Headshot of NISO Managing Director, Todd Carpenter

July 2011

The spring conference season has come to an end and we can finally ease into summer. Perhaps as we take a brief respite from the hectic pace of the past few months, we can also take stock of how much we have pushed forward through the first half of the year and some of the new opportunities that are before us.

A number of working groups have reached their last major milestone prior to publication. Two Recommended Practices—Establishing Suggested Practices Regarding Single Sign-On (ESPReSSO) and a revision of RFID in U.S. Libraries —were issued for public comment. Both groups are currently reviewing and incorporating the community input and final publication is expected this summer. Two standards-a revision of the DAISY Authoring and Interchange Format for digital content and the Journal Article Tag Suite (JATS) —were issued as drafts for trial use through late September 2011. Both standards are expected to be published later this year. Finally, two more projects will be releasing their recommendations this summer: Physical Delivery of Library Resources Working Group and the ERM Data Standards and Best Practices Review Working Group. I'd like to thank every one of these working group members for their diligence in developing these standards and recommended practices. Of course, all of you who take the time to review, comment, and improve these documents also deserve thanks for your contributions.

As some projects near their finish line, others are just taking off. During the recently concluded ALA conference, the NISO Architecture Committee met to discuss the organization's strategic direction over the next 18-24 months. The group agreed on three broad themes where we will focus our energies. The first of these is e-books. With the launch of the E-books Special Interest Group (SIG) we announced in May, NISO will begin engaging diverse communities and stakeholders in the work of building collaborations, research, incubation, and education related to e-books. I spoke about this new SIG during the NISO/BISG Changing Standards Landscape Forum during the ALA conference and a statement of intent is available on the NISO website. Slides from many of the presentations at the BISG forum are available now and videos will be posted in the coming weeks. The session was extremely well attended and the presentations were all first-rate. If you weren't able to join us, I encourage you to take a look at the slides and videos.

Also related to e-books, I am very pleased to announce that NISO has received grant funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to hold two standards development workshops on e-book annotation location, annotation sharing, and social reading (see the story below). The grant will support two meetings that NISO in partnership with the Internet Archive will host at the Frankfurt Book Fair and the Books in Browsers meeting in San Francisco. Both of these meetings will take place in October, on the 10th and 26th respectively and will be open to the community. See the story in this issue of Newsline for more information.

The second area of focus is the range of issues around research data, data sets, and the variety of non-text forms that are being integrated into the more traditional scholarly communications forms. Among the issues is how to best incorporate data and other non-textual forms into publications. NISO in partnership with NFAIS has been working on the topic of Supplemental Journal Article Materials and that group is making significant and rapid progress on their work. Several updates of that work were presented at several industry meetings including the Society of Scholarly Publishers where a video is available. In addition to the Supplemental Journal Article Materials initiative, there are several projects underway exploring data-related issues, including a CODATA project on Data Citation Standards and Practices and the NSF DataNet. NISO is doing outreach to these groups, which could lead to additional work proposals.

Finally, the topic of discovery systems and the development of these systems is another theme that is generating a great deal of conversation and buzz in the community. NISO's engagement in discovery technologies has been longstanding. As a new generation of discovery systems is evolving, discussion is underway about data sharing and synchronization, business practices, and usage metrics. Because discovery systems require significant interoperability and partnership among the players, working within a consensus framework to address community concerns will be critical to the efficacy of any resulting solution.

One last thing that deserves special note. During the ALA conference, Jay Jordan announced his retirement from his role as President and CEO of OCLC. Jay has been an active and visionary leader of the organization for the past 13 years and led the expansion and growth of OCLC's services. OCLC has been an active organization at all levels in NISO's work, from NISO and ISO working groups, up through NISO's leadership committees and even NISO's Board of Directors. This leadership in our work is directly tied to Jordan's commitment to serving the community. There will be a variety of recognitions of his contributions over the coming year while he transitions out of OCLC, but on behalf of NISO, we wish Jay all the best, and thank him for his contributions and service.

