Headshot of NISO Managing Director, Todd Carpenter

September 2009

As September begins—and with it the fall—the air is always full of a buzz about return to work after holiday breaks, new projects that are about to get underway, what old things the incoming college freshmen never experienced, and the cool gadgets that they need to survive the new year in style. Obviously, some of this is light-hearted, but the new work projects are quite serious.

NISO is starting the fall with the formation of two new working groups. NISO Voting Members have just approved the proposals and initiation of new work items on physical delivery of library materials and on journal markup in XML. More information about both initiatives and how you can get involved is below. With these two projects, NISO has a total of eight development projects underway for standards or best practices, in addition to the ongoing maintenance and support activities for many of our published standards.

Among the projects outside of NISO that are picking up speed is the Google Book project and the related legal settlement. Earlier this year in Newsline, I talked briefly about the settlement notice that NISO had received as one of the parties to the settlement. Things are now coming to a head regarding this settlement. The deadline for authors and publishers to opt-out of the settlement was extended to September 4, 2009, with a "fairness hearing" to be held on October 7. Despite some support from the publishing community, the library community and others, there remains considerable opposition to the settlement. One open question is whether the settlement will move forward.

In related news, Google announced in August that it would be making all of its public domain scanned book files available in the EPUB format and available for download onto EPUB compatible readers. (See the story below.) EPUB was one of the topics discussed during the NISO/BISG Forum held this summer as well as the webinar on e-books. You can view online a video of the presentation that Michael Smith, Executive Director of the International Digital Publishing Forum, gave during that meeting .

Finally, NISO is planning another busy fall of educational events. On the heels of our successful e-books forum, NISO will be revisiting the issues surrounding licensing with a two-part webinar this month. And early next month, a tremendous group of industry leaders will gather for a two day forum in Boston on Library Resource Management Systems. These vital components to library management are undergoing significant transformation and we will be exploring the use and application of these systems from a variety of perspectives. Despite the current budgetary pressures, I hope you can join us in Boston, as few topics will have as lasting an impact as the systems upon which your institutions rely.

Todd Carpenter’s Signature

Todd Carpenter

Managing Director

NISO Reports

September Two-Part Webinar: E-Resources Licensing

Don't miss NISO's two-part webinar on E-Resources Licensing: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly to be held on September 9 and 16, 2009, from 1:00 - 2:30 p.m. (Eastern Time). Register for both webinars and receive a 25% discount!

Part I of the webinar will provide an introduction to the basics of a license agreement as a legal contract. Participants will learn about basic legal terminology common to most licenses and what terms should be included or excluded as part of the negotiation. Mapping of the license terms to an ERM will be reviewed along with an introduction to the ONIX for Publication Licenses (ONIX-PL) schema as the mapping standard.

Part II of the webinar will review key terms in an agreement as highlighted in a sample license. The NISO Shared E-Resource Understanding (SERU) recommended practice will be introduced and compared to the sample license. The terms from the sample agreement that need to be mapped to the ERM will be highlighted. Two different agreements will be compared to show the differences or overlap in license terms.

Speakers for both parts of the Licensing webinars will be:

  • Trisha L. Davis, Associate Professor, Rights Management Coordinator, and Head, Serials & E-Resources Department, The Ohio State University Libraries

  • Clinton Chamberlain, Professional Librarian, University of Texas Libraries

You can register for either webinar or both. Register for both webinars and receive a 25% discount! 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. A student discount is also available. Can't make it on the webinar date? Register and gain access to the recorded archive for one year.

For more information and to register, visit the event webpages: Part 1 or Part 2.

October Webinar: Bibliographic Control Alphabet Soup

NISO's October webinar will focus on Bibliographic Control Alphabet Soup: AACR to RDA and Evolution of MARC. The webinar will be held on October 14, 2009 from 1:00 - 2:30 p.m. (Eastern Time).

Librarians, ILS vendors, and commercial cataloging service providers—as well a wide variety of related service providers—all know that the proverbial, heavily acronym-spiced "bibliographic control alphabet soup" involves the intelligent and well informed use of many ingredients. Chief in these are constantly evolving standards, combined with more than a sprinkling of creativity and insight.

