American Psychological Association: Transitioning Legacy Content to NLM-Based DTD Using a Fully-Automated Workflow

Keywords: workflow, conversion, NLM DTD, journals


The American Psychological Association (APA) is the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States. APA's membership includes more than 134,000 researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants and students. The APA publishes a vast amount of content in support of its mission: books, journals, databases, videos, magazines, newsletters, reports, and brochures.

APA publishes more than 70 journals and was managing journal content with its proprietary ContentItem DTD. The organization needed to transition its entire journal workflow to the NLM DTD to facilitate content interchange and conform to industry requirements. Legacy content spanned across 25 years, was produced over three decades, and included six design changes over the years.


Cenveo Publisher Services worked with APA on this massive content transformation initiative that comprised converting more than 1 million pages.  The technology team from the Publishing Lab at Cenveo consolidated and categorized APA content into simple, medium, and complex content categories.  After extensive testing, Cenveo Publisher Services created an interchange DTD transformation tool to convert legacy content to the NLM DTD.

ePublish is Cenveo Publisher Services’ content conversion solution that transforms content to any required format. XSLT and quality assurance scripting were combined to ensure that variations across several years of data were successfully converted to the NLM DTD.


In just 6 months, Cenveo Publisher Services delivered full-text XML compliant to APA’s journal archive requirements and the NLM DTD. Automated conversion to the NLM DTD was delivered without compromising on quality or schedule.

As a result of updates to its journal content structure, APA now has its extensive backlist of journal content formatted to the NLM 3.0 standard. Content that is based on this industry standard is easily exchanged across common digital platforms, including National Library of Medicine, the British Library, HighWire, Ingenta, Portico, etc. 

This was a major endeavor for our organization. Your support, expertise, and superb customer service was invaluable as we navigated the complexities encountered along the way. We could not have accomplished this milestone without you.
— Susan J. A Harris, Senior Director, Journals, American Psychological Association

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