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Headshot of NISO Managing Director, Todd Carpenter

June 2010

Each May, the international information community gets together for the Plenary meeting week of ISO's Technical Committee on Information and Documentation (TC46). One of NISO's key responsibilities is to represent US interests to this ISO committee that focuses on development of international standards in the space of libraries, publishing, and media. This year, the meeting was held in the Republic of Korea at the kind invitation of their national standards body, the Korean Agency for Technology and Standards (KATS), roughly equivalent to ANSI in the US. The meeting was quite productive and a lot was accomplished; as is generally the case when disperse groups gather for face-to-face meetings.

There are a lot of projects nearing completion within ISO that are sure to have a tremendous impact on the information community. The International Standard Name Identifier draft standard (ISO 27729) was passed with 100% approval prior to the meeting and the working group met to discuss the final few editorial changes needed before the project can move to final publication, including establishment and ISO accreditation of an ISNI registration authority. The DOI standard (ISO 26324) will soon be balloted at its final stage and approval for the International DOI Foundation (IDF) as the registration authority is underway. The first part of the structured vocabularies standard (ISO 25964-1) also was approved by 100% of the subcommittee's members but comments will likely require one more version to be balloted. Within the subcommittee on interoperability, the project to develop a three-part standard for RFID tags within libraries is nearing a late June release of its final draft ballot. Finally, the subcommittee on records management has just issued ballots on fundamentals and vocabulary (ISO 30300) and basic requirements for a management system (ISO 30301) for records.

Many more projects are underway within ISO's TC 46 and I will be discussing the plenary meeting and these projects in more detail on June 14, during NISO's regularly scheduled Open Teleconference. All are welcome to participate in this free teleconference at 3:00 pm EDT. In conjunction with the TC 46 plenary, I had the opportunity to participate in two separate symposia held by the national libraries of Korea and Taiwan. Slides from these presentations are available here and here. These were tremendous opportunities to share our experience with the library community in the two countries. The trip highlighted for me the fact that the information world is far more inter-connected than we realize in our day-to-day lives. Information flows (nearly) seamlessly across national borders, but the issues we face regarding discovery, delivery, access, and preservation are common among publishers and libraries around the world. It is in our common interest to work on standards to facilitate this exchange, not only in our own countries, but internationally as well.

We look forward to seeing many of you in Washington, DC for the American Library Association Conference later this month. NISO will have many programs and various NISO projects are spread throughout the conference program. Check out the full list of events on the NISO @ ALA webpage.

With kindest regards,

Todd Carpenter’s Signature

Todd Carpenter

Managing Director

NISO Reports

June Webinar: Control Your Vocabulary: Real-World Applications of Semantic Technology

Semantic technologies are slowly opening up new frontiers in discovery and interaction with content. By tying together related terms, concepts, and data in meaningful ways, we can move beyond keyword searching as the primary means of content discovery in our community.

NISO's June9 webinar on Control Your Vocabulary: Real-World Applications of Semantic Technology (from 1:00 - 2:30 p.m. Eastern), will provide suppliers of information-both publishers and libraries-will discuss this changing landscape and the work that is propelling it forward. Speakers and topics for the webinar are:

  • Keynote Presentation: An Overview of the Semantic Landscape – Marjorie M.K. Hlava, President and Chairman, Access Innovations / Data Harmony

  • VIVO: Enabling National Networking of Scientists with Semantic Technology – Valerie Davis, Outreach Librarian for Agricultural Sciences, Marston Science Library, University of Florida and Jon Corson-Rikert, Head of Information Services, Albert R. Mann Library, Cornell University

  • Real-World Applications of Semantic Technology: A Publisher's Perspective – Helen Parr, Director of Online Publishing, Elsevier

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 the event webpage.

The June webinar is generously sponsored by CrossRef.

NISO @ ALA Annual 2010 and Pre-Conference NISO/BISG Forum

NISO and BISG will co-host the fourth annual Changing Standards Landscape on June 25, 2010 from 12:30 to 4:00 p.m., directly prior to the American Library Association's Annual Conference in Washington, DC. This year's free, half-day program will focus on how the information supply chain is reacting-and needs to react-to the demands of content consumers from the changing forms of digital distribution and communication.

