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Glossary of Terms

 

Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA)

Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA) is an open source standard for structuring content in topic-based chunks. It saves time and money by allowing the reuse of content across several different products and contexts; eliminating the need to recreate the content for every use. DITA is media neutral and can be used for a variety of mediums including online help, Web sites, user manuals, catalogs, instructional materials, and so on. DITA organizes content ensuring that the meaning is uniform and consistent across divisions and platforms. Precisely Write has both knowledge and experience working with DITA. Return to previous page.

Document Type Definition (DTD)

A document type definition is a file that specifies how elements within an XML document should relate to each other. A DTD provides rules for an XML document and each of its elements. Return to previous page.

Element Definition Document (EDD)

An Element Definition Document (EDD) is normally embedded in a document template. An element is a structural unit such as paragraph, header, list, block text, etc. An EDD includes both structural rules for a document and styling rules that dictate how specific elements are formatted and styled. A developer generally creates an EDD from an existing Document Type Definition (DTD) file, an XML Schema, or from scratch. Return to previous page.

Source:Adobe® FrameMaker® 7.0 User Guide for Windows®, Macintosh, and Unix®. Adobe Systems, Inc. San Jose, CA 2002.

Grant writing

Grants are gifts of financial aid given by foundations, government agencies, corporations or others, that do not need to be repaid. Grants are usually awarded based on need, but can be awarded for academic achievement, special skill, talent, heritage, or other criteria. Grant writing is the process of finding providers that might be interested in a specific cause or need and writing a proposal detailing the way the money will be used, why the applicant qualifies for the gift, and other information requested by the provider. There is no guarantee that the proposal will be accepted and sometimes several proposals must be made to achieve success. Contact Precisely Write for all your grant writing needs. Return to previous page.

Information Architecture

Information Architecture is the blueprint that describes the way that information is organized by taking advantage of inherent patterns in the information. For example, classifying plant or animal life into species and subspecies is a way of structuring biological creatures. The goal is to make the user’s interaction with the information as simple as possible by presenting the information in a logical structure. This is accomplished through the use of layout, navigational aids, and syntax rules. Return to previous page.

Information Mapping™

Information Mapping™ is a trademarked method to write and structure information.The Information Mapping approach dates back to 1965 when Robert E. Horn, a psychologist at Columbia University, conducted research on how readers deal with large amounts of complex information. His research, roughly based on Learning Theory and Cognitive Psychology, resulted in a standard approach for organizing and communicating information, referred to by the name Information Mapping.

Information Mapping consists of an integrated set of principles and techniques that enable authors to break complex information into its most basic elements and then present those elements optimally for readers, so they can quickly and easily scan and retrieve the information they need. It requires specialized training and experience. Precisely Write has writers formally trained in the Information Mapping methodology. We have also worked on multiple large Information Mapping projects. Return to previous page.

Information silos

Information silos were originally attributed to computer systems that lacked integrated communication, where managers served as gatekeepers to database information and other trapped information. As computer databases improved integration, the term has evolved to include business information of all types, usually locked in silos, or files, on a shared drive, a hard drive or even within an email system. Content management systems seek to integrate this trapped information among users through content sharing, single sourcing, and content reuse. Return to previous page.

International Standards Organization (ISO)

ISO is not a governmental organization, but a network of the national standards institutes of 156 countries. ISO provides organizations with models for doing things in a systematic and organized way, based on a set of standards agreed upon by experts in a particular field. They range from product standards to more generic business management systems. Industry-wide standardization exists when the large majority of products or services in a particular business or industry all use the same international standard. Return to previous page.

Keywords

Single terms or short phrases that best define the main points of your topic. Keywords are used for searching catalogs and databases. Effective keywords are chosen based on relevancy of Web page content, to the information for which users search. For example, a user would search for Florida Vacations and expect to see pages with content relevant to that term as opposed to content regarding European Vacations. For Web pages, keywords appear in meta tags to help search engines readily identify and better index the site according to the information presented there. Thus increasing the site’s ranking (order of appearance) in the search results. Return to previous page.

Links (Hyperlinks)

Links are hypertext-affected text or images that allow Web site users to jump from one page or document to another simply by clicking on the text or image. Internal links built within the context of a Web page are links with parameters that constrain the user to pages or documents within the domain of that specific site. Internal links are important elements in Web design as they allow users to access information quickly as they scan for information. External links take users to sites outside the domain of a specific site. Search engine optimization techniques often use external links to often-visited, highly credible sites to increase search engine ranking. Return to previous page.

S1000D™

S1000D refers to the international specification (or standard) for producing and purchasing aerospace and defense technical publications; though many feel the specifications can be applied to nontechnical publications as well. The current S1000D issue is trademarked and owned by AeroSpace and Defense Industries Association of Europe (ASD) and has been jointly produced by the ASD and Aerospace Industries Association of America (AIA), who form the Technical Publications Specification Maintenance Group (TPSMG) to establish standards for documentation agreed upon by the participating nations. Return to previous page.

