Headshot of NISO Managing Director, Todd Carpenter

September 2011

E-books have been on everyone's mind over the past year and there are certainly enough issues to maintain people's attention for the next several years at least. That might be the minimum amount of time necessary to work through all of the challenges e-books are presenting us with. Earlier this summer, NISO organized an E-book Special Interest Group, which has pulled together experts and interested community members from libraries and publishers to software providers and service companies. The purpose of the group is to develop better coordination and collaboration in the space of e-books, to research e-book needs and trends, to incubate new standards activities, and to educate the community about these areas of work. The E-book SIG began with brainstorming sessions focused in four areas that were determined by a poll of the group's participants. Those areas are discovery services, distribution methods, metadata, and accessibility. Subgroups have been identified to focus on each of these topics. Each subgroup met virtually in August as did both the core and monitoring groups. A lot of great ideas were exchanged and there is a wealth of opportunity for new work coming out of these groups.

It is by no means too late to engage in the E-book SIG or any of the subgroups. We encourage participation either on a monitoring level or at a more active core level from all members in our community, regardless of NISO membership status. The groups are seeking to be as broad and diverse as possible, especially in these early brainstorming stages. The brainstorming will continue both during group calls and through discussion lists and other online forums. The group also decided on a bias toward openness and therefore all of the call recordings and notes related to this work will be publicly available to the broader community. You can follow their activities on the E-book SIG webpage.

We are also continuing work in other existing NISO initiatives related to e-books. The revision to the DAISY Authoring and Interchange Format is currently a draft for trial use through September 28. Also, NISO has received a proposal that is currently out to member ballot on annotation of reflowable texts. This project is associated with the Mellon Foundation Grant NISO received to hold two workshops on Annotation Sharing in October. There is still space to participate in those meetings.

Finally, we have a great program lined up for the NISO Views of the E-book Renaissance forum in Baltimore on October 24-25. I encourage you all to explore the program and consider joining us.

We have a very full line-up of educational programs through the end of the year on topics ranging from preservation to supplemental data, discovery tools, RDA, vocabularies, and assessment metrics. Check our 2011 education webpage for topics of interest to you and your organization.

Welcome back from the summer and join us in jumping right into a very busy fall!

Todd Carpenter’s Signature

Todd Carpenter

Managing Director

NISO Reports

September 14 Webinar: Discoverable, Available, Accessible: Preserving Digital Content

As more and more artifacts of our cultural heritage and scholarly work product become digitally created and disseminated, long-term preservation becomes increasingly challenging for archives, libraries and other memory organizations. To help these institutions fulfill their mission, software manufacturers and service providers have developed specialized digital preservation solutions for a variety of scholarly and cultural materials.

NISO's September 14 webinar, Discoverable, Available, Accessible: Preserving Digital Content, will review current standards and best practices for assuring the authenticity, findability, accessibility and usability of digital content and some of the solutions that use them.

Topics and speakers are:

  • Standards in the World of PreservationAmy Kirchhoff (Archive Service Product Manager, Portico) will provide an overview of preservation-related standards, and discuss the need for these and the role they play in ensuring digital materials remain available and usable.

  • Rosetta, a Digital Preservation SystemIdo Peled (Rosetta Product Manager, Ex Libris) will discuss the role of digital preservation as part of the digital library, the differences between preservation solutions and institutional repositories, and how to create a sustainable digital preservation model using the Ex Libris Rosetta digital preservation solution.

  • CRL Assessment and Evaluation of Digital RepositoriesMarie-Elise Waltz (Special Projects Librarian, Center for Research Libraries) will discuss CRL's repository auditing and certification work. She will review the need for standards in digital repositories and the effect audits have on repository activities. She will also discuss her work with the group responsible for the new ISO standard, ISO 16363, Trusted Digital Repository Checklist.

NISO and NASIG members can register at the member rate. There is also a student discount. Can't make it for the live webinar date? Registrants get access to the recorded version for one year. For more information or to register, visit the event webpage.

