Our bibliographic exchange ecosystem is incredibly complex. The contributors to this process are numerous and occasionally have competing interests. Beyond this, the metadata that we need to discover content travels a circuitous route through our information community involving a variety of organizations and providers. Much of this exchange, at least within the library community, is centered around antiquated formats that need to be transformed to interoperate with modern information exchange systems. Designing and achieving this transformation will require a great deal of collaboration and consensus among all the affected stakeholders.
Over the past few years, a number of initiatives have been proposed to move our community forward in exchanging bibliographic information. In 2009, a joint project of DCMI and the Joint Steering Committee for RDA published the element set for RDA in RDF. More recently, the Library of Congress has been advancing work on its Bibliographic Framework Transition Initiative. Several national libraries in Europe are already moving quickly to transform their data to the new Semantic Web technology in order to increase access for users. Key institutions like the British Library, the German National Library, and the National Library of Sweden, have begun issuing all or part of their bibliographic data in RDF. Earlier this year, OCLC also announced that it would be making available some WorldCat data as linked data. Some library systems providers are exploring a new generation of information management systems that are, in part, reliant on this networked information environment.
NISO has played an important role in facilitating such work by providing a forum where participants can share ideas and experiences and work towards formulating community standards that facilitate needed interchange. Indeed, NISO's oldest active standard is a bibliographic information exchange specification, Z39.2, Information Interchange Format, which is the basis of the MARC standard. NISO's work in this area has continued with, for example, the sponsorship along with OCLC in 2009 of a report by Judy Luther that describes an information landscape trapped in silos, using different structures and systems, and with limited interaction or feedback. The complexity of that environment includes not just traditional libraries and systems vendors, but also publishers, search providers, booksellers, and other metadata aggregators. All of these organizations will be impacted by a transformation of bibliographic data exchange.
In an effort to bring together these intersecting communities and advance the movement towards new bibliographic information exchange methods, NISO approached The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation with a project idea to help facilitate inter-organizational collaboration on this problem. I am pleased to share—and am especially thankful—that the Foundation awarded NISO a grant last month to undertake this effort. The goal of this initiative will be to organize a working group across the many interested communities and critical organizations. The grant will support an in-person meeting and a series of webinar discussions to help develop consensus on shared goals and a path forward to achieve those goals. The final outcome of the project will be a report that will focus on areas of necessary consensus development and will suggest points where functionality testing should be performed so that feedback can be provided to all participants in linked-data bibliographic exchange.
This is one small step in the overall transformation of bibliographic exchange; the larger project for our community is a tremendously ambitious one. We at NISO are realistic about the timeline for its development, the complexity of interests, and the potential ramifications for every affected organization. Reflecting on the importance of this initiative, I feel it is critical that there be buy-in on goals, needs, and expectations from as many of the impacted players as possible—including new players that have not been previously involved in library data, such as semantic web developers who could link library data into the larger web environment. Coordination, collaboration, and consensus will be critical to a successful outcome. Fortunately, these are the things that NISO is well positioned to set in motion. No single organization will be able to advance any particular solution on its own, regardless of its role in the community. Our hope is to get as much agreement as is possible at the outset and advance common directions that will continue the collaboration as we move forward.
NISO will be reaching out to engage the community over the next two months as this project gets off the ground. If your organization is interested in participating, please contact the NISO office. We'll provide more information about the project in the coming weeks.
New Specs & Standards
NISO Receives Mellon Foundation Grant to Assess the Current State and Future Needs of a New Bibliographic Framework
The National Information Standards Organization (NISO) has been awarded a $48,516 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to fund a study to determine the needs and requirements of the library, higher education, and non-profit networked information communities to ensure they are able to use and exchange bibliographic data in an increasingly networked, linked data environment. The funds will be used to hold one face-to-face meeting in the United States and four global webinars, accompanied by workgroup efforts during the periods between webinars. These meetings will be conducted to coordinate the needs and requirements of key communities, including libraries, technologists, and library system providers, as well as other international standards development organizations.
