Headshot of NISO Managing Director, Todd Carpenter

December 2011

Over the past two years, I have written frequently on the topic of identifying electronic books and the problems associated with identifying products in an ambiguous way. As we move headlong into a world where electronic books are becoming increasingly important, the need to identify separate products becomes critical. One problem, though, is that the rules for applying ISBNs to e-books have been unclear. There are many ways in which classes of digital products can be distinguishable. What are the important differences and when should new identifiers be assigned is a foundational question. While the ISBN standard itself is clear, its adherence and applicability in some situations is less so. Hopefully, we've taken a step forward today with the issuance of a new policy on identification of digital products.

The Book Industry Study Group (BISG) and the International ISBN Agency have both been working to clarify policies for the assignment of ISBN numbers for more than a year. I have participated in this work, both in my role representing the NISO community as well as secretary of the ISO technical subcommittee on Identification and Description (ISO TC 46/SC 9). Just today, the BISG has issued its policy report on Best Practices for Identifying Digital Products, culminating their work on ISBNs for e-books.

NISO and its Content and Collection Management Topic Committee have endorsed these best practices and encourage their adoption by publishers and distributors in the supply chain. More clarity regarding digital books and their identification should be most welcome. These best practices will not solve every need or problem with the identification and description of content, especially in the library community where different supply chains, different product offerings, and available manifestations are much more complicated problems. However, more clarity of policies is needed and this industry best practice is a crucial element of moving us forward.

This is not the only work that has wrapped up. I encourage you all to look, if you haven't already, at the ESPRESSO Recommended Practice, which NISO published last month. This project outlines how publishers and libraries should best facilitate single-sign-on systems to access digital content via the web. Two recent SUSHI recommended practices have been issued in draft form for either trial use or public comments. If you are a current or potential SUSHI user, please review both Test Modes for SUSHI Servers and the COUNTER-SUSHI Implementation Profile. A couple other projects will be wrapping up by year's end. This is particularly good timing as NISO has launched several new projects this fall, which are just beginning their work. These include the ResourceSync project, for which NISO and the Open Archives Initiative (OAI) recently received funding from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. More information about this project is in the Newsline article below.

It has been another great year for NISO, with successes on many fronts. We'll be discussing these accomplishments during the NISO annual members meeting, which will take place at ALA Midwinter in Dallas. That meeting will take place on Sunday, January 22 at 1:30 p.m. More information on this meeting and other NISO events at the ALA conference are in the article below. I hope you all can join us.

Hopefully, 2011 was an equally good year for you and your organization. On behalf of NISO, I'd like to wish you and all those at your organization the very best this holiday season and best wishes for a prosperous 2012.

Todd Carpenter’s Signature

Todd Carpenter

Managing Director

NISO Reports

December Webinar: Assessment Metrics

With ever-shrinking library budgets it is more essential than ever to ensure that the library collection is targeted, relevant, and well-used. Return on Investment (ROI) has become the mantra of library management and libraries need to show accountability for collection decisions.

Learn how others have successfully implemented metrics for decision-making at NISO's webinar on Assessment Metrics, to be held on December 14, 2011 from 1:00 - 2:30 p.m. EST.

Speakers and topics are:

  • COUNTER and SUSHI: What's New with Release 4 of the COUNTER Code of PracticeOliver Pesch (Chief Strategist, E-Resource Access and Management Services, EBSCO Information Services) will provide an overview of the changes to the COUNTER Code of Practice with Release 4 and share some insights into additional efforts of the NISO SUSHI Standing Committee, which promise to speed adoption of SUSHI and ensure consistency in COUNTER reports.

  • Journal Assessment MetricsRobin Kear (Reference/Instruction Librarian, University of Pittsburgh) will provide an overview of currently available journal metrics, including the well-known impact factor and relative newcomers, the differences between them, and ways to use these metrics for collection development.

  • Using Journal Metrics for Decision-MakingTim Jewell (Director Information Resources, Collections and Scholarly Communication, University of Washington) will describe the broader collection assessment program at The University of Washington Libraries, the serials decision metrics database that was developed, its application to e-journal title and package/bundle-level assessment, and future plans.

