Engagement in standards requires a long-term outlook. There needs to be a vision of where things are going, what problems are developing, and how efficient solutions might be surfaced and promoted. Also, I must acknowledge, standards take time to develop. Once developed, they take time to implement. While the corporate world is often criticized for looking no further out than the next two or three quarters, standards development is a process with a five-year time horizon.
This can be illustrated from a couple perspectives by recent developments in NISO. Last month, NISO kicked off a project to help define a roadmap for a new bibliographic exchange environment. This project, funded with generous support from the Mellon Foundation, will provide the community with some guideposts about what elements are missing from current community activities; what research, models, or prototypes will help advance the goal of a new bibliographic exchange system; and, hopefully, a methodology for community coordination in moving forward. While some in the community have been heralding the "death of MARC" for at least a decade, we need to realize that transitioning to a new bibliographic exchange model will also be a decade-long process. We are planning an open meeting this spring for this new effort in the Baltimore/Washington DC area. If you are interested in this project, you can join the Bibliographic Exchange Roadmap e-mail list and participate in the discussion.
Another transformative initiative is just beginning with the NISO members' recent approval of a new project on the development of open access (OA) metadata and indicators. As open access distribution has improved and as funding mandates related to OA are expanding, the number of hybrid journals willing to accept OA content is growing rapidly. There is presently no standardized way for readers or discovery systems to know if an article is freely accessible or available with certain restrictions. The goal is for this new project to develop recommended practices to alleviate this problem with article-level access information and visual indicators of an article's open status. While this problem is only nascent, NISO is moving forward with a solution to address what will become a more significant problem down the road.
Also from the perspective of a multi-year project, I am pleased to announce that NISO and NFAIS have published our joint Recommended Practice on Online Journal Article Supplemental Materials. This issue came to the forefront in 2010 and is presenting publishers with significant problems as more and more authors submit supplemental materials with their articles. How publishers, repositories, and the community deal with these materials and how they are distributed and preserved should become more standardized as this recommended practice becomes widely adopted. Information about the project, the RP document, and additional documentation are freely available on the NISO website.
Finally, organizationally, NISO had a terrific year in 2012. I provided an update of NISO's progress at our annual membership meeting, which took place during the ALA Midwinter meeting in Seattle. We had a good turnout and we have posted the presentation slides from the meeting. The meeting was also videotaped and we will post that recording to the NISO site shortly and disseminate that link when it is available.
New Specs & Standards
NISO and NFAIS Publish Recommended Practices for Online Supplemental Journal Article Materials
NISO and the National Federation for Advanced Information Services (NFAIS) have published a new Recommended Practice on Online Supplemental Journal Article Materials (NISO RP-15-2013). Supplemental materials are increasingly being added to journal articles, but until now there has been no recognized set of practices to guide in the selection, delivery, discovery, or preservation of these materials. To address this gap, NISO and NFAIS jointly sponsored an initiative to establish best practices that would provide guidance to publishers and authors for management of supplemental materials and would solve related problems for librarians, abstracting and indexing services, and repository administrators.
A key aspect of these recommendations is the distinction between what is defined as Integral Content, which is content that is essential for the full understanding of the journal article, and what is designated Additional Content, which provides relevant and useful expansion of the article's content. Integral Content and Additional Content are likely to be treated differently throughout the entire lifecycle of a scientific article. Ensuring effective access, use, and long-term preservation of supplemental materials to journal articles requires up-front planning about persistent identifiers, metadata, file formats, and packaging, all of which are addressed in these recommendations.
The Recommended Practice on Online Supplemental Journal Article Materials, a metadata schema, a tag library, and tagged examples are available from the NISO website at: www.niso.org/workrooms/supplemental.
NISO Launches New Initiative to Develop Standard for Open Access Metadata and Indicators
NISO voting members have approved a new project to develop standardized bibliographic metadata and visual indicators to describe the accessibility of journal articles with respect to how "open" they are.
