NISO 2014 Year in Review

This report summarizing the previous year’s standards development work appears in the first ISQ issue of the year to keep you informed of the scope and status of NISO’s programs on an annual basis.

Oversight Committees

Architecture Committee
Current Chair: Michael Teets (OCLC)
Chair through June 30, 2014: Gerry Grenier (IEEE)

In 2014, the Architecture Committee, together with the three Topic Committees, reviewed their areas of work and published a NISO Strategic Directions document that identifies the trends and emerging themes that
will direct future development portfolios. The Strategic Directions document identifies many areas where the development and adoption of standards can be valuable to our community and has further validated the NISO Framework developed in 2007.

Business Information Topic Committee
Co-chairs: Christine M. Stamison (NERL Program, Center for Research Libraries) and Anne Campbell (EBSCO Information Systems)
Co-chairs through December, 2014: Denise Davis (Sacramento Public Library) and through June, 2014: Karla Strieb (Ohio State University Library)

Content & Collection Management Topic Committee
Co-chairs: Marti Heyman (Cengage Learning) and Betty Landesman (University of Baltimore)

Discovery to Delivery Topic Committee

Current Chair: Pascal Calarco (University of Waterloo)
Co-chair through June, 2014: Lucy Harrison (Florida Virtual Campus)

Information about the oversight committees is available at:

Protocol for Exchanging Serial Content (PESC) Working Group

Oversight: Content and Collection Management Topic Committee
Co-chairs: Leslie Johnston (National Archives and Records Administration) and Kimberly Tryka (National Institute of Standards and Technology)
NISO RP-23-201x:
Protocol for Exchanging Serial Content (PESC) [forthcoming]
The PESC Working Group is creating a NISO Recommended Practice to describe a packaging specification to be used
for exchange and archiving of serial publications. There are many reasons for copies of serial content to be transferred from organization to organization—and even within a single organization—many times during the lifecycle of the content. When exchanging content, the files that comprise a serial
“publication” are packaged together in some manner and these packages can be highly variable.

The PESC recommendations offer guidance to members of the scholarly communication community on preferred practices for the packaging and exchange of serial content that will enable the automation of processes to receive and manage serial content at scale. By following these practices, organizations can make it clear what content has been transmitted, how it is organized, and what processing is required when a new package is received. In preparing its recommendations, two sub-groups looked at 1) use cases under which serials data is exchanged and the various actors who participate in this exchange, and 2) conformance issues to determine what packaging and descriptive metadata and other information is necessary to exchange in any particular transaction.

A draft Recommended Practice was issued for public comment from November 4 – December 5, 2014. The final RP is expected to be published in early 2015.

Co-chair Leslie Johnston provided a Working Group update as part of the NISO Update at ALA Midwinter in Philadelphia in January 2014. PESC Member Laurie Kaplan presented Can You Be a PESCaterian among the Fort Worth Stockyards? at the NASIG Conference in Fort Worth, TX, in May and The Importance of PESC: An Emerging NISO Recommended Practice at the Charleston Conference in November. PESC was also featured on the November 2014 NISO Open Teleconference, for which a recording is available.

Transfer Standing Committee

Oversight: Business Information Topic Committee
Co-chairs: Alison Mitchell (Nature Publishing Group) and Elizabeth Winter (Georgia Institute of Technology)
NISO RP-24-2015:
Transfer Code of Practice, version 3.0

The Transfer initiative was begun by the UKSG in 2006 to support smooth and uninterrupted access to content by librarians and readers when a journal changes ownership and online content is transferred from a transferring publisher to a receiving publisher. UKSG announced the availability of the updated Transfer Code of Practice, version 3.0, in March 2014. Following the publication, NISO and UKSG agreed that Transfer support and maintenance would move from UKSG to NISO, and potential future revisions will be provided by a NISO Standing Committee.

Publishers volunteer to become Transfer-compliant by stating that they agree with the roles and responsibilities listed in the Code of Practice and that they will apply it in practice should the situation arise. Transfer-compliant publishers are listed on the Publisher Endorsement webpage. This webpage and other supporting documentation for Transfer are now available from the NISO website.

