Identifying people and things is an inherently difficult activity. The first challenge is to distinguish that this one thing or person is different from all others. The second thing we often want to do is to define and describe those distinguishing characteristics. Frequently, once those exercises are done, we often want to classify those people or entities into different groups. Of course, the world isn't easily distinguishable and the process is complicated by lack of agreement on the distinguishing characteristics, close similarity between things or people, or even intentional clouding of reality, such as in the use of pseudonyms. Often with people, there are many similarities, such as duplicate names, vocations, or interests that make separation difficult. With institutions, it can sometimes be hard to tell where one ends and another begins and then to describe the overlapping entities that populate our world. Further complicating this is the need for privacy and the concerns about how widely to share this information, some of which the people or entities aren't necessarily keen on sharing.
There are several projects that have been undertaken in our community to address these challenges. The most prominent of these is the Open Researcher & Contributor ID (ORCID) project, which has grown rapidly since its organization in late 2009. ORCID is now a non-profit corporation, which recently announced more than 300 organizations have agreed to participate and support the ORCID principles. That organization has made tremendous progress toward establishing a system for scholarly identity based on individually asserted information.
The Coalition for Networked Information (CNI) just announced it would be hosting a workshop on Scholarly Identity, just following its own spring meeting in Baltimore. As described in its announcement, "the purpose of this workshop is to understand and coordinate developments in historically independent spheres that involve the management of authorial identity, publication histories, and other parts of academic." There are a variety of issues and initiatives underway in our community and NISO has been engaged in a few. We look forward to this discussion and to the work of CNI to help support the coordination so desperately needed on this topic.
Related to this, the International Standard Name Identifier (ISNI) standard (ISO 27729) is expected to be published later this month. ISNI is designed to aggregate and unambiguously identify the public identities of parties involved in content creation. A consortium of library organizations and a variety of rights and media organizations are leading this initiative. Building on the VIAF project and existing repositories of rights data, the ISNI system has already gathered information on several million names of contributors, authors, and content creators.
Following the publication of the ISNI, the Institutional Identifier (I²) project within NISO will also release its final report that will recommend the use of the ISNI system as the basis for institutional identification. Coordination between the I² working group and the ISNI International Agency led to an extension of the ISNI metadata structure to include the metadata elements that I² developed for describing institutions. Discussions are underway toward identifying one or more Registration Agencies to be appointed by the ISNI International Agency for assignment and maintenance of institutional information.
There is potential opportunity of tying these different registries together to provide open linked data that will support discovery and integration of information. However, the extended applications of these systems will require subsequent conversations and agreements. Where we need to focus attention now is getting the infrastructure of the ORCID and ISNI systems up and running and promoting participation. The next several months will be exciting indeed as we can begin to savor the fruits of several years work.
New Specs & Standards
March Two-Part Webinar: Understanding Critical Elements of E-books
NISO is holding a two-part webinar in March on Understanding Critical Elements of E-books. Each part is independent; you can register for either one or both. Get a 25% discount if you register for both parts.
A critical element of the e-book marketplace is a common file structure that is agreed upon between content creators and the supply chain, and works with multiple reader technologies. In Part 1, Putting Electronic Books into a Package, to be held on March 14, 2012, learn about the newly released EPUB 3 specification and the W3C HTML 5 specification, which EPUB 3 builds on, and how these standards can be used to create rich, cross-platform e-books.
Part 1 topics and speakers:
With more and more publications being issued in electronic format, how do users find what is available? In Part 2 of the webinar, Find That E-book—or Not: How Metadata Matters, learn what metadata is crucial for making e-books discoverable and about the key standards used in the metadata supply chain to ensure the discovery and delivery of the titles users will want to buy and read.
Part 2 topics and speakers:
Both webinars are held from 1:00 - 2:30 p.m. Eastern Time. Registration is per site (access for one computer) and closes at 12:00 p.m. Eastern on March 14, 2012 for Part 1 and March 21, 2012 for Part 2. Discounts are available for NISO and NASIG members and students. All registrants to both parts receive a 25% discount. Can't make it on the webinar date/time? Register now and gain access to the recorded archive for one year.
April Webinar: What to Expect When You're Expecting a Platform Change: Perspectives from a Publisher and a Librarian
In recent months, information providers have released a range of modifications to many abstracting and full text journal platforms. Whether an update to its look and feel or a radical restructuring of its search, browse, and full text features, any successful change to a familiar interface requires communication, tolerance, and understanding among the affected information provider, publisher(s), and library customers.
Join NISO on April 11, 2012 from 1:00 to 2:30 p.m. Eastern for the webinar What to Expect When You're Expecting a Platform Change, where a publisher and a librarian will share their own experiences with determining priorities, learning lessons, and improving practices related to changed and changing information platforms.
Topics and Speakers
Registration is per site (access for one computer) and closes at 12:00 p.m. Eastern on April 11, 2012. Discounts are available for NISO and NASIG members and students. Register now and gain access to the recorded archive for one year. To register and for more information, visit the event webpage.
NISO/DCMI Webinar: Schema.org and Linked Data: Complementary Approaches to Publishing Data
NISO and DCMI will hold their second of four 2012 webinars on Schema.org and Linked Data: Complementary Approaches to Publishing Data on April 25, 2012 from 1:00 - 2:30 p.m. Eastern time.