Sarbanes-Oxley

The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, Pub. L. No. 107-204, 116 Stat. 745 (July 30, 2002), is a United States federal law. The Act covers issues such as establishing a Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB), auditor independence, corporate responsibility and enhanced financial disclosure. It was designed to review the dated legislative audit requirements, and is considered one of the most significant changes to United States securities laws since the New Deal in the 1930s. The Act gives additional powers and responsibilities to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Precisely Write has the experience needed for your SOX documentation projects. Return to previous page.

Scanning

Recent studies have shown that Web users scan for content on Web sites, instead of reading word for word. Users look for links that will quickly lead them to the information they need. The average user only stays on a page for about 5-7 seconds looking for what they need. If it’s not there, they go somewhere else. Well written, scannable, content for the Web is best saved for professionals who use information architecture to analyze your Web site for intuitive user-hierarchies. Return to previous page.

SCORM® (Sharable Content Object Reference Model)

SCORM is a trademarked collection of standards and specifications adapted from multiple sources to provide a comprehensive suite of e-learning capabilities that enable interoperability, accessibility, and reusability of Web-based learning content. It defines a Web-based learning "Content Aggregation Model (CAM)" and "Run-Time Environment" (RTE) for learning objects. In essence, the CAM defines how to aggregate, describe, and sequence learning objects and the RTE defines the run-time communication and data to be tracked for learning objects. Return to previous page.

Standard Operating Procedure (SOP)

Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) are detailed, written instructions about how specific functions or tasks are performed. The goal of SOPs is to achieve uniformity and consistency in the performance of these functions or tasks throughout an organization. Contact Precisely Write for all your procedure documentation needs. Return to previous page.

Style Sheet

A style sheet is a file, or instructions hidden within a file, separate from the content, that defines the layout of the document. It describes rules for font type and size, margins, indentation, etc. Contact Precisely Write for custom style sheet development. Return to previous page.

Subject Matter Experts

A subject matter expert is someone with special knowledge about a business area that enhances the understanding of a team (such as publication team) concerning a specific product, service, or function of a company. An SME is usually a stakeholder for a business team that has recognized expertise and authority for a given business process. An SME can act as trainer, peer-reviewer, approver, or knowledge sharer. Return to previous page.

Templates

Templates are ready made, preformatted documents complete with margins, fonts, headers and footers, numbering, logos or any other kind of formatting the designer wants to appear on each page. Template files are stored in application software or separately on the hard drive. The user clicks on the template to open a blank document based on the template pattern, and then can enter content without changing the original file. Contact Precisely Write for custom template development. Return to previous page.

Translation Friendly Content

Translation friendly content is text or copy written in a universal English style free of slang, colloquialisms, technical jargon, and other elements that can cause translation problems. Translation-friendly content uses short, concise sentences, step-by-step instructions, active voice, and fewer pronouns than typical English for native speakers. It avoids using abbreviations, humor, sarcasm, or any expressions that could easily be misinterpreted by a translation application or service. Using this type of content for information cuts down on translation costs caused by the need to repeatedly translate confusing material. Precisely Write has experience working on projects translated into 16 different languages. Return to previous page.

White papers

White papers are detailed authoritative reports written by subject matter experts. White papers published to Web sites usually indicate expertise in a specific area or areas. Publishing white papers for use by Web users, either free or at a nominal cost, enhances credibility and professionalism of the site. White papers are typically written with a specific audience in mind, one needing solutions to a problem or just some information on a subject. More than one white paper can be written on a single subject for various audiences. For example, a pharmaceutical company may write two or three white papers on one of it’s products or services, but make them available to different audiences such as consumers, physicians, or scientists. Contact Precisely for all your white paper writing needs. Return to previous page.

XML (Extensible Markup Language)

XML (Extensible Markup Language) is a standard for creating markup languages which describe the structure of data. It is not a fixed set of elements like HTML, but rather, it is like SGML (Standard Generalized Markup Language) a system of marking up that allows you to create your own language for displaying documents—for instance, an XML document can generate an HTML, PDF, and Word copy of the same file, enabling you to have just one master document to update.

XML is a formal specification of the World Wide Web Consortium. Return to previous page.

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©2008 Precisely Write, Inc.    "Precisely Write" is a registered trademark of Precisely Write, Inc. S1000D is a trademark of SDA. SCORM is a registered trademark of Advanced Distributed Learning. Adobe and FrameMaker are registered trademarks of Adobe Systems Incorporated in the United States and/or other countries. All other trademarks and copyrights are the property of their respective owners.