A very important achievement for the UKSG Transfer Working Group was the creation of the Enhanced Transfer Alerting Service (ETAS). This public, searchable database helps publishers communicate journal transfers and makes it easy for librarians and readers to be notified of journal transfers and to search previous journal transfer alerts. The ETAS is currently offered through collaboration among UKSG, JUSP, Jisc, and Cranfield University, with JUSP and Mimas providing the hosting environment. The current hosting arrangements for the ETAS service will remain in place for the foreseeable future.

Open Discovery Initiative Standing Committee

Oversight: Discovery to Delivery Topic Committee
Co-chairs Standing Committee:
Lettie Conrad (SAGE Publications) and Laura Morse (Harvard University)
Co-chairs ODI Working Group through June, 2014: Marshall Breeding (Independent Consultant) and
Jenny Walker (Independent Consultant)
NISO RP-19-2014:
Open Discovery Initiative: Promoting

Transparency in Discovery

The Open Discovery Initiative (ODI) Working Group—made up of discovery vendors, primary and secondary publishers, and librarians—was charged with developing best practices for the new generation of library discovery services that are based on indexed search.

Published in June 2014, the Recommended Practice included background on the discovery landscape, recommendations in the areas of technical formats for data format and data transfer, communication of libraries’ rights regarding specific content, descriptors regarding particular levels of indexing for content, definition of fair linking to published content, and determination of appropriate usage statistics to be collected to address stakeholder needs.

The Recommended Practice has met with much interest from the community and a Standing Committee was formed to take up the work of supporting and publicizing ODI, as well as determining whether and when further recommendations should be studied and written. Marshall Breeding, ODI co-chair, presented on ODI at the NISO Update program at ALA Midwinter in Philadelphia. Nettie Lagace of NISO included ODI in a NISO update session at NASIG in Fort Worth in May. Working Group member Laura Morse presented on ODI at the NISO Update program at the American Library Association Annual Conference in Las Vegas in June. Several lively presentations related to ODI were made at the Charleston Conference in November 2014. ODI was the topic of the December 8 NISO Open Teleconference, for which a recording is available.

Demand-Driven Acquisitions Working Group

Oversight: Business Information Topic Committee
Co-chairs: Barbara Kawecki (YBP Library Services) and Michael Levine-Clark (University of Denver)
NISO RP-20-2014:
Demand Driven Acquisition of Monographs

This Working Group completed its Recommended Practice in June 2014 on best practices for the Demand Driven Acquisition of Monographs. This comprehensive document includes recommendations covering overall goals and objectives for a library’s DDA program, profiling, management of MARC records (methods for automated updating and removal of discovery records), means for local program assessment, and considerations for consortia
and public libraries. It addresses the models for the three basic aspects of e-book DDA—free discovery to prevent inadvertent transactions, temporary lease, and purchase. The recommendations are expected to be of tremendous use to libraries who wish to maximize their use of DDA and to publishers and vendors supporting these programs.

The creation of the recommendations were just under two years in the making, as subgroups of the Working Group covered the areas of technical processes, access methods, and metric modeling. A master survey was conducted in late summer 2013 with follow-up surveys to delve more deeply into the needs of consortia and public libraries. The analysis of the surveys and research conducted by the subgroups informed the full group’s draft Recommended Practice, which was available for comment from March 24 – April 24, 2014. The DDA Working Group published a summary of the surveys, which is referenced in Appendix A of the Recommended Practice.

Formation of a Standing Committee to manage education, promotion, and further adjudication of potential updates to the Recommended Practice was under way at year end. NISO held an open teleconference on March
10, 2014 to discuss the project; an audio recording of the conference is available from the NISO website. Co-chair Michael Levine-Clark presented the general work of the group at the ER&L Conference in Austin, TX in March 2014, the UKSG Annual Conference in Harrogate, England, in April 2014, and the NISO/BISG 8th Annual Forum,
The Changing Standards Landscape: Managing an Increasingly Complex and Interconnected World of Content held at the American Library Association Annual Conference in June 2014.

