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FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg:
Fast knowledge transfer


Collaborative creation of scientific works and fast publication in different media.


All about the book


The Institute for Book Science at the Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg is engaged in research and teaching of type-based media, especially printed and digital books. Teaching focuses on the functions and performance of book communication with the reader as addressee on the one hand, and the media industry on the other.


Heterogeneous working environments


The production of scientific publications such as dissertations, studies, teaching materials and abstracts requires the collaboration of several people such as authors, proofreaders and editors, who are often distributed in different locations worldwide. This collaboration is often cumbersome and, moreover, error-prone, since the production of the content is done on different computer systems, heterogeneous office applications and in different file formats (.doc, .pdf, .odf, etc.). Release cycles and version tracking are done via e-mail, which often delays the work process and, in the worst case, leads to further processing of outdated versions.

At the same time, several hundred sources have to be quoted correctly and graphics, formulas and tables have to be inserted. Different layout specifications that must be adhered to must also be taken into account. In the scientific environment there is also a need for multiple use. Thus, works must not only be printed, but also be available on the web or as an e-book in order to ensure a fast transfer of knowledge.

Up to now, the content management system Typo3 has been used for this purpose, but it is designed for the maintenance of online content and less for cross-media processes and does not focus on the classic process of scientific content creation via an intuitive, user-friendly editor.


Media-neutral data


Xeditor, the integrated XML editor was completely adapted to the individual requirements and processes of the project group. The implementation was agile in close cooperation with the development team of the university. In the first step, the scientific content structure was automatically configured using grammar and a literature management system was designed and implemented. The literature input is done via user-friendly forms in Xpublisher, the selection in Xeditor using the entered data.

In Xpublisher, the approval workflow and authorization management were implemented with the help of a role matrix for each publication. In addition, both a publication-to-person assignment and a person-to-release status assignment were desired. To make this possible, a security layer with an additional approval workflow and extended rights management was implemented.

Scientific publishing in the Publishing Industry 4.0 is collaborative, online, and XML-based. Xeditor and Xpublisher offer the technological platform building block for the customizable and qualitative implementation of cross-media workflows via standard components. Standardized individual performance development of publishing workflows via a modular system instead of cumbersome monolithic standard solutions!

Jörn Fahsel, Scientific Project Manager Publishing 4.0


Productive use without extensive training


After only four weeks, the system was ready for use and was used by the authors - students and research assistants - for the online-based and collaborative production of scientific papers. Thanks to sensible configurations of the toolbar, context menus and keyboard layout, training and workshops were largely dispensed with. Thus, despite the use of XML and the associated strict rules for maintaining the defined document structure, a fluent and intuitive editing of documents was maintained; the individual rights management also enabled an optimization of the release cycles.

The solution will be continuously expanded and presented to other universities as reference architecture. Contents of the further development are the creation of a template configurator and an abbreviation management. At the same time, the semantic markups will be expanded to include elements such as conference titles, technical terms or project titles, thus creating a completely neutral and purely semantic-specific markup of content components.

Key Takeaways

  • Productive use from day 1 - without intensive training.
  • Support of collaborative workflows across all borders.
  • Configuration of Xpublisher & Xeditor for the special requirements in the scientific environment.
  • Support in all areas of research.

Professional XML-Editing

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Professional XML-Publishing

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