Headshot of NISO Managing Director, Todd Carpenter

August 2010

One of the true joys of summer is sitting outside in the sun—or rather under the shade of a big oak tree along with SPF 50 and bug spray—and reading a book. While the form of that experience has changed (I have both an iPad and a Kindle) and possibly the frequency, the joy hasn't changed. E-books have become a tremendous force in our community and have begun to shake our industry in ways that leaders in our industry have predicted and are finally coming to pass. E-book sales have skyrocketed this year, with more e-books sold in the first two months of summer than the entire fourth quarter last year, despite the fact that the holidays are usually the time of peaks in sales. Amazon's announcement that their e-books sales have exceeded hardcover sales for the first time was touted by Amazon CEO, Jeff Bezos as a "tipping point" for e-books. It seems that I am not the only one that is foregoing print in favor of digital reading materials this summer, although the Book Industry Study Group (BISG) says that Hardcovers are Safe for Now.

E-books can be a challenge for publishers as they struggle with production changes and new business models. A Scholarly Kitchen blog story in this issue proposes that digital publishers learn from the software industry. Many publishers are testing new models for e-book distribution and production. Our story below on E-Books Fly Beyond Mere Text describes how a number of commercial publishers are taking advantage of the media to radically change the e-book from a copy of its print counterpart to a new level of multimedia. Two interesting projects coming out of the university press community are the Archaeology of the Americas Digital Monograph Initiative led by the University Press of Colorado and a larger Mellon-funded research project by NYU Press and Rutgers University Press. And not to be left out of the mix, Google has funded some humanities-related projects related to its book scanning efforts.

E-books in the right format can be life-changing for the visually-impaired as the stories on the IDPF revision of the EPUB standard and the Internet Archive's support for the DAISY Talking Book standard show. NISO and DAISY are in the midst of a revision of the standard that should provide even greater functionality for multimedia e-books. NISO is also participating in some e-book related standards efforts by the Book Industry Study Group.

The pace of standards development has continued this summer almost unaffected by the heat and occasional vacations. Helping us to maintain this pace, Anna Martin has returned as NISO's Program Assistant. She will help organize educational events, committee work, and support other administrative needs within the office. With her help, we'll be ready for an even faster development and educational pace this fall.

As summer winds down, I hope that each of you has an opportunity to enjoy a good book or two—in whichever format you prefer—in your favorite shady spot.

Todd Carpenter’s Signature

Todd Carpenter

Managing Director

NISO Reports

E-Resource Management Forum – October 7 in Chicago – Register early for discount

NISO will be holding an in-person forum on E-Resource Management: From Start to Finish (and Back Again) on October 7, 2010, in Chicago, IL. The "start to finish and back again" of this event will take attendees through the various stages of working with an active ERM in your library. This event will benefit anyone who is interested in using an ERM for managing content and for interpreting data and making decisions based on that data. You will also learn about what to expect in the near future for ERMs.

Speakers and topics for the forum are:

  • Keynote Presentation: What Value Do ERM Systems Bring to Libraries? – Norm Medeiros, Associate Librarian of the College & Coordinator for Bibliographic and Digital Services, Haverford College
  • The Start
    • Integrating the ERM with Print Holdings – Martha Rice-Sanders, Knowledge Management Librarian, HELIN Consortium
    • Using the ERM for Managing Content, Budgeting, and Reporting – Nisa Bakkalbasi, Head, Electronic Collections, Yale University
  • The Finish
    • Using the ERM to Interpret Data – Nancy Beals, Electronic Resources Librarian, Wayne State University Libraries & John Rutherford, Systems Librarian, Wayne State University Libraries
    • Using the ERM to Inform Staffing Decisions, Collection Management – Angela Riggio, Head, Digital Collections Management, UCLA Library
  • Back Again
    • What E-books Mean to ERMs – Aaron Wood, Director of Software Product Management, Alexander Street Press
    • Next Steps: The NISO ERM Gap Analysis Working Group – Tim Jewell, Director, Information Resources and Scholarly Communication, University of Washington

Registration is now open; get the early bird discount by registering before September 24. NISO members and students receive a discounted rate. The event hotel, Holiday Inn Chicago Mart Plaza, is offering NISO event attendees a special rate for the night of Wednesday, October 6. For more information and to register, visit the event webpage.

The Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC) is sponsoring this forum; CIC members can register at the NISO member rate. CrossRef is the business sponsor for this forum.

August Webinars: Show Me the Data and a Joint Webinar with DCMI on Dublin Core and Linked Data

NISO will be holding two webinars in August:

August 11: Show Me the Data: Managing Data Sets for Scholarly Content

This webinar examines the state of the art in linking published scholarly information -- think journal articles -- to the data that supports the publication. In an area devoid of standards, pioneering work is being done by publishers, libraries, and repositories to address how to manage the datasets that support scholarly publications.

Speakers and topics for this webinar are:

  • New Models for Publications and Datasets: Dryad (Dr. Jane Greenberg, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
  • Providing Access to Citable Data: DataCite (Joan Starr and John Kunze, California Digital Library
  • From Documents to Data: Challenges in Linking, Aggregating and Citing (Joel Hammond, Thomson Reuters)

August 25: Joint NISO/DCMI Webinar: Dublin Core: The Road from Metadata Formats to Linked Data

Created in 1995, the Dublin Core was a result of the early phase of the web revolution. While most saw the Dublin Core as a simple metadata format, or as a set of descriptive headers embedded in web pages, a few of its founders saw it as a cornerstone of a fundamentally new approach to metadata. This webinar will discuss the difference between traditional approaches based on record formats and the Linked Data approach popularized by the semantic web movement, and will discuss new technologies for bridging the gap between the two to solve practical problems of resource discovery and navigation.

Makx Dekkers, Managing Director and CEO of DCMI and Thomas Baker, Chief Information Officer, DCMI will address the following topics:

  • Dublin Core in the Early Web Revolution
  • What Makes the Linked Data Approach Different & Designing Interoperable Metadata on Linked Data Principles
  • Bridging the Gap to the Linked Data Cloud

Both webinars will be held from 1:00 to 2:30 p.m. (Eastern) on their respective dates. Registration is per site (defined as access for one computer). NISO and NASIG members may register at a discounted rate. A student discount is also available. Can't make it on the scheduled date or time? Registrants receive access to the recorded version for one year, which can be viewed at your convenience. For more information or to register, visit:

Show Me the Data webinar event webpage

Dublin Core webinar event webpage

Two-Part September Webinar on Measuring Use, Assessing Success

NISO will be holding a two-part webinar on September 8 and 15 (at 1:-00-2:30 p.m. Eastern time) on Measuring Use, Assessing Success. Although related, each part is independent so you can attend either webinar or both. If you register for both events at the same time, you will receive a 20% discount.

September 8, Part 1: Measure, Assess, Improve, Repeat: Using Library Performance Metrics

Practitioners of evidence-based librarianship will discuss and demonstrate evaluations of library collections and services using a variety of performance metrics. Metrics, when utilized creatively, offer many far-reaching applications and opportunities for demonstration of return-on-investment and proof of a library's value to its parent institution, as well as new responsibilities to continue to show relevance.

Speakers are:

  • Steve Hiller, Director, Assessment and Planning, University of Washington Libraries
  • Martha Kyrillidou, Senior Director, Statistics and Service Quality Programs, Association of Research Libraries (ARL)

September 15, Part 2: Count Me In: Measuring Individual Item Usage

Libraries' growing awareness of performance measures has created an increased interest in and desire for fine-grained usage data. Now that electronic versions of books, journals, and other media inhabit a much greater percentage of many libraries' collections, usage data about individual book chapters, journal articles, sound recordings, motion picture scenes, etc. is within reach.

Speakers are:

  • Peter Shepherd, Project Director, Project COUNTER (Update on PIRUS 2: Developing practical standards for recording and reporting online usage at the individual article level)
  • Johan Bollen, Associate Professor in the School of Informatics and Computing, Indiana University (Applying usage metrics to assess scholarly content quality)

Registration is per site (defined as access for one computer). NISO and NASIG members may register at a discounted rate. A student discount is also available. If you register for both parts at the same time, there is a 20% discount. Can't make it on the scheduled date or time? Registrants receive access to the recorded version for one year, which can be viewed at your convenience. For more information or to register, visit the event webpage.

