Albers, Michael J. “The Technical Editor and Document Databases: What the Future May Hold.” Technical Communication Quarterly. Vol. 9, No. 2 (191-206).

  • This article argues that in the transition to metadata-laden documents and dynamic document creation, the job of the technical editor is more difficult – especially at the higher-level editing stages. Albers argues that editors in the future (now) will need to exert tighter controls over information consistency and content.
  • Importance for database project / information architecture: Strict versioning controls should be implemented to maintain voice, style, diction, etc., in technical documents that are created through single-sourcing database table entries.
  • The author makes reference to .XML as the primary method for attaching metadata to smaller pieces of information. Interestingly, the author also envisions a time when articles might be broken up, assigned .XML and dynamically generated from database tables. This would be super cool (think the “Methods” section possibilities) but, to date, still doesn’t seem to be much of a thing.
  • The author includes a very helpful section at the end of the document that shows how to incorporate data structure and control into technical communication courses.

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