June is always a month packed with events and announcements, which leads into, hopefully, a more relaxed pace over the summer. Despite this normally busy pace, sometimes important news comes in fairly heavy waves. It seems the past few weeks have been just such a period. Occasionally, this makes me feel like NISO should expand Newsline's frequency to more than once a month, because there is so much to cover. While June is often a period of big announcements, this past month seems to have been more so than usual. The news is coming in from around the world and each potentially has global impact. Just three that are of particular note for our community were: (1) the agreement by WIPO on the Marrakesh treaty on accessibility, (2) the approval of a new ISO project to revise the ISBN standard, and (3) the grant award to NISO for standardization work on alternative metrics.
After several years of behind the scenes discussions and efforts to lay both the groundwork technologically and politically, an agreement was finally reached within the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) on a treaty to provide access to books for the visually impaired. More than 600 WIPO delegates convened at the Diplomatic Conference to Conclude a Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works by Visually Impaired Persons and Persons with Print Disabilities in Marrakesh, Morocco on June 18 and continued their work through June 27, when the treaty was signed. This is the first WIPO treaty to recognize the human right "to participate in the cultural life of the community" in spite of impairments and is a tremendous step forward in the struggle to provide accessible published content. It should be widely celebrated. NISO has worked closely with the visually impaired community on the DAISY standards (ANSI/NISO Z39.86 and ANSI/NISO Z39.98) for accessible content. These standards provide a technological framework publishers can use to create and distribute accessible texts to the community. We applaud the agreement that was reached in Marrakesh and hope that it is quickly adopted worldwide.
Similarly in another international forum, the ISO Technical Committee on Information & Documentation (TC 46) met in Paris, France, last month to advance another important initiative for our community, although perhaps not with quite the same publicity as the WIPO treaty. The subcommittee on Identification and Description (ISO TC 46/SC 9), which is managed by NISO on behalf of ANSI, agreed to launch a revision of the ISBN standard (ISO 2108) at the recommendation of the International ISBN Agency, which is the formal registration authority appointed by ISO to oversee the assignment of ISBNs around the world. The primary purpose of this revision is to clarify the standard and its applications to electronic books. A policy statement had previously been issued by the International ISBN Agency and another policy statement was issued by the Book Industry Study Group, but neither has the same force as they would if their critical definitions and applications are built into the standard. It is clear that in order to retain its critical role of managing supply chain distribution of books, the ISBN must address and incorporate clarity on the issue of ISBN assignment for e-books. Advisory groups and mirror committees of national member bodies, including NISO, will be canvassing the community for experts to participate in the process later this summer.
Finally, although not the only major NISO announcement this month, I would like to highlight a new project on Alternative Assessment Metrics (altmetrics). NISO received a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to advance a two-phase project to develop standards and/or best practices related to the rapidly developing field of altmetrics. I had written about the need for altmetrics standards last fall, and standards were also one of the recommended next steps discussed during the altmetrics12 meeting in Chicago, IL. This is an important step in the development and adoption of new assessment metrics, such as usage-based metrics, social media reference, and network behavioral analysis. In addition, this project will explore potential assessment criteria for non-traditional research outputs, such as data sets, visualizations, software, and other applications. After the first phase, which will expose areas for potential standardization, the community will collectively prioritize those potential projects. The second phase will be to advance and develop those standards/best practices prioritized by the community and approved by the NISO membership. The first meeting of this project will take place in late fall, with the second meeting taking place in early 2014. Both will be open to the community. More information about the project and calls for participation will be distributed later this summer. A webpage has been set up with additional information on the project.
Without going on for pages and pages, many other announcements and important community efforts were put forward in June. Of note is the launch of a new project within NISO to standardize serial packaging for the interchange of serials content. NISO's membership also voted a new slate of leadership for the organization. More information on these and other initiatives in the community is below.
I hope you all have an opportunity to enjoy a somewhat more relaxed pace than we've seen this past month. Unfortunately, I'm not sure that will be true for us on the NISO staff as we put these initiatives into place this summer. However, being busy with important projects is certainly better than the alternative!
New Specs & Standards
August Webinar: Copyright Decisions: Impact of Recent Cases on Libraries and Publishers
The Digital Age has spurred a number of disruptive innovations in information dissemination and access that rely on fair use and teaching exceptions in Copyright Law. Globalization has also provided means for exchange of content that had not existed before. In response to these innovations, publishers have filed several high profile lawsuits in an attempt to protect their business models and regain control by stemming the flow of these new delivery methods.