Alternative Assessment Metrics (Altmetrics) Initiative

Oversight: Business Information Topic Committee and Alternative Assessment Steering Committee

The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation awarded NISO a grant in 2013 to undertake a two-phase initiative to explore, identify, and advance standards and/or best practices related to a new suite of potential metrics in the community. Phase 1 of the project was completed with a white paper that summarized the findings from three in-person meetings and follow-up interviews, along with the identification of potential action items for further work in Phase 2 of the project. More than 250 ideas were generated by participants in the meetings and interviews, which were condensed to 25 action items in nine categories: definitions, research outputs, discovery, research evaluation, data quality and gaming, grouping and aggregation, context, stakeholders’ perspectives, and adoption.

Further prioritization of the proposed action items was solicited via a survey from August 11-29, 2014. Using the white paper and the survey prioritizations, a work item proposal was presented to and approved by the NISO Voting Members to create four Phase 2 projects to develop standards or recommended practices in the areas of definitions, calculation methodologies, improvement of data quality, and use of persistent identifiers in alternative metrics. As part of each project, relevant use cases and how they apply to different stakeholder groups will be developed. Following a call for participation in December, the working groups are in the process of formation and should begin their work in early 2015.

PIE-J (Presentation & Identification of E-Journals) Standing Committee

Oversight: Business Information Topic Committee
Co-chairs: Ed Cilurso (Taylor & Francis) and Sarah (Sally) Glasser (Hofstra University)
NISO RP-16-2013:
PIE-J: The Presentation & Identification of E-Journals

The PIE-J Recommended Practice was published in 2013 to provide guidance to publishers and platform providers on the presentation of e-journals—a critical component of the global scholarly infrastructure—particularly in the areas of title presentation, accurate use of ISSN, and citation practices. The PIE-J RP is intended to alleviate the problems encountered by end users when working online to access article-based materials using citation elements. Additionally, two forms of a brochure describing PIE-J are available via the PIE-J Workroom webpage.

The PIE-J Standing Committee, consisting of some members who served on the original Working Group and some new librarians and publishers, is charged with responding to specific questions about the Recommended Practice, gathering comments for a full review of the Recommended Practice document, and promoting PIE-J. The Standing Committee posted a template to the PIE-J website for librarians wishing to contact publishers and providers with concerns about the presentation of e-journals on their websites. The template includes suggested wording but is completely customizable.

Presentations about PIE-J included: Co-chair Ed Cilurso at the NISO Update at ALA Midwinter in Philadelphia in January; Co-chair Sally Glasser at ER&L in Austin, TX in March; member Regina Reynolds at the CEAL Conference in Philadelphia, also in March 2014; member Laurie Kaplan at the NASIG Conference in Fort Worth in May; Regina Reynolds as part of the NISO Update session held at the American Library Association Annual Conference in Las Vegas in June; and a poster presentation at the Charleston Conference in November 2014. PIE-J was the topic of the May 12 NISO Open Teleconference, for which a recording is available.

Access License and Indicators Working Group

Oversight: Discovery to Delivery Topic Committee
Co-chairs: Ed Pentz (CrossRef), Cameron Neylon (PLOS), and Greg Tananbaum (SPARC)
NISO RP-22-2015:
Access License and Indicators

Formerly called Open Access Metadata and Indicators, the Access and License Indicators Working Group was charged with providing a solution to the problem where many offerings are available from publishers under the banner of Open Access (OA), Increased Access, Public Access, or other descriptions — and the terms offered vary between publishers and, in some cases, based on the funding organization of the author. Over 100 comments were received to the draft Recommended Practice issued in 2013 and the group spent most of the year revising the document to address the comments. They also changed the name of the group and the Recommended Practice to reflect its application beyond open access resources. Published just after year-end, the final document defines a structure for standardized bibliographic metadata to describe the accessibility of journal articles, how “open” the item is, and a link to the item’s license terms.

Ed Pentz, Working Group Co-chair, described the group’s effort on the NISO Open Teleconference on January 13, 2014, for which a recording is available. Heather Reid, Working Group member provided a general update as part of the NISO Update at ALA Midwinter in Philadelphia. Nettie Lagace of NISO included this project in a NISO update session provided at the NASIG Conference in Fort Worth, TX in May and as part of the programs of the ALCTS Metadata Interest Group and the ALCTS CRS Education, Research, and Publications Committee at the American Library Association Annual Conference in Las Vegas in June.

