April 2011

Working Group Connection is a quarterly supplement to the monthly NISO Newsline e-newsletter, published in January, April, July, and October. Working Group Connection provides the latest news from NISO's working groups and committees. Working Group Connection will keep you up-to-date on the progress of all of the standards and recommended practices in development and maintenance, letting you know both what is new and what is forthcoming.

Architecture Committee

Chair: Bruce Heterick, Vice President, Outreach & Participation Services, JSTOR and Portico (parts of Ithaka), & Vice-Chair, NISO Board of Directors

Ebook Special Interest Group

One outcome of the NISO Architecture Committee meeting at the 2011 ALA Midwinter Meeting was the identification of e-books as an important topic area for NISO's active support, even beyond its current activities. Because this topic cuts across all of the existing Topic Committees, the Architecture Committee has decided to create an E-books Special Interest Group (SIG). Further information and a call for participation will be issued in the next few weeks.

Business Information Topic Committee

CORE (Cost of Resource Exchange) Standing Committee CORE logo

Chair: Ted Koppel (Auto-Graphics, Inc.)
Vice-Chair: Kathy Klemperer (Harrassowitz)
CORE Workroom
CORE Recommended Practice (NISO RP-10-2010)

The CORE Standing Committee has developed a logo (shown above) to assist in outreach efforts. A set of FAQs has been posted to the CORE webpage including: General Questions, Librarian Questions, and Systems Developers & Subscription Vendors. The group is now developing scenarios to illustrate applications of the CORE protocol.

Committee member Bob McQuillan (Innovative Interfaces) made a presentation on CORE at the ER&L Conference 2011. An update is also planned for the ALA Conference in New Orleans.

ERM Data Standards & Best Practices Review Working Group

Co-Chairs: Ivy Anderson (California Digital Library), Tim Jewell (University of Washington)
ERM Review Workroom

The ERM Data Review Working Group is adding narrative descriptions to its mapping of extant standards and best practices to ERMI terms and is analyzing ERM workflow issues through review of 19 workflow flowcharts submitted to the group by seven academic/government libraries and from survey responses pertaining to workflow issues gathered by Maria Collins and Jill Grogg for their Library Journal article "Building a Better ERMS."

The group is focused on drafting Making Good on the Promise of ERM: A Standards and Best Practices Discussion Paper, which is expected to be available in June 2011.

I2 (Institutional Identifiers) Working Group

Co-Chairs: Grace Agnew (Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey), Oliver Pesch (EBSCO Information Services)
I2 Workroom

With the metadata and a comprehensive set of use cases for a standard institutional identifier defined, the I2 working group is now focusing on options for implementation. As reported in the previous issue of the Working Group Connection, the NISO I2 initiative and the ISO ISNI (International Standard Name Identifier) standard share many common goals. The I2 Working Group is actively working with the ISNI International Agency (ISNI-IA)—the organization created to deploy and manage the ISNI—to ensure that the infrastructure ISNI-IA is creating will effectively handle the identification of institutions within the information supply chain. The I2 Working Group is contributing its metadata expertise and is identifying organizations within the information supply chain that would work with ISNI as Registration Agencies. For more information on the work with ISNI refer to the paper Improving the Information Supply Chain with Standard Institutional Identifiers.

PIE-J (Presentation and Identification of E-Journals) Working Group PIE-J: Presentation and Identification of E-Journals

Co-chairs: Cindy Hepfer (University of Buffalo, SUNY), Bob Boissy (Springer)
PIE-J Workroom

The PIE-J group has been working on refining essential terminology and drafting rules and principles for their recommended practice. These rules and principles are what will make up the bulk of the final document. Discussion is underway on whether the rules that are being developed will apply to integrating resources as well as to e-journals (which are continuing resources). Examples of problematic and good practices are still being collected.

Efforts to encourage interested parties to join the PIE-J Interest group e-mail list have resulted in over 100 subscribers. However, the majority of are from libraries, so additional efforts are underway to get more people from publishers and journal platform providers to join the interest group. This group will be asked to review the draft report prior to presenting it for public review and comment.

Bob Boissy and Regina Reynolds have had a proposal accepted to present about PIE-J at the NASIG 26th Annual Conference June 2-5, 2011. The presentation will also discuss the related project that Regina will be chairing to revise the international standard ISO 8, Documentation – Presentation of periodicals.

