What considerations should be made when mapping to non-standard DITA elements?

What considerations should be made when mapping to non-standard DITA elements? When mapping to non-standard DITA elements, several considerations come into play to ensure a successful integration of these elements:

Customization: Non-standard DITA elements may have unique characteristics, such as additional attributes or structures. Customization is essential to adapt DITA templates, stylesheets, and transformation scenarios to accommodate these elements’ specific requirements.

Documentation: Comprehensive documentation of non-standard DITA elements and their usage is crucial. This documentation should describe the purpose, structure, and attributes of these elements, providing clear guidance to content creators who work with them.

Validation: Implement validation processes tailored to the non-standard elements to confirm that content adheres to the defined guidelines. This ensures that mapped elements are used correctly and consistently.

Review: Regular reviews and collaboration among content creators, subject matter experts, and technical writers are essential to identify and address any issues related to the mapping of non-standard elements. This helps maintain consistency and accuracy.


Consider a scenario where a DITA specialization introduces a non-standard element <chemical-reaction> to describe chemical reactions in a chemistry documentation project. Mapping guidelines for this non-standard element must be documented to ensure proper usage and customization of templates, stylesheets, and transformation scenarios.

<!-- Mapping non-standard DITA element for chemical reactions -->
  <topicref href="specializations/chemistry.dita">
          <keyword>chemical reactions</keyword>

<!-- Using the non-standard element for a chemical reaction in a DITA topic -->
<topic id="chemistry-topic">
  <title>Understanding Chemical Reactions</title>