Journal Article Tag Suite (JATS) Standing Committee

Oversight: Content and Collection Management Topic Committee
Jeff Beck (National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine), B. Tommie Usdin (Mulberry Technologies, Inc.)
ANSI/NISO Z39.96-2012: JATS: Journal Article Tag Suite

The JATS Standing Committee utilizes continuous maintenance procedures to determine appropriate actions to be taken on comments received on ANSI/NISO Z39.96- 2012, JATS: Journal Article Tag Suite, the intellectual successor to the NLM Journal Archiving and Interchange Tag Suite version 3.0.
Comments on the standard are considered for inclusion
in the next revision of the standard. Responses and actions on input through Q2 2014 have been made available in JATS 1.1d1, a draft publication. The JATS Standing Committee is now reviewing more recent input, with the intent of formalizing all the 2013-2014 input as part of an updated JATS standard to be approved and published in early 2015.

Bibliographic Roadmap Project

Oversight: Content and Collection Management Topic Committee

In November 2012, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation generously provided NISO with a grant to support an initiative to develop a community roadmap to help support movement toward a future bibliographic information exchange ecosystem. The goal of this project was to collectively determine the needs and requirements of the library, higher education, and non-profit networked information communities to ensure they are able to use and exchange bibliographic data in an increasingly networked, linked data environment.

An in-person meeting and follow-up webinar were held in 2013. The eight “themes” that emerged from these meetings and over 40 ideas for potential actions to address them were collected and posted in the NISO Ideascale idea-sharing website.The Ideascale tool was discussed in a follow-up webinar and publicized to the community to encourage feedback on prioritizing the ideas. The two top ranked ideas from Ideascale were taken forward to an open discussion session held at ALA Midwinter, January 2014. A final report on the project was published in April 2014.

NISO’s Content and Collection Management Topic Committee further refined the ideas into a new work item proposal that was presented to the NISO Voting Members in December. Following approval, three Working Groups and an oversight Steering Committee will be formed in 2015 to develop standards or best practices in the areas of:

  • Policies supporting vocabulary use and reuse
  • Vocabulary documentation
  • Preservation of RDF vocabularies

Knowledge Bases And Related Tools (KBART) Standing Committee

Oversight: Discovery to Delivery Topic Committee
Current Co-chairs: Magaly Bascones (JISC) and Ben Johnson (Proquest)
Working Group Co-chair through June, 2014:
Chad Hutchens (University of Wyoming)
NISO RP-9-2014:
Knowledge Bases and Related Tools (KBART) Recommended Practice

The KBART Phase II Working Group finalized an updated KBART Recommended Practice in April 2014 that builds on the recommendations of the first version, specifically addressing the areas of metadata for e-books and conference proceedings, packages licensed via consortia deals, and how open access metadata might be published and shared in knowledge bases while continuing to supply a format for general transfer of journal data to the knowledge base of a link resolver supplier.

Following the publication of the revised Recommended Practice, a new Standing Committee, consisting of many of the previous Working Group members as well as new members, took over the provision of support and education activities for KBART. The KBART Registry continues to be maintained with details of contacts, URLs, and instructions relating to the transfer of e-resource metadata between content providers and link resolvers. Once the updated Recommended Practice was published, registrants have been requested to update their endorsement details pursuant to the new recommendations.

Chad Hutchens, Co-chair of the KBART Working Group, presented on the group’s work at the ER&L Conference in Austin, TX, in March 2014 and discussed KBART on the April 2014 NISO Open Teleconference, for which a recording is available. Chad also presented on the group’s work at the NISO May 14 webinar, Getting to the Right Content: Link Resolvers and Knowledgebases. Nettie Lagace of NISO presented on behalf of the group at the 2014 NASIG Conference held in Fort Worth, TX in May, and at the ALCTS Continuing Resources Standards Forum at the American Library Association Annual Conference in Las Vegas in June. Also as part of ALA Annual, Working Group member Noah Levin of Springer presented KBART as part of the NISO Update.

