Bib Roadmap meeting Altmetrics meeting
Headshot of NISO Managing Director, Todd Carpenter

November 2013

It was something of a surprise when "metadata" became a regular term on news broadcasts because of the NSA network spying activity. While it is a term our community uses regularly, it almost never gets use or traction outside of a fairly constrained world of library and information systems. Recently, however, the general public is beginning to realize the potential power and implications, both for good and ill, of storing and mining metadata. Some recent examples of how metadata could be used are: discovering music on online services, identifying your social network to recommend friends for marketing, tracking one's geolocation with cell tower data, using data to improve television viewing options, or simply tracking one's own vitals to improve one's own health. Whether these new uses of metadata lead to innovative services for users or unacceptable privacy intrusion is an open question.

Ownership and confidentiality of metadata can particularly be an issue when using cloud-based services. For example, NISO, like many other organizations, relies on a cloud-based e-mail service provider. Some have called into question the confidentiality of such e-mail. While for a variety of reasons (spam, software updates, system administration, etc.), I don't see NISO re-establishing our own internal e-mail server, the protections (or lack thereof) for e-mail content or metadata do bother me. Several IT managers I've spoken with have mentioned this and other issues that have hindered the movement by larger institutional systems to cloud-based e-mail services, despite the potential benefits.

Libraries have long been at the forefront of protecting patron privacy data. However, as more and more services are moving to electronic delivery of content, does the library maintain a sufficient level of control over that data to ensure it is kept private? And what are the implications as we move library data into the larger linked data community? So far such concerns do not seem to have hindered the movement toward cloud-based ILS or data repository systems. But some community consensus, or even legal protection, is needed regarding questions such as: Who owns the resulting metadata? What can be done with the metadata and with whom is it shared? How easily can we get our data back and in what format so that we can move from one system to another?

These issues also extend into a current NISO initiative on assessment. In San Francisco last month, NISO hosted the first of a series of Sloan Foundation-funded discussion workshops on alternative assessment metrics. Many of these new metrics are derived from tracking different types of online usage. How these data can be transferred and shared in a trustworthy manner was a topic that was discussed at length. Unfortunately, privacy did not come up as an explicit theme in the first discussion; I expect it may come up in future meetings. If you are interested in the topic of alternative metrics' security and privacy—or even altmetrics in general—we welcome your engagement in the upcoming NISO meetings scheduled for December and January. Live video streams will also be available. Please RSVP if you'd like to participate. If you missed it, recordings from the first meeting in San Francisco are also available.

Might there be a role for NISO in helping the community craft consensus on approaches to metadata security and privacy issues as they relate to publishers, libraries, and intermediaries? One active community member suggested that we pursue work on this theme based on a proposal published a few years back by Scott Nicholson and Catherine Arnott Smith (subscription required to access the article). We would welcome your thoughts and opinions on this topic.

Also on the docket, related at least partially to metadata, are plans made by NISO's Publications Committee to expand the number of available primers we make available. The Understanding Metadata primer is one of NISO's top downloaded publications and we plan to update this publication in 2014. Additional primers will be announced in the coming year.

Finally, I'd like to thank the large number of organizations that have joined NISO over the past several months. There are too many to thank individually here, but it is a sign of strength both in the importance of our work and the impact we are having on the communities we serve. If your organization is not already a member, please consider joining us to support the vital work we do. Library Standards Alliance members receive access to our monthly NISO webinar series as a benefit of their membership. Voting members have an active role in reviewing and voting on NISO and ISO TC46 draft standards. I'd be happy to speak with any of you about how you can participate in NISO's work.

With kindest regards,

Todd Carpenter’s Signature

Todd Carpenter

Executive Director

NISO Reports

Comment on the Draft Recommended Practice on Indexed Discovery Services by November 18

There's still time to submit comments on the draft recommended practice Open Discovery Initiative: Promoting Transparency in Discovery. Launched in 2012, the NISO Open Discovery Initiative (ODI) aims to facilitate increased transparency across all aspects of discovery services. This draft recommended practice provides specific guidelines for content providers on their participation in discovery services including disclosure on their level of participation, the minimum set of metadata elements provided for indexing, linking practices, and technical formats. For discovery service providers, recommendations address content listings, linking practices, file formats, methods of transfer, and usage statistics. The document also provides background information on the evolution of discovery and delivery technology and a standard set of terminology and definitions for this technology area.