Scott Lubeck (Executive Director, BISG) and Mark Bide (Executive Director, EDItEUR) will explore the standards issues related to identification and description. Discovery and retrieval tools will be discussed by Jane Burke (Senior Vice President, ProQuest and Serials Solutions) and Jabin White (Director of Strategic Content, Wolters Kluwer Health - Professional & Education). Closing out the forum, Jeremy York (Assistant Librarian, University of Michigan Library, and Project Librarian, HathiTrust) and Johan Bollen (Associate Professor, School of Informatics and Computing, Center for Complex Networks and System Research, Indiana University) will review the latest developments related to purchase and use. Visit the event webpage for more information and to view the full agenda. No registration is necessary but we ask that you RSVP to assist us in our preparations.

On Sunday, June 27, 2010, be sure to attend the NISO Update: Simplifying Digital Content: Standards from Creation to Distribution and Access from 1:30 - 3:30 p.m. Topics and speakers for the update are:

  • Journal Article Versions – Lettie Y Conrad, Online Product Manager, SAGE Publications, Inc.

  • Creation of File Formats – B. Tommie Usdin, President, Mulberry Technologies, Inc., & Co-chair, NISO Standardized Markup for Journal Articles Working Group

  • Supplementary Journal Article Materials – Linda Beebe, Senior Director of PsycINFO, American Psychological Association

  • E-journal Presentation – Regina Reynolds, ISSN Coordinator, Library of Congress

There are several other sessions where NISO projects will be presented at ALA, including the LITA Standards Interest Group meeting. Visit the NISO @ ALA webpage for a complete list of sessions, dates, and times.

NISO Requests Input for Journal Article Versions Survey

Online publishing allows for the release of multiple versions of journal articles-and these growing practices are redefining our concept of "publishing" and the "version of record." How do we determine when a manuscript is considered final? Which version should be cited? How do we best indicate online article versions?

In 2008, NISO published the Recommended Practice, "Journal Article Versions (JAV): Recommendations of the NISO/ALPSP JAV Technical Working Group" (NISO RP-8-2008). The recommended version classifications could be incorporated into article metadata for database or repository management, archiving and cataloging, online display, and more.

Now, NISO would like to hear what you think. How do you manage version control of journal articles? Are you amenable to industry standards for online versions? Who is responsible for managing such version metadata? Please take a moment to contribute your perspectives by answering a short survey by July 16, 2010. It should take no more than five minutes to complete. Following the survey, a report of the results will be made available on the NISO website.

The survey can be found at: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/PBJSPKR

UKSG and NISO Announce First Endorsers of KBART Recommended Practice and Initiation of Phase II

The American Institute of Physics, Ex Libris, Serials Solutions, and OCLC are the first organizations to publicly endorse the Phase I recommendations of the KBART (Knowledge Bases And Related Tools) Working Group, a joint initiative of NISO and UKSG that is exploring data problems within the OpenURL supply chain. KBART's Phase I Recommended Practice (NISO RP-9-2010), published in January 2010, contains practical recommendations for the timely exchange of accurate metadata between content providers and knowledge base developers. A number of other major organizations in the scholarly information supply chain are also working towards KBART endorsement.

All content providers, from major databases to small publishers, are encouraged to publicly endorse the KBART Recommended Practice by submitting a sample file to the KBART working group. Once the file's format and content has been reviewed and approved, and the provider has made it publicly available (in line with the recommendations), the provider will be added to a public list of endorsing providers. Knowledge base developers can endorse the KBART Recommended Practice by confirming that their systems can process KBART formatted files. In addition, a contacts registry is now available on the KBART Information Hub where content providers and knowledge base developers can register their organization's information for downloading holdings metadata.

The KBART working group is now progressing to Phase II, with a largely new set of volunteers. Sarah Pearson (University of Birmingham) the UKSG co-chair will be joined by Andreas Biedenbach (Springer Science+Business Media) as the NISO co-chair.

For more information on the endorsements and the Phase II working group members, to review the KBART Recommended Practice, or to find out how to get involved in future phases of KBART's work, visit the KBART workroom.