SUSHI (Standardized Usage Statistics Harvesting Initiative) Standing Committee 

Oversight: Business Information Topic Committee
Co-chairs: Marie Kennedy (Loyola Marymount University) and Oliver Pesch (EBSCO Information Services)
ANSI/NISO Z39.93-2014:
Standardized Usage Statistics Harvesting Initiative (SUSHI) Protocol
NISO RP-14-2014: COUNTER-SUSHI Implementation Profile

This Standing Committee provides maintenance and support for ANSI/NISO Z39.93, The Standardized Usage Statistics Harvesting Initiative (SUSHI) Protocol, and acts as the maintenance group for the COUNTER schema (for changes as approved by COUNTER). A new continuous maintenance procedure was implemented, which enables the group to more smoothly shuttle through further updates to the standard.

In 2014, an updated COUNTER-SUSHI Implementation Profile (NISO RP-14:2014) was published to make minor corrections to several report names. Additionally, a maintenance revision to the SUSHI standard (ANSI/NISO Z39.93:2014) was published to extend the filter support, allowing multiple filters and/or report attributes to be included in the SUSHI Request. Use of these filters and attributes is optional, making the new version backwards compatible with the previous one. The Standing Committee pursued relevant changes to the SUSHI schema in light of the release of COUNTER 4 and made applicable updates to the SUSHI workroom pages, ensuring SUSHI support materials are congruent with the new community website, USUS. Included in the website updates were an FAQ covering COUNTER 4, additional sample reports and tools for developers, and a more streamlined SUSHI Server Registry, all to better support information sharing for COUNTER 4.

Oliver Pesch updated the NISO community on SUSHI- related efforts at the NISO February 10 Open Teleconference, for which a recording is available. Nettie Lagace of NISO presented on behalf of the group at the NISO Update at
the American Library Association Annual Conference in Las Vegas in June.

SUSHI ‘Lite’ Working Group

Oversight: Business Information Topic Committee
Co-chairs: Paul Needham (Cranfield University) and Oliver Pesch (EBSCO Information Services)

This new Working Group was proposed by the SUSHI Standing Committee to create a NISO Technical Report that will explore adapting the SUSHI Standard to accommodate present day development tools and usage needs related to retrieving snippets of usage through web services. Three objectives of the technical report are to:

  • Allow smaller units of usage (“snippets”) to be retrieved with SUSHI to enable real-time retrieval of usage for single journals or articles.
  • Allow for an optional implementation of SUSHI—using a RESTful HTTP interface with COUNTER usage returned formatted in JSON—to implement the web services that would be accessing SUSHI snippets.
  • Introduce a generalized filter specification that can be used with the new RESTful style/JSON approach to allow the client to refine the request to a single book, journal, or article, or to specify extended data like account or customer details that are currently not available in the standard.

A draft technical report is expected to be made available by mid-2015. Members are also creating demonstration code which could be used to test the report’s theories.

ONIX-PL Encodings

Project Lead: Selden Lamoureux

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation awarded NISO a grant to support the encoding of a collection of template licenses for e-resources into the ONIX for Publications Licenses (ONIX-PL) format for deposit into the GOKb and KB+ knowledgebase for free distribution to the library, publishing, and library systems community. The deposited encodings—to be made available under a Creative Commons Public Domain (CC0) license—will allow libraries that license electronic content to import the template licenses into their own electronic resource management systems for further local customization and implementation.

The coding of ten sample licenses from providers such as Nature, Elsevier, De Gruyter, Springer, and Oxford was completed in 2013, however their deposit in GOKb was delayed until mid-2014 when the database was made available as a beta phase for the public. A slide presentation on how to access the encodings was posted on the NISO website.

ResourceSync Working Group

Oversight: Discovery to Delivery Topic Committee
Co-chairs: Todd Carpenter (NISO) and Herbert Van de Sompel (Los Alamos National Laboratory)
ANSI/NISO Z39.99-2014:
ResourceSync Framework Specification

The ResourceSync Framework Specification, published in May 2014, describes a synchronization framework for the web consisting of various capabilities that allow third party systems to remain synchronized with a server’s evolving resources. The problem that ResourceSync was designed to solve spans the areas of search, discovery, deposit, metadata harvesting, and transfer; there is a need to keep collections of resources in sync so that additions, updates, and deletions of one are reflected in the other. The standard was written in such a way that capabilities may be combined to meet local requirements. A server may also describe synchronization capabilities that it supports and ways that third-party systems may discover this support. The core functionality of the specification is intended to represent a functional replacement of OAI-PMH.

