October 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: Barbara Preece (Dean of the Library, California State University, San Marcos, & Vice-Chair, NISO Board of Directors)

E-book Special Interest Group

The E-Book Special Interest Group started in earnest in July and August with formation of a Core group and a Monitor/Observer group. The Core group participated in a kick-off webinar and brainstorming and had subgroup conference calls during the month of August to continue brainstorming issues on more focused topics. The current discussion subgroups cover the following topic areas:

  • Accessibility Issues
  • Discovery tools & Linking
  • Distribution (EPUB, PDF, Web + others)
  • Metadata General (ONIX, MARC, PREMIS, METS, Dublin Dore, PMH, etc)

A webinar for the full group, to report out the topical brainstorming sessions and receive any more feedback before subgroup calls continue in the fall, was held on August 30.

Business Information Topic Committee

Chair: Kathleen Folger (University of Michigan Library)

CORE (Cost of Resource Exchange) Standing CommitteeCORE logo

Chair: Kathy Klemperer (Harrassowitz)
CORE Workroom
CORE Recommended Practice (NISO RP-10-2010)

The CORE Standing Committee is continuing its outreach efforts to promote adoption of the CORE Recommended Practice. A set of FAQs has been posted to the CORE webpage including: General Questions, Librarian Questions, and Systems Developers & Subscription Vendors. The group is developing scenarios to illustrate applications of the CORE protocol.

ERM Data Standards & Best Practices Review Working Group

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

The NISO ERM Data Standards and Best Practices Review Working Group is now entering the final phase of its work, and plans to complete a draft final report, Making Good on the Promise of ERM: A Standards and Best Practices Discussion Paper, for public comment in the fall. Charged in 2009 to "perform a 'gap analysis' regarding ERM-related data, standards, and best practices," the group has been gathering and reviewing the results of ERM-related surveys and internal documents related to ERM workflow, as well as "mapping" the DLF ERMI Data Dictionary to standards and best practices in a range of categories and discussing results of that work.

The categories being focused on, as suggested by Working Group member Rafal Kasprowski in a brief Oct/Nov 2008 ASIST Bulletin article, are: Link Resolvers and Knowledge Bases; The Work, Manifestations, and Access Points; Cost and Usage-Related Data; License Terms and Defining Consensus; and Data Exchange Using Institutional Identifiers. The Working Group plans to endorse many of the standards and best practices that it has reviewed while offering suggestions for how some might be enriched with data elements and/or values from the ERMI Data Dictionary, as well as to explore two topics in somewhat greater depth: finding practical ways to advance license expression and communication within the current environment, and furthering community discussion and development of tools to support ERM workflows.

I2 (Institutional Identifiers) Working Group

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

As reported in previous issues of the Working Group Connection, the NISO I2 initiative and the ISO ISNI (International Standard Name Identifier) standard (ISO 27729) share many common goals, and the I2 Working Group has been 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 has worked to harmonize metadata developed by I2 for institutional identification with the metadata profile in the ISNI standard, and has made formal requests for changes to an ISNI requirement concerning institutions. The I2 group is also continuing to identify organizations within the information supply chain that would work with ISNI as Registration Agencies. For more information on the work with ISNI, see the article in the Summer issue of Information Standards Quarterly by working group member Jody DeRidder: Improving the Information Supply Chain with Standard Institutional Identifiers.

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

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

The PIE-J Working Group is developing a Recommended Practice to provide guidance on the presentation and identification of e-journals, particularly in the area of title presentation and bibliographic history, accurate use of the ISSN, and citation practice. This work is intended to assist publishers, platform providers, abstracting and indexing services, knowledgeable providers, aggregators, and other concerned parties in facilitating online discovery, identification, and access for the publications.

Over the last quarter, the group has been hard at work on the draft recommended practice, even meeting weekly in April in order to finish drafts of the introduction and sections of the guidelines, which were made available to the PIE-J Interest Group list. Comments have been discussed and are now being addressed in revisions. Many parts of the overall draft Recommended Practice are completed, or near completion; current plans are to finalize the draft Recommended Practice in the fall and send it for feedback to the Interest Group and other general lists and contacts. The group has created a "parking lot" of issues that are determined to be out of scope for this project, but which will be referred to the ISO working group that is revising ISO 8, Documentation - Presentation of periodicals, with PIE-J member Regina Reynolds as co-convenor.

