Can reused content have different review cycles in DITA?

In DITA, reused content can have different review cycles, allowing organizations to manage content updates and approvals flexibly. Content with varying levels of complexity, importance, or relevance may require different review and approval processes.

The reasons for variable review cycles include, but are not limited to:

  • Different Content Types: DITA documentation often consists of various content types, such as topics, key definitions, glossaries, and reference sections. Each of these content types may have different characteristics and purposes, leading to varying review requirements.
  • Varied Complexity: Reused content can range in complexity. Some content, like standard terminology or definitions, may rarely change and require minimal review. In contrast, highly technical or rapidly evolving content may need more frequent and rigorous reviews.
  • Importance: Content that is critical to a document’s accuracy or safety, like procedures in a user manual, may have more extensive review cycles compared to supporting information or references.
  • Localization Considerations: Content that will be translated into multiple languages may have different review cycles for source content and translations to ensure accuracy across languages.


A software documentation project using DITA involves the following pieces of documentation, with their own requirements for review:

  • User Guide Content: The user guide includes general descriptions of the software’s features and user interface elements. These descriptions, which are reused across different sections of the guide, may have a moderate review cycle, as they change infrequently.
  • Release Notes: The software’s release notes are reused in various documents, including user guides and technical manuals. Given that these notes are updated with each software release, they undergo an extensive review process with every new version.
  • Glossary Definitions: The glossary in the documentation provides definitions of technical terms. Glossary entries, once reviewed and approved, are rarely modified, making their review cycle minimal.
  • Safety Procedures: In the software’s safety documentation, procedures for handling critical errors or emergency shutdowns are reused. Given the importance of these procedures, they undergo a rigorous and frequent review process to ensure accuracy and compliance.