New Specs & Standards

DAISY Consortium, Revision of the DAISY Standard: ZedAI Public Draft Available for Review

The DAISY (ANSI/NISO Z39.86) Authoring and Interchange Framework, called ZedAI for short, is a specification that defines the next generation of DAISY XML. The ZedAI Framework, now available for review and comment until the end of the third quarter of 2010, is one of the two parts in the ongoing major revision of the DAISY Standard. The specification is intended to be submitted to NISO for formal standardization in the fourth quarter of 2010, with final approval expected in the spring of 2011. Please use the ZedAI forum and/or the issue tracker to provide feedback. A list of items that reviewers are asked to focus on is available from the ZedAI User Portal.

IFLA ISBD Review Group, International Standard Bibliographic Description (ISBD) Revision Draft Issued for Worldwide Review

After more than two years since the publication of the ISBD preliminary consolidated edition, 2007, an updated draft revision has been issued for comment. The revision incorporates suggestions from the previous review and reflects efforts to bring description of all materials to the same state of conformity with FRBR. Comments should be sent by July 11 2010 to Elena Escolano Rodríguez and John Hostage.

ISO/IEC 14496-1:2010, Information technology – Coding of audio-visual objects – Part 1: Systems

Fourth edition of the standard that specifies system level functionalities for the communication of interactive audio-visual scenes, i.e. the coded representation of information related to the management of data streams (synchronization, identification, description, and association of stream content).

World Wide Web Consortium Launches Library Linked Data Incubator Group

W3C has announced the creation of the Library Linked Data Incubator Group, whose mission is to help increase global interoperability of library data on the Web, by bringing together people involved in Semantic Web activities-focusing on Linked Data-in the library community and beyond, building on existing initiatives, and identifying collaboration tracks for the future. The following W3C Members have sponsored the charter for this group: Helsinki University of Technology, DERI Galway, Competence Centre for Interoperable Metadata (KIM), Library of Congress, Los Alamos National Laboratory, MIMOS, OCLC, Talis, University of Applied Sciences Potsdam, and Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

Media Stories

Aggregating Web Resources
American Libraries, 41(6/7), June/July 2010, p. 36 (online version posted 5/27/2010); by Michael Witt

The Open Archives Initiative Object Reuse and Exchange specification that defines how to aggregate sets of digital objects could well be the next disruptive technology for digital libraries. Librarians have been aggregating content to create their collections for centuries, but their focus both in the physical and digital world has been on the contents' use by people. In the digital world, much of the content resides in different system silos that may or may not be exposed for federated searching or metadata harvesting. ORE provides the capability for breaking down the silos and allowing machines to access and aggregate information in ways that required manual intervention in the past. However, it also opens up that opportunity beyond libraries so that just about anyone can reuse information into a new aggregated collection. Librarians are key to ensuring there is quality metadata and will still be needed to connect users to content. With ORE digital objects could be aggregated from across multiple institutional repositories or moved in sets without losing semantics from one digital library to another. Among possible applications are the aggregations of information from social networking sites, e.g. Flickr, that include not only the object but all the comments and annotations that were added by other users. Journal articles could be aggregated with their dataset and tools to visualize and analyze the data. Automated tools could determine the best preservation strategy for a compound object based on its ORE metadata and descriptions. (Link to Web Source)

NISO Note: The Web version of this article has additional information on the history of the Open Archives Initiative and examples of aggregations and applications of ORE (mentioned in the above abstract) that is not included in the print version of the article.

Ebooks: From Institutional to Consortial Considerations
Online Magazine, Vol. 34 No. 3 May/June 2010 (posted online May 31, 2010); by David Stern

Consortial purchasing and leasing of ebooks adds additional layers of complexity to the issues of providing ebooks to library users that have not been fully explored or tested in a large consortial environment. Even within individual libraries, ebook experiences have been chaotic and time-consuming with no definitive best practices as yet. Searching is currently platform-specific with multiple user interfaces. And questions arise as to whether to restrict users to searching only for ebooks that the library has already purchased or licenses. Overlap in titles exists across many of the bigger ebook packages and updating of content can be problematic in also updating the library's OPAC records simultaneously. Reports at the 2009 Charleston Conference showed that expenses were not significantly different when users were allowed to order ebooks vs. the librarians selecting them. Statewide savings were shown by delivering ebooks on demand rather than purchasing duplicate paper copies. Ebook pricing for consortia could offer volume discounts or be based on an actual use or historical use model. Consortial profiles will be needed to address library-specific rules for selection, vendors, pricing, etc. Libraries may choose to join multiple consortia to get different package or title access or pricing models. Issues which the consortia need to address include: methods for identifying and ordering ebooks, funding models and granularity of usage tracking, and long-term collection development and preservation. Baker and Taylor's YBP services offer a way for consortia to begin doing shared ebook collection without a major commitment. (Link to Web Source)

