Understanding Documentary Practice: Lessons Learnt from the Text Encoding Initiative

  • Paul Scifleet
  • Susan P. Williams
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 6966)


How are definitions of content and the design of digital documents being determined in practice? In this paper the authors present the relationship between document encoder and document as the central unit of analysis in a framework for making sense of documentary practice at community, organisational and implementation levels. The paper presents the integrated findings from a global survey of document encoders participating in the Text Encoding Initiative, providing important insights into the characteristics of an emergent documentary practice. By focusing on documentation as a field of practice the paper reveals a rich and generative practice at play and provides valuable lessons for other complex metadata and markup initiatives.


Markup Language Lesson Learn Document Type Definition Digital Document Digital Humanity 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul Scifleet
    • 1
  • Susan P. Williams
    • 2
  1. 1.Discipline of Business Information Systems, Business SchoolUniversity of SydneySydneyAustralia
  2. 2.Institute for Information Systems ResearchUniversität Koblenz-LandauKoblenzGermany

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