These three expert metadata chefs will analyze and discuss specific alphabetic ingredients already in use or soon to be implemented in the bib control kitchen:

  • Diane Hillmann (Director of Metadata Initiatives, Information Institute of Syracuse) – RDA Elements and Vocabularies: a Step Forward from MARC

  • Barbara Tillett (Chief, Policy and Standards Division, Library of Congress) – There to Here to There: AACR2 and RDA

  • William Moen (Associate Professor, School of Library and Information Sciences, University of North Texas) – Data-Driven Evidence for Core MARC Records

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. A student discount is also available. Can't make it on the webinar date? Register and gain access to the recorded archive for one year. For more information or to register, visit the event webpage.

Library Resource Management Systems Forum in Boston, October 8-9

Join NISO for a two-day forum on October 8-9 in Boston on Library Resource Management Systems: New Challenges, New Opportunities where we will consider the issues related to library resource management systems and the consequences for customers, users, vendors, and developers.

Attendees at all levels of system involvement and expertise will find thought-provoking discussion and ample opportunity to share ideas with the library, vendor, and developer communities.

Don't miss this stellar line-up of speakers and topics!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

  • Keynote PresentationOren Beit-Arie, Chief Strategy Officer, Ex Libris, Inc.
  • What Do Libraries Want to Achieve with Their Library Systems?Thomas Wall, University Librarian, Boston College
  • User Perspectives: How Our Patrons Interact with Our ServicesJudi Briden, Digital Librarian for Public Services and Brain and Cognitive Sciences Librarian, Rush Rhees Reference, University of Rochester, River Campus Libraries
  • Build It Yourself or Buy It?John Culshaw, Professor and Associate Director for Administrative Services, University of Colorado at Boulder Libraries AND Guoying (Grace) Liu, Systems Librarian, Leddy Library, University of Windsor
  • Panel discussion: Open Source Systems: What Is Working/What Is Progressing?Tim McGeary, Team Leader, Library Technology, Lehigh University AND Andrew Nagy, Senior Discovery Services Engineer, Serials Solutions (will discuss the OLE Project)
  • Modifying Your Existing System through Plug-Ins and InteractionsAnnette Bailey, Digital Assets Librarian, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech)
  • Library Management Systems Business Models Roundtable – Facilitated by Marshall Breeding, Director for Innovative Technologies and Research, Jean and Alexander Heard Library, Vanderbilt University
    • Panelists:

    • Talin Bingham, Chief Technology Officer, SirsiDynix
    • Neil Block, Vice President, Worldwide Sales, Innovative Interfaces, Inc.
    • Galen Charlton, Vice President of Data Services, Equinox Software, Inc.
    • Paul R. Cope, President, Auto-Graphics, Inc.
    • Carl Grant, President, Ex Libris North America
    • Andrew K. Pace, Executive Director, Networked Library Services, OCLC

Friday, October 9, 2009

  • Day Two Keynote: Libraries ChangingRachel Bruce, Programme Director, Information Environment, JISC
  • ERM Gap Analysis ProjectIvy Anderson, Director, Collection Development & Management Program, California Digital Library
  • The Library System in a Broader Context: Interaction with Other Library Systems / InteroperabilityMacKenzie Smith, Associate Director for Technology, MIT Libraries AND Diane C. Mirvis, CIO and University Librarian, University of Bridgeport
  • Cloud vs. Local: What Works? What Do We Need?Kat Hagedorn, Metadata Harvesting Librarian, Digital Library Production Service, University of Michigan
  • Large Consortium Systems: Making the Library Work with Other LibrariesKyle Banerjee, Digital Services Program Manager, Orbis Cascade Alliance
  • Brainstorming Possibilities: A Group Activity – Facilitated by Karen A. Wetzel, Standards Program Manager, NISO
  • Closing Presentation: Where Can We Go from Here?Marshall Breeding, Director for Innovative Technologies and Research, Jean and Alexander Heard Library, Vanderbilt University

Early bird registration discounts are available through September 23. For the complete agenda, logistics information, and to register, visit the event webpage.

This forum is sponsored by Ex Libris and EBSCO Information Services.

