How to write for information reuse?

Subject: How to write for information reuse?
From: Ballenberger Gerd <Gerd -dot- Ballenberger -at- med -dot- siemens -dot- de>
To: Techwriters List <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 11 Feb 2000 13:18:59 +0100

What are the Do's and Dont's of writing information that should be reuseable
in a databased Document Management System?

We are currently setting up a DMS with FrameMaker+SGML and a Chrystal
Astoria document database. One of the main reasons for this is that we want
to be able to reuse parts of documents, thus saving time & money on storage,
maintenance, translation and review of these parts, and improving overall
documentation consistency.

So much for the theory. In practice I had one case where a document part
that I could have reused didn't fit into the target because the heading
levels didn't match. There are some more obvious things to consider which we
are aware of, but we certainly don't have the broad view to train our
writers properly.

Can anyone share some experience, or point us to appropriate sources?

(I searched the archives and found some postings, but nothing really
comprehensive. One poster, Debby Schryer, had asked the same question last
year and asked for direct replies, but her e-mail address doesn't exist any


Gerd -dot- Ballenberger -at- med -dot- siemens -dot- de
Siemens Medical Systems
Erlangen, Germany

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