Many offerings are available from publishers under the banner of Open Access (OA), Increased Access, Public Access, or other names; the terms offered vary both between publishers and within publishers by journal, and in some cases, based on the funding organization of the author. Adding to the potential confusion, a number of publishers also offer hybrid options in which some articles are "open" while the rest of the journal's content are available only by subscription or license. No standardized bibliographic metadata currently provides information on whether a specific article is openly accessible and what re-use rights might be available to readers. Visual indicators or icons indicating the openness of an article are inconsistent in both design and use across publishers or even across journals from the same publisher.
The project launched by NISO will focus initially on metadata elements that describe the readership rights associated with an OA article. Specifically, the NISO Working Group will determine the optimal mechanisms to describe and transmit the rights, if any, an arbitrary user has to access a specific article from any internet connection point. Recommendations will include a means for distribution and aggregation of this metadata in machine-readable form. The group will also consider the feasibility of incorporating information on re-use rights and the feasibility of reaching agreement on transmission of that data.
Individuals interested in participating in this working group should contact Nettie Lagace, NISO's Associate Director for Programs.
This new project will be discussed in NISO's Open Teleconference call on February 11.
NISO and OAI Release Draft for Comments of ResourceSync Framework Specification
NISO and the Open Archives Initiative (OAI) announce the release of a beta draft for comments of the ResourceSync Framework Specification for the web consisting of various capabilities that allow third-party systems to remain synchronized with a server's evolving resources. The ResourceSync joint project, funded with support from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and the JISC, was initiated to develop a new open standard on the real-time synchronization of Web resources.
Increasingly, large-scale digital collections are available from multiple hosting locations, are cached at multiple servers, and leveraged by several services. This proliferation of replicated copies of works or data on the Internet has created an increasingly challenging problem of keeping the repositories' holdings and the services that leverage them up-to-date and accurate. The ResourceSync draft specification introduces a range of easy to implement capabilities that a server may support in order to enable remote systems to remain more tightly in step with its evolving resources.
The draft specification is available on the OAI website at: www.openarchives.org/rs/0.5/resourcesync. Comments on the draft can be posted on the public discussion forum at: https://groups.google.com/forum/?fromgroups#!forum/resourcesync.
For more on the ResourceSync Framework, see the article in the January/February 2013 issue of D-Lib.
February Webinar: Metadata for Preservation: A Digital Object's Best Friend
Over the past decade, as the scholarly community's reliance on e-content has increased, so too has the development of preservation-related digital repositories. The need for descriptive, administrative, and structural metadata for each digital object in a preservation repository was clearly recognized by digital archivists and curators. However, in the early 2000s, most of the published specifications for preservation-related metadata were either implementation specific or broadly theoretical. In 2003, the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC) and Research Libraries Group (RLG) established an international working group called PREMIS (Preservation Metadata: Implementation Strategies) to develop a common core set of metadata elements for digital preservation. In 2005, and then again in 2008, PREMIS published versions of its Data Dictionary for Preservation Metadata. Currently, the PREMIS data dictionary and corresponding XML schema are being implemented by digital repositories around the world.
Join NISO for the February 13 webinar on Metadata for Preservation: A Digital Object's Best Friend to learn more about PREMIS and how it is being implemented.
Speakers and topics are:
Registration is per site (access for one computer) and closes at 12:00 pm Eastern on February 13, 2013 (the day of the webinar). Discounts are available for NISO and NASIG members and students. NISO Library Standards Alliance (LSA) members receive one free connection as part of membership and do not need to register. All webinar registrants and LSA webinar contacts receive access to the recorded version for one year.
Visit the event webpage to register and for more information.
February Virtual Conference: Future Perfect: How Libraries Are Implementing Emerging Technologies
As former Library Journal Editor-in-Chief Francine Fielkoff wrote in an editorial last year, "Libraries Should Be What Users Want – With a Little Help from Librarians." Libraries everywhere are planning, strategizing, experimenting, and conversing with their users to realize how they may best serve as successful learning spaces in rapidly changing technological, social, and economic environments. Creation is often seen as an important theme of future community spaces. Supporting 3D printers and other means of publishing content are a few examples of how libraries may stake their willingness to extend their capabilities in managing shared resources beyond those of an information provider to becoming an information creator.
In the first NISO virtual conference of the year, Future Perfect: How Libraries Are Implementing Emerging Technologies—to be held on February 20, 2012 from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Eastern Time)—a variety of experts will discuss some of the technologies that offer the most promise for libraries. We aim to interact with the audience as much as possible to extend the conversation with those who are attending.
Topics and speakers are:
Registration is per site (access for one computer) and closes at 12:00 pm Eastern on February 20, 2013 (the day of the webinar). Discounts are available for NISO members and students. All virtual conference registrants receive access to the recorded version for one year.
Visit the event webpage to register and for more information.
Two Part March Webinar: Evolving Trends in Collection Development
NISO will be holding a two-part webinar on March 6 and 13 to discuss Evolving Trends in Collection Development. Part 1 will discuss new methods for providing access to electronic journal articles without having a subscription. In Part 2, speakers will review the use of demand-driven acquisitions to involve users in selecting materials for the library collection.
Registration is per site (access for one computer) and closes at 12:00 pm Eastern on the day of each webinar. Registrants to both parts receive a 25% discount. Additional discounts are available for NISO and NASIG members and students. NISO Library Standards Alliance (LSA) members receive one free connection as part of membership and do not need to register. All webinar registrants and LSA webinar contacts receive access to the recorded version for one year.
Visit the event webpages to register and for more information:
New on the NISO Website
New Specs & Standards
ISO 22274:2013, Systems to manage terminology, knowledge and content – Concept-related aspects for developing and internationalizing classification systems
This new standard establishes basic principles and requirements for ensuring that classification systems are suitable for worldwide application, considering such aspects as cultural and linguistic diversity as well as market requirements. By applying principles relating to terminology work, ISO 22274:2013 provides guidelines for creating, handling, and using classification systems for international environments.
ISO/IEC 20944:2013, Information technology – Metadata Registries Interoperability and Bindings (MDR-IB)
This new five-part standard provides the bindings and their interoperability for metadata registries such as those specified in the ISO/IEC 11179 series of International Standards. The five parts are: Part 1: Framework, common vocabulary, and common provisions for conformance; Part 2: Coding bindings; Part 3: API bindings; Part 4: Protocol bindings; and Part 5: Profiles.
W3C Working Draft, RDF 1.1 Concepts and Abstract Syntax
RDF 1.1 Concepts and Abstract Syntax defines an abstract syntax (a data model) which serves to link all RDF-based languages and specifications. The abstract syntax has two key data structures: RDF graphs are sets of subject-predicate-object triples, where the elements may be IRIs, blank nodes, or datatyped literals. They are used to express descriptions of resources. RDF datasets are used to organize collections of RDF graphs, and comprise a default graph and zero or more named graphs. This document also introduces key concepts and terminology, and discusses datatyping and the handling of fragment identifiers in IRIs within RDF graphs.
W3C Proposed Recommendation, SPARQL 1.1 Protocol
The SPARQL Protocol and RDF Query Language (SPARQL) is a query language and protocol for RDF. This document specifies the SPARQL Protocol; it describes a means for conveying SPARQL queries and updates to a SPARQL processing service and returning the results via HTTP to the entity that requested them.
W3C Working Draft, Linked Data Platform Use Cases and Requirements
The first public working draft of the document that contains a set of user stories, use cases, scenarios, and requirements that motivate a simple read-write Linked Data architecture, based on HTTP access to web resources that describe their state using RDF. Comments should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
ALA Creates E-book Scorecard
About NISO Newsline
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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