AC Directions Survey
Headshot of NISO Managing Director, Todd Carpenter

March 2013

One of the great things about NISO is the diversity of community participants and topics that we engage in. This diversity keeps NISO staff on our toes to respond quickly to industry needs. It also ensures that no days go by without some important trend impacting our work. Below are a few highlights of recent events impacting our community.

The cause of Open Access is one that has gained a lot of traction over the past several years. Within the US, that momentum reached a significant tipping point when the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) issued a policy directing all funding agencies supporting more than $100 million in research grants to put into place a policy ensuring that research outputs of those grants be made available to the public. In order to fulfill many of the expectations outlined in the OSTP memo mandating the new policy, the community will need standardized OA-related metadata at the article level. It is therefore a happy coincidence that NISO announced last month a project to develop just that necessary metadata. Formation is underway of a NISO working group to focus concentrated effort on developing that specification. A monitoring group will also provide feedback to the core development team. For more information, view the project proposal.

NISO is making advances with the Bibliographic Roadmap Initiative that we previously announced. With funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, NISO is working with a worldwide community of bibliographic experts to discuss where bibliographic data management and exchange is headed and how the library community can prepare for that coming ecosystem. A meeting is planned for April 15-16 in Baltimore, MD. The meeting is open and free to attend, but space is limited. See the Newsline article below for more information.

Just yesterday, the Digital Public Library of America announced that Dan Cohen has been appointed the founding Executive Director. Dan is a Professor at George Mason University and the Director of the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media. Much of the work on DPLA to this point has been focused on addressing scope and governance questions, the technological feasibility study, and preliminary systems prototyping. With Dan's appointment, I expect that the activity and impact of DPLA will expand and evolve more rapidly. As a federation of service and content "hubs" for information (as it is currently conceived), DPLA will rely heavily on standards for discovery, exchange, and storage. I expect that the existence of and work on DPLA will advance our understanding of the data exchange and storage technologies, which will likely lead to new standards development. We should all wish Dan well in his new position and follow the work of DPLA as it develops.

Finally, NISO is interested in hearing from the community about our work and priorities. To gather some information to feed into a horizon project of the NISO Architecture Committee, we have released a survey about the community's needs and priorities. We hope that you all will take a few minutes of your time to provide input to this process by completing the survey.

I hope that you all will engage with NISO at whatever level you can and on whatever project is of greatest interest to you and your organization. There are many more initiatives that are in the works and we always welcome your ideas and suggestions about what to focus on next!

Todd Carpenter’s Signature

Todd Carpenter

Executive Director

NISO Reports

NISO Publishes Maintenance Revisions of Dublin Core and SUSHI Standards

NISO has published maintenance revisions of two widely used standards: The Dublin Core Metadata Element Set (ANSI/NISO Z39.85-2012) and The Standardized Usage Statistics Harvesting Initiative (SUSHI) Protocol (ANSI/NISO Z39.93-2013). Both standards were revised to make very minor updates.

The DCMI Usage Board approved a change to the usage comment for the 'subject' element to eliminate some ambiguity with the 'coverage' element. The new version of the ANSI/NISO standard corresponds to version 1.1 of the specification on the DCMI website.

The SUSHI Standing Committee initiated this revision of the standard to add an error code and update the appendix about security considerations to reflect technology changes and experience gained since the initial implementation of the SUSHI protocol.

Both standards are available for free download from the NISO website—Dublin Core at and SUSHI at Additional information on the use of the Dublin Core standard is available from the DCMI website. SUSHI FAQs, schemas, and implementation information are available at the SUSHI website.

Bibliographic Framework Project Kicks Off with April Meeting

In November 2012, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation generously provided NISO with a grant to support an initiative to develop a community roadmap that will help support movement toward a future of bibliographic information exchange ecosystem. The goal of this project is to collectively 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.

As the first stage of this project, NISO will be hosting an in-person meeting in Baltimore on April 15-16 to engage the public conversation on the development of the Bibliographic Roadmap. This un-conference-style gathering will be used to elicit and prioritize themes for greater discussion over the coming months. This is a free and open meeting—to be held at the Tremont Grand Hotel in downtown Baltimore—however, space is limited to only 75 attendees. To enable more people to participate, a live stream will be broadcast that includes forums for engaging and gathering input from the virtual participants.

If you would like to attend in-person or virtually, please RSVP through this online response form and survey.

Additional information about this project is available on the NISO Bibliographic Roadmap Development Project webpage including a recording of the January 17 open teleconference where the project's goals were reviewed.

Two Part March Webinar: Evolving Trends in Collection Development

NISO will be holding a two-part webinar in March to discuss Evolving Trends in Collection Development. Part 1, to be held on March 6, will discuss new methods for providing access to electronic journal articles without having a subscription. In Part 2, to be held on March 13, speakers will review the use of demand-driven acquisitions to involve users in selecting materials for the library collection.

Speakers for Part 1, New Models for Journal Article Access, are:

  • Articles Just-in-Time: Libraries & Get It NowCyril Oberlander, Library Director, Milne Library, State University of New York at Geneseo

  • Get It Now: Supplement ILL with Always-On FulfillmentRoy S. Kaufman, Copyright Clearance Center, Managing Director of New Ventures

  • DeepDyve: The "Rent to Own" Model for Accessing Scholarly ContentWilliam (Bill) Park, CEO, DeepDyve

Speakers and topics for Part 2, Putting the User in the Driver's Seat, are:

  • Implementing a Demand Driven Acquisitions PilotGreg Doyle, Electronic Resources Program Manager, Orbis Cascade Alliance

  • An Overview of the growth of Ebook PDA/DDABarbara Kawecki, Senior Digital Content Sales Manager, YBP

  • Planning, Implementation, and Evaluation of a Demand Driven Acquisition ServiceCory Tucker, Interim Director, Logistics and Resources Distribution Services, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Registration is per site (access for one computer) and closes at 12:00 pm Eastern on the day of each webinar. You may register for either or both parts. 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:
Part 2:

April Webinar: Universal Accessibility: Creating E-Books Anyone Can Read

One of the exciting aspects of e-books and the newer standards for them is the ability content creators have to create a format that provides for accessibility for everyone. From individuals who are visually impaired to those that have cognitive or learning disabilities, all can be accommodated with the latest dizzying array of devices that support a variety of functionality and multimedia. In this webinar you will learn about new and emerging technologies to provide universal accessibility, including an open source platform and built-in accessibility for textbooks.

Topics for the webinar are:

  • Readium, an Open Source Reference System and Rendering Engine for EPUB Publications

  • Emerging Technologies for the Visually Impaired

  • Built-in Access for Digital Textbooks

Registration is per site (access for one computer) and closes at 12:00 pm Eastern on April 10 (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.

April Virtual Conference: EPUB3 and the Future of Interoperable E-books: What Libraries Need to Know

Virtual conferences are a new type of educational event that NISO is offering this year. These 5-6 hour conferences are held online in webinar-like formats, with occasional breaks in the schedule for participants. The longer length allows the depth of coverage of a conference coupled with the convenience of a webinar.

EPUB3 is a standard for interoperable e-books that is rapidly being adopted by the publishing and device manufacturing community. It has the promise of allowing publishers to create a single file format that can be rendered on any reading device, such as an e-reader, tablet, laptop, smartphone. This will be a critical component of a library's e-book services, since libraries must be in a position to serve patrons who come in with a range of devices, not simply from one particular supplier. Understanding the e-book files and why EPUB will allow a broader range of fulfilling patron needs is something that both publishers and librarians need to understand.

Join NISO on April 17 from 11:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. (Eastern Time) for EPUB3 and the Future of Interoperable E-books: What Libraries Need to Know—a discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of EPUB3, suggested tools for implementation, barrier issues on the horizon, and the significant improvements in accessibility with EPUB.

