Headshot of NISO Managing Director, Todd Carpenter

June 2011

The technology world for e-books is moving extremely rapidly. Over the past year, there has been a furious pace of product launches for new technology and new reading devices. These devices in users' hands have also sent the pace of e-book sales skyrocketing exponentially. According to the most recent IDPF/AAP statistics, e-book sales had increased by more than 145% from March 2010 to March 2011. It also appears, according to data released by the Book Industry Study Group, that this relatively new breed of e-book owners are consistently reading more with their devices than they had in the print world—albeit at lower per-unit costs, which is creating an economic squeeze for publishers. These trends are also having significant impacts on the way that libraries acquire and distribute books to their patrons.

The transition toward digital distribution will have reverberating impacts in a variety of ways and areas. I've mentioned several of these in other Newsline stories. One significant question relating to e-books is that of annotation and referencing of digital texts and other communication forms. This has been a very active space of discussion over the past month, when I participated in two meetings that came at the question from different perspectives. The first meeting was on Data Citation Principles organized by the Institute for Quantitative Social Science at Harvard University. The workshop brought together scientists and information professionals from around the globe to discuss the nature and needs for referencing data in publication and how to share it in the scholarly marketplace. The group is drafting principles for how to cite data, databases, and other non-textual forms in a rapidly changing digital environment. The second meeting, organized by NISO and the Internet Archive (IA) during the BookExpo conference in New York City, was on annotation and sharing of references within e-book environments. This meeting is a prelude to meetings that NISO and IA will host in October on the same topic as well as possible new work on syntax for referencing location in reflowable, digital texts. More information about the results of each of these meetings will be released later this summer.

One of the challenges of standards development in a rapidly changing environment is how to remain relevant without stifling or delaying the market by developing standards either too late to be of use or too soon in a way that blocks innovation and competitiveness. This is a balance that every standards organization has to face. NISO has done a lot to speed the process of consensus in our community; each of the projects out for public review has been in development for less than 30 months. However, we also need to act quickly and nimbly to react to changes in the community. This is part of the rationale behind the E-books SIG announced last month. We expect this group to begin moving forward this month with its mission of monitoring the state-of-the-art in e-books and suggesting areas where coordination, collaboration, and consensus can serve NISO's intersecting communities. There is still time to participate, if you haven't yet indicated your interest. More information is available in the call for participation announcement.

For the fifth year, NISO will be partnering with the Book Industry Study Group to host a free half-day seminar at the American Library Association conference on the Changing Standards Landscape of information distribution. The focus of our session this year will be on e-books and we will look specifically at the lessons that the library and publishing industries have learned and what each community can gain from the experiences of the other. We have a terrific set of speakers lined up, as noted in the article below, and we welcome all to join us.

Of course, this is only part of what NISO will be doing at ALA in New Orleans. The full schedule of standards-related programs is listed on the NISO @ ALA 2011 webpage. It has been a very busy spring and many NISO projects are out for public comment and review or as draft standards for trial use prior to publication. See the article in this issue about the Standards Update we will have at ALA.

NISO staff will be participating in many industry events and discussing a variety of ongoing projects throughout this very busy month of June. We look forward to seeing many of you.


Todd Carpenter’s Signature

Todd Carpenter

Managing Director

NISO Reports

NISO/BISG 5th Annual Forum: The Changing Standards Landscape of E-books

Building on four years of successful co-programming, NISO and the Book Industry Study Group (BISG) will again co-host The Changing Standards Landscape during the 2011 American Library Association Annual Conference in New Orleans, LA on Friday, June 24, 2011 from 12:00 - 4:00 p.m.

This year's FREE program will focus on E-books: Intersections Where Libraries and Publishers Can Learn from Each Other. Electronic books have exploded in the past 18 months and publishing and library communities alike are struggling to deal with the constantly shifting ground. Over the past year, there has been a furious pace of new product launches, new technology, new business models, and new reading devices. These devices in users' hands have sent the pace of e-book sales skyrocketing. In different ways, the world of e-books is causing significant reorientations in both the library and publishing communities. However distinct the two communities seem at times, the issues we face have more in common then we expect.

This program will explore how both the publishing and library communities are facing the new digital marketplace, with a special focus on the standards that underlie the e-book supply chain. Rather than focus on differences and divergent needs, this forum will highlight the commonalities between publishers and libraries and what each group can learn from the other. In this way, we hope to draw out where common approaches can solve communal problems.

