What policies and guidelines should be in place for DITA content reuse?

Content reuse is an essential aspect of DITA documentation. To ensure efficient and consistent content reuse, organizations can implement policies and guidelines. These provide structure and clarity to content creators and help maintain content quality.

  1. Content Reuse Policy:

    The content reuse policy defines the organization’s commitment to maximizing the efficiency and consistency of content. This policy establishes content reuse as a strategic approach to ensure consistency across documentation. It includes clear objectives for content reuse, guidelines for implementation, and outlines the roles and responsibilities of content creators, reviewers, and approvers.

  2. Style and Structuring Guidelines:

    Style and structuring guidelines specify the formatting and structuring of content for reuse. These guidelines ensure that reused content adheres to a consistent style. They cover aspects like heading levels, formatting, and content structure. For example, guidelines might specify that each reused concept should have a brief introduction, followed by sections for examples, references, and related content.

  3. Metadata and Tagging Standards:

    Metadata and tagging standards define how content should be categorized and tagged for effective retrieval and reuse. This includes specifying the use of specific metadata fields like product version, content type, and target audience. For example, all reused content should include metadata indicating the applicable software version, making it easier to manage version-specific documentation.

  4. Review and Approval Processes:

    These processes detail how content reuse is reviewed, approved, and updated. Content that’s considered for reuse should go through an approval process to ensure its accuracy and relevance in different contexts. Reviewers ensure that reused content is consistent with the new document’s objectives.

  5. Content Repository and Version Control:

    Guidelines for managing the content repository and version control system. These guidelines specify where and how reusable content is stored, naming conventions for files, and how version control systems (e.g., Git) are used. For example, documents should always reference the latest approved version of reused content.


An organization’s content reuse policy outlines its commitment to maintaining high-quality documentation. Style and structuring guidelines ensure consistency in how reused concepts are presented. Metadata and tagging standards ensure that all reused content includes essential metadata, such as the product version it pertains to. Review and approval processes ensure that reused content is thoroughly reviewed to meet the new document’s requirements. Additionally, version control guidelines establish the process for handling changes to reused content and its storage in a central repository.