The core ResourceSync Working Group was funded by the Sloan Foundation and is augmented by other industry and research participants, some of whom were sponsored by JISC.

An overview of ResourceSync, developed by Herbert Van de Sompel, is available via YouTube ( ASQ4jMYytsA). Van de Sompel and Martin Klein presented on ResourceSync at the CNI Spring Members Meeting in St. Louis, MO in March 2014.

NCIP (NISO Circulation Interchange Protocol) Standing Committee

Oversight: Discovery to Delivery Topic Committee Chair: Mike Dicus (Ex Libris)
ANSI/NISO Z39.83-1-2012 (version 2.02):
NISO Circulation Interchange, Part 1: Protocol (NCIP)
ANSI/NISO Z39.83-2-2012 (version 2.02): NISO Circulation Interchange Protocol (NCIP), Part 2: Implementation Profile 1

The NCIP Standing Committee operates via continuous maintenance procedures to manage the latest NCIP standard, version 2.02, which was published in 2012. On monthly calls the committee reviews status of implementations and other general business. Twice a year, meetings are held in person in order to review ongoing updates to the NCIP protocol per the Standing Committee’s continuous maintenance procedure.

The Standing Committee has used its recent monthly conference calls to discuss implementation projects and the progress of maintenance of the NCIP website, which has been recently taken over by the Standing Committee. The spring meeting of the NCIP Standing Committee was held in Petaluma, CA in April, hosted by the Galecia Group. The committee decided not to hold a fall in-person meeting in 2014.

NCIP was the topic of the October 20 NISO Open Teleconference, for which a recording is available.

Journal Article Versions (JAV) Addendum Working Group

Oversight: Content and Collection Management Topic Committee
Current Chair:
Open; Chair through January, 2014: Michael Dellert (SAGE Publications)
NISO RP-8-2008: Journal Article Versions (JAV)

In 2008, NISO published a set of recommended terms to be applied to iterations of an article’s lifecycle. The terms were assigned scope and definition that allow for actionable, unambiguous, and reliable tools for publishers, librarians, aggregators, indexers, and end users. As the Journal Article Versions (JAV) recommended practice was adopted, the scope of the term “proof” was found to be less precise and more difficult to apply than the other terms and a proposal was made to issue an Addendum to address this problem.

This Working Group met during 2013 and discussed perspectives on drafting the addendum to JAV regarding the “proof” category of articles as described above and considered a proposal for an overall metadata framework or dictionary for JAV, in which its terms could be incorporated—meaning that different users of JAV could utilize their own local terms as part of the overall framework without collision. The group went on hiatus due to chair staffing issues, but is expected to re-commence work in early 2015.

SERU (Shared E-Resource Understanding) Standing Committee

Oversight: Business Information Topic Committee
Co-chairs: Adam Chesler (Business Expert Press) and Anne McKee (Greater Western Library Alliance) NISO RP-7-2012: SERU: A Shared Electronic Resource Understanding

The SERU Recommended Practice, updated in 2012 to be more flexible for use with online products beyond e-journals, continued to be supported in 2014 by its Standing Committee through efforts to publicize SERU and educate libraries and publishers via direct contacts and public presentations at industry conferences. Such support included the SERU public workroom pages, which are regularly updated and revised to better help publishers and libraries understand and use the SERU material.

The SERU Registry continues to be updated with new supporters of SERU and is intended to enable publishers and librarians to more easily identify each other. In 2014, 29 new publishers / content providers and 51 new libraries / consortia were added to the registry.

Educational Programs

Under the leadership of the Education Committee, NISO continued its robust education program in 2014 with the eighth annual NISO/BISG Changing Standards Landscape forum at ALA Annual, fifteen webinars that included three months with two related parts and a joint webinar with NASIG, and seven virtual conferences. Over 120 libraries took advantage of the benefit of one free connection to all NISO webinars for Library Standards Alliance (LSA) members.

Over 230 sites attended NISO’s virtual conferences and an additional 457 sites participated in the NISO webinars, plus another 122 Library Standards Alliance members who receive a free connection to all NISO webinars. With an average of 3-5 people viewing the virtual events at each site, that’s at least 3,200 people benefiting from NISO’s education events!