SERU (Shared E-Resource Understanding) Standing Committee

SERU: Shared E-Resource Understanding

Co-chairs: Judy Luther (Informed Strategies), Selden Lamoureux (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)
SERU Workroom
SERU Recommended Practice (NISO RP--2008)

The SERU standing committee conducted a brief online survey to obtain feedback from people who had indicated an interest in using SERU. Of the 80 respondents, 40.7% had not yet used SERU, 45.7% had used SERU between 1-5 times, 7.4% 5-10 times, 2.5% 10-15 times, and 3.7% more than 15 times. A number of the comments addressed the need for more publicity about SERU and that more publishers needed to be on board.

As a first step in publicizing SERU, a new SERU logo was developed that those in the SERU Registry can use to announce and promote their SERU participation. Publishers and content providers can use the logo to identify products that are available via SERU as described in the SERU Recommended Practice. Libraries and consortia can use the logo to identify that they are SERU participants. Refer to the SERU Logo Guidelines for Use for information on allowable use of the logo.

NISO's February Open Teleconference provided an update on the SERU project. An audio recording is available for download from the NISO website.

The Business Information Topic Committee has approved the Standing Committee's proposal to minimally revise the SERU document in order to allow for easier use with e-books. When SERU was originally developed by the SERU Working Group, the members of that group deliberately chose to focus on subscriptions; the SERU language reflects this. In the two years since SERU was published, several libraries and publishers have successfully used SERU for back-file purchases and e-books. The revision project will update SERU so that it may be more appropriate for use with many types of electronic resources, including e-books. For more information view the SERU revision project proposal.

SUSHI (Standardized Usage Statistics Harvesting Initiative) Standing Committee

Co-chairs: Hana Levay (University of Washington), Oliver Pesch (EBSCO Information Services)
SUSHI Workroom
SUSHI standard (ANSI/NISO Z39.93-2007)

The SUSHI Standing Committee regularly updates the resources available to help support those who are interested in implementing and using SUSHI. The latest updates include a sample XML file for COUNTER release 3.0 Book Report 2 (BR2), available on the SUSHI Reports Registry, and new information on the SUSHI Server Registry for the Irish Newspaper Archives (INA) and Karger Publishing.

The Business Information Topic Committee has approved a new work item proposal for Improving SUSHI Servers Through Enhanced Reporting. This initiative is intended to seek two areas of improvements in SUSHI servers: first, to simplify the testing of SUSHI clients by recommending SUSHI servers adopt a standardized approach for offering test access to their service; and second, to introduce a simple report that allows the SUSHI server to report its status to the client. For more information view the SUSHI Servers project proposal.

The Winter 2011 issue of Information Standards Quarterly contained two articles (available for free download) describing experiences in implementing the SUSHI protocol. Omar Villa (Grupo Integra, Mexico) describes The Client Side Experience and Brinda Shah (H.W. Wilson) discusses The Server Side Experience.

Z39.7 Data Dictionary Standing Committee

Co-chairs: Denise Davis (Sacramento Public Library), Elizabeth Aversa (University of Alabama, School of Library & Information Studies)
Z39.7 Data Dictionary

The Information Services and Use: Metrics & statistics for libraries and information providers – Data Dictionary (ANSI/NISO Z39.7) is an online standard that is continuously maintained. A comment box appears on the webpage for each section of the standard, where users can submit suggested changes. The Standing Committee meets at ALA Midwinter and Annual meetings as needed to discuss any comments received on the standard or new developments that might warrant changes to the Dictionary.

The committee has finished work to integrate the content from the original appendices, "Methods of Measurement" and "Measuring the Use of Electronic Library Services," into the main body of the standard. The online standard is currently being edited to incorporate those changes.

NISO's April Open Teleconference provided an update on the Z39.7 project. An audio recording is available for download from the NISO website.

Content & Collection Management Topic Committee

DAISY Standard Revision Working Group

Co-chairs: George Kerscher (DAISY), Markus Gylling (DAISY)
DAISY Revision Workroom
ANSI/NISO Z39.86-2005, Specifications for the Digital Talking Book
Draft Standard for Trial Use: NISO Z39.86-201x, Authoring and Interchange Framework Specification

The standard for formatting e-books so they are accessible to those with print disabilities, referred to as the DAISY Standard and officially as ANSI/NISO Z39.86-2005 Specifications for the Digital Talking Book (DTB), has been undergoing a major revision to make it more modular and extensible. The revision was planned to be in two parts: the first part to address authoring and interchange, and the second part to address distribution.

