One of the biggest challenges for standards development organizations like NISO is ensuring the implementation and uptake of the final standard. The end results of our work at NISO are adopted on a voluntary basis by libraries, information suppliers, publishers, and the vendors that provide search, organization, or management tools to the community.
Achieving consensus is already a difficult process. Trying to persuade members of the information community that it is in their business interests to adopt a particular technological approach adds to the challenge. To help address these concerns, NISO's Topic Committees have put into place a set of criteria that focus on the business case of standards to help guide decisions when reviewing new projects and during reaffirmation of existing standards. But this only goes part of the way. The role of everyone involved in NISO must extend beyond the development phase by encouraging the use of our standards, as well as of related or shared standards from other standards development organizations.
One thing NISO can do is communicate broadly how standards can benefit the community. NISO has invested tremendously in expanding our educational programs to help with that communication. By educating purchasers of content and services about the benefits of information standards, we are helping to create a demand for products that conform to those standards. Educated content producers and vendors can see how being an early adopter of standards could give them a competitive edge.
We've had good successes over this past year with our educational events. Most recently, we have hosted two web seminars: one in conjunction with ALCTS on standards in a library environment and a second on OpenURL. Upcoming web events on ONIX-PL, SUSHI, and Identifiers will focus attention on other current initiatives. The in-person Collaborative Library Resource Sharing seminar and the Performance Measurement and Assessment seminar will provide a broader view of their topics. We hope that the participants in these meetings will take away not only a deeper understanding of the subject matter and how it will positively impact their work, but that they will also call for greater adoption of our standards.
We encourage each of you to actively learn how standards can positively impact your organization and to work toward having your colleagues and suppliers conform to standards. By creating an awareness of the benefits of standards for both the developer and the consumer, and encouraging these groups to actively ask for and use these information standards, we will have taken another step towards speeding up the adoption rate for everyone.
With kindest regards,
NISO Specs & Standards
NISO Media Stories
OpenURL Webinar Shows How Far Link Resolution Has Come and Where it Still Can Go
Phil Norman (OCLC) and Peter McCracken (Serials Solutions) were the presenters at NISO's August 21 webinar, OpenURL Implementation: Link Resolution That Users Will Love.
Phil provided background on the OpenURL standard from its early pre-NISO specification, now referred to as version 0.1, through its development as an ANSI/NISO standard. The pre-NISO version addressed the appropriate copy problem, focusing on electronic journal content licensed by libraries. Version 1.0 as defined in the NISO standard (ANSI/NISO Z39.88-2004) expanded the framework to allow new genres and new descriptions of existing genres. It also provided for an OpenURL registry and a maintenance agency. OCLC was selected by NISO in 2006 to manage the OpenURL registry.
Phil described the various components of an OpenURL "ContextObject" as defined in the standard and explained the purpose of each. He also reviewed what types of entities are included in the registry, including namespaces, metadata formats, character encodings, ContextObject formats, transports, and community profiles. A community profile defines the core characteristics for a specific application of OpenURL. Two initial profiles were defined in the standard: Level 1 and Level 2 San Antonio Profiles (SAP). Level 1 uses the Key-Encoded Value (KEV) ContextObject Format, which is limited to representation of only one object. Level 2 uses the XML ContextObject Format, which can represent one or more objects as an XML document. Both profiles were designed for scholarly information types of applications. SAP Level 1 is the type of application seen today in most library systems. A third profile, the Dublin Core Community Profile, was in trial use at the time the standard was issued and became an official profile in 2007. As one might infer, it supports the Dublin Core metadata format. The newest profile, Request Transfer Message, is currently in trial use. It supports the same XML formats as in the SAP2 profile, plus several additional XML metadata formats including MODS and ONIX for Books.
Several OpenURL implementations, beyond the traditional library application, were described. Google Scholar provides links from Scholar search results to resources held by the participating institution of the user's choice. COinS (Context Object in Spans) allows linking to an OpenURL resolver from any HTML encoded webpage. Wikipedia has examples of COinS implementation. OCLC has developed an XML interface from WorldCat Link Manager to WorldCat Local. New applications are underway as well, such as a requests services for jpeg images. The standard was deliberately defined in a way to encourage and support creative implementations.