As always, if you have interest in engaging in these or any other topics we've mentioned, do email us at nisohq@niso.org. I hope that you enjoy your summer.

Todd Carpenter’s Signature

Todd Carpenter

Managing Director

NISO Reports

NISO Receives Mellon Foundation Grant for E-Book Annotation Sharing Workshops

NISO has been awarded a $48,500 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to fund two standards incubation workshops, which it will lead with the Internet Archive, on the topic of E-Book Annotation Sharing and Social Reading. These meetings will be held in conjunction with the Frankfurt Book Fair in Frankfurt, Germany, on October 10th, 2011, and the Books In Browsers Meeting in San Francisco, on October 26th, 2011. The Mellon Foundation grant will pay for the planning, organization, and direct meeting expenses for the two meetings workshops, for which NISO will conduct the majority of the planning, organization, and logistical support.

The two workshops will advance the discussions around the system requirements for annotation sharing-including technical challenges of citation location and systems interoperability-and around the development and implementation of a consensus solution for these issues. The objectives of the meetings are to provide input to a NISO-sponsored working group on scope, goals and any initial work the group undertakes; and the advancement of a syntax specification that will be further vetted by a standards working group for how bookmarks and annotations are located and shared in digital books.

Each meeting will include both invited speakers and breakout discussions, and participants will include technologists involved in the development of systems as well as librarians and scholars who would be the direct beneficiaries of annotation and social reading functionality. One goal of holding two meetings that are geographically diverse is to ensure that a world-wide community has opportunity for input and engagement on this issue, since the application of such a technology would be applied across the globe.

More information about the October meetings, which will be open to the public, is available on the NISO web site. Registration will open shortly; space is limited and a balance of representation will be sought.

Now Available: Spring ISQ Special Issue on Views of the E-book Renaissance

The Spring 2011 issue of NISO's Information Standards Quarterly (ISQ) magazine with a special issue theme of Views of the E-book Renaissance is now available on the NISO website. ISQ Guest Content Editor, October Ivins of Ivins eContent Solutions has pulled together a broad range of perspectives on what is happening today with e-books and particularly with e-book standards. As she states in her introductory letter: "Our goal for this issue of ISQ is to present an overview of the status of e-books from multiple perspectives-publishers and other content producers, librarians, and the many vendors who support their creation, management, sales, and distribution. Not coincidentally, it also illustrates the scope of the NISO community."

Articles cover the topics of the EPUB 3 standard, the public library experience with e-books, an opinion piece on e-books in the academic library setting, standards in the e-book supply chain, Ebsco's plans for merging the NetLibrary product with the EBSCOHost platform, the new revision of the DAISY standard for e-book accessibility, and the recently announced NISO Special Interest Group on E-books. The issue concludes with Noteworthy news items such as JSTOR's foray into e-books, ProQuest's acquisition of Ebrary, the Project Muse and UPeC partnership to offer e-books, the trial use issuance of the Journal Article Tag Suite standard (Z39.96).

Both the entire issue and individual articles may be freely downloaded in PDF from the NISO website. Print copies are available by subscription and to NISO members who opt-in and will shortly be available in print on demand.

NISO Elects New Vice Chair and Directors to Serve Community

The membership of the National Information Standards Organization (NISO) has elected new leadership for the 2011-2012 term that begins on July 1, 2011. Bruce Heterick, Vice President, Outreach & Participation Services for Portico and JSTOR, who was elected last year and has served as Vice Chair during the current term, will become Chair of NISO for the 2011-12 term. Barbara Preece has been elected to serve as Vice Chair of the NISO Board of Directors. She will transition into the chairmanship in the 2012-13 term. Preece is Dean of the Library, California State University, San Marcos. She has been active in library and library consortium management for many years, and has written extensively in the area of patron initiated interlibrary loan and document delivery. She currently serves as a member of NISO's Board of Directors.

The following industry leaders were also elected to seats on the NISO Board of Directors.