This webinar is sponsored by CrossRef

September 28 Webinar: Return on Investment (ROI) in Linking the Semantic Web

The much-heralded Semantic Web is enabled by an ability for machines to process webpages and certain data intelligently and perform better tasks on behalf of end users. Material is linked together through machine-readable statements of relationships among ideas, people, events, and places. Linked data examples are beginning to abound in the scholarly information environment, appearing from both publishers and libraries. NISO's September 28 webinar Return on Investment (ROI) in Linking the Semantic Web will showcase several such examples. Presenters will describe their motivations for investment in such projects and discuss interfaces and other early outcomes.

NISO and NASIG members can register at the member rate. There is also a student discount. Registrants to all three of the 2011 NISO/DCMI webinars can attend this webinar free of charge. Can't make it for the live webinar date? Registrants get access to the recorded version for one year. For more information or to register, visit the event webpage.

This webinar is sponsored by CrossRef

Two-part October Webinar: Managing Data for Scholarly Communication

The data sets that are created as part of scholarly research have become a hot topic with respect to how they can be managed and shared in today's electronic and networked environment. There are many initiatives underway in various domains that are developing standards or best practices for data sets. NISO's two-part webinar in October on Managing Data for Scholarly Communication will review several of the initiatives underway to make data sets more accessible.

Part 1 to be held on October 12 will focus on the inclusion of Supplemental Data in the scholarly publication process. While online environments create new opportunities for sharing such data, publishers and users are faced with challenges for the management, discovery, and resources required to support supplemental data. This part of the webinar will address the definition of supplemental data, discuss how it may affect the peer review and publication process, and show examples and viewpoints of how various parties are working toward implementation methods.

Part 2 to be held on October 19 addresses the Technical Management issues of dealing with data set repositories. The explosion of data creation across all scholarly disciplines necessitates corresponding efforts to create new solutions for its management and use. Ever-growing repositories and datasets within require organization, identification, description, publication, discovery, citation, preservation, and curation to allow these materials to realize their potential in support of data-driven, often interdisciplinary research. This part of the webinar will answer question about what infrastructures and technical environments are required for this work; how new approaches, specifications, standards, and best practices be created; and what partnerships and collaborations exist or can be pursued.

You may register for either or both parts of the webinar; registrants to both part of the webinar receive a 25% discount. NISO and NASIG members can register at the member rate. There is also a student discount. Can't make it for the live webinar date? Registrants get access to the recorded version for one year. For more information and to register, visit the event webpages:
Part 1: Supplemental Data
Part 2: Technical Management

NISO Forum: The E-Book Renaissance – Early Bird Rates Through October 12

Be sure to register by October 12 to get the early bird discount for NISO's forum The E-Book Renaissance: Exploring the Possibilities Exposed by Digital Books, to be held October 24-25, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland.

Topics include opening and closing keynotes; panel discussions on publisher and content provider issues and from vendors and platform providers; discussion of libraries, librarians, and e-books; presentations on users, patrons, and devices in the hands of users; a review of e-book standards; roundtable discussions on topics from the new NISO E-book Special Interest Group; and an Ask Anything session for attendees.

Don't miss the chance to participate in this community discussion for advancing e-book development and support. Additional discounts are available to NISO members and students. For more information and to register, visit the event webpage.

This forum is sponsored by Bowker

NISO to Co-Sponsor THATCamp Publishing! Unconference

In conjunction with the 2011 Digital Library Federation Forum, the Digital Library Federation, NISO, MPublishing, the New York University Libraries, the Penn State University Libraries, and PressForward will co-sponsor a THATCamp Publishing Unconference on Sunday, October 30, 2011 at the Hyatt Regency in Baltimore, Maryland.

An unconference means that there will be no presentations apart from a few educational workshops. We'll all set the schedule together by talking about it beforehand on the blog and by brainstorming and voting in the first session on 10/30. The chief topic will be new forms of scholarly and trade publishing, especially (but not exclusively) as facilitated by academic libraries and university presses.

Only the first 75 registrants can attend; anyone who registers after that will be placed on a wait list in case of cancellations. For more information and to register, visit the THATCamp Publishing website.