In addition to the official registry for the OpenURL standard, OCLC provides a commercial OpenURL Gateway, a central link resolver "knowledgebase." They also provide a WorldCat library registry service that includes OpenURL information in the library's record, which allows third parties to provide services with OpenURL links to a particular library's resources for their authorized users. Libraries are encouraged to sign up on the WorldCat Registry and enter a profile that includes the URLS to provided services.
Peter McCracken followed with a discussion of efforts underway to improve OpenURL services through better data transfer and more accurate data. While OpenURL has been a great leap forward in library services by providing users with content they would not otherwise have found, it still doesn't get users to content as easily as it should, and inaccurate data or incorrect implementation can lead to bad links. Lack of knowledge about the standard means that some vendors and libraries who could benefit from OpenURL still aren't using it.
A 2007 study underwritten by the UK Serials Group (UKSG) on Link Resolvers and the Serials Supply Chain provided recommendations on how to address some OpenURL implementation issues. UKSG and NISO have jointly sponsored a working group to follow-up on the report's recommendations. The group, called KBART (Knowledge Bases And Related Tools), is co-chaired by Peter McCracken and Charlie Rapple (TBI Communications) and includes members from link resolver/ERM suppliers, publishers, subscription agents/aggregators, libraries and consortia.
The KBART working group intends to address all three of the major problem areas: 1) lack of knowledge through more and better information to non-using content providers; 2) incorrect implementations by identifying problem implementations, providing opportunities for vendors to grade themselves, standardizing the transfer of data among participants, and offering more and better examples of working implementations; and 3) inaccurate data, the hardest problem to solve, which is why the group is still debating possible approaches.
Initially the group plans to issue best practice recommendations, hopefully in time for the UKSG Annual Conference next spring. They may go on to develop a standard, if that approach appears to be appropriate. The KBART group maintains webpages on both the UKSG and the NISO websites. An email "interest group" list is available for those who want to receive regular updates of the group's progress or post questions and suggestions. To subscribe, send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Presentation slides from the OpenURL webinar and links to additional resources on the topic are available from the event webpage.
Registration Open for the ONIX-PL and SUSHI Webinars
The next two webinars in NISO's Demystifying Standards series will focus on ONIX for Publications Licenses (ONIX-PL): Simplifying License Expression and Standardized Usage Statistics Harvesting Initiative (SUSHI): Beyond Trial into Real Use.
ONIX-PL, to be held on September 10, 2008 from 1:00 - 2:30nbsp;p.m. (eastern time), will feature Alicia Wise, Chief Executive, Publishers Licensing Society (PLS) and Chair of NISO's new ONIX-PL working group. She will begin the webinar by describing the need for ONIX-PL, the benefits it provides for various stakeholders, the ongoing maintenance she and the NISO working group will be doing with this standard, and she will provide an overview of the work done to get the trial version of the standard to its present stage.
Jeff Aipperspach, Senior Product Manager, Serials Solutions, and Rick Burke, Executive Director, Statewide California Electronic Library Consortium (SCELC), will follow with their hands-on perspectives of the trial they are conducting with ONIX-PL, a project that should provide a model for future ONIX-PL implementations. SCELC and Serials Solutions are partnering with a number of publishers to test the transmission of licensing data using the ONIX-PL messages.
Register at the ONIX-PL webinar event webpage.
SUSHI, to be held on October 2, 2008 from 1:00 - 2:30 p.m. (eastern time), will feature Adam Chandler, Coordinator, Service Design Group, Cornell University Library, and Co-Chair, SUSHI Maintenance Advisory Group. Adam will introduce the webinar by bringing to the audience a technical perspective and sharing more about the relationship between SUSHI and COUNTER and possible next steps for this standard.
Hana Levay, Information Resources Librarian, Collection Management Services, University of Washington Libraries, will then give a real-library perspective, sharing with the audience one example of how SUSHI was not only implemented at the University of Washington, but how it is being applied in a real way, including setting up SUSHI (in this case, using Innovative Interfaces' ERM), the kinds of reports being supplied via SUSHI, integrating usage statistics into a collection development assessment tool via an ERM, and providing examples of how usage reports are being used in decision making
Register at the SUSHI webinar event webpage.
International Update: TC46/SC9, Identification and description
Newsline will periodically provide updates of developments in the international standard committee, ISO TC46 (Information and documentation) SC9 (Information and description), for which NISO is the new Secretariat.