  • Gerry Grenier, Director of Publishing Technologies, IEEE
  • Chuck Koscher, Director of Technology, CrossRef
  • Wendy Pradt Lougee, University Librarian and McKnight Presidential Professor, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
  • Mike Teets, Vice President, Innovation, OCLC

These new members will join the following Directors who will continue their terms through 2011-12 in managing and setting strategic direction for the organization: Nancy Dupres Barnes (Independent Standards Consultant), John Harwood (Professor Pennsylvania State University), Charles Lowry (Executive Director Association of Research Libraries), Heather Reid (Director of Data Systems, Copyright Clearance Center), Winston Tabb( Dean of University Libraries, Johns Hopkins University). Janice Fleming (Director of Business and Planning at American Psychological Association) becomes the Past Chair and Bruce Rosenblum (President of INERA, Inc.) will serve as NISO's Treasurer in the coming term at the appointment of the Chair.

August Webinars: Management of Physical Library Resources and International Bibliographic Standards and Linked Data

NISO will be holding two webinars in August. The first on August 10 is Tangible Assets: Management of Physical Library Resources. Although access to digital information is ubiquitous today, there is still a very solid demand for material in physical form. Libraries spend significant time and resources in the storage, preservation, and delivery of physical items, which remain critical to the core library values of user access and resource sharing. Yet in today's financial environment, libraries must find ways to be more cost-effective, ideally without reducing service levels. Presenters in this webinar will discuss their recent efforts in making their work with physical materials as efficient as possible and share their creative solutions for managing these still-valuable library assets. For more information and to register visit, the event webpage.

On August 24, NISO and DCMI will co-host a webinar on International Bibliographic Standards, Linked Data, and the Impact on Library Cataloging. Speakers Gordon Dunsire, a freelance consultant with 25 years of experience working in academic libraries and ten years in digital library research, and Thomas Baker, Chief Information Officer of the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative, will describe the development of an Application Profile for the International Standard Bibliographic Description (ISBD) to specify the sequence, repeatability, and mandatory status of its elements. They will also discuss issues involved in deriving linked data from legacy catalog records based on monolithic and multi-part schemas following ISBD and FRBR, such as the duplication which arises from copy cataloging and FRBRization. For more information and to register, visit the event webpage.

New Specs & Standards

The Association of Educational Publishers and Creative Commons to Co-Lead Learning Resources Framework Initiative

The Association of Educational Publishers (AEP) and Creative Commons (CC) announced a partnership to improve search results on the World Wide Web through the creation of a metadata framework specifically for learning resources. A common metadata schema will make searches for educational resources more efficient and effective so educators can quickly discover the educational resources they want, including those they can reuse under Creative Commons licenses. AEP and CC will co-lead the project for the learning resources industry with AEP handling communication and CC overseeing the development of the technical specifications. For more information, contact schema@AEPweb.org.

ISO 19005-2:2011, Document management – Electronic document file format for long-term preservation – Part 2: Use of ISO 32000-1 (PDF/A-2)

First edition of the international standard that specifies the use of the Portable Document Format (PDF) 1.7, as formalized in ISO 32000-1, for preserving the static visual representation of page-based electronic documents over time. [Note: Part 1 of ISO 19005 is the PDF/A standard for version 1.4.)

ISO/IEC 19788-2:2011, Information technology – Learning, education and training – Metadata for learning resources – Part 2: Dublin Core elements

First edition of the international standard that specifies metadata elements and their attributes for the description of learning resources. It provides a base-level data element set for the description of learning resources, from the ISO 15836:2009 Dublin Core metadata element set, using the framework provided in Part 1 of ISO/IEC 19788-1:2011.

MODS/MADS Editorial Committee and the Library of Congress, MADS Version 2.0 Schema

MADS version 2.0 is the first major revision of MADS since its initial release in 2005. Major changes in this version are: Elimination of dependence on the MODS schema, additional subelements under hierarchicalGeographic and recordInfo, addition of authority URI and value URI for controlled lists, addition of <classification> and <language> elements, addition of an otherType attribute on the <related> for relationship types not enumerated in the schema, and the ability to specify if a subject heading can be subdivided geographically. A complete list of changes is available here. MADS user guidelines are under development and will be made available soon.