Call for Participation for Two New NISO Projects

NISO Voting Members have expressed sufficient interest and approval votes for two new projects:

  • Physical Delivery of Library Materials – A best practice recommendation will be developed, building on the efforts of three recent projects: Moving Mountains, Rethinking Resource Sharing's Physical Delivery Committee, and the American Library Association's ASCLA ICANS' Physical Delivery Discussion Group. The recommended practice document is proposed to include recommendations for: packaging, shipping codes, labeling, acceptable turn-around time, lost or damaged materials handling, package tracking, ergonomic considerations, statistics, sorting, a set of elements to be used for comparison purposes to determine costs, linking of regional and local library carriers, and international delivery. This project is under the purview of the Discovery to Delivery Topic Committee. View the complete proposal.

  • Standardized Markup for Journal Articles – A new standard will be developed based on the National Library of Medicine's Journal Archiving and Interchange Tag Suite version 3.0. Three schemas for journal articles are currently included in the suite: NLM Archiving and Interchange Tag Set, NLM Journal Publishing Tag Set, and the NLM Article Authoring Tag Set. The intention is to have the Tag Suite, as it currently stands, be reviewed and packaged into a standard by the working group and then issued as a Draft Standard for trial use and comment. This project is under the purview of the Content & Collection Management Topic Committee. View the complete proposal.

Working groups for both projects are currently being formed. If you are interested in participating in either group or in being added to either group's email interest lists for updates on the projects, please contact NISO.

COUNTER Release 3 Compliance Now Includes Use of SUSHI

The deadline for implementation of Release 3 of the COUNTER Code of Practice for Journals and Databases was August 31, 2009. After that date, only vendors who have implemented Release 3 can be considered compliant.

Among the requirements for compliance in this new release is support of the Standardized Usage Statistics Harvesting Initiative (SUSHI) Protocol (ANSI/NISO Z39.93). As stated in section 4.1.1 of the Code of Practice, "COUNTER usage reports must also be provided in XML format in accordance with the COUNTER XML schema that is specified in the SUSHI protocol....COUNTER reports in XML must be downloadable using the SUSHI protocol, or manually, or both." Use of SUSHI is especially beneficial for the new consortia reports in Release 3, which can be very large due to the number of libraries' data included in the report.

COUNTER has published the first listing of publishers or vendors compliant with Release 3. Over 70 vendors are currently on the compliant list and 50 additional publishers/vendors are scheduled for compliance audit by November 2009.

Visit the COUNTER and SUSHI websites for more information.

New Specs & Standards

ARMA International, New standard initiative: ANSI/ARMA 18-20xx, Implications of Web-Based Technologies in Records Management

As Web-based technologies present significant challenges and risks for records management, this planned standard will provide guidance to RIM professionals and foster adherence to generally accepted recordkeeping principles. Examples of Web-based technologies will be discussed and will include wikis, blogs, miniblogs, mashups, classification sites, and social networking sites. This publication will address policies, procedures, change management, training, technology, and metadata as related to RIM best practices and the use of Web-based technologies. For more information or to participate, contact Nancy Barnes.

ISO/IEC 15963:2009, Information technology – Radio frequency identification for item management – Unique identification for RF tags

This 2nd edition revises the standard that describes the numbering systems available for the identification of RF tags. "The unique ID can be used for the traceability of the integrated circuit itself for quality control in its manufacturing process, for the traceability of the RF tag during its manufacturing process and along its lifetime, for the completion of the reading in a multi-antenna configuration, by the anti-collision mechanism to inventory multiple tags in the reader's field of view, and for the traceability of the Item to which the RF tag is attached.

ISO 23185:2009, Assessment and benchmarking of terminological resources – General concepts, principles and requirements

First edition of the standard that "describes fundamental concepts related to the effective use of terminological data. It provides general principles for a model applicable to a variety of terminological resources. It clarifies the usability attributes that constitute the model and provides guidelines for the overall assessment of terminological resources by taking the user's objectives into account."

