Are there guidelines for involving subject matter experts (SMEs) and policymakers in DITA-based government content reviews?

Guidelines for involving subject matter experts (SMEs) and policymakers in DITA-based government content reviews are essential to ensure effective collaboration and content quality. DITA provides a structured framework for incorporating SMEs and policymakers into the review process. Here are the guidelines:

Define Roles and Responsibilities

It’s crucial to clearly define the roles and responsibilities of SMEs and policymakers in the content review process. DITA allows for the creation of specific elements or attributes in XML to identify these roles. For instance, you can create custom metadata attributes like “” to specify whether someone is an SME or policymaker, and “” to indicate the reviewer’s name. This ensures that everyone involved understands their part in the review process.

Structured Feedback Mechanism

DITA enables the creation of a structured feedback mechanism. SMEs and policymakers can use DITA-aware tools to insert review comments and feedback directly into the XML content. These comments can be enclosed in “” tags and include relevant information like date and suggested changes. DITA-aware tools provide a user-friendly interface for non-technical stakeholders to participate in the review process.

Customization for Government Needs

Government content often has specific requirements and standards. DITA’s flexibility allows for customization to meet these needs. You can create custom DITA elements and attributes to align with government policies and regulations. This ensures that the content review process is tailored to the unique demands of government documentation.


Here’s an example of how guidelines for involving SMEs and policymakers are implemented within DITA:

<topic id="government-policy">
  <title>Government Policy</title>

In this example, a DITA topic representing a government policy includes metadata elements that specify the role as a policymaker and the reviewer’s name. This structured approach helps to engage the right stakeholders in the review process.