Registration is per site (access for one computer) and includes access to the recorded archive. Discounts are available for NISO and NASIG members and students. Can't make it on the webinar date/time? Register and gain access to the recorded archive for one year. Visit the event webpage to register and for more information.

This webinar is sponsored by CrossRef

January Webinar: Identify This! Identify That! New Identifiers and New Uses

Just about everyone is familiar with the ISBN for books and the ISSN for serials. But new identifiers and new identifier standards have been developed for resources—such as the International Standard Text Code (ISTC)— and for people and organizations—such as the International Standard Name Identifier (ISNI).

NISO's January 2012 webinar, Identify This! Identify That! New Identifiers and New Uses—to be held on January 11 from 1:00 to 2:30 p.m. EST—will discuss several new identifiers as well as new uses for older identifiers. Speakers include:

  • Beat Barblan, Director, Identifier Services, Bowker

  • Janifer Gatenby, Research Integration and Standards, OCLC

Registration is per site (access for one computer) and includes access to the recorded archive. Discounts are available for NISO and NASIG members and students. Can't make it on the webinar date/time? Register and gain access to the recorded archive for one year. Visit the event webpage to register and for more information.

NISO @ ALA Midwinter

NISO will be holding several sessions open to the public at the ALA Midwinter Conference in Dallas, TX, in January. Please join us for any or all of the following and drop by our booth (#1259).

  • NISO AVIAC (Automation Vendors Interest Advisory Committee) Meeting -- Friday, January 20, 2012, 10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m., Fairmont Hotel, Terrace Room

  • NISO Bibliographic Future Meeting, Friday, January 20, 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., Fairmont Hotel, Royal Room

  • NISO Annual Meeting, Sunday, January 22, 1:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m., Hyatt Regency, Bryan-Beeman Ballroom. Todd Carpenter will provide an update of the overall status of the organization, report on NISO's finances, and discuss NISO's strategic priorities.

  • NISO Update, Sunday, January 22, 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., Hyatt Regency, Bryan-Beeman Ballroom. NISO working group members will discuss their projects and provide updates on the status. Several recently completed projects will also be discussed.

For more information, visit the NISO @ ALA Midwinter 2012 event webpage.

Draft COUNTER-SUSHI Implementation Profile Available for Public Comment

A new draft recommended practice, the NISO SUSHI Protocol: COUNTER-SUSHI Implementation Profile (NISO RP-14-201X), has been issued for a public comment period ending on January 20, 2012. This Recommended Practice provides a practical implementation structure to be used in the creation of reports and services related to harvesting of COUNTER Release 4 reports using the NISO SUSHI Protocol.

The Standardized Usage Statistics Harvesting (SUSHI) Protocol was issued as a standard (ANSI/NISO Z39.93) in 2007 to simplify and automate the harvesting of COUNTER usage reports by libraries from the growing number of information providers they work with. COUNTER (Counting Online Usage of Networked Electronic Resources) is an international initiative that published their first Code of Practice in 2003 and issued Draft Release 4 of the COUNTER Code of Practice for e-Resources in October 2011. The comment period for the COUNTER-SUSHI Implementation Profile and COUNTER Release 4 end on the same date. XML schemas supporting the draft Implementation Profile and draft Release 4 of the COUNTER Code of Practice have also been published by NISO for review during the comment period.

The new draft Release 4 of the COUNTER Code of Practice is a single, integrated Code of Practice covering journals, databases, and books, as well as multimedia content. This COUNTER-SUSHI Implementation Profile supports the changes in Release 4 and was developed with the intention that it could be used by COUNTER auditors to verify compliance of a content provider's SUSHI server.

The draft and an online comment form are available on the NISO website.

Links to the referenced schemas and additional implementation guidance for SUSHI can be found on the SUSHI webpages. The draft Release 4 of the COUNTER Code of Practice for e-Resources is available on the COUNTER website.

NISO and Open Archives Initiative Receive Grant from Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to Create Resource Synchronization Standard

NISO and the Open Archives Initiative have been awarded a $222,000 grant for a joint project to develop a new open standard on the real-time synchronization of web resources. Increasingly, large-scale digital collections are available from multiple hosting locations, cached at multiple servers, and leveraged by several services. This proliferation of replicated copies of works or data on the Internet has created an increasingly challenging problem of keeping the repositories' holdings and services that leverage them up-to-date and accurate. As we move from a web of documents to a web of data, synchronization becomes even more important; decisions made based on unsynchronized or incoherent scientific or economic data can have serious deleterious impact.

