In scientific digital libraries many documents such as publications, technical reports, theses, etc. could be used as basic data supports for distance learning in the universities. But the native structure of these documents is generally not directly adapted to e-learning. In this paper we present our project in which we study how to modify and manage such documents for a better use in distance learning. In the first part, we introduce the definition of a format for scientific documents suited to e-learning, we propose then to use the XML language features to encode and manage these documents. In the next part, we present the documentary system design based on the new structure of the documents and we finish with the description of the prototype that has been made.