W3C Call for Review: WCAG 2.0 Techniques Draft Updates

The W3C Web Accessibility Initiative announces a Call for Review of updates to two supporting documents for Web Content Accessibility Guideline (WCAG) 2.0. This is not an update to WCAG 2.0, which is a stable document. The following draft updates are available for review: Techniques for WCAG 2.0 Editors' Draft and Understanding WCAG 2.0 Editors' Draft. Comments are welcome through August 26, 2011; see Instructions for Commenting on WCAG 2.0 Documents.

W3C Library Linked Data Incubator Group, Draft Final Report

A draft of the report from the W3C Library Linked Data Incubator Group has been made available for public comment. The group was formed "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." This report is a draft of the planned "\state of the art report on the adoption of Linked data principles and perspective in the library domain and related sectors, leading to a clear and agreed view regarding what further standards and guidelines should be developed, and what organization should be set up in order to develop them." Comments can be sent to public-lld@w3.org.

Media Stories

Why is Everyone Talking about Linked Data?
CLIR Issues, Number 81, May/June 2011; by Rachel Frick

Linked open data has been the topic of discussion at many recent meetings within the library community. The Digital Library Federation (DLF) is looking to these meetings and other input to determine where and how the DLF should engage in this topic. One group of invited experts met on May 16-17 at the behest of the Berkman Center, the Open Knowledge Commons and the Institute for Information Law at the University of Amsterdam, discussed how to apply learnings from existing projects to the Digital Library of America initiative, with data interoperability cited as a major benefit. At the International Linked Open Data in Libraries, Archives, and Museums Summit on June 2-3 focused on practical implementations and emphasized reuse opportunities and the added, but necessary, work and costs to libraries. A distinction was made between linked open data (LOD) that is "published" vs. that intended only for use. Reuse raises issues of copyright and licensing; one working session resulted in a draft method for rating linked open cultural metadata according to its openness and usefulness. Also discussed were concerns regarding the "irresponsible use of data" and the necessity to use a risk management approach when sharing linked data. The DLF is encouraging the submission of proposal to the 2011 DLF Forum on LOD and has created a Linked Open Data Interest Group page for ideas about where DLF can effectively engage in this area. (Link to Web Source)

NISO Note: To learn more on the topic of linked data, register for the August 24 NISO/DCMI webinar on International Bibliographic Standards, Linked Data, and the Impact on Library Cataloging. The Digital Library Federation is a program within the Council of Library and Information Resources, a voting member of NISO.

Handheld Libraries 101: Using Mobile Technologies in the Academic Library
Computers in Libraries, 31(6), July/August 2011; by Kate Kosturski and Frank Skornia

Mobile phones had a 61% worldwide penetration rate in 2008 and are expected to surpass personal computer sales by 2012. The largest user base is the 18-29 year olds, which corresponds well to the age of college students. Over 65% of academic libraries indicated in a 2009 Library Journal survey that they had or planned to have services for mobile users. One of the first applications a library could consider is a mobile website that is designed for display on small screens. Another option is a stand-alone library smartphone all or participation of the library in a university-developed app. For phones that aren't "smart," text messaging reference service is easy to implement. An audio or video tour of the library can be offered for MP3 players. Electronic reserves are a good starting place for e-readers if the material can be converted in a readable format. Tablets are expected to be more common in the future as prices drop and could be a preferred device for immersive and interactive digital content. While e-textbooks have not taken off as yet, new readers and tablets with better capabilities for highlighting and annotations could change the appeal of e-textbooks. In considering what mobile services to provide, libraries should observe what devices their patrons use and should keep in mind that convenience is the main benefit. (Link to Web Source)

NISO Note: NISO held a one-day forum in May on Mobile Technologies in Libraries; slide presentations are available for download from the NISO website.

