This week, about 750 colleagues and I are in the scenic English town of Torquay for the UK Serials Group conference. While there's a lot of talk here about the impacts of the economic downturn, what is more interesting are the projects that are percolating in the community. It's interesting to see that some technological initiatives are more advanced and more widely adopted in the U.K. than they are in the U.S.—probably due to support from the government, the JISC, and other agencies. By exploring some of these projects we can envision where technology adoption of library systems is headed in the next few years.
The U.K. has been near the forefront of institutional repository systems development and support for several years. Supported by central organization and increasingly strong financial commitments from the JISC and the seven Research Councils, repositories exist at almost every significant U.K. institution, a much higher implementation rate than in the U.S. Last year, CLIR produced a report of U.S. institutions and their plans for deploying IR systems. That report found that in the U.S. only 10.8% of organizations surveyed had a working IR implementation and another 15.7% were in the planning stages. How the community can better leverage IR tools, and increase their use has been an ongoing question and one that is discussed in today's issue of Newsline in the articles on Institutional Repositories: Thinking Beyond the Box and Are Data Repositories the New Institutional Repositories.
The U.K. has also pushed further then the U.S. in adopting improved authentication structures. Again, this is driven by support and strong recommendations from central agencies, which is lacking in the U.S. However, a lot can be learned from the experiences of the U.K. and the Swiss (among others) in setting up identity management systems. For example, the UK Access Management Federation for Education and Research, which was organized by JISC and Becta and operated by JANET(UK), "provides a single solution to access online resources and services for education and research." The federation has nearly 700 members. This compares to the U.S. InCommon Federation, which only has 102 members. Granted, there are other federations using Shibboleth and other similar services, but there's no question that U.S. adoption has been slower.
One area of focus for NISO has been outreach to other organizations, such as the JISC and EDItEUR in Europe, the Book Industry Study Group, DLF, CLIR, and other similar organizations in our community to coordinate and build awareness of similar projects in different segments of the community. Hopefully, we can reduce some of the duplication and conflicting efforts that are underway and develop even better outcomes through the synergy created. When times are lean, such coordination of efforts is especially critical and the wider base of involvement should result in broader applicability and faster adoption.
NISO Specs & Standards
NISO Media Stories
April Webinar: KBART and the OpenURL
NISO will be holding a webinar on KBART and the OpenURL: Increasing E-Resource Use through Improved User Access on April 8, 2009 from 1:00 - 2:30 p.m. (Eastern Time).
Knowledge Bases and Related Tools (KBART) is a joint project with the UK Serials Group (UKSG) to improve the quality and workflow of data in knowledge bases used for OpenURL linking. The Working Group is expected to release initial results of its work in the spring of 2009. This webinar will discuss the group's draft recommended practice in the areas of terminology, supply chain workflow, effective transfer of metadata to knowledge bases, needed education, and plans for Phase 2 of the project. Using the KBART recommendations will help to improve the accuracy and timeliness of streams of OpenURL and holdings metadata that facilitate OpenURL link resolution.
Significant interest in the project was expressed after presentations at the ALA Midwinter and ER&L conferences. Up-to-date information on the project will also be presented at the upcoming ACRL, UKSG, and NASIG meetings.
For more information on the webinar and to register, visit the event webpage. NASIG members may register at the NISO member rate.
May Two-Part Webinar: COUNTER and Usage Data
NISO and COUNTER will jointly be holding a two-part webinar on COUNTER and Usage Data on the first and second Wednesdays in May.
Part 1 on May 6, 2009 from 1:00 - 2:30 p.m. (Eastern Time) is A How-To Guide to COUNTER that will introduce librarians to COUNTER reports, definitions, and formats. Last summer COUNTER released the third version of the Code of Practice for Journals and Databases, which has an August 31, 2009 deadline for implementation. In addition to providing new consortium reports, the new release requires data providers to offer reports in XML format and to support the SUSHI protocol for automating the retrieval of COUNTER reports.
Part 2 on May 13, 2009 from 1:00 - 2:30 p.m. (Eastern Time) on New Applications of Usage Data will explore broader issues surrounding the applications of usage data reports, the transfer of usage data via SUSHI, and developing issues related to e-books and multimedia.
Registration is per site (access for one computer) and includes access to the online recorded archive of the webinar. NISO and NASIG members receive a discounted member rate. There is also a 25% discount for anyone registering for both webinars. A student discount is also available. For more information and to register, visit the event webpages:
Cost of Resource Exchange (CORE) Protocol Trial Begins April 1
NISO's Cost of Resource Exchange (CORE) working group and Business Information Topic Committee have issued a draft standard NISO Z39.95-200x, The Cost of Resource Exchange (CORE) Protocol , for a one-year trial from April 1, 2009 through March 31, 2010.
The CORE Protocol defines an XML schema to facilitate the exchange of financial information related to the acquisition of library resources between systems. The two systems may be within the same organization, e.g., an ILS and an ERMS, or from two different organizations, e.g., a subscription agent and a library.
The standard also describes three use cases: 1) Exchange of information for a single order; 2) Exchange of information for a single product; and 3) Exchange of information for all orders for all products. A number of data scenarios are offered to show the steps of the CORE data transfer, establish requirements for the data transfer mechanism, and delineate expectations of the various systems, specifying who is responsible for what.
The Draft Standard For Trial Use (DSFTU) phase allows the standard to be tested and validated by implementers and the marketplace prior to final publication. The trial work will also serve as an opportunity for the information community to provide the CORE Working Group and NISO with feedback on the draft, including the identification of any errors or omissions that may arise during the trial. The intent of this period is to discover and subsequently address such issues, with the goal of creating a more perfect CORE standard.