CORE (Cost of Resource Sharing) Publication Approved

NISO's Content & Collection Management Topic Committee has, based on the recommendation of the CORE Working Group, approved CORE – Cost of Resource Sharing – to be published as a NISO Recommended Practice. It will be available shortly on the Recommended Practices page of the NISO website. The purpose of the CORE specification is to facilitate the transfer of cost and related library acquisitions information from one automated system to another. Using the defined CORE XML data schema, this publication provides a common method of requesting cost-related information by a client application (an ERMS, for example) for a specific order transaction, a specific resource, or all resources that the library owns, within the boundaries of a payment period or access period.

The CORE Working Group was approved in June 2007 with a three-goal charter:

  1. To develop and refine the list of data elements exchanged between an Electronic Resource Management System (ERMS) and Integrated Library System (ILS), Business Systems, and other interested parties holding acquisitions metadata to support the population of the ERMS with financial and vendor information in the automated system.
  2. To create a transport protocol useful in moving these data elements from one system to another.
  3. To write a small number of use cases that will help all parties understand the capabilities of the protocol.

CORE was originally intended to be published as a NISO standard. It was released as a draft standard for trial use in April 2009. However, during the trial period, no implementations were put in place. The CORE Working Group concluded that although there is still high interest in this work, the lack of trial implementations was most likely due to the worldwide economic downturn and not a lack of demand from librarians or interest from vendors. Both the working group and the CCM Topic Committee strongly agree that making this publication available for use as a recommended practice will enable the work to be applied in the future as the economy picks up and as demand for the exchange of cost information increases. In order to help with the promotion and adoption of CORE, a Standing Committee will be formed to provide outreach and support of the Recommended Practice and to monitor its use, with the intention of reviewing the document annually for the first three years to see if there is use enough to merit moving CORE to a NISO standard. If you are interested in joining this committee or have questions about CORE, please contact Karen Wetzel, NISO's Standards Program Manager.

JAV Survey Update

This past June and July, a NISO survey aimed at repository managers, librarians, and journal publishers and editors was made available to learn more about the scholarly community's interest and engagement in journal article version metadata. The survey, designed by Lettie Conrad (Online Product Manager, SAGE Publications, Inc.) focused on the terms recommended in the NISO/ALPSP Recommended Practice, Journal Article Versions (JAV): Recommendations of the NISO/ALPSP JAV Technical Working Group. This recommended practice is managed by the NISO Content and Collection Management (CCM) Topic Committee.

The purpose of this survey was to better understand whether and how the recommended journal article version terms are used, and any technical limitations or obstacles that might result from adopting this recommended practice. Nearly 200 responses were submitted, about half from librarians, 20% from journal publishers, 17% from repository managers, and 13% from other stakeholders. About half of the respondents were familiar with the JAV Recommended Practice, and an overwhelming 96% felt that article version information should be provided to readers to distinguish between original author manuscripts, in-press releases, and final publisher versions; 92% felt that the version terms should be standardized.

The survey also asked questions about how standard version terms are being used now, who should be responsible for assigning this information, and obstacles to implementation. A full report of the results of the survey is being developed and will be made available publicly on the NISO website shortly.

New Specs & Standards

ARMA International, BSR/ARMA 18-201X, Implications of Web-Based, Collaborative Technologies in Records Management

ARMA International is seeking public comments on this newly developed draft American National Standard that provides guidance for records and information management professionals using internally-facing or externally-directed (public or private) web-based collaborative technologies for records management purposes. The draft standard will be available for download beginning August 6, 2010. Comments should be sent to standards@armaintl.org by September 20, 2010.

ISO 639-4:2010, Codes for the representation of names of languages – Part 4: General principles of coding of the representation of names of languages and related entities, and application guidelines

This new international standard gives the general principles of language coding using the codes that are specified in the other parts of ISO 639 and their combination with other codes. It also lays down guidelines for the use of any combination of the parts of ISO 639. The terminology and general descriptions of ISO 639-4 are intended to replace corresponding text of other parts of ISO 639 as relevant in future revisions. Relevant metadata for the description of linguistic entities are given, as a framework for databases of linguistic data to support the ISO 639 series.