Bob Boissy and Regina Reynolds presented on PIE-J on June 4 at the NASIG 26th Annual Conference, and Steve Shadle presented on PIE-J at the ALCTS Continuing Resources Section Standards Update Forum on June 26 at the American Library Association annual conference.

SERU (Shared E-Resource Understanding) Standing Committee SERU logo

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 continues work on revisions to SERU to make it more suitable for use with more types of e-resources. The Committee submitted a draft of the revised SERU to a small list of expert reviewers, and is currently collecting and reviewing their comments. Following the creation of a second draft incorporating these reviewers' recommendations, the Committee will circulate it to SERU Registrants for comment with a target date of early fall. A proposal was submitted to this fall's Charleston Conference for a session to discuss the SERU revisions. The Committee would like to hold several of these sessions at upcoming conferences, and anticipates presenting a final draft of a revised SERU to the Business Information Topic Committee in the spring of 2012.

The Committee was pleased to unveil the new SERU Logo and circulate guidelines this spring. The logo, in multiple formats, is now available on the NISO SERU site for use by registered SERU participants. A table tent incorporating the logo is also posted to the SERU site and is available to registrants for use at conferences. Work on updates to the SERU website continues, with a plan to create a "How To" section with examples, suggestions, and cheat sheets to help publishers and libraries develop their SERU workflows. Greater promotion of SERU to publishers was a frequent request in the survey that went out this past winter, and we hope to begin more aggressive efforts to expand registration in the coming quarter.

Membership in the Committee was expanded by one, as Clint Chamberlain rotated off the committee, Adam Chesler joined us in June, and Linda Wobbe was invited to join us, effective July 2011. We are grateful to Clint for his past participation and continuing enthusiasm, and welcome Adam and Linda.

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)

This Standing Committee provides maintenance and support for ANSI/NISO Z39.93-2007, The Standardized Usage Statistics Harvesting Initiative (SUSHI) Protocol. It further acts as maintenance group for the COUNTER schema by providing recommendations to COUNTER and making changes to the COUNTER XML schemas (as approved by COUNTER).

The new working group on SUSHI Servers is addressing 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. A draft Recommended Practice, Providing a Test Mode for SUSHI Servers (NISO RP-13-201x) has been issued for trial use through January 31, 2012.

Z39.7 Data Dictionary Standing Committee

Chair: Martha Kyrillidou, Association of Research Libraries (ARL)
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, and has been discussing broader issues of measuring library collections, services, and finances.

All changes accepted by the Standing Committee are in the process of being added to the online dictionary in preparation for a ballot by NISO voting members on a new revision of the standard.

Content & Collection Management Topic Committee

Co-chairs: Rice Majors (University of Colorado at Boulder), Julia Blixrud (Association of Research Libraries (ARL))

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 trial use for Part A of the DAISY Revision, the Authoring and Interchange Framework, ends on September 28, 2011. The Working Group will be reviewing any comments received and making any necessary changes to the standard. The final version has to be approved for ballot by both the Working Group and the CCM Topic Committee. A 45-day ballot will then be presented to the NISO Members Voting Pool and, if approved, final certification of the revised standard will need to be made by ANSI prior to publication.

As part of their completion Part A, the Working Group will also make a final decision regarding Part B, Distribution. Discussions have been underway with the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF) regarding the use of their EPUB 3 standard in lieu of developing a separate Part B. The features and functions needed in the DAISY community, such as XHTML for processing and rendering, provision of audio and text synchronization, and integration of text-to-speech markup have been more fully integrated into EPUB 3 and thus it may be able to serve as the distribution format for DAISY-formatted publications.

RFID in Libraries Revision Working Group

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

The Working Group has completed a revision of the 2008 Recommended Practice, RFID in U.S. Libraries (NISO RP-6-2008), to address new developments in international standardization and with RFID implementation in the larger book industry was issued for a public comment period which ended in late June. The Working Group is now reviewing the comments, preparing responses, and finalizing the RP for publication in early fall.

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.

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 spent a considerable amount of time discussing the issue of "other related content," i.e. other content the author wishes to make the reader aware of because it may add to the understanding of the work, or the replication or verification of the results. The author may or may not have been the creator, and the publisher has no responsibility or authority over this content. Because the publisher lacks any authority, no recommended practices are planned to be offered for this type of content, but some suggestions on preservation plans are included in the draft document.