Part 1 of the revision, NISO Z39.86-201x, Part A: Authoring and Interchange Framework Specification, has been completed and issued as a draft for trial use through September 28, 2011. This specification defines an XML-based framework with which content producers can represent various types of information in an extensible, standards-compliant way, suitable for the transformation into multiple output formats. Key changes in this draft for trial use revision include:

  • Handling various types of information – While the scope of the original standard was print books, over time it was used for a wide variety of content such as newspapers, magazines, consumer medical information, audio tour guides, conference proceedings, corporate documentation, emergency preparedness, museum exhibits, and more. The new framework addresses this by replacing a single XML language with a framework for the creation of languages, each of which can be custom-tailored for particular content types.

  • Extensibility – As noted above, the new framework is designed as a means for creating custom languages for different purposes, which are referred to as profiles. To encourage the growth and efficient creation of profiles, the framework utilizes smaller, specialized modules that can be reused and combined in different ways.

  • Standards compliance – The Framework, itself a standard, is in turn built on established standards from the W3C and ISO. By using a standardized format, organizations ensure that their content is interoperable and a safe investment for the long term.

  • Supporting multiple output formats – Part A is an authoring format. It does not impose any limitations on what kinds of distribution formats can be created from it. DAISY DTBs, e-text, Braille, and large print are output formats that have already been created within the current DAISY community. Support for new output formats can now be added and implemented as the need arises. This extends the audience for DAISY to content creators who want to distribute their material to a variety of users or in multiple formats.

For Part B, Distribution, the working group is evaluating the IDPF's EPUB 3, issued as a draft standard for trial use on February 14. It appears that the features and functions needed in the DAISY community may be met by this specification. If the working group determines that their requirements are met, they may recommend dropping Part B of Z39.86.

The DAISY Revision Working Group will be providing an update at NISO's May 9 Open Teleconference. There is no cost to join the call; visit the open teleconference webpage for dial-in instructions.

RFID in Libraries Revision Working Group

Co-chairs: Vinod Chachra (VTLS, Inc.), Paul Sevcik (3M Library Systems)
RFID in Libraries Workroom

Since NISO's Recommended Practice RFID in U.S. Libraries (NISO RP-6-2008) was published in 2008, there have been new developments in international standardization and with RFID implementation in the larger book industry. In particular, a new three-part international standard, RFID in Libraries (ISO 28560) was published in March 2011. A revision of the NISO Recommended Practice (RP) was undertaken to address these new developments and to eliminate any ambiguities with the ISO standard. Additionally, the revised RP will recommend which of the two different encoding structures specified in the second and third parts of the international standard is recommended for use in U.S. Libraries.

The Working Group has completed the revision of the RP and will be issuing it for a 30-day public comment period in early May. Following this comment period, any needed changes will be addressed and the revised RP will be published.

A two-part NISO webinar was held in April to provide an overview of RFID in Libraries and discuss the new ISO standard and the forthcoming NISO Recommended Practice. Presentation slides are available online: Part I: RFID Systems in Libraries: An Introduction; Part II: Standards for RFID Systems in Libraries.

Standardized Markup for Journal Articles Working Group (JATS: Journal Article Tag Suite)

Co-chairs: Jeff Beck (National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine), B. Tommie Usdin (Mulberry Technologies, Inc.)
JATS Workroom
JATS Draft Standard for Trial Use

This working group has revised the currently existing (version 3.0) National Library of Medicine (NLM) Journal Archiving and Interchange Tag Suite, to handle outstanding requests and to move the Tag Suite through the NISO standardization process. A draft standard for trial use, NISO Z39.96-201x, JATS: Journal Article Tag Suite, is now available for trial through September 30, 2011. The Tag Suite includes Journal Archiving and Interchange, Journal Publishing, and Article Authoring. In addition to the draft standard, an online commenting form and supporting documentation—including schemas in DTD, RELAX NG, and W3C Schema formats—are available.

The draft for trial use is marked as version 4.0, to follow the previous NLM 3.0 version. Following completion of the trial and any needed changes based on comments received, the final standard will be balloted as version 1.0 of NISO Z39.96. Approval by NISO Voting Members and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) will be required before the final standard is published. The standard will then be continuously maintained by a JATS Standing Committee.