Seeing Standards: A Visualization of the Metadata Universe

Developed by Jenn Riley and designed by Devin Becker, with funding by the Indiana University Libraries' White Professional Development Award, this poster graphically depicts 105 metadata standards and their strength of application on the axes of community, domain, function, and purpose. Also provided is a metadata standard glossary.

W3C Last Call Working Draft, Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines (ATAG) 2.0

This specification provides guidelines for designing web content authoring tools that are both more accessible to authors with disabilities and designed to enable, support, and promote the production of accessible web content by all authors. This draft integrates changes made as a result of comments received on the October 29, 2009 Public Working Draft. Comments on this working draft are due on or before September 2, 2010. Comments on the draft should be sent to public-atag2-comments@w3.org.

Media Stories

Federated Identity: A Recipe for Higher Education
Educause Quarterly, 33(2), 2010; by Michael Schwartz

Federated identity is a method for sharing an individual's user information across Internet services or website. It incorporates protocols for authentication and attribute exchange, identity discovery, a trust model, and a trust framework. In higher education, the most widely used protocol is SAML (Security Assertion Markup Language), the main protocol used with Shibboleth. Identity discovery, directing a user to the correct federated identity login, can be implemented by either the website or the identify provider. Examples of identity discover are the Kantara Initiative's Universal Login Experience, Google's WebFinger, and OpenID 2.0's Extensible Resource Identifiers. A trust relationship must be established between the Identity Provider that authenticates people and the Relying Parties who receive the identity information. InCommon Federation is one organization that provides a trust model; they use public key cryptography. When using an Identify Provider, it is critical to understand how their trust model works. A trust assurance framework allows both the Identity Providers and the Relying Parties to understand and agree to the policies and procedures regarding data sharing. The NIST publication 800-63 defines four levels of assurance. InCommon supports the NIST Level 1 (called Bronze by InCommon) and Level 2 (called Silver). The Open Identity Initiative is evaluating frameworks including InCommon Bronze and Silver and had created the Open Identity Exchange for the exchange and certification of trust frameworks. Federated identity will become increasingly important with the expanded use of cloud services. To get started, the author recommends you set up a federated login and Identify Provider service and join InCommon. (Link to Web Source)

NISO Note: NISO's Single Sign-On (SSO) Authentication Working Group is developing Recommended Practices to utilize existing SSO technologies in a way that will improve the user experience by moving the user within a session seamlessly from licensed site to licensed site.

IDPF Working Group Improving on EPUB Format for E-books
Book Business, July 16, 2010; by Joe Keenan

The International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF) released the EPUB format in 2007 as part of the Open Publication Structure 2.0 specification. A new working group is updating EPUB so that it can be used as a delivery format and a cross-reading interchange and production format. Garth Conboy, President of eBook Technologies and vice chair of the EPUB 2.1 Working Group (WG) says the new version is focusing on 14 different areas, including increasing the control over styling and layout for multiple devices and screen sizes without having to code different versions of an electronic publication. The WG will likely use HTML5 to enhance cross-system reading of rich media, interactivity, and metadata. Recent years have seen increased adoption of relatively simple implementations of EPUB, with varying levels of compliance to the specification. Conroy hopes that newer EPUB 2.0 implementation will be more compliant so that uptake of the 2.1 in-development version next year will occur quickly. With the ability to do one conversion of an e-book to EPUB 2.0 and know that it will look as good on multiple platforms has many publishers, such as Hachette Book Group, now telling sales and distribution that EPUB is the only format that will be offered. This brings the costs down and allows publishers to give more serious consideration to converting their backlist. Larger volumes of available e-books should in theory drive down the price to consumers, but the IDPF has no direct control over the publishers' economic models. (Link to Web Source)

Millions of Books Get Digitized for the Disabled
USA Today, 7/13/2010; by Stephanie Steinberg