Speakers and topics are

  • Keynote Speaker – Sue Polanka, Head, Reference & Instruction, Wright State University Libraries

  • EPUB3: What, How, and Why

    • NISO/DAISY Interchange Format – speaker TBA

    • EPUB and MetadataBill Kasdorf, Vice President, Apex
    • Annotation of E-books: A NISO standard in developmentDan Whaley, Founder,

    • Identification of E-booksLaura Dawson, Product Manager, Bowker

  • Implementation and Implications

    • BISG EPUB 3 Support Grid Angela Bole, Deputy Executive Director, BISG

    • Implementing an E-book System – speaker TBA

    • Digital Rights Management (DRM)Jim Dovey, Digital Content Formats Evangelist, Kobo

  • Future of EPUB: Roundtable discussion – Moderated by Todd Carpenter, Executive Director, NISO

Registration is per site (access for one computer) and closes at 12:00 pm Eastern on April 16 (the day before the virtual conference). 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.

April NISO/DCMI Webinar: Deployment of RDA (Resource Description and Access) Cataloging and its Expression as Linked Data

A seminar at the British Library in April 2012 marked the fifth anniversary of a 2007 meeting at which representatives of the Dublin Core, Semantic Web, and RDA communities jointly recommended that the then-draft cataloging standard RDA be provided in the form of vocabularies and application profiles usable for Linked Data.

One year after this anniversary meeting and one year closer to the general deployment of RDA in libraries, this joint NISO/DCMI webinar on Deployment of RDA (Resource Description and Access) Cataloging and its Expression as Linked Data, to be held on April 24, will take stock of progress towards developing application profiles based on RDA and discuss the practicalities of exposing RDA-based data in the Linked Data cloud.


  • Alan Danskin is Metadata Standards Manager at The British Library and currently represents the library on the Joint Steering Committee for the Development of RDA (Resource Description and Access) for which he until recently served as chair. He has served as chair of the Cataloguing & Indexing Group of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals and is a member of the Book Industry Communication Bibliographic Standards Group.

  • Gordon Dunsire is a freelance consultant with 25 years of experience working in academic libraries and ten years in digital library research. He is a member of IFLA's ISBD/XML Study Group and FRBR Review Group, represents the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP) on the Joint Steering Committee for the Development of RDA, chairs the IFLA Namespaces Task Group, and co-chairs the DCMI Bibliographic Metadata Task Group. In 2010-2011, he was a member of the W3C Incubator Group on Library Linked Data.

Registration is per site (access for one computer) and closes at 12:00 pm Eastern on April 24 (the day of the webinar). Discounts are available for NISO and DCMI members and students. All webinar registrants receive access to the recorded version for one year.

Visit the event webpage to register and for more information.

New Specs & Standards

ISO 25964-2:2013, Information and documentation – Thesauri and interoperability with other vocabularies – Part 2: Interoperability with other vocabularies

New standard applicable to thesauri and other types of vocabulary that are commonly used for information retrieval. It describes, compares, and contrasts the elements and features of these vocabularies that are implicated when interoperability is needed. It gives recommendations for the establishment and maintenance of mappings between multiple thesauri, or between thesauri and other types of vocabularies.

EDItEUR, Updated FAQ on eBooks and ONIX

Describes how to use ONIX 2.1 and 3.0 to describe e-books and other digital content. This document—originally prepared for the BIC Digital Rights Group, but adopted by both BIC and BISG—compiles many of the most frequently discussed issues and provides non-technical answers.

ISO/IEC 11179-3:2013, Information technology – Metadata Registries (MDR) – Part 3: Registry metamodel and basic attribute

Third edition of the standard that specifies the structure of a metadata registry in the form of a conceptual data model. While the model diagrams are presented in UML notation, the standard does not assume nor endorse any specific system, methodology, or technology. It also specifies basic attributes which are required to describe metadata items, and which might be used in situations where a complete metadata registry is not appropriate (e.g. in the specification of other International Standards).