NISO/NFAIS Supplemental Journal Article Materials Project

Business Working Group
Co-chairs: Linda Beebe (American Psychological Association), Marie McVeigh (Thomson Reuters)
Technical Working Group
Co-chairs: Dave Martinsen (American Chemical Society), Sasha Schwarzman (American Geophysical Union)
Supplemental Journal Article Materials Workroom
Roundtable on Best Practices for Supplemental Journal Article Materials (January 2010)

This goal of this joint project with NFAIS is to create a Recommended Practice for publisher inclusion, handling, display, and preservation of supplemental journal article materials. The Business Working Group is addressing the semantic and policy issues related to delivering materials that are supplemental to scholarly journal articles, and the Technical Working Group is focusing on the technical issues.

Three types of supplemental material have been defined:

  • Integral content – critical to understanding the work reported, but technical issues prevent inclusion in the core article

  • Additional content – expansion of the core article with added details and context

  • Other related content – by definition this material is not hosted by the publisher

The Business Working Group is drafting the recommendations for each of these three types in the areas of selecting supplemental content; editing supplemental content; assuring discoverability and findability; referencing, maintaining links, and providing context; sharing data; preserving supplemental materials; and rights management.

The Technical Working Group has completed a draft of metadata elements for describing supplemental material and a draft DTD structure. They are using sample supplemental material to mark up metadata using the DTD to test the metadata scheme. Five task sub-groups were formed to work on specific parts of the charge: metadata, persistent identifers, and granularity of markup; linking mechanisms; archiving, preservation, and forward migration; packaging, exchange, and delivery of supplemental materials; and recommendations around accessibility practices recommended by the Business Working Group.

Discovery to Delivery Topic Committee

ESPReSSO (Establishing Suggested Practices Regarding Single Sign-On) Working Group

Co-chairs: Harry Kaplanian (Serials Solutions), Steven Carmody (Brown University)
ESPReSSO Workroom

The ESPReSSO Working Group is in the final stages of completing their Recommended Practice for improving Single Sign-On (SSO) authentication for the situation where an organization (a company, a campus, a public library, etc.) acquires a license to access specific content, and where the browser user is a member of the group authorized to access that content. The final draft will be issued for a 30-day public comment period.

The final document is expected to include recommendations for:

  • Service providers including their open page, identity discovery page, protected page, and on attribute-based authentication

  • Libraries/institutions including their login page and menu page

  • Role of the proxy server in supporting a hybrid environment

  • Rewriting OpenURLs

  • Appropriate use of branding

  • Federated search applications

  • Web-scale discovery services

The Winter 2011 issue of Information Standards Quarterly contains an article (available for free download) by working group members Heather Ruland Staines, Harry Kaplanian, and Kristine Ferry on Establishing Suggested Practices Regarding Single Sign On (ESPReSSO) Working Group.

NISO's March Open Teleconference provided an update on the Supplemental Journal Articles project. An audio recording is available for download from the NISO website.

IOTA Working Group

IOTA: Small changes, Big Improvements

Chair: Adam Chandler (Cornell University)
IOTA Workroom
IOTA Website including blog and analytic log files
Follow on Twitter: @nisoiota

Oversight of the IOTA Working Group was moved from the Business Information Topic Committee to Discovery to Delivery to provide better linkage with other groups, such as KBART, that are working on streamlining access through link resolvers. IOTA and the NISO/UKSG KBART Phase II Working Group have already had discussions about potential collaboration on link-to syntax that couples link resolvers to content providers. Link-to syntax issues are estimated to be the cause of one-third of OpenURL failures.

The IOTA Working Group has been actively educating the community about the project and soliciting additional data files. Chair Adam Chandler provided an overview of the project and demonstrated the reports that can be run from the existing IOTA database of log files. The February issue of Against the Grain included an article by Adam on NISO IOTA: Improving Open URLs Through Analytics, in Context. This was followed in the March/April 2011 issue of D-Lib with an article by Adam and co-authors Glen Wiley and Jim LeBlanc, Towards Transparent and Scalable OpenURL Quality Metrics, that discussed the Cornell project that led to the formation of the NISO IOTA Working Group. A presentation about IOTA was also made by Rafal Kasprowski at the UKSG 2011 Conference and Exhibition and the group has a presentation slotted for the NASIG 26th Annual Conference on June 2-5, 2011.