Speakers and topics include:

  • Whither E-Books from a Publisher PerspectivePhil Madans, Director, Publishing Standards and Practices, Hachettee Publishing

  • Whither E-Books from a Library PerspectivePeter Brantley, Director of the Bookserver Project, Internet Archive

  • What Publishing & Library Communities Can Learn From Each OtherMichael Cairns, Managing Partner, Information Media Partners

  • Future Issues: The Supply Chain of Trade BooksAngela Bole, Deputy Executive Director, BISG

  • Future Issues: The NISO E-Books Special Interest GroupTodd Carpenter, Managing Director, NISO

An additional speaker on Technology Issues has not yet been confirmed. For more information, visit the event webpage.

If you plan to attend, please register online for this free event for logistics and planning purposes.

This event is sponsored by CrossRef

NISO Standards Update at ALA

NISO will be holding its annual Standards Update session during the ALA Conference on Sunday, June 26, 2011, from 1:30 - 3:30 p.m. Get updates on the three newest NISO recommended practices from a Working Group member of: ESPReSSO (Establishing Suggested Practices Regarding Single Sign-On), RFID in U.S. Libraries, and Physical Delivery of Library Materials. Hear about the forthcoming technical report on ERM Data Standards & Best Practices. Todd Carpenter, NISO Managing Director, will discuss the newly announced E-book Special Interest Group and Nettie Lagace, NISO Associate Director pf Programs, will provide a round-up of all of NISO's remaining initiatives.

This session is free and open to the public. No registration is required. Visit the NISO@ALA Annual 2011 webpage form more information on this session and other standards-related programs at ALA. Stop in and visit us at booth #730.

Revised RFID in Libraries Recommended Practice Available for Public Comment

The draft recommended practice RFID in U.S. Libraries (NISO RP-6-201x) is available for public comment through June 9, 2011. This revision of the 2008 Recommended Practice identifies a set of practices and procedures to ensure interoperability among RFID implementations in U.S. libraries. By following these recommendations, libraries can ensure that an RFID tag in one library can be used seamlessly by another, even if they have different suppliers for tags, hardware, and software.

Since the publication of the original Recommended Practice, there have been new developments with regard to RFID implementation in the larger book industry as well as in other countries. Most importantly, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has published a three-part international standard on RFID in Libraries (ISO 28560) governing the data model and the encoding of data on RFID tags for item management in libraries. The revised NISO Recommended Practice has been updated to reflect changes in technology and security and privacy measures, and to conform to the new ISO standard.

The draft Recommended Practice and an online comment form are available from the RFID Working Group webpage. Libraries, publishers, distributors, system providers, and tag manufacturers are all encouraged to review and comment on the document.

ESPReSSO Recommended Practice on Single Sign-on Authentication Available for Comment

A new recommended practice, ESPReSSO: Establishing Suggested Practices Regarding Single Sign-On (NISO RP-11-201x), is available for public comment through June 22, 2011. ESPReSSO identifies practical solutions for improving the use of single sign-on authentication technologies to ensure a seamless experience for the user.

Currently a hybrid environment of authentication practices exists, including older methods of userid/password, IP authentication, or proxy servers along with newer federated authentication protocols such as Athens and Shibboleth. This recommended practice identifies changes that can be made immediately to improve the authentication experience for the user, even in a hybrid situation, while encouraging both publishers/service providers and libraries to transition to the newer Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML)-based authentication, such as Shibboleth.

The draft Recommended Practice and an online comment form are available from the ESPReSSO Working Group webpage. Publishers and distributors of licensed content as well as licensing organizations, such as libraries, are all encouraged to review and comment on the document.

New on the NISO Website

June Webinar on Semantic Web Rescheduled for Fall

The NISO webinar on Return on Investment (ROI) in Linking the Semantic Web Together has been rescheduled to September 28 from 1:00 to 2:30 p.m. All registrants including those with subscriptions to the webinar series and those who registered for all three DCMI webinars and receive this webinar free will receive e-mail notifications of the new date.

New Specs & Standards

OpenURL Maintenance Agency, Draft Canonical Citation Community Profile and Metadata Format for Public Review and Comment

The proposed metadata format allows for the description of a "canonical citation," which is a citation to a work, or a passage within a work, that is independent of any specific, published edition or translation of the work. These types of citations are called "canonical" because they do not reference a particular edition, but instead use established conventions for citing a work and passages within it. Examples of canonical citations are "Homer, Iliad, 1:125-130," or "Romans 5:19." Canonical citation OpenURLs will support linking capability between a cited passage and various potential services related to that passage, such as multiple electronically accessible versions and/or translations. A Canonical Citation Community Profile for the OpenURL standard is also provided. Comments can be submitted online from the webpages linked above for the format and profile until August 5, 2011. For background information, see the Canonical Citation Linking and OpenURL website.

