NISO Publishes Standards Tag Suite (NISO STS) Standard

Provides common format for exchanging standards content

The National Information Standards Organization (NISO) announces the publication of a new American National Standard, STS: Standards Tag Suite, ANSI/NISO Z39.102-2017. The purpose of this "standard for standards," which will be known as NISO STS, is to define a suite of XML elements and attributes that describes the full-text content and metadata of standards. NISO STS provides a common format that preserves intellectual content of standards independent of the form in which that content was originally delivered.

This standard includes two implementations: the Interchange Tag Set and the Extended Tag Set. These tag sets, built from the elements and attributes defined in the Suite, provide models for standards publishing and interoperability. NISO STS builds upon the existing, widely used standard for journal publishers, ANSI/NISO Z39.96-2015, JATS: Journal Article Tag Suite, and a variant of JATS, ISOSTS, the International Organization for Standardization's (ISO) version of STS created in 2011. NISO STS has benefited from this robust foundation and broad industry expertise.

Bruce Rosenblum, CEO of Inera, Inc. and co-chair of the NISO STS Working Group, comments that the standard will positively impact the bottom line of standards publishers and their vendors. "Investment in publishing technology is a significant cost," says Rosenblum. "When companies don't 'speak the same language,' costs remain high and innovation is stifled. NISO STS allows all parties to leverage a common investment and spread costs over a larger number of organizations, which will in turn lower costs of software and services for everyone."

Robert Wheeler, ASME Director of Publishing Technologies and co-chair of the NISO STS working group, welcomes the interoperability that NISO STS enables in the market. "An agreed-upon XML tag set for standards will improve communication throughout the entire standards world, from creators to end users," comments Wheeler. "Greater interoperability between standards publishers and the standards distribution ecosystem, in particular, will ease standards' discovery, use, and adoption, as well as better enable the dissemination of new ideas and technologies."

"Publishing standards in XML per NISO STS will provide a sustainable upgrade from the inflexibility of PDF," states NISO Executive Director Todd Carpenter. "NISO is proud to provide a platform for better interchange and leading-edge publishing processes, which is core to our mission. We welcome the efficiencies offered by STS and the improvements it brings to the standards world. As NISO STS is aligned with JATS, its implementers can rest assured that the standard will be well-supported into the future alongside advancing technology and increased user requirements."

NISO STS is available for download at Supporting non-normative documentation, including the tag library and DTD, XSD, and RNG schemas are available at For more on the NISO STS project, see

About NISO
NISO, based in Baltimore, Maryland, fosters the development and maintenance of standards that facilitate the creation, persistent management, and effective interchange of information so that it can be trusted for use in research and learning. To fulfill this mission, NISO engages libraries, publishers, information aggregators, and other organizations that support learning, research, and scholarship through the creation, organization, management, and curation of knowledge. NISO works with intersecting communities of interest and across the entire lifecycle of information standards. NISO is a not-for-profit association accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). For more information, visit theĀ NISO website.