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In scientific/technical/medical (STM) publishing a large number of
constructs occur frequently, regardless of the discipline. This includes
numeric and other strongly typed data which are essentially isomorphous,
differing only in their labels.
In our own work (e.g. in chemistry and medicine) we have found it necessary
to support the following:
- numeric data, with scientific units
- regular structures of homogeneous data types (arrays, matrixes, tables)
- containers for metadata
- dictionaries for scientific terms, including dictionary-driven
constraints (datatypes, values, enumerations, etc.)
- abstract objects for scientific discourse (object, action, observation,
We have created STM-ML to support this, based on XML Schemas both for its
own definition and also for the constraints added by the dictionaries. It
has been tested as providing the "non-chemical" core of Chemical Markup
Language, but it can support other disciplines and we offer it to the
scientific and XML communities.
A paper can be found at:
and the full schema is linked (as a monolithic document[*]). We would
welcome comments, especially on the construction of the schema. We know
that other groups are working in this area and expect there to be a variety
of approaches of which STM-ML is one.
An important aspect is to keep the language simple so that newcomers can
Peter and Henry
[*] The schema is modular but built from XML entities rather than
<xsd:import> because (initially) there was a problem with Xerces in
resolving relative URLs.
Peter Murray-Rust. (CML, VHG and XML-DEV)
Virtual HyperGlossary http://www.vhg.org.uk/ [new website; has XML demos]
Unilever Centre for Molecular Informatics, Cambridge University, UK