Don't You Know Who I Am?
Ariadne, Issue 63 April 2010; by John Paschoud

In the physical world of libraries, users are identified through a registration process and the resulting library card. Reciprocal library access, where one library's card allows a user to access and use another library, has been problematic in administering the access rules. Schemes such as SCONUL Access and the InforM25 "visit a library" tool is helping to facilitate access rights, such as cross-searching of consortium members' catalogues. In the e-resource world, complex licensing has even further complicated reciprocal access with each member library taking on identify management responsibilities. The British Universities and Colleges Information Systems Association has listed identity management as one of the top ten issues for their organisations. The JISC-funded Identity Project has called for better tools. The follow-up Identify Management Toolkit project is using a wiki and Shibboleth to share information about identity services in use among project participants. One recommendation of the project is to shift the burden of managing the identity data from IT to the administrative departments that enroll students or manage staff and faculty. Libraries are assigned the role of managing all the other miscellaneous categories of users requiring access. The Toolkit also recommends that overall governance and policy for identity management reside with a single senior post of CIO or equivalent. Guest access to library resources, even where collaboration agreements are in place, provides additional technical challenges as it is essentially extending the concept of federated access. One successful international and inter-institutional use of Shibboleth was Columbia University in New York providing resource access to students of a particular London School of Economics course. (Link to Web Source)

NISO Note: The NISO SSO Authentication Working Group is currently exploring practical solutions for improving the success of single sign-on (SSO) authentication technologies in a networked resources environment. Sign up for their interest group e-mail list to follow their activities.

The Power of the Semantic Web
Information Today, Vol. 27 No. 5, posted online May 31, 2010; by Barbara Brynko

The VIVO project creating a National Network of Scientists is a real-life example of the semantic web at work. As each institution involved adds data on its researchers and faculty, the project team is also created onotologies for the terms, concepts, and relationships that can be linked. The use of "sandboxes" where each participant can provide sample data in a testing environment has helped the players collaborate at an early stage. Ontologies are key to creating commonalities for the disparate institutional data so that queries and relationships can be effectively found. VIVO is extending and mapping the seven individual ontologies of the participants. One participant, Ying Ding from the School of Library and Information Science at Indiana University, has also been involved with other ontology projects such as the eagle-I Consortium that is focusing on institutions rather than researchers. She is investigating how to align the ontologies between the two projects. Although the technology has improved that will allow exchanges and connections among different ontological frameworks, there are still issues with the variety of vocabularies in use, even for a particular domain, and in data redundancy. Some commercial search engines, e.g. Sig.ma and Noesis, are starting to use semantic search technology and the structured RDF descriptions to provide more intelligent linking. Google, Yahoo!, and Bing are doing research into using the semantic web structures for better natural language processing. Projects like VIVO are breaking new ground but should ultimately deliver better data, while still allowing local customizations. (Link to Web Source)

NISO Note: For more on semantic web applications including a presentation on the VIVO project, attend NISO's June 9 webinar on Real-World Applications of Semantic Technology.

Google Readies Its E-Book Plan, Bringing in a New Sales Approach
Wsj.Com, May 4, 2010; by Jessica E. Vascellaro and Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg

Google has announced plans to begin selling digital books in late June or July with a new service called Google Editions. They plan to differentiate themselves from e-book sellers like Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble, by offering access to books from a variety of website sources through their book search service and by supporting reading from a web browser, rather than a specific device. Left undecided is whether publishers or Google sets the retail price. Although no publishers had yet publicly committed to selling through Google's service, many are expected to participate in another, presumably large, outlet for their titles. Google who is not yet known for retail services is hoping users click-through to purchasing from its Book Search product and expects book sellers to promote Google Editions themselves. This effort is separate from the Google court case with authors and publishers about distributing out-of-print books. (Link to Web Source)