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Team Comment on the “PRISM Specification Package” Submission

W3C is pleased to receive the “PRISM Specification Package” submission from Wiley, on behalf of the International Digital Enterprise Alliance, Inc.


The “Publishing Requirements for Industry Standard Metadata (PRISM)” specification defines a set of XML metadata vocabularies for syndicating, aggregating, post-processing, and multi-purposing magazine, news, newsletter, marketing collateral, catalog, mainstream journal content, online content, and feeds. PRISM provides a framework for the interchange and preservation of content and metadata, a collection of elements to describe that content, and a set of controlled vocabularies listing the values for those elements. PRISM is designed be straightforward to use over the Internet, to support a wide variety of applications, without constraints on the data formats of the resources being described. PRISM metadata can be expressed in XML, RDF/XML, or XMP.

The Submission consists of a large number of interrelated specifications, namely:

The specification is the result of the combined effort of a number of institutions and companies, mostly within the magazine publishing community. The first version of PRISM (version 1.0) was published in 2001; the present submission is based on the latest version (version 3.1) published in 2015. Those participating in the efforts to define taxonomies and controlled vocabularies have clearly stated interests in using the specifications for implementing content repositories to enable cross-channel publishing and to expedite content exchange among licensors, syndicators and aggregators (the details of the implementations often fall under NDA and privilege). PRISM has been an important standard for almost two decades, providing a very rich suite of vocabularies widely used in the magazine industry and, to a lesser extent, in related sectors such as the news industry. It can be particularly relevant as publications move online and as their content is managed in ever more granular ways, since PRISM is designed not only for content markup and metadata but also to facilitate interchange and repurposing of content.

The following publishers have contributed to the development of PRISM Specifications: AARP Magazine, Banta New Media, Brown Printing, Business Wire, Inc., CMP Media, Condé Nast Publications, Factiva—Dow Jones, Getty Images, Gruner + Jahr, Hachette Filipacchi Magazines, Hearst Magazines, Highlights Magazine, Japanese Magazine Publishing Association members, LexisNexis (a division of Reed Elsevier), Lippincott (a division of Wolters Kluwer Health), Meredith Corporation, National Geographic Global Media, Newsweek, Platts (a division of the McGraw-Hill Companies), Readers Digest, Reed Business Information, Reuters, Rogers Media Corporation, Rodale, Inc., Sothebys.com, Southern Progress Magazines, Time, Inc., U.S. News Media Group, or Wolters Kluwer. (Note: due to the many mergers and acquisitions, some publishers no longer exist as standalone entities.)

Relationships to W3C Activities

Disclaimer: Publication of a Member Submission by W3C does not imply endorsement by W3C, including the W3C Team or Members, nor does it guarantee that a Working Group will agree to take any specific action on a Submission.

There is an obvious relationship to the Publishing@W3C activity and the publishing community at large. By making this intellectual property available, as well as providing a stable home at W3C, the PRISM Submission provides frameworks for

All these possibilities are highly relevant for the activities of the Publishing Business Group that can use the variety of metadata vocabulary items of PRISM within its own metadata framework. In general, PRISM can contribute to the continuous deployment of digital publishing, whether in EPUB format or on the Web.

Next Steps

The PRISM Specification Package is submitted as a complete and final work. The Idealliance Publishing Community no longer maintains or extends the PRISM Specification Package. This body of work is directly posted to the W3C website to serve as a stable resource for the Publishing Community at large. Ongoing maintenance is not anticipated at this time.

Ivan Herman, W3C Technical Staff