The standard to be developed from the Sloan grant will build on existing, widely deployed technologies, such as Memento; the OAI Object Reuse and Exchange (ORE), a protocol for describing aggregations of Web resources; and the DSNotify change detection framework for Linked Data.

The project's Core Technology Team will be led by OAI and include Bernhard Haslhofer (Cornell University), Carl Lagoze (Cornell University), Michael L. Nelson (Old Dominion University), Robert Sanderson (Los Alamos National Laboratory), Herbert Van de Sompel (Los Alamos National Laboratory), and Simeon Warner (Cornell University). An outreach team will be led by Todd Carpenter (NISO), Nettie Lagace (NISO), and Peter Murray (LYRASIS).

Anyone interested in participating on the project teams or in being added to an interest group e-mail list to follow the project should contact NISO at nisohq@niso.org.

NISO Endorses BISG Policy on the Use of ISBNs for E-books

NISO is pleased to support and endorse the Book Industry Study Group's new policy statement, Best Practices for Identifying Digital Products. This publication will help to clarify the increasingly complex problems associated with the identification of electronic books in the supply chain.

The BISG Identification of E-books Working Group, led by Phil Madans, Director of Publishing Standards and Practices at Hachette Book Group, has been at work for the past 18 months discussing the myriad ways in which e-books are produced, distributed, and need to be identified in the publishing, distribution, and library marketplaces. The rules for assigning International Standard Book Numbers (ISBN) have been inconsistently applied to electronic books and this variability is beginning to create problems with distribution systems based upon ISBN. The new BISG policy statement, when broadly adopted, will standardize the rules for applying ISBNs to e-books and alleviate today's confusion.

Todd Carpenter, NISO's Managing Director, served as a member of the working group that developed the best practice. "With the onset of mass e-book distribution, we need to be clear what we are identifying and how products differ, so that it does not cause confusion in the marketplace," said Mr. Carpenter. "The lack of a clear code of practice for identifying e-book products is leading to multiple versions of these products being distributed with the same ISBN, despite a variety of meaningful differences in the products. I am pleased by the outcome of these recommendations and hope that publishers act quickly to adopt them."

You can download the policy for free from the Book Industry Study Group website.

NISO 2012 Education Schedule

The schedule for the 2012 education programs is now available on the NISO website. Included are 14 NISO webinars on topics ranging from identifiers to e-books, usage statistics, mobile access, and discovery; two in-person forums on research data and on e-books; sessions at ALA Midwinter and ALA Annual including the 6th NISO/BISG Annual Forum on The Changing Standards Landscape; and four joint NISO/DCMI webinars.

Subscription packages are available: register for all 14 NISO webinars and get 7 free; register for 4 NISO webinars and get 3 free. NISO members and students may register at a discount for all events. NASIG members can register for NISO webinars at the member rate, and DCMI members may register at the member rate for the joint NISO/DCMI webinars.

For more information, visit the NISO 2012 events webpage.

New on the NISO Website

  • NISO / Internet Archive E-book Bookmarks and Annotation Standards Planning Meeting (October 10) slides from Todd Carpenter presentations: Introduction and Reading as a Social Activity

  • PIE-J (Presentation and Identification of E-Journals) Update (October 17) teleconference recording

  • E-book Renaissance Forum (October 24-25) presentation slides

  • What To Do About Data: NISO-NFAIS Working Group on Supplemental Materials, Charleston Library Conference (November 3) presentation slides

  • New Discovery Tools webinar (November 9) presentation slides

  • NISO/NFAIS Supplemental Journal Article Materials Working Group: An Update on an Industry Initiative, 2011 CrossRef Workshop (November 14) presentation slides

  • RDA Vocabularies: Implementation, Extension, and Mapping -- NISO/DCMI Webinar (November 16) presentation slides

New Standards and Best Practices

Book Industry Communication, Product Metadata Guidelines for ONIX for Books Release 3

In November 2011, changes were made to the Product Metadata Guidelines for ONIX to ensure that the BIC ONIX 3 Guidelines were consistent with EDItEUR ONIX for Books Implementation and Best Practice Guidelines issued during 2011.