New Specs & Standards

OpenURL Canonical Citation Community Profile and Metadata Format

The OpenURL Maintenance Agency has approved a Canonical Citation Community Profile and Metadata Format for use with the NISO standard The OpenURL Framework for Context-Sensitive Services (ANSI/NISO Z39.88-2004). The Canonical Citation Community Profile defines the method for using the OpenURL framework to link canonical citations-citations to a work or passage within a work that is independent of any specific published edition or translation of the work-with various information services. Examples of canonical citations are: Homer, Iliad, 1:125-130, or Romans 5:19.

ISO 25964-1:2011, Information and documentation — Thesauri and interoperability with other vocabularies — Part 1: Thesauri for information retrieval

This new standard revises and replaces ISO 2788:1986 on monolingual thesauri and ISO 5964:1985 on multilingual thesauri. ISO 25964-1:2011 gives recommendations for the development and maintenance of thesauri intended for information retrieval applications. It is applicable to vocabularies used for retrieving information about all types of information resources, irrespective of the media used (text, sound, still or moving image, physical object or multimedia) including knowledge bases and portals, bibliographic databases, text, museum or multimedia collections, and the items within them. It also provides a data model and recommended format for the import and export of thesaurus data. For more information including a schema and schema documentation, visit the project webpage.

ISO 15511:2011, Information and documentation — International standard identifier for libraries and related organizations (ISIL)

ISO 15511:2011 specifies the International Standard identifier for libraries and related organizations (ISIL), which comprises a set of standard identifiers used for the unique identification of libraries, archives, museums, and related organizations with a minimum impact on already existing systems. This third edition comprises principally editorial changes and does not introduce significant technical modifications to the document's normative elements.

ISO/TR 23081-3:2011, Information and documentation — Managing metadata for records — Part 3: Self-assessment method

This new technical report provides guidance on conducting a self-assessment on records metadata in relation to the creation, capture, and control of records. Such a self-assessment helps to: identify the current state of metadata capture and management in or across organizations; identify priorities of what to work on and when; identify key requirements from ISO 23081-1:2006 and ISO 23081-2:2009; evaluate progress in the development of a metadata framework for the implementation of specific systems and projects; and evaluate system and project readiness (move to the next phase in a system or project) when including records metadata functionality in a system. A records metadata readiness evaluation is provided for key steps from project inception through to the implementation/maintenance phase.

ISO/IEC 40210:2011, Information technology — W3C SOAP Version 1.2 Part 1: Messaging Framework (Second Edition)

SOAP Version 1.2 (SOAP) is a lightweight protocol intended for exchanging structured information in a decentralized, distributed environment. It uses XML technologies to define an extensible messaging framework providing a message construct that can be exchanged over a variety of underlying protocols. The SOAP messaging framework defined in ISO/IEC 40210:2011 is designed to be independent of any particular programming model and other implementation specific semantics. Related standards published simultaneously are: ISO/IEC 40220:2011, Information technology — W3C SOAP Version 1.2 Part 2: Adjuncts (Second Edition); ISO/IEC 40230:2011, Information technology — W3C SOAP Message Transmission Optimization Mechanism; ISO/IEC 40240:2011, Information technology — W3C Web Services Addressing 1.0 — Core; ISO/IEC 40250:2011, Information technology — W3C Web Services Addressing 1.0 — SOAP Binding; ISO/IEC 40260:2011, Information technology — W3C Web Services Addressing 1.0 — Metadata; ISO/IEC 40270:2011, Information technology — W3C Web Services Policy 1.5 — Framework; and ISO/IEC 40280:2011, Information technology — W3C Web Services Policy 1.5 — Attachment.

ISO/IEC 24800-5:2011, Information technology — JPSearch — Part 5: Data interchange format between image repositories

First edition of the standard that specifies a data interchange format for the exchange of image collections and respective metadata between ISO/IEC 24800 (JPSearch) compliant repositories. It enables the synchronization of repositories across different devices and platforms by providing an easy and reliable data transfer mechanism. In particular, it provides exchange of data between JPSearch repositories on different devices and platforms; consolidation of metadata generated on different systems; transferral of data to a newer and better system; consolidation of selected data to a centralized repository; and archive of data in a format which will survive current products.