Three subcommittees of the Technical Working Group met regularly over the summer to address the areas of citing and references, archiving and preservation, and packaging and exchange. Two additional subcommittees, for the areas of metadata and accessibility, are still planning to meet—to coordinate with the existing groups it's necessary that they stay "behind" a bit. The expected result of each subcommittee's work is a set of recommended best practices that will form the core of the respective technical working group charge. These could be based on existing standards or protocols, but adapted for Supplemental Materials, and will include a set of recommended metadata elements that can be incorporated into the metadata schema or used for its refinement.

Sasha Schwarzman, co-chair of the Technical Working Group, presented on the work of the groups at Balisage: The Markup Conference in Montreal in August.

Discovery to Delivery Topic Committee

Co-chairs: Robert Walsh (EnvisionWare, Inc.), Tim Shearer (University of North Carolina Chapel Hill Library)

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

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

The ESPReSSO Working Group completed their draft Recommended Practice for improving Single Sign-On (SSO) authentication, which was issued for a 30-day public comment period ending in mid-June. The Working Group is now in the process of reviewing and responding to the comments which were received. The final document is expected to be published this fall, following approval by the D2D Topic Committee.

The ESPReSSO Recommended Practice document recommends practical solutions for improving the success of existing SSO authentication technologies to provide a seamless experience for the user. Specifically, ESPReSSO recommends best practices related to selection of authentication method and transparent flow between the service provider (SP) site and the identity provider (IdP) site during authentication. Recommendations to service providers include the preferred location for login links and input boxes, standard approaches for guiding users to a desired authentication method, where local branding information could be inserted on a webpage, as well as approaches for handling automatic logins. Recommendations to libraries/institutions include display of the login page, branding of the login page, use of a menu page with all available content listed that transfers with automatic login to the selected service provider, and appropriate passing of parameters to the service provider that authenticates the user.

In June, co-chair Harry Kaplanian presented on ESPReSSO at the LITA Standards Interest Group and the NISO Update session at the American Library Association Annual conference in New Orleans; Heather Staines presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Scholarly Publishing in Boston; and Andy Ingham and Dustin MacIver presented at the 26th Annual NASIG Conference in St. Louis.

Improving OpenURL Through Analytics (IOTA) Working Group IOTA: Small changes, Big Improvements

The IOTA (Improving OpenURLs Through Analytics) Working Group is a two-year project to investigate the feasibility of creating industry-wide, transparent and scalable metrics for evaluating and comparing the quality of OpenURL implementations across information providers.

The IOTA Working Group has been actively educating the community about the project and soliciting additional data files for inclusion in its analysis. Rafal Kasprowski presented on IOTA at the NASIG 26th Annual Conference on June 4. The group is planning to develop case studies, with the intention of illustrating practical examples of OpenURL issues that libraries might encounter, and/or illustrating how IOTA works with vendors on OpenURL issues. Also, IOTA and the NISO/UKSG KBART Phase II Working Group have 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.

Technical work also continues to enable better analysis of incoming OpenURLs, and the total number of OpenURLs analyzed now stands at 15,605,582. 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. Available reports 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 Knowledge Bases And Related Tools (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 endorsement framework and associated outreach and education program has been a strong feature of Phase II so far. The last 6 months in particular has seen an increased momentum in publisher and content provider endorsement of the RP. The working group continues to receive files from content providers seeking to be added to the list of endorsers of the KBART Recommended Practice. The most recent endorsers (see June 2011 NISO/UKSG press release) are American Geophysical Union, Bioscientifica, Cambridge University Press, Credo reference, Emerald group Publishing and IEEE. 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 RP is also gaining traction within consortial licenses, most notably within the UK with the JISC/NESLI2 model license where they are including KBART for 2012.

The Working Group continues to work on Phase II recommendations and have made good progress with refinements to the requirements for e-books and conference proceedings. They are embarking on a couple of surveys relating to two other main work packages: open access metadata and consortial metadata where they are now starting to gather requirements. These surveys will be sent out to various lists within the next couple of months. The Working group is also starting to give thought to the topic of sustainability of metadata testing and adoption long term within the national and international landscape.

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 meets monthly by phone to review status of implementations and other general business, and in person twice a year to review ongoing updates to the NCIP protocol as part of the continuous maintenance process. The next in-person meeting will be October 12-13 at the offices of EnvisionWare in suburban Atlanta; the closing date for updates to be submitted for discussion at this meeting was August 1.

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.

An Introduction to NCIP, which provides librarians and other implementers with a basic introduction to NCIP and links to sources of additional information about the standard, is being finalized for publication. The NCIP Implementers Registry continues to grow and is available to libraries as an assessment tool for evaluation of a system's use of NCIP for interoperability with other applications.