All the publicity about IOTA must be working: 25 million additional records were added on April 22 including data from the newest provider, McGill University Library, bringing the total of OpenURLs analyzed to 13,310,607.

If you are willing to share your data to help with this project, please contact Adam Chandler. All personal information is scrubbed from the data, and you will be able to use the IOTA site to analyze and compare your own results against others' data. Reports available show elements that are showing up in OpenURLs, patterns of elements that are showing up in OpenURLs, and frequency with which OpenURL elements show up in OpenURLs from source databases and source vendors.

NISO/UKSG KBART Phase 2 Working Group

KBART logo

Co-chairs: Andreas Biedenbach (Springer Science+Business Media), Sarah Pearson (University of Birmingham)
Contact KBART Chairs for endorsement approval
KBART Workroom (NISO)
KBART Website (UKSG)

The NISO/UKSG KBART Phase II Working Group is tasked with providing support for the Phase I Recommended Practice, NISO RP-9-2010, KBART: Knowledge Bases and Related Tools, as well as developing a second recommended practice to build on the recommendations of the first publication.

The group continues to receive files from content providers seeking to be added to the list of endorsers of the KBART Recommended Practice. The newest endorsers are the American Psychological Association, Edinburgh University Press, and the Scitation® platform, which delivers metadata on behalf of 28 society publishers. (See the press release for the full list of publishers.) Contact information for the endorsers can be found on the KBART Registry, which also includes knowledge base provider contacts for publishers that have not yet fully endorsed KBART.

The Working Group recently held a focus group at the UKSG Annual Conference (4-6 April) where publishers, intermediaries, and libraries discussed the issues surrounding supply of consortial metadata to knowledge bases and the requirements that the community has. This will feed into the Phase II Recommended Practice. The group will also be speaking at the upcoming SSP Conference in June.

NCIP (NISO Circulation Interchange Protocol) Standing Committee

Chair: Mike Dicus (Ex Libris)
Maintenance Agency: EnvisionWare (contact: Rob Walsh)
NCIP Workroom
NCIP Maintenance Agency

The NCIP Standing Committee met in mid-April and approved several updates to the NCIP protocol, which were aimed primarily at correcting defects identified in the standard and ensuring that the standard and the NCIP schema agree with one another. The group also began discussion on a proposal to add a new service to the standard that would facilitate interoperability between library systems and discovery tools. This new service would allow applications to request detailed item information—including availability—for a set of item records. Action on this proposal will be held at the Committee's next in-person meeting in Fall 2011.

The group has drafted a support document, Introduction to NCIP, which will provide librarians and other implementers with a basic introduction to NCIP and links to sources of additional information about the standard. Implementation of NCIP continues to grow, with several implementations of Version 2 underway. NCIP has been shown to both reduce staff time and speed up the delivery of materials—thus the continued call for the use of NCIP for resource sharing and self-service applications.

The Committee also worked on recommended language to be included in a forthcoming revision of The RFP Writer's Guide to Standards for Library Systems. The Committee recommends that libraries use the NCIP Implementers Registry, released late 2010, as an assessment tool, along with vendors' responses to RFP questions when evaluating a system's use of NCIP for interoperability with other applications.

An informal gathering will be held at the ALA Annual conference in New Orleans for NCIP system customers and anyone interested in the standard. The social will begin at 5:30 pm on Sunday, June 26, at the bar at the Marriott Convention Center (across the street from the New Orleans Morial Convention Center). Mark your calendars and join others interested in NCIP.

Physical Delivery of Library Resources Working Group

Co-chairs: Valerie Horton (Colorado Library Consortium), Diane Sachs-Silveira (Tampa Bay Library Consortium)
Physical Delivery Workroom

The NISO Physical Delivery of Library Resources Working Group is in the final stages of completing their recommended practice that is expected to cover:

  • Managing a delivery system, including governing body and governance structure, recordkeeping guidelines, contracting with delivery service suppliers, delivery policies, delivery reduction, direct delivery to patrons, and international delivery

  • Automation including automated materials handling systems (AMHS) and courier management systems

  • The Physical Move including item labeling, item packaging and package labeling, transportation containers, transporting, and package tracking

The scope of their document is limited to the external delivery of items between separately administered libraries, though many recommendations could apply to delivery between branches of a single library system, as well.

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