Schema.org, a collaboration of the Google, Yahoo!, and Bing search engines, provides a way to include structured data in Web pages. Since its introduction in June 2011, the Schema.org vocabulary has grown to cover descriptive terms for content such as movies, music, organizations, TV shows, products, locations, news items, and job listings. The goal of Schema.org is "to improve the display of search results, making it easier for people to find the right web pages." The Schema.org initiative has emerged as a focal point for publishers of structured data in Web pages, especially but not exclusively in the commercial sector.
This webinar will explore how the publication methods of Schema.org relate to the methods used to publish Linked Data. Must data providers commit to one or the other, or can the two approaches exist side-by-side, even reinforcing each other?
Registration is per site (access for one computer) and closes at 12:00 pm Eastern on April 11, 2012. Discounts are available for NISO and DCMI members and students. Register now and gain access to the recorded archive for one year. To register and for more information, visit the event webpage.
Get a package deal: Purchase three NISO/DCMI webinars, get the fourth webinar free. (The first webinar from February will be provided in a recorded version. Click on the link on the NISO/DCMI webinar webpage.
Standards Development Workshops on E-Book Annotation Sharing and Social Reading: Final Grant Report
In June 2011, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation awarded the National Information Standards Organization (NISO) a grant of $48,500 to fund the project Standards Development Workshops on E-Book Annotation Sharing and Social Reading. The goal of this project was to organize two meetings to discuss the current state of annotation of digital books on a variety of platforms. The first of the two meetings was held in Frankfurt, Germany, prior to the start of the Frankfurt Book Fair, and the second was held in San Francisco, California, prior to the start of the Books In Browsers Meeting hosted by the Internet Archive. Both meetings were held in October 2011 on the 10th and 26th respectively.
The meetings were tremendously successful in terms of advancing the conversations about community needs for annotation. The conversation in Frankfurt focused more on the policy, goals, and business issues surrounding e-book annotation. The meeting in San Francisco focused more concretely on the technical infrastructure and syntax needs of a standard for annotation systems.
Among the outcomes for the meetings were: an increased awareness of the need for a standard for locating reference points in digital texts as well as a structure for sharing those annotations across reading systems. A NISO working group to develop these structures as a U.S. national standard was approved by the NISO voting members and is currently being formed. Anyone interested in joining the working group should contact Nettie Lagace.
The narrative of the final grant report to the Mellon Foundation, including minutes of each workshop, is available from the NISO website.
New on the NISO Website
New Specs & Standards
Three NISO Standards Reaffirmed
NISO Voting Members and ANSI have approved the reaffirmation of three NISO standards:
IDPF Ad Hoc Group, EPUB 3 Fixed-Layout Documents, Working Group Draft
The EPUB 3.0 Specification is designed to allow content to adapt to the user, but this principle doesn't work for all types of documents. Fixed-layout documents give content creators greater control over presentation, when a reflowable EPUB is not suitable for the content. This draft defines a set of metadata properties to allow declarative expression of intended rendering behaviors of fixed-layout documents in the context of EPUB 3.
EDItEUR, ONIX for Books 3.0 revision 1
The newly-released ONIX for Books 3.0 revision 1 is a minor update to ONIX 3.0 that introduces a handful of new and optional data elements to meet the specialized needs of ONIX users in East Asia, and in multi-language supply chains. However, it also adds a few elements that are likely to be of wider benefit, and introduces a simplified way of dealing with reissues. Version 3.0.1 is entirely backward-compatible with 3.0, so any existing ONIX 3.0 data automatically meets the requirements of 3.0.1 - but 3.0.1 adds flexibility and new capabilities, and EDItEUR recommends that ONIX 3.0 implementations be updated as soon as practicable to take advantage of the updates. The ONIX 3.0 Implementation and Best Practice Guide has been updated to take these updates into account. Release 3.0 downloads.
ISBD Review Group and ISBD/XML Study Group, ISBD namespaces
Namespaces for the consolidated edition of the International Standard Bibliographic Description (ISBD) have been published in Resource Description Framework (RDF), the basis of the Semantic Web. The ISBD element set vocabulary includes RDF classes and properties corresponding to ISBD elements. The ISBD namespaces are maintained and accessed using the Open Metadata Registry.
ISO 16363:2012, Space data and information transfer systems – Audit and certification of trustworthy digital repositories
This new ISO standard defines a recommended practice for assessing the trustworthiness of digital repositories. It is applicable to the entire range of digital repositories. ISO 16363:2012 can be used as a basis for certification.
The National Federation of Advanced Information Services (NFAIS™) has released a draft Discovery Service Code of Practice for review and comment by March 16, 2012. NFAIS believes that discovery services have the potential to provide ease of information discovery, access, and use, benefiting not only its member organizations, but also the global community of information seekers. However, the relative newness of these services has generated questions and concerns among information providers and librarians as to how these services meet expectations with regard to issues related to traditional search and retrieval services; e.g. usage reports, ranking algorithms, content coverage, updates, product identification, etc. Accordingly, the NFAIS Code Development Task Force has developed this draft document to assist those who choose to use this new distribution channel through the provision of guidelines that will help avoid the disruption of the delicate balance of interests involved.
Why Microdata, Not RDF, Will Power the Semantic Web
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NISO's free monthly e-newsletter reports on the latest NISO news, highlights new specifications and standards of interest including calls for public review and comment, abstracts significant media stories on topics of interest to the NISO community, and links to news releases of NISO member organizations
Newsline is distributed via e-mail to subscribers on the first Wednesday of the month and is posted to the NISO website.
Open Teleconference Call
NISO Two-Part Webinar: Understanding Critical Elements of E-books
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