The Working Group is actively soliciting trial users. Trial participants will be asked to implement the CORE protocol in their own organization (or with another trial implementer), participate in a discussion list during the trial to share experiences, and provide feedback on any needed changes to the protocol prior to final issuance of the standard. The Working Group will be available during the trial to provide guidance and answer questions.
For more information and a copy of the draft standard and schema, visit the CORE Working Group webpage.
Third Annual NISO/BISG Forum on The Changing Standards Landscape at ALA Annual
NISO and the Book Industry Study Group (BISG) are holding their third annual free forum on The Changing Standards Landscape prior to the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago. This year's forum, scheduled for Friday, July 10 from 12:30 - 4:00 p.m., will focus on standards initiatives and needs in the e-book marketplace. Segmented to focus on the different stages of creation, distribution, and use, the forum will touch on critical areas of identification, formatting, DRM, and the specific use needs of libraries.
Scheduled sessions for the forum are:
Additional information on location and specific speakers will be added to the NISO/BISG Forum event webpage as it becomes known. No registration is required for this free forum, but prospective attendees are asked to RSVP online at www.niso.org/contact.
NISO will also be holding a Standards Update session at ALA on July 12 from 1:30-3:30 p.m. and hosting an open meeting of the Automation Vendors Information Advisory Committee (AVIAC) on Friday, July 10 from 4:00-5:00 p.m. More information on these meetings and other standards-related sessions at ALA can be found on the NISO@ALA Annual 2009 webpage.
Reviews Underway for Z39.50 and the U.S. National Z39.50 Profile
NISO recognizes that its standards require regular review to remain effective. For ANSI/NISO standards, this review is done five years after the ANSI approval date. Voting pools have been formed from NISO voting members and review ballots are now underway for two related standards:
In accordance with NISO's Operating Procedures, all review ballots are accompanied with a recommended action from the leadership group managing the review. Both standards are in the Discovery to Delivery Topic Committee's portfolio and the committee has recommended a vote of "Reaffirm" for both. If this action is approved, the standards would remain active and unchanged for another five years.
The public is invited to comment on either standard; see the At Ballot webpage for more information.
Technical Standards Update at SLA's 2009 Annual Conference
The Special Libraries Association's Technical Standards Update at their annual conference will be held on June 16, 2009, from1:30-3:00 p.m. and will include what's new in standards around the world as well as the latest from NISO.
During the last year and a half NISO has held a series of Thought Leader Meetings on the topics of Institutional Repositories, Digital Library Collections , E-learning and Course Management Systems, and Research Data. NISO convenes Thought Leader meetings with a group of experts on a particular topic to identify potential areas where NISO can lead a standards-based or recommended practice solution to recognized barriers. NISO's role in these meetings and the development of educational programs and materials following the meetings will be discussed.
Speakers: Marjorie Hlava, President and Chairman, Access Innovation Inc. and Todd Carpenter, Managing Director, National Information Standards Organization.
New Specs & Standards
DAISY Consortium, Obi 1.0 Open Source Multimedia Authoring Tool
Obi 1.0 is a free audio recording tool for the production of audio books which provide meaningful navigation; conformant with ANSI/NISO Z39.86, Specifications for the Digital Talking Book.
DAISY Consortium and Microsoft Corp., Save as DAISY Word Plug-in, version 2
Save as DAISY is a free, open source add-in for Microsoft Office Word that allows documents to be saved in the DAISY/NISO "Talking Book" format as specified in ANSI/NISO Z39.86. With the integration of DAISY Pipeline Lite, version 2 produces a full DAISY multimedia publication with synchronized text and MP3 audio, enabling users to transform Word documents into accessible multimedia formats for people unable to read print due to a visual, physical, perceptual, developmental, cognitive, or learning disability. Full press release.
Defines the International Standard Text Code (ISTC) identifier that is applicable to any textual work, whenever there is an intention to produce such a textual work in the form of one or more manifestations. For example, the ISTC can be used for the purposes of collocating subsequent manifestations of the same textual work or derivations of the same textual work in applications involving electronic rights administration or information retrieval. The International ISTC Agency is the official Registration Authority for the ISTC. Full press release.
Microsoft Corp. and Creative Commons, Ontology Add-in for Microsoft Word 2007
This new Microsoft Office Word 2007 add-in enables authors to easily add scientific hyperlinks as semantic annotations, drawn from ontologies (shared vocabularies in a particular domain), to their documents and research papers. Science Commons, a division of Creative Commons, is incubating the adoption of semantic scientific publishing through creation of a robust database of ontologies. Full press release.
UIMA standardizes semantic search and content analytics, providing a common method for meaningfully accessing data contained in text such as e-mails, blog entries, news feeds, and notes, as well as in audio recordings, images, and video.
W3C Working Draft, SKOS Simple Knowledge Organization System Primer
The Simple Knowledge Organization System (SKOS) is an RDF vocabulary for representing semi-formal knowledge organization systems (KOSs), such as thesauri, taxonomies, classification schemes, and subject heading lists. This document is intended to help users who have a basic understanding of RDF to represent and publish their concept schemes as SKOS data. The Primer aims to provide introductory examples and guidance in the use of the SKOS vocabulary.
Map of Knowledge
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Foundation Grants for Preservation in Libraries, Archives, and Museums, 2009 Edition
North Central Kansas Library System Selects AGent VERSO™
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