Media Stories

NISO Z39.96 The Journal Article Tag Suite (JATS): What Happened to the NLM DTDs?
The Journal of Electronic Publishing, v. 14, no. 1, August 2011; by Jeffrey Beck

The original intent of the PubMed Central project was to make full-text articles available through the database, which required a standard scalable format for article submittal. The original SGML Data Type Definition (DTD) was modified based on a study done by Inera for the Harvard University Library E-Journal Archiving Project and then evolved into a set of standard XML elements and attributes that became version 1 of the National Library of Medicine (NLM) Archiving and Interchange Tag Suite in 2003. The Tag Suite DTDs became the submittal format for PubMed. Version 2.0, was released in 2004, and while a major update, it was still backwards compatible with version 1.0. Portico, the e-journal archive that was an outgrowth of the Harvard Project was also using the Tag Suite. However, while PubMed was most interested in optimizing files for publication, Portico was most interested in long-term archiving. Additionally, requests were being made for conversion optimizations and for content creation. Version 2.1 moved both the archiving and publishing towards more conversion optimization and added a new Article Authoring model. Both the British Library and the U.S. Library of Congress expressed interest in using the NLM Tag Suite for journal article archiving if it became a formal NISO-registered standard. In 2009, a NISO Working Group was launched to create both version 3 of the Tag Suite and a consensus standard. Certain changes incorporated in this version meant that it would be the first version that was not backwards compatible. A draft standard for trial use, NISO Z39.96x, JATS: Journal Article Tag Suite, was released on March 30, 2011. "The standard describes a set of XML elements and attributes that can be used to build journal article models and three article models or Tag Sets: the Archiving and Interchange Tag Set, the Journal Publishing Tag Set, and the Article Authoring Tag Set" and is available for public comment until September 30, 2011. The standard when published will be referred to as JATS version 1.0. NLM will continue to maintain the supporting documents for the standard as well as retaining all the earlier version documentation and schemas. PubMed will begin using the new version following publication of the standard, but the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) is actively testing the new version. The JATS Working Group will move into a maintenance mode once the standard is published to continue supporting the community. (Link to Web Source)

NISO Note: For more information on the JATS draft standard, visit the Working Group's webpage. The National Library of Medicine and the Library of Congress are NISO voting members. The British Library is a NISO Library Standards Alliance member. Also in this same issue of The Journal of Electronic Publishing is Todd Carpenter's article on The Value of Standards in Electronic Content Distribution: Reflections on the Adoption of NISO Standards.

How the W3C Has Come To Love Library Linked Data
Library Journal.com, Aug 31, 2011; by Michael Kelley

The W3C Library Linked Data Incubator Group will be issuing their final report in September on how Semantic Web linked data technologies can be used by libraries to publish metadata and interoperate with other applications on the web. Librarians are beginning to realize the importance of moving their information out of "library silos" into the "linked data cloud." Stuart Weibel, formerly at OCLC, cites WorldCat as an example of "webulating" library catalogs. But that approach is not sufficient to move libraries into the web mainstream that does not use the MARC or Z39.50 library standards. To fully utilize web protocols, library data needs to be reformatted into linked data formats such as the Resource Description Framework (RDF). Enabling this is the mission of the W3C's Library Linked Data Incubator Group. Tom Baker, a cochair of the group and the chief information officer of the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative (DCMI) wants libraries to move out of the shadows and be able to compete with web search services. Karen Coyle, a member of the group emphasizes that W3C commissioning such a report shows the interest in the web community in library data. Among the recommendations in the draft of the report are the use of URIs as identifiers for resources, library data standards that are compatible with linked data, discussion on rights agreements for open data, and utilizing library authority files and quality controls in linked data initiatives. The W3C's and IETF's adoption of SKOS illustrates the merger of interests with libraries in the area of controlled vocabularies. A number of projects are already experimenting with library linked data and a Comprehensive Knowledge Archive Network (CKAN) is collecting information on such datasets. The W3C report will also include a listing of vocabularies, metadata element sets, technologies, and case studies. Vendors such as Ex Libris are designing their new library systems to support the library linked data model, but there are a number of barriers that still remain before the model can be widely adopted by libraries or vendors. Projects such as schema.org from Yahoo, Google, and Bing may help encourage the linked data movement, but may not address the more scholarly needs of libraries and their constituencies. There is also concern that schema.org is moving away from the open RDFa standard. (Link to Web Source)

