How are mining-specific abbreviations and acronyms expanded and controlled in DITA documentation?

Managing mining-specific abbreviations and acronyms in DITA documentation involves a systematic approach to expansion and control to enhance clarity and consistency. Here are key strategies:

Abbreviation Expansion

In DITA, abbreviations and acronyms can be expanded upon their first occurrence to provide readers with their full meanings. This expansion ensures that readers, including those who may not be familiar with industry-specific terms, can understand the content. An example of abbreviation expansion in DITA XML is shown below:

  <p>Minerals such as <abbrev>PMO</abbrev> are commonly found in mining sites. <abbrev>PMO</abbrev> stands for "Precious Metal Ore."</p>

Abbreviation Control

Controlling abbreviations and acronyms in DITA documentation involves maintaining a centralized list or glossary where all such terms are defined. Authors can reference this list when using abbreviations to ensure consistency. Additionally, DITA allows for conditional text and key references to handle variations in abbreviations based on context. Here’s an example:

<glossentry id="PMO">
    <p>Abbreviation for Precious Metal Ore.</p>
    <pubkey scope="local">US</pubkey>

Using such glossary entries with conditional text, authors can specify that “PMO” should be expanded to “Precious Metal Ore” only in a specific context (e.g., the US market).

Consistency Checks

Regular consistency checks and reviews of DITA documentation help ensure that abbreviations and acronyms are consistently expanded and controlled. Automated scripts can be employed to flag instances where expansion is missing or where different expansions are used for the same abbreviation.