ISO/IEC 17963:2013, Web Services for Management (WS-Management) Specification

This new standard describes a Web services protocol based on SOAP for use in management specific domains. These domains include the management of entities such as PCs, servers, devices, Web services and other applications manageable entities. A crucial application for these services is in the area of systems management. To promote interoperability between management applications and managed resources, the standard identifies a core set of Web service specifications and usage requirements that expose a common set of operations central to all systems management.

OASIS, searchRetrieve version 1.0

searchRetrieve version 1.0, a multi-part specification that defines a generic protocol for the interaction required between a client and server for performing searches, was approved and published by OASIS in February 2012. Developed as a web-based successor to the popular Z39.50 standard, searchRetrieve defines a generic protocol for the interaction required between a client and server for performing searches. The new specification draws heavily on the abstract models and functionality of Z39.50, but removes much of the complexity. The published standard is available as eight documents that include: Overview, Abstract Protocol Definition (APD), Binding for SRU (Search/Retrieval via URL) 1.2, Binding for SRU 2.0, Binding for OpenSearch, Contextual Query Language (CQL), Scan, and SRU Explain. Included with the standard are eight XML schemas.

Media Stories

Confusions in the OSTP OA Policy Memo – Three Monsters and a Gorilla
The Scholarly Kitchen, February 25, 2013; by David Wojick

The U.S. Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) issued Increasing Access to the Results of Federally Funded Scientific Research on February 22, 2013—a memo that requires federal research agencies over the next three years to implement policies for ensuring open public access to government-funded research. The author of this blog article sees too much flexibility built into the ruling and has identified three "monster" challenges and one "gorilla" in the room. The first monster is the sheer number of federal agencies and the resulting variations in policies that could result. Jointly developed research across agencies will further exacerbate the situation. Publishers and authors will have to deal with each of these agencies separately and keep track of their differing policies. The second monster is the number of separate and different systems that will result, with different features and functionality. Again, a potential nightmare for authors and publishers to interact with. Portal-type systems could help in this regard, but not all agencies will likely participate in such portals. The third monster is the number of different disciplines and the fact that the OSTP memo allows for different embargo periods by discipline. Government agencies tend to be organized by mission, not discipline, so any discipline-dependent approach will increase the multiple agency issues and could result in different embargo periods for the same subject discipline. And lastly, the gorilla in the room is money and the ongoing budget cuts, which could result in many agencies looking for the least costly way to comply with the new rules. "[T] he OSTP OA policy memorandum creates a "matrix problem" of procedures. Multiple agencies considering many design features for multiple disciplines create a multi-dimensional matrix of possibilities with a huge number of cells." (Link to Web Source)

Publishers Blast New Open Access Bill, FASTR
Publishers Weekly, February 15, 2013; by Andrew Albanese

The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR) bi-partisan bill, introduced in Congress on February 14, requires federal agencies with research budgets of at least $100 million to provide online public access to research results within six months after journal publication. Different from previous proposals is the issue that articles be "provided in formats and under terms that ensure researchers have the ability to freely apply cutting-edge analysis tools." This would allow text and data mining technologies to be applied to the articles to aid researchers in sifting through the huge volume of information. Twice previously, publishers had backed legislation to prevent the government from requiring such public access. Their support of the Research Works Act in 2012 led to a backlash by public groups and researchers, who threatened not to publish or work with publishers who had supported RWA. The American Association of Publishers (AAP) has already criticized FASTR and is focusing on it as a waste of taxpayer money in duplicating what publishers already do. AAP has regularly opposed any type of public access mandate. (Link to Web Source)

