NISO Reports

Updated Recommended Practice on SERU: A Shared Electronic Resource Understanding

A new edition of the recommended practice SERU: A Shared Electronic Resource Understanding (NISO RP-7-2012) expands use of SERU beyond e-journals. the SERU recommended Practice offers a mechanism that can be used as an alternative to a license agreement by expressing commonly shared understandings between content providers and libraries. these understandings include such things as the definition of authorized users, expectations for privacy and confidentiality, and online performance and service provisions. the 2012 updated version of SERU recognizes both the importance of making SERU more flexible for those who want to expand its use beyond e-journals, while acknowledging the fact that consensus for other types of e-resource transactions are not as well established as they are for e-journals.

Since the 2008 publication of the original SERU RP, many models have emerged for acquiring e-books and both libraries and e-book providers have requested that other types of electronic resources be incorporated into the SERU framework. this new version uses language that can be applied to a wide variety of e-resources while retaining the same shared understandings that made the previous version so useful.

The SERU registry of those interested in using the SERU approach already contains over 70 publishers and content providers and 185 libraries and consortia. the expansion of the recommendations to address additional types of e-resources should interest more organizations in joining the SERU registry.

The SERU recommended Practice, the SERU registry, and additional helpful resources are available from the SERU workroom webpage on the NISO website: workrooms/seru/.

New Authoring and Interchange Framework Standard

NISo and the DAISY Consortium announced the publication in August 2012 of the new American National Standard Authoring and Interchange Framework (ANSI/NISo Z39.98-2012). the standard defines how to represent digital information using XmL to produce documents suitable for transformation into different universally accessible formats. the standard is a revision, extension, and enhancement of Specifications for the Digital Talking Book (DTB), commonly referred to as the DAISY standard (ANSI/NISo Z39.86-2005 (r2012)). the DAISY Consortium is the maintenance Agency for both standards.

The A&I Framework is a modular, extensible architecture to permit the creation of any number of content representation models, each custom-tailored for a particular kind of information resource. It also provides support for new output formats, which can be added and implemented as the need arises. the standard does not impose limitations on what distribution formats can be created from it; e-text, Braille, large print, and ePUB are among formats that can be produced in conformance with the standard.

Although the new A&I Framework standard is intended to replace the Digital Talking Book standard, feedback during trial use of the standard indicated that content providers and device manufacturers would need a transition period of several years due to the significance of the changes in the standard. To meet this need, the existing DTB standard (ANSI/NISO Z39.86) was reaffirmed for another five years and the A&I Framework was assigned a new standard number (ANSI/NISO Z39.98).

The A&I Framework standard will be of interest to any organization using an XML authoring workflow, developers and publishers of universally accessible digital publications, and agencies interested in creating profiles for new document types to integrate into distribution formats, such as ePUB.

Both the A&i Framework standard and the digital talking Book standard are available for free download from the NISO website ( and the DAISY website (

Process Begun for National Standardization of the 3M Standard Interchange Protocol (SIP)

NISO voting members have approved a new project to formalize the 3m Standard Interchange Protocol (SIP) as an American National Standard. Introduced in 1993, the SIP protocol provides a mechanism for Integrated Library Systems (ILS) applications and self-service devices to communicate seamlessly to perform self-service transactions. this protocol quickly became a de facto standard around the world, and remains the primary protocol to integrate ILS and self-service devices. Since the protocol’s inception, 3m has continued to produce updated versions of itmost recently version 3.0 in late 2011. A NISO Working group will now shepherd SIP 3.0 through the standardization process of becoming an American National Standard.

“While 3m has always sought input from the library community of developers and interested parties in enhancing the protocol, the time is right for further maintenance and upgrades to SIP to be done in a more independent, community environment,” stated Sue Boettcher, 3m Senior Product Development Specialist. “3m will continue to participate, but as a contributing vendor and user of the protocol.”

“Obviously, there is close connection between SIP and NISO’s Circulation Interchange Protocol (NCIP) standard,”
said Robert Walsh, representative for EnvisionWare, the maintenance Agency for NCIP. “With both standards approved and maintained within NISO, there is an opportunity for the two standards’ working groups to clarify the structural differences and to provide the community direction on the appropriateness for each standard within a given context.
This will be one of the tasks of both the new working group and the NCIP maintenance Agency moving forward.”

More information about the project, including the project proposal can be found on the NISO SIP workroom webpage:

New Initiative to Develop Recommended Practices for Demand-driven Acquisition (DDA) of Monographs

NISO voting members approved a new project to develop recommended practices for the Demand-Driven Acquisition (DDA) of monographs. many libraries have embraced DDA (also referred to as patron-driven acquisition) to present many more titles to their patrons for potential use and purchase than would ever be feasible under the traditional purchase model. If implemented correctly, DDA can make it possible to purchase only what is needed, allowing libraries to spend the same amount of money as they previously spent on monographs, but with a higher rate of use. however, this model requires libraries to develop and implement new procedures for adding titles to a “consideration pool,” for keeping un-owned titles available for purchase for some future period (often years after publication), for providing discovery methods of titles in the pool, establishing rules on when a title gets purchased or only temporarily leased, how potential titles are discovered, and for handling of multiple formats of a title.

DDA can be a significant disruption in the existing supply chain for monographs, not only for libraries but also for publishers, sales agents, aggregators, and end users. New roles and practices need to be shaped in a way that allows the scholarly communication supply chain to continue to function effectively. Additionally, most libraries that have experimented with DDA have been in the academic sector; NISO intends to involve the public library community with this project and develop recommendations that can work for all library types.

More information about the project, including the project proposal can be found on the NISO DDA workroom webpage: