Headshot of NISO Managing Director, Todd Carpenter

February 2013

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.

Todd Carpenter’s Signature

Todd Carpenter

Executive Director

NISO Reports

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:

  • Rebecca Guenther, Consultant and Standards Specialist at the Library of Congress, served as the co-chair of PREMIS and will outline the types of information that should be associated with an archived digital object and how these translated into the development of the PREMIS data dictionary and corresponding XML schema.
  • Amy Kirchhoff, Archive Service Manager, Portico, will describe how Portico's digital preservation repositories have applied the PREMIS standard.

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:

  • Keynote: Overview of the Emerging Technology LandscapeJason Griffey, Head of Library Information Technology, University of Tennessee, Chattanooga
  • Augmented RealityChristine Perey, PEREY Research & Consulting
  • 3D Printing: MakerspacesSusan Considine, Executive Director, Fayetteville Free Library
  • 3D Printing: Intellectual Property ConcernsMichael Weinberg, Senior Staff Attorney and Innovation Evangelist, Public Knowledge
  • Espresso ImplementationRivkah Sass, Library Director, Sacramento Public Library
  • Library in a Box (Bibliobox)David Fiander, Web Services Librarian, Western University
  • Roundtable discussion: Implementing Emerging Technologies at Your Institution – Facilitated by Todd Carpenter, Executive Director, NISO

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.

  • Part 1: New Models for Journal Article Access – Libraries and their users are gaining options for accessing articles without subscribing to the journals that contain them. Likewise, publishers are maximizing their content's exposure by taking advantage of new forms of distribution. Novel access models include journal article rental through services such as DeepDyve, quick electronic delivery through the Copyright Clearance Center, and direct purchase from individual publishers. Join NISO for a webinar that will explore new developments in journal article access and these developments' implications for libraries, end users, and publishers.

  • Part 2: Putting the User in the Driver's Seat – Demand-driven acquisition (DDA) is transforming collection development strategies for a growing number of academic libraries. By putting library users in the driver's seat, DDA offers libraries a unique opportunity to better maximize budgets by shedding traditional "just in case" collection development to fine-tuned collections that meet actual user needs. But for many libraries, this model is also being driven by financial necessity, often creating a new set of challenges for libraries to define scope and selection threshold of potential collections. In this session, three representatives from the academic, consortia, and content provider communities share their insights, challenges, and strategies for DDA collection development. If you're thinking of a DDA program, or currently engaged in a DDA program, you won't want to miss this informative session.

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:
Part 1: www.niso.org/news/events/2013/webinars/article_access
Part 2: www.niso.org/news/events/2013/webinars/user

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 public-ldp@w3.org.

Media Stories

ALA Creates E-book Scorecard
Publishers Weekly, January 29, 2013; by Andrew Albanese

At their 2013 Midwinter Meeting, ALA announced the release of The Ebook Business Model Scorecard, which rates publishers on 15 different criteria for digital licenses. The Scorecard, developed by the ALA Digital Content & Libraries Working Group (DCWG), is a follow-up from their 2012 report and previously released tip sheet on digital rights management and the ALA Ebook Media Toolkit. The scorecard ratings need to be evaluated by each library against its individual needs and priorities. The DCWG will be using the Scorecard criteria in a more generalized survey of what attributes are important to different libraries depending on their size and demographics. (Link to Web Source)

NISO Note: The American Library Association is a NISO voting member.

Altmetrics 101: A Primer
Information Today, 30(2), February 2013; by James Careless

Alternative metrics to assess the impact of scholarly communications is becoming both trendy and controversial. By measuring things related to digital usage, rather than just citation statistics, researchers can be judged on something other than just "publish or perish." Altmetrics can also provide a different valuation on a journal's quality that go beyond the traditional "impact factor," which is also based on citations. Citation data can take many years to show up, while data such as downloads, Twitter mentions, and Mendeley bookmarks, for example, can be measured beginning immediately after publication. Critics express concerns about rigor and reliability of such metrics. There is also a concern that they can be manipulated. Todd Carpenter, NISO's Executive Director stated that finding more valid and rigorous altmetrics is an area that the organization wants to begin addressing in 2013. The growing use of altmetrics is certain but their "usefulness, quality, and fairness" will be critical to future success. (Link to Web Source)

NISO Note: For more on Altmetrics, view the slides from NISO's November 2012 webinar Beyond Publish or Perish: Alternative Metrics for Scholarship and Todd Carpenter's blog in the Scholarly Kitchen.

Is JPEG-2000 a Preservation Risk?
The Signal: Digital Preservation, January 28, 2013; by Bill LeFurgy

Many involved with digital images have hailed the JPEG-2000 format that is flexible (offering both lossy and lossless compression) and appealing for preservation. But some software developers have expressed concerns about the lack of open-source rendering software and related tools, which can make the format less attractive for preservation applications. The earlier JPEG standard is in wide use and has many coding and decoding tools, while JPEG-2000 is used rarely and with proprietary software. The complexity of the format results in a large file size that could discourage its use. This complexity also leads to problems in file creation. Open-source JPEG-2000 tools are not widely available and the ones that exist have compatibility or performance issues as compared to commercial tools. Users are increasingly storing photos in social networks and cloud sites, which requires web browser viewing support. Currently only one popular browser supports JPEG-2000. OpenJPEG may provide a solution to many of these issues, especially with the newly released version 2.0 and a new test suite.
(Link to Web Source)

Library Services in the Digital Age: Summary of Findings
Pew Internet Report, released January 22, 2013; by Kathryn Zickuhr, Lee Rainie and Kristen Purcell

The Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project surveyed Americans on their attitudes and expectations for public libraries in the Digital Age. "Many library patrons are eager to see libraries' digital services expand, yet also feel that print books remain important in the digital age.…77% say free access to computers and the internet is a "very important" service of libraries." Among additional services that patrons would like to see include online "ask a librarian" services, apps for using library services, GPS navigation for locating materials within the library, kiosks located throughout the community for checking out materials, recommendation services based on other patrons' usage. Americans were generally in favor of libraries coordinating services with local schools, offering free literacy programs for young children, and having a broader selection of e-books. Survey respondents disagreed on whether the library should free up some space used for print publications to use for technology centers or reading and meeting rooms. Many respondents admitted to not knowing all (or any) of the services their public library provides, even though some 54% have visited their library in the past year. 26% have increased their use of the library in the past five years, while 22% have decreased use. Of those who decreased usage, 40% cited their ability to use the Internet as the reason. Of those who used the library, 73% are still borrowing print books and 26% are using the library's computers or WiFi connection. "Compared to whites, African-Americans and Hispanics are more likely to say libraries are important to them and their families." This survey and report are part of a larger research project "that is exploring the role libraries play in people's lives and in their communities" and is underwritten by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
(Link to Web Source)

5 Academic Publishing Trends to Watch in 2013
Publishing Perspectives, January 21, 2013; by George Lossius

Following a tumultuous year in publishing last year, the author identifies five trends he expects in 2013. The impact factor may finally be supplanted by alternative metrics and tools that "may revolutionise sluggish peer review processes." More consolidations of small publishers into larger, such as the Penguin and Random House merger, will occur. While currently occurring mainly in trade and education, these acquisitions may spread into the academic market. The digital textbook market will finally gain traction in 2013 along with new technology innovations. With smartphones reaching 50% penetration in the U.S. and 25% of Americans owning a tablet, the future is definitely mobile. And the U.S. is behind many other countries in this area. Publishers will increasingly transition from device-specific apps to web-based apps to support this mobile market. Data sets will increasingly be "published" with value added commercially through tools for analysis and reporting. Continued innovations in content delivery and access will be driven by user demands of academia. (Link to Web Source)