type Definitions.

  • The DTD, for those who can read Document Type Definitions.
  • The DTD Tree that shows the required structure of an XML article.
  • This DTD makes use of MathML version 2.0. You can view its DTD Tree.


  • You need an XML aware browser to see this sample of an article in XML. It is an XML document that is transformed by your browser, using CSS2, to a somewhat pretty output. Mozilla1.0 can properly display the math but the numbering of the sections is incorrect because Mozilla has not yet implemented CSS2 counters. Internet Explorer has not implemented the element.before or element.after objects of CSS2 so there are headings missing with that browser.
  • For those with the Opera Browser, you get to see the sample of an article in XML with proper numbering of the sections and subsections because Opera has implemented the counter mechanism of CSS2. However, Opera displays MathML in XHTML but not in general XML (a strange oversight in our opinion).
  • Now, here is the same XML document but linked to a different style sheet. One that transforms it to LaTeX (for backwards compliance). Look at the page source to assure yourself that this is XML that is being transformed by your browser. Internet Explorer, for some reason, chooses not to display the laTex commands.

  Project PI: Ed Shaya
  Revised: 23-Apr-2001