Etextbook Update
ITI NewsLink Spotlight, March 4, 2013; by Paula J. Hane

Although still an evolving area, the digital textbook marketplace has had several recent developments of note. Cengage Learning, a major textbook publisher, is considering restructuring alternatives and there are rumors that both they and McGraw-Hill Education may be acquired. Pearson, another major player, has a new CEO who is focused on an education strategy. All three companies have been involved in CourseSmart, which produces e-textbooks. Flat World Knowledge, which previously supported free e-textbooks, has now introduced a Study Pass fee of $19.95. Since their books had previously been issued under a CC Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license, their previously published books are being made available by the Internet Archive and others. Kno is partnering with publishers to create interactive textbooks and has announced a new learning platform. The Book Industry Study Group (BISG) published in January the results of a study of Student Attitudes Toward Content in Higher Education, where although students preference for print has dropped, some 60% still prefer print over digital. The students' satisfaction with existing e-textbooks also dropped since 2011. Michael Cairns in a talk at the NFAIS conference at the end of February expects "an aggregation model [to] emerge in education, where content 'platforms' deliver content and services based on a different financial model than the current retail or 'student buys the book' model." (Link to Web Source)

NISO Note: See also Marydee Ojala's article, Etextbooks – what's not to like? NISO members mentioned in this article are: BISG, Cengage Learning, Elsevier, John Wiley & Sons, NFAIS, and SAGE Publications.

Academic Libraries as Data Quality Hubs
Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication 1(3):eP1059(2013); by MJ Giarlo

With the growth in e-science and e-research, which rely on the ability to reuse data, academic libraries have an opportunity to become "data quality hubs" and provide services for auditing and verifying data quality. Many libraries already offer services in curation and preservation and extending the services to data quality is a natural fit. Very few researchers have the time or skill sets to be data curators. Trust is the major factor underlying researchers' willingness to reuse other's data. For data to be trusted, it must be authentic, understandable, usable, and have integrity. The digital curation lifecycle model can be directly applied to these data quality issues. Librarians can work with researchers to build data curation practices into the researchers' workflows. Crowdsourcing has even been adopted to aid in scaling data curation. Automated subject classification is another tool that can help in alleviating the resources needed for data curation. The NSF's mandate for data management plans provides a timely opportunity for libraries to become involved in the support services necessary, whether it be in curation, instruction, or consultation. "The sooner libraries can insert themselves into the research process, the better the data quality situation will be on campus." Such a role, though, may require libraries to obtain additional funding, reorganize, and train staff in the new e-science. (Link to Web Source)

NISO Note: NISO will be holding a two-part webinar in September on Research Data Curation with a focus in Part 1 on E-Science Librarianship and in Part 2 on Libraries and Big Data. For more information and to register, visit the event webpage.

As University of Pittsburgh Wraps Up Altmetrics Pilot, Plum Analytics Announces Launch of Plum X
The Digital Shift, February 5, 2013; by Matt Enis

With peer-reviewed journal articles often taking a year to publish after submission and citations to the article taking another year or longer, there is a long lag time before a citation-based measurement system provides any data. And that assumes that citation counting is even the best method of measurement. The University of Pittsburgh has been working with Plum Analytics on a pilot for alternative metrics (altmetrics) that include social media usage and downloads as impact measures for an article. Plum Analytics also use data such as mentions in news articles, book circulation data, and saving of citations to a Zotero account. Not all measures are equal, however, and the interaction between them may also be useful. "An article that generated a large volume of mentions on social media, but was rarely downloaded or bookmarked may have been more controversial than substantive, for example. Altmetrics can also provide some interesting aggregate information across a research group. The Pittsburgh pilot provided researchers with some surprises about how much their publications had been used in ways other than citations. The University plans to expand the use of the Plum Analytic tools used in the pilot across the university. Plum Analytics "in January announced the official launch of PlumX, a tool that harvests and aggregates alternative impact metrics in five major categories: usage, captures, mentions, social media, and citations." (Link to Web Source)

NISO Note: For more on altmetrics, view the presentation slides from NISO's November 2012 webinar, Beyond Publish or Perish: Alternative Metrics for Scholarship, and join us for a follow-up in October 2013 on New Perspectives on Assessment How Altmetrics Measure Scholarly Impact.