ARMA International, Call for Participation for New Technical Reports on Social Media and Mobile Communications

ARMA International is initiating two new projects to develop ANSI-registered technical reports. The first project, Using Social Media in Organizations, will offer implementation advice on social media use within the context of accepted records and information management (RIM) best practices and effective governance policy. The second project, Mobile Communications and RIM, will seek to heighten organizations' awareness of records and information management issues pertaining to the use of mobile communications technologies. More information and an application form are available at the ARMA International Standards Development Program Projects In Progress webpage.

BSR/ARMA 19-201x, Policy Design for Managing Electronic Messages, Draft for Comments

This draft standard sets the requirements for managing electronic messages as records and extends to any type of text-based electronic message or communication including email, instant messaging (IM), and text messaging (SMS). It is available for public review from June 3 to July 18. Comments should be sent to standards@armaintl.org. Visit the ARMA International Documents for Public Review webpage after June 3 to download an electronic version of the document

International Digital Publishing Forum, EPUB 3 Proposed Specification Released

EPUB® 3 has been released as a Proposed Specification for final member and public review. EPUB 3 is a major revision of the standard that aligns EPUB with HTML5 and adds support for key emerging requirements including video, audio, interactivity, vertical writing and other global language capabilities, improved accessibility, MathML, and styling and layout enhancements. It is anticipated that EPUB 3 will become a final IDPF Recommended Specification later this summer.

IFLA Working Group on Guidelines for Subject Access by National Bibliographic Agencies, Draft Guidelines for Subject Access in National Bibliographies

These Guidelines were developed to assist National Bibliographic Agencies in designing or re-designing their national bibliographies with respect to subject access. The Guidelines concentrate on online national bibliographies, but also may be applied to printed bibliographies. The guidelines address: users and their requirements, characteristics of indexing tools, recommendations for user-friendly design, treatment for different types of documents, granularity issues, and documentation of indexing policies. Examples of subject access provided by national bibliographic agencies are included. Comments should be sent by July 15, 2011 to Yvonne Jahns.

CEPIC and IPTC, Image Metadata Handbook

The Image Metadata Handbook, commissioned by the Coordination of European Picture Agencies Stock, Press and Heritage (CEPIC) and developed with the International Press Telecommunications Council (IPTC) is a package of PDF documents that includes an image metadata planning guide book, papers on the legal framework for metadata use, quick reference charts on the use of IPTC Core and Extension fields, and an interactive metadata workflow planning tool for selecting IPTC fields for use in various stages of a business workflow.

Media Stories

Linked Data in Libraries
Panlibus, Spring 2011, pp. 16-17; by Sarah Bartlett

Before the Web, the main resource available to identify linkages between texts was the citation index. In both Web 1.0, with search engines and hyperlinks, and Web 2.0, with user tagging and recommendations, linkages between resources are still not sufficiently defined. It is with the next stage, the Semantic Web, where, for example, a Jane Eyre fan could discover that there was a prequel called The Wide Sargasso Sea written by Jean Rhys. RDF coding can be used to specify such relationships between literary texts as: architextuality (e.g. a literary genre), intertextuality (quotations or allusions from one text in another), metatextuality (criticism or commentary), and hypertextuality (e.g. transformation of Homer's Odyssey into Joyce's Ulysses). The relationships defined with RDF do not have to be limited to textual resources. A film could be a transformation of a book. Further links could be to subject headings for the type of literature and related timelines, or other works or fields—even non-literary—that influenced an author's work. The machine-readable relationships can be made available as linked data to be re-used byanyone with an interest in one or more of the linked areas. Librarians can have a role in building some of these linkages and moving the linked data into the mainstream.
(Link to Web Source)

NISO Note: Want to learn more about libraries and linked data? Register for the August 24 NISO/DCMI webinar on International Bibliographic Standards, Linked Data, and the Impact on Library Cataloging. Visit the event webpage for more information and to register.

Library of Congress May Begin Transitioning Away from MARC
Library Journal Academic Newswire, May 26, 2011; by Michael Kelley

Sally McCallum, Chief of the Library of Congress Network Development and MARC Standards Office, lists the recently announced Transforming Our Bibliographic Framework evaluation as a top priority for the Library. Deanna B. Marcum, LC's Associate Librarian for Library Services will be leading the initiative to rethink the role of MARC, determine whether it should be modified or replaced, and consider its relationship with other metadata encoding structures, such as XML or RDF. The replacement of AACR2 with Resource Description and Access (RDA) is also a driving force, since MARC does not easily accommodate the new linked data approach of RDA. The widespread global use of MARC means that the transformation will occur slowly. LC intends to be very sensitive to the cost constraints that libraries will have in evolving from MARC at the same time they are cataloging ever-growing amounts of digital information. Other goals of the project include fostering broader re-use of library metadata, exploring the use of data models such as Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (FRBR), and bringing existing metadata into new bibliographic systems within the broader Library of Congress technical infrastructure. (Link to Web Source)

NISO Note: The Library of Congress is a NISO voting member. See LC's new Bibliographic Framework Transition Initiative website for news and updates on this effort.