NISO Note: NISO members mentioned in this article: the American Library Association, Ex Libris, the Library of Congress, the National Library of Medicine, OCLC, and the British Library.

Does Access Create New Types of Scarcity?
The Scholarly Kitchen [blog], Aug 31, 2011; by Kent Anderson

Open access advocates and others seeking ways to make more content free (e.g. through ad revenues and other models) are all working from the premise that the payment barrier to access is what is keeping information away from a larger audience. An article by Maria Popova of the Nieman Journalism Lab argues that the abundance of information has actually created "new types of scarcity – a scarcity of motivation, a scarcity (via obscurity) of rare items, and a relative scarcity of useful curators and guides." Accessibility, the aspect focused on with free open access journals, is different from actual access. "Abundance and accessibility actually demotivate exploration." When you know something is accessible and even have bookmarks or citation managers that can keep track of its location, people appear to be less likely to actually access it. Search engines with their ranked results tend to steer people towards general resources like Wikipedia and away from less popular, more obscure information that might be more valuable. "The asymmetry of search engine algorithms makes the rare even rarer." Popova provided examples of some little-accessed information that suddenly became more accessed (although not changed in its accessibility) after a curator pointed them out. Unfortunately, we don't currently have an economic model that pays someone to sift through everything published, highlight the best, and explain why they are important. (Link to Web Source)

Librarians at University of Minnesota Make an Impact with Data Management Program
Library Journal.com, August 8, 2011; by Michael Kelley

The University of Minnesota Library is helping their researchers with their digital data through their "Managing Your Data" program. Motivated by the National Science Foundation's 2010 announcement requiring a data management plan to be included in all grant proposals, librarians established the program to work with faculty on development of their data plans. A 2009 study showed that almost half of the researchers were not properly securing their data and over a quarter had lost some data. Workshops for researchers, which include the relevant subject librarian, review data sharing, preservation, and archiving best practices. Researchers who attend receive a continuing education credit. Librarians gain knowledge about e-science issues and get to engage directly with researchers. Online videos and slide presentations are also available in addition to the in-person workshops and librarians also meet individually with faculty to review specific data management plans. Researchers are encouraged to use the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy or other discipline-specific repositories to ensure long-term preservation of their data. The Managing Your Data program is part of an overall plan to better link the library's services with faculty and researchers' needs, an area that is now highlighted on the library's webpage. (Link to Web Source)

NISO Note: To learn more about standards, best practices, and initiatives for managing research data, attend NISO's two-part October webinar: Managing Data for Scholarly Communications.

SDOs 'Battling' For Cloud Supremacy?
Network Computing, August 08, 2011; by Steve Wexler

Numerous standards development organizations are developing standards and practices for cloud computing. The Open Cloud Initiative is the latest with their publication of Open Cloud Principles. The Open Data Center Alliance issued a set of proposed standards in June. Shortly before that, the Clouds Standards Customer Council (CSCC) announced a Cloud Computing guide development project. In April, a coalition of technology companies announced a server standard—OpenStack Compute— and a storage standard—OpenStack Object Storage. IEEE has a Cloud Computing Initiative with two standards in the development pipeline and the TM Forum produced an Infrastructure as a Service requirements document. There is some controversy over whether some of the initiatives are too industry-led, such as the CSCC. However, the CSCC says they are working with a dozen different standards organizations, including the Object Management Group, and do not develop standards themselves (despite the organization's name). The Open Virtualization (OVF) standard was highlighted as one well-tested standard for cloud computing. (Link to Web Source)