NISO's August 14 webinar, Copyright Decisions: Impact of Recent Cases on Libraries and Publishers, will shed some light on these recent lawsuits and discuss the ramifications the decisions these cases have on information flow now and in the future.
Registration is per site (access for one computer) and closes at 12:00 pm Eastern on August 14, 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.
Visit the event webpage to register and for more information.
Grant From Sloan Foundation Will Fund Community-Informed Effort to Standardize Collection And Use of Alternative Metrics Measuring Research Impact
NISO will be conducting a new two-phase project to study, propose, and develop community-based standards or recommended practices in the field of alternative metrics. Assessment of scholarship is a critical component of the research process, impacting everything from which projects get funded to who gains promotion and tenure to which publications gain prominence. Since Eugene Garfield's pioneering work in the 1960s, much of the work on research assessment has been based upon citations, a valuable measure but one that has failed to keep pace with online reader behavior, network interactions with content, social media, and online content management. Exemplified by innovative new platforms like ImpactStory, a new movement is growing to develop more robust alternative metrics—called altmetrics—to complement traditional citation metrics. NISO will first hold several in-person and virtual meetings to identify critical areas where altmetrics standards or recommended practices are needed and then convene a working group to develop consensus standards and/or recommended practices. The project is funded through a $207,500 grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.
In the Information Today NewsBreaks article about the project, NISO Project Brings Scientific Evaluation Into the 21st Century With Altmetrics, Nancy K. Herther places the project in context with other endeavors in alternative metrics. She interviews Jason Priem who coined the term "altmetrics" and states that the "there's a lot of work that needs to be done before we'll realize the potential of altmetrics to reward open, diverse, and engaged scholarship. Inclusive, open, and spirited conversations around best practices and standards is a big part of that." Other positive feedback is provided by Jean-Claude Guédon, scholarly communication proponent at the Université de Montréal, Finbar Galligan, Serials Review columnist on altmetrics and Swets' market specialist, Cameron Neylon from PLOS, Dario Taraborelli from the Wikimedia Foundation, Martin Fenner, technical lead for the PLOS Article Level Metrics project, Stewart Wills, editorial director for web and new media for Science, and Joseph Esposito, publishing consultant and contributor to The Scholarly Kitchen blog.
For more information visit the project webpage.
Project Launched to Develop Recommended Practices for Exchanging Serial Content
NISO voting members have approved a new project to develop recommended practices for Packaging and Exchanging Serial Content. Many different organizations—libraries, archives, indexing services, content aggregators, publishers, and content creators—need to exchange and work with digital files that make up serial content. Generally, the files are aggregated in some type of "package" that can vary significantly in format and structure and contain anywhere from several files for a single article to over a million files for a full journal title backfile. This new NISO initiative will develop a recommended practice defining the rules to be used to create a package of serial content, allowing both the exchange of content and the automation of processes to receive and manage this content.
Standards like the Journal Article Tag Suite (ANSI/NISO Z39.96-2012) provide a model for creating an XML structure for an article, but related items in the article are referenced by linking and not as part of a package. The EPUB 3 specification includes the packaging of digital content, but it is designed for viewing of that content in an e-reader. There are no standard methods that specifically address the need for packaging e-serial content in a way that it can be interchanged and machine-processed for storage, archival, and retrieval purposes. NISO's Recommended Practices for Online Supplemental Journal Article Materials (NISO RP-15-2013) recommends the use of a standardized packaging format to transfer digital content. This new NISO initiative will define that standard packaging practice and complement the recommendations about supplemental materials.
Participation in the new NISO project is encouraged from libraries, publishers, content aggregators, and repositories. Individuals interested in participating on this working group should contact Nettie Lagace.
For more information, read the full press release.
New Vice Chair and Directors Elected to Lead NISO in 2013-2014
The voting membership of the National Information Standards Organization (NISO) has elected new leadership for the 2013-2014 term that begins on July 1, 2013. Heather Reid, Director of Data Systems, Copyright Clearance Center, who previously served as Vice Chair, will become Chair of NISO for the 2013-14 term. Gerry Grenier, Senior Director, Publishing Technologies at IEEE, Inc. has been elected to serve as Vice Chair of the NISO Board of Directors and will transition into the chairmanship in the 2013-14 term. Gerry Grenier is a developer and manager of online information systems with 25 years of publishing industry experience. He is a seasoned team leader, technical manager, and product manager with interest in the future of information distribution and the effect that technology will continue to bear on the dissemination of knowledge. His primary responsibility at IEEE is the development and operation of IEEE Xplore—the IEEE's digital library of 3.5 million articles in electrical engineering and computer science. In addition to the NISO Board, he also serves on the Boards of CrossRef and the International STM Association.