JPEG 2000 for Long-term Preservation: JP2 as a Preservation Format
D-Lib Magazine, v. 17, no. 5/6, May/June 2011; by Johan van der Knijff

A number of cultural institutions around the world are using the JP2 format (as defined in JPEG 2000, Part 1, ISO/IEC 2004a) for archiving of digital images. However, ambiguities in the support of ICC profiles and the definition of grid resolution with JP2 can make its use risky for long-term preservation. JP2 uses a concept of restricted ICC profile that includes a limitation to input profiles, which makes color management difficult, if not impossible. A test of converting TIFF images with embedded ICC profiles to JP2 with a variety of JPEG 2000 encoders resulted in JPX files in 3 of 7 cases, a format that is not well-supported by decoders. For the image header field that describes grid resolution, JP2 defines two optional types: capture resolution and default display resolution. It is not clear where the single resolution characteristics field of a TIFF image should be mapped when migrated to JP2 and the tested encoders handled this in three different ways, none of which used capture resolution as described in the JPEG 2000 specification. Long-term solutions to address preservation concerns would be to make changes to the specification to allow the use of ICC display device profiles, expand the definition of capture resolution, and make the default display resolution definition more specific. The cultural heritage community should place more pressure on the software community to make encoders consistently compliant with the standard.
(Link to Web Source)

White Paper: Trends in Licensing
Research Library Issues no. 275, June 2011: 19-24; by Selden Durom Lamoureux and James Stemper

While copyright law recognizes interlibrary loan (ILL), license agreements for electronic content do not always allow ILL or allow it in the same amount as the law. The rights language used by publishers regarding ILL of journal articles is inconsistent and contradictory. For e-books, while many publishers are willing to consider ILL, how that will be managed or tracked is unknown. In many cases, publishers allow ILL of chapters only but the basic lending unit is generally the entire book. Aggregators and e-book platform services have rarely made arrangements for ILL with the publishers of the materials they offer. ARL libraries may want to endorse a strategy that requires inclusion of ILL privileges in their licenses for electronic content. License language could include stating that the license cannot restrict exceptions permitted under copyright law, not restricting ILL to the same country, and allowing direct use of a digital article without printing first (when using an electronic transmission system such as Ariel). Development of international standards on what constitutes a responsible ILL transaction in today's digital environment is recommended. (Link to Web Source)

NISO Note: SERU: A Shared Electronic Resource Understanding Recommended Practice (NISO RP-7-2008) offers an approach for licensing and includes mention of ILL. A revision is underway to expand the use of SERU more explicitly to e-books.

Making Your E-books Accessible
Book Business, May 12, 2011; by Noelle Skodzinski

The London Book Fair session on Making Your E-books Accessible was not about discovery, as the author expected, but about accessibility to the visually impaired, a market opportunity for e-book publishers. Peter Osborne of the Right to Read Alliance would like to see the same books available at the same time and price for the visually impaired as for everyone else. He is a proponent of publishers offering text to speech features in e-books for everyone. He pointed out that less than 5 percent of books are available in accessible formats. Mark Bide of EDItEUR pointed out that all e-books can be large print books with the font sizing capabilities in e-readers. But at the same time problems of reading in bright sunlight make everyone "situationally disabled". The forthcoming EPUB 3 standard will enable greater availability and accessibility for DAISY books. Allistair McNaught of JISC Tech Dis service emphasized the need for freedom of navigation, freedom of display, freedom of access to meaning, and freedom of operation. "When text is set free, readers are set free." Alicia Wise of Elsevier made the case for publishers to support accessibility, especially in trade publishing where 10-15 percent of the customer base has a print disability. She also advocated for text to speech functionality. Sarah Hilderley from EDItEUR reviewed a joint project with the DAISY Consortium to develop guidelines for publishers to integrate accessibility into the production process. She recommended that publishing executives make accessibility a top priority strategy. (Link to Web Source)

NISO Note: A revision of the NISO/DAISY standard (NISO Z39.86-201x), renamed the Authoring and Interchange Framework, is available as a draft standard for trial use through September 28, 2011. Visit the DAISY Revision Working Group webpage to access the draft standard and provide feedback.