NISO also held ten free open teleconferences to keep the community apprised of standards-related activities and provide an opportunity for feedback.

Slide presentations from all of the events and the webinars and audio recordings of the open teleconferences are posted on the NISO website in the 2014 events area.

Information Standards Quarterly

NISO continued publishing Information Standards Quarterly in open access in electronic form on its website in 2014. A print version was available by subscription and in print-on-demand.

Themed issues published in 2014 were:
Spring 2014: 2013 Year in Review and State of the Standards
Summer 2014: Open Access Infrastructure with Guest Editor Liam Earney (Jisc)

Fall 2014: Identity Management with Guest Editor Andy Dale (Respect Network Corp.)

Winter 2014: Licensing of Digital Content

Z39.7 Data Dictionary Standing Committee

Oversight: Business Information Topic Committee
Chair: Martha Kyrillidou, Association of Research Libraries (ARL)
ANSI/NISO Z39.7-2013: I
nformation Services and Use: Metrics & statistics for libraries and information providers – Data Dictionary

The Z39.7 Data Dictionary is an online standard, available in HTML and PDF versions, that is continuously maintained; the fifth edition was released in summer 2013. The purpose of the Data Dictionary is to assist the information community by indicating and defining useful quantifiable information to measure the resources and performance of libraries and to provide a body of valid and comparable data on American libraries. It identifies standard definitions, methods, and practices relevant to library statistics activities in the United States.

As part of its work, the Standing Committee scans and reviews the statistical survey landscape and examines other assessment efforts—including use of particular vocabularies— in the community for effects on the Data Dictionary. Of particular importance to this Standing Committee is the recent modification to language published by the U.S. Department of Education’s division, the National Center for Education Statistics, to eliminate library-related material from its enacting legislation. There are general changes going on in the federal landscape regarding the collection of data for various types of libraries and it is not yet clear what legislation affecting this collection will move forward.

The Standing Committee continues to scan and review the statistical survey landscape, examining other assessment efforts in the community, including conferences and papers such as the 2014 Library Assessment Conference, the ACRL Webcast Series, and the Library Edge initiative. Discussions included the effects of these on the Data Dictionary, including use of particular vocabularies across the various efforts. The Standing Committee is also closely following ISO’s TC46/SC8 group (Information and documentation / Quality - Statistics and performance evaluation), which is working on a number of projects in this area.

Any user of the Dictionary may submit suggested changes, which the Standing Committee reviews during its monthly phone calls. Notifications about approved future revisions to the standard are sent to the Z39.7 notification mailing list.

Standard Interchange Protocol (SIP) Working Group

Oversight: Discovery to Delivery Topic Committee
Co-chairs: John Bodfish (OCLC) and Ted Koppel (Auto-Graphics)

The Standard Interchange Protocol (SIP), introduced by 3M in 1993, provides a standard communication mechanism to allow Integrated Library System (ILS) applications and self- service devices to communicate seamlessly to perform self- service transactions and has become the de facto standard around the world to integrate ILSs and self-service devices.

This Working Group is directing the existing SIP version 3.0 specification through the NISO standardization process.

Four important high-level areas have guided the SIP Working Group’s work: the SIP3 documents themselves, including revisions/corrections/additions, resolving ambiguities, etc.; the Maintenance Agency; SIP3’s relation to privacy standards and security; and the relation to NCIP. The group has been meeting approximately bi-weekly for the past year to work through these areas; much of the discussion has been around extensive research and analysis to help progress decision-making. At this time the Working Group is determining the changes and edits that need to be made to the proposed standard pursuant to the group decisions from the past year.

The workroom webpages for each of the projects discussed here are available at:

The free monthly e-newsletter Newsline and the quarterly Working Group Connection reports provide regular updates on NISO activities; to subscribe send an e-mail to

Most projects have an interest list that you can sign up for to receive periodic updates, visit:

Nettie Lagace (, NISO’s Associate Director for Programs, is responsible for facilitating the work of NISO’s topic committees and working groups that develop standards and best practices, and for working with the community to encourage broad adoption of this consensus work.