Brewster Kahle of the Internet Archive is on a campaign to make twice as many books available to print-disabled persons. Internet Archive already has over a million scanned books available in the DAISY format of talking books. They are scanning new books, supplied by over 150 libraries, at a rate of over 1,000 per day. The digital collection includes classics, nonfiction, and new fiction bestsellers. Kahle distinguishes their scanning efforts from Google Books referring to that effort as a "bookstore" and his own effort as a "library." All public-domain books are free to access and they have no intent to charge libraries for access to the books they provided for digitization. Christopher Danielson, of the National Federation for the Blind, looks favorably on the effort as only about 5% of books are currently in a format like DAISY that the blind can use. The 15-20% of the population that have language-based learning disabilities like dyslexia, can benefit from technologies like DAISY according to the National Center for Learning Disabilities-which only about a quarter to a third of them currently have. Kahle sees the Internet Archive as a resource for print-disabled students and encourages teachers to provide the Archive with next term's materials so they will be available in the fall. After scanning 10,000 of such books, the Archive will ask people to make donations to pay for the scanning. (Link to Web Source)

NISO Note: The DAISY format is specified in the NISO standard, Specification for the Digital Talking Book (ANSI/NISO Z39.86). The standard is currently undergoing revision; visit the revision working group's wiki for the latest information.

Delusions, Illusions, and the True Costs of Digital Publishing
The Scholarly Kitchen, July 28, 2010; by Kent Anderson

Some have proposed that the economic model for Internet publishing is that marginal costs approach zero and that content can be free once some level of costs have been met or have lower prices for online access for institutional use. In reality, online publishing seems to get more costly and revenues from print are drying up. One reason for this disparity may be in the continued use of the manufacturing model for digital publishing when something like the software model might be more relevant. The current model can "confuse fixed costs with sunk costs [and] marginal costs with average costs." The software model spreads costs across the potential customer base for a given release and support timeframe. Digital distributors (e.g. telecommunications companies) use a model that charges what the market will bear including what is needed to cover infrastructure investments and ongoing maintenance, etc. Digital publishers also need to spread increasingly high fixed costs across a longer timeframe along with continuing new costs for maintenance and enhancement. The music industry, which has had to address digital distribution earlier than most, has seen the per-song-rate creeping upwards (30% at Apple iTunes), which shows what can happen with the distributor model when the distributor has an integrated value-chain. Digital publishing is going to need to increase prices as well to stay in business.
(Link to Web Source)

E-Books Fly Beyond Mere Text
New York Times, July 29, 2010; by Julie Bosman

New e-books are coming to market that go beyond digital copies of black and white text to what Hachette Book Group calls an "enriched" book, Penguin Group calls an "amplified" version, and Simon & Schuster calls "enhanced." The new multimedia e-books integrate video and are best viewed on an iPad. Simon & Schuster's Nixonland has been reissued with 27 videos, including interviews and news clips, including Nixon's presidential debate with Kennedy. Hachette issued their enriched e-book of David Baldacci's new novel at the same time as the print release and includes, among other features, an alternate ending. Penguin's e-book version of Ken Follett's Pillars of the Earth has clips from the TV mini-series. Future multimedia books could come packaged with the corresponding full-length movie. And authors could begin creating their books as multimedia right from the start. Publishers are able to charge higher prices for their multimedia e-books than for black-and-white text e-books. (Link to Web Source)

Google and the Digital Humanities
Inside Higher Ed, July 14, 2010; Steve Kolowich

Google announced that they will fund 12 university research projects in the humanities to prove the value of their book scanning project. Although Google has received a number of lawsuits over their book scanning, they plan to expand over the next 20 years from 12 million to 80 million books-basically all the "published works known to be in circulation." Humanities scholars, who utilize books heavily in their research, would have the capability of using data mining techniques with digitized books that is not possible with human reading of print texts. One of the Google-funded projects is "Reframing the Victorians" at George Mason University, where professors Dan Cohen and Fred Gibbs plan to prove or disprove the thesis about whether Victorians were optimistic and if the era showed a decline in religious beliefs and practices in the UK. Many of the winning proposals emphasized the ability to do analytics using such methods as word frequencies. University of California at Riverside and Eastern Connecticut State University will use their funding to improve the Google Books use of metadata. Google has allocated $1 million total to digital humanities projects, $479,000 of which was awarded to the announced 12 projects. (Link to Web Source)