EDItEUR, ONIX for Rights Information Services (ONIX-RS)

ONIX-RS consists of a suite of XML messages to communicate information about rights, primarily for books. It supports comprehensive, due diligence searches by libraries engaged in digitizing their print collections or seeking to make the associated content more widely available. The development of ONIX-RS has drawn heavily upon the work of the EC-funded ARROW Project and the inputs of ARROW partner organizations.

IMS Global Learning Consortium, IMS Learning Tools Interoperability Implementation Guide - Version 1.1 Public Draft

The Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) specifications are being developed to allow remote tools and content to be integrated into a Learning Management System (LMS). This document brings a subset of those specifications together into this implementation guide that defines a profile of LTI and is the next iteration of the Basic LTI specification that was released in spring 2010. Example external tool content might include an externally hosted testing system or a server that contains externally hosted premium content.

ISO 30300:2011, Information and documentation – Management systems for records – Fundamentals and vocabulary

This new international standard defines terms and definitions applicable to the standards on management systems for records (MSR) prepared by ISO/TC 46/SC 11. It also establishes the objectives for using a MSR, provides principles for a MSR, describes a process approach, and specifies roles for top management.

ISO 30301:2011, Information and documentation – Management systems for records – Requirements

This new international standard specifies requirements to be met by a management system for records (MSR) in order to support an organization in the achievement of its mandate, mission, strategy, and goals. It addresses the development and implementation of records policy and objectives, and gives information on measuring and monitoring performance.

W3C Proposed Recommendation, Ontology for Media Resources 1.0

The W3C Media Annotations Working Group has developed this document that defines a core set of metadata properties for media resources, along with their mappings to elements from a set of existing metadata formats. It presents a Semantic Web-compatible implementation of the abstract ontology using RDF/OWL. The document is mostly targeted towards media resources available on the Web, as opposed to media resources that are only accessible in local repositories. The review period ends on December 31, 2011; comments can be sent to the public mailing list public-media-annotation@w3.org.

Media Stories

A Guide to Ebook Purchasing
American Libraries, November 15, 2011; by Sue Polanka

A Library Journal survey conducted in 2011 showed that between 44% and 95% of libraries (depending on type) are providing ebooks to their patrons. For libraries considering this, the first question is to ask, Why ebooks?" and to focus on this goal throughout the acquisition and management process, which can be complicated. Unlike a one-time purchase of a print book, ebooks are usually licensed and have many constraints on how they are used. The prices are not as fixed and vary depending on the vendor's business model and the potential user base, among other criteria. Ownership of the ebooks depends on the type of contract and can vary from a short-term lease to perpetual access. Ongoing annual access fees may also apply and content can go away when licenses aren't renewed. Purchases may be done from publishers, aggregators, wholesalers, or through consortia. Price negotiations may be more available when purchasing directly from publishers, however negotiations then have to be done with each publisher separately. Consortia purchasing offers advantages in buying power, sharing across libraries instead of doing ILL, and smaller libraries can get access to material they couldn't afford on their own. Licensing, pricing, and access conditions can become more complicated, though, in a consortial environment. Vendors need to be carefully evaluated against requirements and existing clients should be interviewed. The marketplace for ebooks is continually changing as are the business models, which is why clear goals are so important and can't be forgotten.
(Link to Web Source)

NISO Note: This article is taken from the introduction of The No Shelf Required Guide to E-Book Purchasing in the November/December issue of Library Technology Reports.

