Scandinavian Journal of Information Systems


In this paper we present and discuss efforts to design an SGML-based infrastructure in an institutionalized work setting. The initial goal was to improve the “functionality” of documents in order to access, update, search, use and reuse, retrieve, present, exchange and distribute them independently of time and place and without loss of information. From a technical point of view, standardization is a prerequisite for success. In the pilot project presented in this paper, Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML, ISO 8879) is applied. However, the study has shown that writers experience standardization as a restricting factor in their work, and local flexibility is essential. In relation to SGML-based infrastructures, this has consequences for DTD design and for the selection of authoring tools. The study has also indicated that documents are artifacts that are integrated into practice, and this has to be taken into account in design of document technology.