W3C Recommendation, SKOS Simple Knowledge Organization System Reference

"Defines the Simple Knowledge Organization System (SKOS), a common data model for sharing and linking knowledge organization systems via the Web. Many knowledge organization systems, such as thesauri, taxonomies, classification schemes and subject heading systems, share a similar structure, and are used in similar applications. SKOS captures much of this similarity and makes it explicit, to enable data and technology sharing across diverse applications."

Media Stories

Google Sides with Sony in Backing EPUB E-Book Format
Newsfactor.com, August 28, 2009; Barry Levine

Google has announced it will distribute more than a million books that are in the public domain in the EPUB format. EPUB is a free, open standard that is not device-dependent. Since Sony earlier in the month announced that it will support EPUB on its Reader, this could give them a competitive advantage over Amazon, which provides books only in its own Kindle software. Laura DiDio with Information Technology Intelligence Corp. remarked on "Google's long-time backing for open standards" and predicts that the e-book market is going to "heat up" in the next five years. AAP has reported that e-book sales in the U.S. were up 136% in June, although the dollar amount is still very small in comparison with print sales. Reader competition is also heating up. Sony has three different readers and just announced the new Daily Edition reader. Other companies that may soon release readers are Plastic Logic, Richard Arrington, and Apple. The latter two are expected to be tablet devices. (Link to Web Source)

NISO Note: IDPF, the organization that developed EPUB recently announced that the DAISY Consortium, a NISO voting member, will be managing the maintenance work for the EPUB standard. DAISY is also the maintenance agency for the Digital Talking book standard (ANSI/NISO Z39.86), which is currently undergoing a revision.

Books: A Plan to Scan
Financial Times (FT.com), August 12 2009; Richard Waters

More than 20 million books in U.S. libraries are out of print, which would make one expect that Google's five-year old project to make digital copies of the libraries' materials would be a welcome effort. Instead the project has encountered both intense debate and lawsuits. The settlement reached last year with publishers and authors is still pending court approval and has engendered even more passionate debates. The issue has now gone beyond the U.S. with the European Commission calling for hearings to consider the impact on the book industry and authors in Europe. The U.S. settlement focuses on out-of-print books that are still protected by copyright, about 60% of all the books in the U.S. Even critics of the settlement admit that the project could have significant benefits, but they are concerned about putting too much power over the market in one entity—Google—and giving a small group of authors and publishers, who will run the Book Rights Registry, too much influence over pricing of the digital works. Google will have exclusive rights on distribution of orphan works, with unknown or untraceable copyright holders, which account for a large number of out-of-print books. The orphan works issue was the impetus to a lawsuit filed by France against Google. The opt-out provision of the U.S. settlement appears to be in direct conflict to the Berne Convention terms. Another settlement concern is the potential cost of the library subscriptions and whether distributors other than Google will have a right to sell the subscriptions. In spite of the lawsuits and controversy, Google continues to gain new partners for the project. It seems likely that the courts could make adjustments to the settlement to address the expressed concerns. (Link to Web Source)

NISO Note: Even if you're tired of reading about Google Books, check out the above article for the "On the shelf" graphic that visually illustrates the volume of books in the U.S. at issue. For other news on the mounting opposition, see: Can Microsoft, Yahoo and Amazon help scuttle Google's book settlement? in ZDNet.

7 Things You Should Know about Cloud Computing
EDUCAUSE Publications; 08/03/2009

Cloud computing is "the delivery of scalable IT resources over the Internet, as opposed to hosting and operating those resources locally." Its use is growing in higher education, especially for the acquisition of new IT services, due to the cloud's flexibility and convenience and because of budget pressures. The vendor hosts the software and provides the infrastructure. Institutions pay only for the resources they use, saving on capital costs. This new model takes advantage of "the maturity of web applications and networks and the rising interoperability of computing systems." Benefits include: cost can decline while reliability increases; capacity changes can be made on the fly and adjusted both up and down easily; new services can be obtained quickly; and protocol and process standardization increases. The downsides include: concerns about privacy and data integrity; difficulty in complying with complex state and federal regulations; and vendors' long-term viability. Mainstream adoption of cloud computing is expected in 2-5 years. A combination of in-house, and public and private cloud services is the most likely scenario for higher education institutions. Using the cloud for commodity services will allow institutions to focus their own IT resources on "services that are institutional differentiators." IT personnel will need to develop skills in contract and vendor management. Cross-institution collaborations could evolve with the greater ease of cloud access by geographically distant organizations. Some even argue that cloud computing can be more secure than on-campus IT. (Link to Web Source)