Web Archiving at the Library of Congress
Computers in Libraries, 31(10), December 2011; by Abbie Grotke

The World Wide Web began around 20 years ago and has become integrated into most people's lives for information distribution and access as well as for communications. Archiving of web content started around 15 years ago with Alexa Internet performing web crawling and providing the results to the Internet Archive for preserving. Initially submissions were bimonthly "snapshots" that were embargoed for 6 months before they were made available through the Wayback Machine. Some countries have passed laws to allow or require national libraries or other repositories to preserve their country's web content. Unfortunately, no one institution, even the Internet Archive can keep up with the breadth and depth of web content and many organizations including libraries need to be involved. The Library of Congress (LC) set up the National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program (NCIIPP) in 2000 to create a network of partners in the U.S. to help preserve web content. A test program was in place with the Internet Archive when 9/11 occurred and the team was able to respond to the need to archive the content that appeared on more than 30,000 different websites following the attacks. Today LC collects some 4-5 terabytes a month, but challenges are ongoing and include such issues as: 1) what content to preserve, e.g. should whole domains be harvested or should harvesting be based on topics and events; 2) what technology to use, since harvester technologies are generally behind the actual web technology in use on production sites; 3) how to manage and move the massive amounts of data being collected; 4) copyright issues, since the U.S., unlike some other countries, has no legislation to mandate deposits and LC has to contact the owners of the content and sometimes get permissions. LC, the Internet Archive, and 10 other national libraries formed the International Internet Preservation Consortium (IIPC) in 2003 to promote web archiving and share tools and experiences. The IIPC has grown to close to 40 organizations and they often collaborate on projects, such as archiving Olympics websites. In the U.S., LC belongs to the National Digital Stewardship Alliance (NDSA), created in 2010, to bring together experts in preservation from all types of organizations. With the NDSA and the NDIIPP, LC is working on methods for preservation of blogs and citizen journalism. The IIPC is looking towards the 2012 Summer Olympics and is experimenting with use of the Memento protocol and Firefox add-on for access to preserved content. Education programs are teaching others the importance of and methods for archiving their own content. (Link to Web Source)

NISO Note: The Library of Congress is a NISO voting member.

Publishing Services a Major Growth Area for Academic Libraries, Suggests New Research Report
SPARC Press Release, November 1, 2011

A report issued by the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) finalizes a year-long research project about library publishing services. All the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), Oberlin Group, and University Libraries Group members were surveyed and three in-depth case studies were performed at Purdue, Georgia Tech, and Utah. Workshops and a literature review were also conducted. Some of the key findings were: 55% have or are creating library publishing services; most of the journals are electronic only with some print-on-demand also available; funding comes from library budgets, temporary institution funding, and grant support but future plans include service fees, product revenue, and royalties among other income generators; half manage the publishing within a single library unit with an average of 0.9 (Oberlin) to 2.4 (ARL) FTEs; the most prevalent journal publishing platforms reported were Open Journal Systems (57%), DSpace (36%), and Berkeley Electronic Press's Digital Commons (25%). The full report includes recommendations for the future such as developing best practices, collaborating on a resources repository, and having more formalized skills and training. (Link to Web Source)

NISO Note: The full report is available at: http://wp.sparc.arl.org/lps. The Association of Research Libraries and Microsoft Research (one of the project's supporters) are NISO voting members.

9 Things You Need to Know About ePub3
Book Business, November 2011; By Bill McCoy

ePub has become the de facto standard for digital publications and is supported by most e-reader platforms. (Even Amazon, who doesn't support it natively, uses it as an interchange format.) The recently issued version 3 (ePub 3) is a significant upgrade. Nine key things to know are: 1) ePub 3 provides support for audio and video and JavaScript interactivity. 2) It is based on HTML5 but is a structured, navigable, portable version that will work on both browsers and offline reading devices. 3) It supports not only reflowable formatting but also fixed positioning for specially designed content. 4) It lends itself well to use in custom apps, reducing the app development time. 5) ePub3 is superseding the DAISY DTBook standard as the distribution format for people with reading disabilities, but will also interest people who just prefer larger print in certain situations, or want audio overlays. 6) The openness of the standard and development process ensure that publishers won't have vendor lock-in to their content, but also allow for innovations and differentiation in reading systems to appeal to different audiences or customer needs. 7) Users (including libraries) also don't need to worry about vendor lock-in and content providers can use that to promote their products. 8) The International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF) has a wide and diverse group of members in the industry covering publishers, libraries, technology vendors, associations, and government organizations—all of whom have a seat at the table regarding the standard. 9) ePub 3 is open … for business. (Link to Web Source)

NISO Note: For more on EPUB 3.0 see the article EPUB 3: Not Your Father's EPUB by Bill Kasdorf in the Spring 2011 issue of NISO's magazine, Information Standards Quarterly.