Whither ILL? Wither ILL: The Changing Nature of Resource Sharing for E-Books
Collaborative Librarianship, 3(2), pp. 71-72; by Michael Levine-Clark

ILL is a means to an end (getting books to users quickly and inexpensively) that is not the best means when a book is electronic. Librarians instead should be pushing publishers to make their e-books available through vendors who would manage loans. Consortiums, however, should continue having license agreements to share e-books among their members. Implementing a normal ILL process with e-books can be more costly and time-consuming than if e-book vendors provided loans for a fee. Requesters could be given a link to the e-book "loan" and have the material available to them almost immediately. Ideally, the process could even be unmediated. Factors for success of this approach are: brief loan periods, fees lower than the cost of traditional ILL, availability of titles. Some e-book vendors already offer or are considering such a service. The University of Denver has implemented such loans with EBL. MyiLibrary and OCLC are partnering to offer short-term loans using WorldCat. Title availability is the biggest barrier to replacement of physical ILL and libraries need to work with publishers to get more titles included, for whom this could represent a new revenue stream. (Link to Web Source)

Open Access: Shaking the Basics of Academic Publishing
Online, 35(4), July/August 2011; by Vera Münch

The European Commission's Study of Open Access Publishing (SOAP) reported in February 2011 that some 10% of worldwide scholarly articles now appear in fully or hybrid open access journals. With open access, submission fees replace subscriptions (with additional support from other funding organizations) and the journal is available to readers for free. With journal information freely available, additional software and collaboration tools can be created and made available to researchers. The 2011 Academic Publishing in Europe conference discussed open access, new information tools for research, peer review, supplementary material, new business models, and more. Portland Press has used Utopia Documents to transform the Biochemical Journal into a semantic journal where the scholarly article is linked to related resources, such as data sets, images, or animated models. Mendeley Ltd. utilizes Web 2.0 tags to turn a library of research into a semantic research database. Atyphon Systems' open source WebKit provides discovery, content delivery, and monetization for mobile devices. The LiquidPub project advocates that scientists not publish at all, but freely share their research and supporting materials through a social web framework where usage metrics and citation rankings can substitute for peer review. DataCite is a global research data registration agency that uses Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) as a way to aid in accessing and referencing the deposited data and linking it to articles. eSciDoc is providing an entire infrastructure for a virtual research environment. Commercial publishers have invested heavily in electronic platforms and are also innovating. The closing speaker, Herman P. Spruijt, immediate past president of the International Publishers Association, said that "If an open source environment is seen as the ideal situation, publishers have to ask themselves how they can cooperate. We are still experimenting." (Link to Web Source)

NISO Note: NISO members mentioned in this article are: Thomson Reuters, Elsevier, and CrossRef. NISO's Supplemental Journal Article Materials Working Group is developing recommended practices for dealing with a variety of types of materials that support the research in journal articles.

How the Library of Congress is Building the Twitter Archive
O'Reilly Radar, June 2, 2011; by Audrey Watters

In 2010, Twitter began donating its public tweets to the Library of Congress (LC) for archiving, including such notable items as the first tweet from space. Since then LC has been receiving numerous inquiries about access to the material. LC has been archiving websites and other digital material for years and has petrabytes of data including newspapers and films in its collection. At the time of the donation announcement there were some 50 million tweets daily, but that number is up to 140 million tweets now. Tweets are stored as JSON files with metadata such as date, time, geodata, etc. for each. One issue that LC has encountered is the number of URLs that were shortened in the tweet, which they are now trying to link resolve. The Library is consulting with potential researchers about how they might use the archive so that the necessary infrastructure and search engine can be established. The Library is testing various open source technologies, alone and in combination, such as Hive, ElasticSearch, Pig, and others. A workshop is scheduled for this summer with potential users of the collection to gain more input on access needs. Although access is expected to begin in four to five months, use will be restricted to "known researchers" who have to be approved by the Library before they can access the material. (Link to Web Source)

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