Reinventing Academic Publishing Online, Part I: Rigor, Relevance and Practice
First Monday, Volume 14, Number 8 - 3 August 2009; Brian Whitworth, Rob Friedman

Although focusing on the field of technology in academic publishing, the authors suggest their conclusions may also apply to other academic disciplines. Academia should be a knowledge exchange system, where new ideas are developed, weeded to select out what is true and accurate, and then disseminated (i.e., published) while still ripe. The reality in computing has been that "practice leads while theory bleeds." Theory and practice need to work together; the current heavy practice focus has caused unbalanced rigor. On the theory side, excess rigor can limit innovations and create omissions in publishing of new developments. Publishing today has become "the primary screening mechanism for academic appointments, grants and promotions." Business motives (promotions) are trumping academic motives (truth) when it comes to publishing. Academic measures like expert's ratings and number of citations from other works are self-reinforcing of the status quo. Journal quality measures need to better combine rigor with relevance. At the same time that technology usage expanded, the IS discipline in academia has shrunk, partly due to a migration of experts to other disciplines, for example business and engineering, and partly due to its own failure in innovation. IS research publications are still dominated by theories that are 20 years old. The IS journal publishing field has become exclusive, outdated, conservative, unread, inaccessible, and specialized. Cross-disciplinary research is where much knowledge expansion will come and it needs to be fostered with university centers and combined discipline majors. It also offers the best opportunity for evolutionary progress in the entire system. A "democratic open knowledge exchange system" should be the goal. (Link to Web Source)

NISO Note: For another take on how academic journal publishing and the related metrics are driving behavior, see A Threat to Scientific Communication in The Times Higher Education.

A Data Deluge Swamps Science Historians
Wall Street Journal, August 28, 2009; Robert Lee Hotz

The British Library has created a curator of eManuscripts, who is seeking methods to archive scientific communications that increasingly take place only in digital form. In addition to documentation in email, instant messaging, YouTube, and Facebook, there is a deluge of data created by computer laboratory and analysis systems. "More technical data have been collected in the past year alone than in all previous years since science began." Data custodians are swamped with data and much of it is being lost to history as even archived data is unretrievable if its original software or storage media is obsolete. The British Library had to track down multiple old computers and equipment to manage the archives they received of one biologist's work. The U.S. National Science Foundation has awarded two $20 million grants to develop data preservation tools. Researchers in Japan and the U.S. have designed new memory devices that could last for centuries or beyond. [See the Enormous Digital Archives "footnote" for descriptions of 9 current data collection projects.] (Link to Web Source)

NISO Note: The British Library is a NISO member. Last year, NISO held a Thought Leaders meeting on Research Data; the recommendations in the final report are under review by NISO's Architecture Committee.

An Introduction to the Mobile Web
UKOLN Briefing Paper #63, August 2009; Sharon Steeples

Creating a website for users with mobile devices requires some different approaches in design. Among the best practices listed are:

  • Choose a short, easily remembered URL
  • Code each link as an 'access key' numbered 0-9; use 0 for home.
  • Provide escape links from every page. (Breadcrumbing your navigation can be very effective.)
  • Code in well formed, valid XHMTL-MP (Mobile Profile)
  • Avoid tables, reliance on plug-ins (e.g. Flash), pop-ups, etc.
  • Phone numbers should be selectable links.
  • Aim to keep logos and images small so that they fit within the recommended screen size limitation.
  • Use ALT attributes for images.
  • Provide one content item per page.
  • Minimize scrolling.
  • Remember the user's details and preferences.
  • Design to the limitations of the expected screen sizes.
  • Test your site on as many emulators and phones as possible.

When designing for the mobile Web, recognize its limitations (small screen, no mouse) but also think about its extra capabilities (phone, camera, GPS, SMS, MMS, Bluetooth, QR reader, MP3 player etc)." (Link to Web Source)