"The bibliographic exchange environment in which the majority of the world's libraries operate has been based on the Machine Readable Cataloging (MARC) standard since it was developed in the late1960s," explains Todd Carpenter, NISO's Executive Director. "The Library of Congress has been working intensively on the future of bibliographic control since 2006 when it formed the Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control and recently announced it had contracted with Zepheira to help accelerate the launch of the Bibliographic Framework Initiative. The Resource Description and Access (RDA), published in 2008 to replace the Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules, already provides a model for mapping some of MARC data into Web resources, but there are significant challenges left in making sure that one can express concepts in a new data format. Many organizations are moving forward with their own initiatives to expose bibliographic data, without organized coordination or consensus about community priorities, leading to duplicated work, delays, and inefficiencies. Given the diverse community that is impacted by bibliographic exchange and citation as well as the tremendous investments made in existing MARC-based library systems and records, there is a need for high-level coordination of activities to help avoid duplication and fragmentation of the bibliographic exchange community."
The goal of this project will be to engage a group of key stakeholders-from the communities of libraries, system suppliers, and higher education/research institutions, as well as non-traditional users of bibliographic information-to develop consensus around a community roadmap of needed activities related to a New Bibliographic Framework based on linked data, identify exchange points where standards development is needed, and document areas where functionality testing should be performed so that feedback can be provided to all participants in linked-data bibliographic exchange.
Interested participants should contact Nettie Lagace, Associate Director for Programs.
November Webinar: Beyond Publish or Perish: Alternative Metrics for Scholarship
Increasingly, many aspects of scholarly communication-particularly publication, research data, and peer review-undergo scrutiny by researchers and scholars. Many of these practitioners are engaging in a variety of ways with Alternative Metrics (#altmetrics in the Twitterverse). Alternative Metrics take many forms but often focus on efforts to move beyond proprietary bibliometrics and traditional forms of peer referencing in assessing the quality and scholarly impact of published work. Join NISO on November 14 from 1:00 - 2:30 (EST) for a webinar that will present several emerging aspects of Alternative Metrics.
Topics and speakers:
Registration is per site (access for one computer) and closes at 12:00 pm Eastern on November 14, 2012. Discounts are available for NISO and NASIG members and students. LSA member organizations can attend free as NISO webinars are included in membership. Can't make it on the webinar date/time? Register now and gain access to the recorded archive for one year.
Visit the event webpage to register and for more information.
December Webinar: Connecting the Dots: Constellations in the Linked Data Universe
The universe of linked data is rapidly expanding and our community is finding innovative ways to link and apply data. NISO's webinar on December 12, 2012, from 1:00-2:30 p.m. (EST) will cover several initiatives and projects using linked data to improve discovery and reuse of information.
Topics and speakers are:
Registration is per site (access for one computer) and closes at 12:00 pm Eastern on December 12. Discounts are available for NISO and NASIG members and students. LSA member organizations can attend free as NISO webinars are included in membership. Can't make it on the webinar date/time? Register now and gain access to the recorded archive for one year.
Visit the event webpage to register and for more information.
NISO 2013 Education Schedule Announced
NISO's Education Committee has planned a robust educational program for 2013 that includes three virtual conferences in addition to the monthly webinars, an in-person forum, and six joint webinars with the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative (DCMI). Focused on standards, best practices, and technologies in the library, publishing, and scholarly information communities, the programs are an excellent and cost-effective method for current awareness and learning about standards and cutting-edge technology. NISO educational programs are routinely praised for their outstanding selection of speakers representing a diversity of viewpoints across the scholarly information community.
Virtual conferences-six-hour forums held over the Internet-are a new addition to NISO's educational programs. Topics for the three events are: Future Perfect: How Libraries Are Implementing Emerging Technologies (February), EPUB3: What Libraries Need to Know (April), and Web-Scale Discovery Services: Transforming Access to Library Resources (November).
A two-day in-person forum on Revolution or Evolution: The Impact of Electronic Content will be held in Philadelphia in October. A live stream option will also be available for distance viewing. Both in-person and live stream registrants will have access to a recorded version of the event.
NISO webinars, held every month except July, will cover a range of topics from Behaving Like a Startup to Metadata for Preservation, Universal Accessibility, Open Access Content, Streaming Media Collections, Copyright Decisions, Altmetrics, Mobile Technology, and Library Linked Data. Two-part webinars on consecutive Wednesdays will be held in March and September on Evolving Trends in Collection Development and Research Data Curation, respectively.