New members of the Standing Committee include Randy Cook of the University of Rochester, representing the eXtensible Catalog, and Peter Collins of the University of Pennsylvania, representing the Borrow Direct Partnership.

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 completed its draft Recommended Practice, which was made available for public comment ending on August 21. The Working Group is now reviewing the submitted comments to prepare the Recommended Practice for final publication.

The working group's interest lies in identifying methods for improving performance and reducing the cost of moving materials between a library that owns an item and another library whose patron wants to use the item. The scope of the recommended practice is limited to the external delivery of items between separately administered libraries, although many of the recommendations could apply to delivery between branches of a single library system, as well. In developing the recommendations, the working group recognized that library courier systems operate in various environments without standardized funding mechanisms, geographies, and library participants.

Co-chair Valerie Horton presented Driven to distraction: best practice recommendations on library delivery at the NISO Webinar on Tangible Assets: Management of Physical Library Resources, which took place on August 10. Her slides are included in the webinar event slides PDF.

Potential New Work

Proposed New Work Item: Standards for Digital Bookmarking and Annotation Sharing

Submitted by Peter Brantley, Director, BookServer Project at the Internet Archive, and Nettie Lagace, Associate Director for Programs, NISO, this work item will build on the outcomes of two meetings to be held in October, supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, on the topic of Standards Development for E-Book Annotation Sharing and Social Reading. The goal of the proposed project is to develop a standard syntax for how bookmarks and notes should be located in a digital text, especially in online environments that might be continually updated or mutable.

At present, no standards exist in this space, although some initiatives such as the Open Annotation Collaboration (OAC) have done work in this area. Commercial e-book vendors have bookmarking and annotation services, but their implementations are proprietary, thereby reducing utility for users who obtain content from different sources or on different platforms. During a May 2011 planning meeting organized by NISO and the Internet Archive, participants identified the most critical need to be a syntax specification for how bookmarks and annotations are located in digital books and other scholarly and non-scholarly texts. The potential audience for such a standard is broad, impacting nearly all sectors of online publishing. A standard would be a major element of any major digital book or text distribution platform, such as Amazon's Kindle, Barnes & Noble's Nook, Apple's iPad or other providers of platforms for e-books. Annotation portability is the cornerstone of a large number of social reading experiences, and many media commentary services. Most directly, a standard would enhance the experience of digital book readers interested in bookmarking and annotation support. This standard could also be adopted by scholarly journal publishers and any other party interested in such specific citability and sharing.

Although the ballot to approve this new work item has not yet closed, there are already sufficient favorable votes to anticipate approval. Anyone interested in participating in this effort should contact Nettie Lagace at NISO.

Proposed New Work Item: Standards and Best Practices for Library Discovery Services Based on Indexed Search

Jenny Walker, Consultant, on behalf of Open Discovery Initiative meeting attendees, submitted this proposal to define standards and/or best practices for the new generation of library discovery services that are based on indexed search. These discovery services are primarily based upon indexes derived from journals, e-books and other electronic information of a scholarly nature. The content comes from a range of information providers and products—commercial, open access, institutional, etc. By indexing the content in advance, discovery services have the ability to deliver more sophisticated services with instant performance, compared to the federated search techniques used previously. Libraries increasingly rely on index-based discovery services as their strategic interfaces through which their patrons gain access to the rapidly growing breadth of information that may be available to them. Libraries expect their uniquely licensed and purchased electronic content to be made available within their discovery service of choice. Further, they require comprehensive and clear representation of each category of content in the discovery service. In the realm of electronic material, these discovery services depend on the cooperation of information providers to provide access to metadata, and increasingly also to the full-text of information resources, in order to create effective indexes.

Given the growing interest and activity in the interactions between information providers and discovery services, a group of interested parties met at the ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans on Sunday June 26, 2011 to explore ways to improve the ecosystem of library discovery services. There was general agreement among the majority of those present regarding the need for a standard way for information providers to provide content to discovery service creators, for there to be a consistent vocabulary regarding all the elements involved, that there be clarity in the business rules that apply to the content once indexed, and that there be clear descriptors regarding the extent of indexing performed for each item or collection of content and the level of availability of the content. The group is seeking NISO sponsorship of an effort to develop such a standard or recommended practice.

Although the ballot to approve this new work item has not yet closed, there are already sufficient favorable votes to anticipate approval. Anyone interested in participating in this effort should contact Nettie Lagace at NISO.