The following industry leaders were also elected as new Directors on the NISO Board.
Barbara Preece, Director, Loyola/Notre Dame Library, who is currently serving as NISO's Chair, will serve the next term in the role as Past Chair. Janice Fleming, Director of Business and Planning, American Psychological Association and a former Chair of the NISO Board, will serve as NISO's Treasurer.
These new members will join the following Directors who will continue their terms through 2013-14 in managing and setting strategic direction for the organization:
Todd Carpenter, NISO Executive Director also serves ex officio on the Board as Secretary.
New on the NISO Website
New Specs & Standards
ISO 18902:2013, Imaging materials – Processed imaging materials – Albums, framing and storage materials
This third edition of ISO 18902 specifies the principal physical and chemical requirements for album, storage, and framing materials to prevent damage to processed or printed imaging materials over time. It covers requirements for: paper and paperboard; plastics; metals; writing instruments; adhesives; tapes; self-adhesive labeling materials; stamping inks and pads; framing and glazing materials used as, or in the construction of, storage and display materials for black-and-white or color reflection prints or negatives made with traditional silver-halide and silver dye bleach photographic materials; dye- and pigment-based inkjet, dye diffusion thermal transfer ("dye sublimation"), and liquid- and dry-toner electrophotographic digital prints.
Library of Congress and PREMIS Editorial Committee, PREMIS OWL Ontology 2.2
Library of Congress and PREMIS Editorial Committee announced a revised PREMIS OWL ontology based on the PREMIS Data Dictionary for Preservation Metadata version 2.2. This OWL ontology allows the provision of a Linked Data-friendly, PREMIS-endorsed serialization of the PREMIS Data Dictionary. This revision of the ontology is now officially within the loc.gov namespace, integrates changes from PREMIS version 2.2, especially the enhanced model for the Rights entity, makes use of 24 value vocabularies added to id.loc.gov, implements a more Linked Data approach, and provides fuller documentation of the classes and properties. The ontology is open for public review. Comments should be sent by July 30, 2013 to the PREMIS Implementers' Group list.
ORCID Awarded Grant from Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to Support University and Professional Society Integration of Persistent Identifiers
ORCID, the non-profit organization that provides an open registry of unique identifiers for researchers, launched its Registry in October 2012. Since then over 160,000 researchers have registered for an identifier, and several systems, including ones used for manuscript submissions and grant applications, have begun to embed the identifiers. ORCID has announced a new project, funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, to catalyze broader community adoption by standardizing and streamlining the ORCID identifier integration process, collecting and documenting use cases, developing open source code samples, and providing case studies of working integrations. The program will disseminate use cases and integration best practices through an outreach meeting and CodeFest, to be held in Chicago in May 2014. Up to 10 grants of $15,000-$20,000 each are available. Proposals are due by August 31, 2013. More information on the program and the RFP are available online.
W3C launched a new Digital Publishing Activity to make the Web a platform for the digital publishing industry, and to build the necessary bridges between the developers of the Open Web Platform and the publishing industry, who are one of the largest consumers of W3C technology. Work in this activity primarily takes place in the Digital Publishing Interest Group. Through the initiatives taken by this Activity (workshops, interest groups, and possibly other types of groups), as well as an extensive network of contacts with relevant industry consortia and groups (IDPF, BISG, EDItEUR, IPTC, the Daisy Consortium, NISO, etc.) the Activity should ensure that the interests and requirements of the Publishing Industry are known to other groups within the W3C, that experts of commercial publishers take part in the technical work in those groups to move the Open Web Platform forward, and that the Publishing Industry at large is well aware of the latest directions, issues, and priorities at W3C.
W3C Working Group Note, Linked Data Glossary
The Government Linked Data Working Group has published a Group Note that is a glossary of terms defined and used to describe Linked Data, its associated vocabularies, and Best Practices. This document will help information management professionals, Web developers, scientists, and the general public better understand how to publish structured data using Linked Data Principles.
PDF/A In A Nutshell 2.0: PDF For Long-Term Archiving
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.
September Two-part NISO Webinar: Research Data Curation
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Copyright © 2013 National Information Standards Organization
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Newsline editor: Cynthia Hodgson
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