NISO and DCMI continue their successful joint webinars in 2013 and are adding an additional event for a total of six. With a focus on linked data, the planned topics are: Update on the Bibliographic Framework Initiative; Deployment of RDA; Semantic Mashups, Linked Data in Developing Countries; Metadata for Public Sector Administration; and Cooperative Authority Control.
Package deals (buy 4, get 3 or buy 7, get all 13) are available for the NISO webinars. NISO members receive discounts to all events. NISO will continue for 2013 its new member benefit to Library Standards Alliance (LSA) members of one free connection to all thirteen NISO-only webinars. NASIG members may register at the member rate for NISO-only webinars and DCMI members may register at the member rate for joint NISO/DCMI webinars.
More information about all the 2013 events is available on the NISO website. Registration will be open shortly.
For information about joining NISO to obtain the free LSA member webinar registration and member discounts for all events, visit: www.niso.org/about/join/.
New on the NISO Website
New Specs & Standards
ARMA International, Call for participation – Auditing for Compliance with Records and Information Management Best Practices
ARMA is seeking volunteers to develop this new technical report that will be a broad-based investigation of the audit function as it should be employed across the records lifecycle. The primary question that this publication will answer is: "How does a records professional incorporate auditing into an organization's records program activities?" This publication will leverage a variety of current standards and guidance documents, including the ARMA International Generally Accepted Recordkeeping Principles® and ISO standards pertaining to archives/records management, security, and auditing. Applications to participate on the working group will be accepted through 12/15/2012. Apply online.
BIC and Nielsen Book, New Collaborative effort for Global Subject Codes Standard
Book industry representatives from 16 countries announced the formation of a new, global standard to categorize and classify book content by subject. The project, initially known as "Thema," was first announced during the Tools of Change Supply Chain Conference taking place during the Frankfurt International Book Fair. The new standard will be a general purpose classification scheme for the book industry, meant initially to work alongside existing standards such as BIC, BISAC, CLIL etc. The long range goal is to move all markets to the global standard, helping to eliminate confusion among both upstream and downstream.
ISO 19005-3:2012, Document management – Electronic document file format for long-term preservation - Part 3: Use of ISO 32000-1 with support for embedded files (PDF/A-3)
Specifies the use of the Portable Document Format (PDF) 1.7, as formalized in ISO 32000-1, for preserving the static visual representation of page-based electronic documents over time in addition to allowing any type of other content to be included as an embedded file or attachment.
ISO/IEC 27037:2012, Information technology – Security techniques – Guidelines for identification, collection, acquisition and preservation of digital evidence
Provides guidelines for specific activities in the handling of digital evidence—identification, collection, acquisition, and preservation of potential digital evidence that can be of evidential value. It also provides guidance to individuals with respect to common situations encountered throughout the digital evidence handling process and assists organizations in their disciplinary procedures and in facilitating the exchange of potential digital evidence between jurisdictions.
ISO/IEC 40500:2012, Information technology – W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0
Covers a wide range of recommendations for making Web content more accessible to a wider range of people with disabilities. WCAG 2.0 success criteria are written as testable statements that are not technology-specific. Guidance about satisfying the success criteria in specific technologies, as well as general information about interpreting the success criteria, is provided in separate documents.
ISO/TR 17068:2012, Information and documentation – Trusted third party repository for digital records
Details the authorized custody services of a Trusted Third Party Repository (TTPR) in order to ensure provable integrity and authenticity of the clients' digital records and serve as a source of reliable evidence. It describes the services and processes to be provided by a TTPR for the clients' digital records during the retention period, to ensure trust. It also details the criteria of "trustworthiness" and the particular requirements of TTPR services, hardware and software systems, and management. ISO/TR 17068:2012 has the limitation that the authorized custody of the stored records is between only the third party and the client.
W3C Working Draft, Linked Data Platform 1.0
A set of best practices and simple approach for a read-write Linked Data architecture, based on HTTP access to web resources that describe their state using RDF. It provides some new rules as well as clarifications and extensions of Tim Berners-Lee's four rules of Linked Data Additionally, it is the intention of this document to enable additional rules and layered groupings of rules, such as additional specifications. The scope is intentionally narrow to provide a set of key rules for reading and writing Linked Data that most, if not all, other specifications will depend on and implementations will support.
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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.
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