Single sourcing, or single-source publishing, is a methodology for managing content so that the same source content can be used across multiple publishing channels, and for multiple deliverables. One set of content can be republished and repurposed without having to rely on multiple efforts to create, edit, and maintain that content. Single-sourced content is stored in a single location, or repository, and is available for more than one content creator to work on. 

Single-sourced content is often reduced to smaller chunks of content, usually sections, paragraphs, or sentences, and sometimes even phrases or words. This is known as structured content. With a high degree of granularity, these chunks are easier to reuse and repurpose. 

There are distinct levels or degrees of single sourcing: 

  • Content that is identical and published to multiple channels
  • Content that is static, but custom delivered. Different pieces of content are delivered either in a selective way or with a different organization (or both). 
  • Content that is customized and delivered uniquely. This provides the most effective content delivery but requires increased resources. 

Although single sourcing is considered a practice to better manage content, a variety of tools are available to make content management tasks much easier: 

  • eXtensible Markup Language (XML) as content source 
  • Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA), an application of XML
  • Content creation tools, often using XML, and DITA XML in particular 
  • Content management systems 
  • extensible Stylesheet Language Transformations (XSLT), a language for applying styles to content during publishing 

Single sourcing reduces the potential for errors because only one set of source files requires maintenance and updating. Because the content is centralized, editors and reviewers have easy access to the created content. 

Single sourcing is beneficial to an organization by reducing resources needed to create, edit, and maintain content while offering more powerful content through repurposing to more than one delivery channel. Single-sourced content that is delivered to multiple outputs is much easier to maintain, as only one source file needs to be updated. Users benefit from single-sourced content indirectly through consistent terminology and presentation of information. 


Innovatia is an end-to-end content solutions provider servicing clients looking to manage and overcome challenges with their content.  For more than two decades, our experts have worked closely with client teams to help design, transform, and manage their content with a view to driving business goals through knowledge and content solutions. To discuss in more detail, contact us.