Expect to see a lot of ballot activity this fall. Two standards have recently been submitted to ISO for issuance as Draft International Standard (DIS) ballots. DIS ballots run for five months.
Two standards are in their final editing stages and should also be ready for balloting this fall.
Edition 2 of ISO 10957, International Standard Music Number (ISMN), was approved by the SC9 members for publication and will also be submitted to ISO in September. A French translation of the standard, which normally takes about two months, will be required before final publication.
Collaborative Library Resource Sharing Forum Will Address Standards, Developments, and New Models for Cooperating
NISO will host a two-day forum on Collaborative Library Resource Sharing: Standards, Developments, and New Models for Cooperating on October 6-7, 2008, in the Georgia Tech Global Learning Center in Atlanta. Participants will explore areas where collaborative effort and standards can help improve library efficiency through resource sharing. This includes the area of interlibrary loan, physical resource management, collaborative storage and preservation, and related open source developments. New developments in each of these areas will help to improve efficiency in library resource sharing and hopefully improve user outcomes and satisfaction.
Confirmed speakers and topics include:
If you are looking for ways to reduce costs and improve efficiency through collaborative resource sharing, you won't want to miss this seminar. Visit the event webpage for more information and to register. Early bird registration ends on September 17.
New Specs & Standards
Major changes in this new release include two new library consortium usage reports specified only in XML format and incorporation of the use of the SUSHI (Standardized Usage Statistics Harvesting Initiative) protocol (ANSI/NISO Z39.93:2007). A complete list of changes is in the introduction of the document. The deadline date for implementation of this new release is August 31, 2009.
ISO 11620:2008, Information and documentation – Library performance indicators
Edition 2 of the standard that "specifies the requirements of a performance indicator for libraries and establishes a set of performance indicators to be used by libraries of all types. It also provides guidance on how to implement performance indicators in libraries where such performance indicators are not already in use."
ISO 4217:2008, Codes for the representation of currencies and funds
Seventh edition of the standard that specifies the structure for unique three-letter alphabetic codes (alpha-3) and equivalent three-digit numeric codes that represent global currencies and funds. These codes are widely used in database applications.
Call for Comments: INCITS 453-200x, Information technology – North American Profile of ISO 19115:2003 – Geographic information – Metadata (NAP – Metadata, version 1.2)
This proposed new standard intends to be an inclusive document addressing ISO19115: 2003, Geographic information - Metadata, and the accepted modifications for use in North American applications. It includes best practices to guide data providers in capturing geospatial metadata. Obtain an electronic copy from: INCITS or ANSI. Send comments to: Barbara Bennett, ITI (INCITS).
Call for Comments: NFPA 909-200x, Code for the Protection of Cultural Resources Properties – Museums, Libraries, and Places of Worship
This proposed revision to the 1995 version applies to culturally significant structures and to their contents. Such structures include, but are not limited to, buildings that store or display museum or library collections, historic buildings, and places of worship. These structures also include spaces within other buildings used for such culturally significant purposes. For a review copy, contact the National Fire Protection Association (617) 984-7248, www.nfpa.org.
Call for Participation: IMS Global Learning Consortium, Next Generation IMS ePortfolio Work
The IMS ePortfolio specification currently plays an important role in enabling the standards-based transfer and archiving of complete portfolios in higher education. The proposed new work on the specification will take two forms: a maintenance release and a mapping between educational and workplace formats. A core group of IMS members, preferably from both education and industry, along with other partners within the larger ePortfolio community, are needed. If you are interested in joining this effort or learning more about it, please contact: PortfolioCall@imsglobal.org.
The Importance of Identifiers
About NISO Newsline
NISO's free monthly e-newsletter reports on the latest NISO news, highlights new specifications and standards of interest including calls for public review and comment, abstracts significant media stories on topics of interest to the NISO community, and links to news releases of NISO member organizations
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September 10, 1:00 pm (eastern time)
October 2, 1:00 pm (eastern time)
NISO Forum: Performance Measurement and Assessment: Strategies for Improving Library Operations
Other Events of Interest
San Jose, CA
September 25, 1:00 pm (eastern time)
ONIX (Online Information Exchange) for Serials
News from NISO Members:
Library Partnership Preserves End-of-Term Government Web Sites
Murdoch University Joins BONUS+ System (Australia)
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