And during this time, technical communicators have developed the ammunition necessary to make the why and how arguments about single sourcing.
Indeed, single sourcing is an innovation that has rapidly evolved from being a futuristic vision of the field only a few years ago to a realistic document practice that is practical for writing shops of all sizes.
The hows and whys of single sourcing are topics that are now hard to miss in print, at conferences, or in gatherings of technical communicators.
In one of the few books addressing the topic of single sourcing, Single sourcing: Building modular documentation, Kurt Ament asserts that the single-sourcing process does not differ from the traditional documentation process in the beginning of a project.
For the purposes of this article, I define content as the actual information or topics addressed in the writing, and product as the final document(s) or deliverable(s) produced by the writing process or through single sourcing, which may include a manual, user guide, a help system, Web site, and so forth.
Single sourcing consists of "writing information once and using it many times" (Rockley 2001, p.
He maintains that there is value in reading the book for every practitioner because "Even if you are not involved in single sourcing, this guide provides you with guidelines to improve the usability of your documentation" (p.
Ament defines single sourcing and positions its use in practice.
He establishes the value of single sourcing to both writers and readers.
We seek contributions that go beyond merely defining and explaining single sourcing to explore the consequences of adopting a single-sourcing mindset in practice, education, or technical communication theory.
What special difficulties/benefits are involved in implementing single sourcing in small business units?
How does single sourcing change our expectations of entry-level communication skills?