The draft recommended practice is open for public comment through November 18, 2013. To download the draft or submit online comments, visit the Open Discovery Initiative webpage.

NISO Publishes Data Curation Themed Issue of Information Standards Quarterly in Open Access

The recently published Fall 2013 issue of Information Standards Quarterly (ISQ) has a special theme of Data Curation. Interest in the topic of data curation has increased greatly as many governments and funding organizations have mandated that publicly funded research must be made more openly available—including not only the results published in journal articles, but also the underlying data. As a result, much discussion and work is under way around the process and tools needed to ensure that data can be made accessible for reuse and preserved for the long-term.

"If I were to sum up the topic that comes up time and time again, not only in the articles in this issue, it is the necessity for standards to enable digital curation," states Sarah Callaghan, Research Scientist and Project Manager, British Atmospheric Data Centre, and guest content editor for the issue. "It doesn't matter what type of data is curated; anything from metadata about research projects, publications and grey literature, the methodologies and results of laboratory work, or the measurements from long-term observational missions. One thing is certain, the rate at which data is created is increasing so dramatically that the only way to manage curation is to automate it, and the only way to do that is to have standardized structures and ontologies."

Information Standards Quarterly is available in open access in electronic format on the NISO website. Both the entire Fall 2013 Data Curation issue of ISQ and the individual articles may be freely downloaded. Print copies are available by subscription and as print on demand. To access the free electronic version, visit the ISQ Fall 2013 webpage.

November Webinar: New Perspectives on Assessment: How Altmetrics Measure Scholarly Impact

As scholars increase their usage of Web 2.0 tools like CiteULike, Mendeley, Twitter, and blogs, there is an opportunity to create new filters. These metrics show web-based traces of research communication like citations from social networking links, press coverage, comments, etc. These metrics are complementary to COUNTER, impact factor, and Eigenfactor reports. Realizing this, many authors have begun to call for investigation of these metrics under the banner of "altmetrics." Specifically, altmetrics is the creation and study of new metrics based on the Social Web for analyzing and informing scholarship.

Join NISO for the November 13 webinar New Perspectives on Assessment: How Altmetrics Measure Scholarly Impact where speakers explore the topic of altmetrics and how they can be used.

Topics and speakers are:

  • Beyond Traditional Impact: What Can Altmetrics Do for You?Euan Adie, Founder,

  • Exploring and Adjusting for Disciplinary Differences in the Use of Social Media In Scholarly CommunicationStefanie Haustein, Research Analyst at Science-Metrix

  • Examining the Related Areas of Altmetrics, Contributorship, and the Culture of ReferenceMike Taylor, Research Specialist, Elsevier Labs

For more information and to register, visit the event webpage.

November Virtual Conference: Web-Scale Discovery Services: Transforming Access to Library Resources

Web-scale Discovery Services are becoming an integral part of libraries' information gathering arsenal. These services are able to use a single interface to seamlessly integrate results from a wide range of online sources, emulating the experience patrons have come to expect from Internet search engines. But despite their ability to streamline searching, discovery services provide a wide set of challenges for libraries who implement them.

NISO's fourth virtual conference Web-Scale Discovery Services: Transforming Access to Library Resources—to be held on November 20 from 11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.—will touch on the potential of discovery services, how to select a product, as well as the issues and challenges involved.

Topics and speakers are:

  • Keynote: Library Discovery: Past, Present and Some FuturesLorcan Dempsey, Chief Strategist at OCLC and Vice President, OCLC Research

  • Selecting a Web-scale Discovery ServiceAmy Hoseth, Coordinator for Onsite Services, Colorado State University Libraries

  • Web-Scale Discovery Means the End of Build vs. BuyCody Hanson, Acting Director, Web Development, University of Minnesota University Libraries

  • Implementation: Delivering the GoodsMichael Kucsak, Director of Library Systems and Technology, University of North Florida

  • Zen and the Art of Discovery MaintenanceAthena Hoeppner, Electronic Resources Librarian, University of Central Florida Libraries

  • The Library with a Thousand Databases: Web Scale Discovery and The Hero's JourneyMatthew Reidsma, Web Services Librarian, Grand Valley State University Libraries

  • Update on the NISO Open Discovery InitiativeMarshall Breeding, Independent Consultant and co-chair, NISO Open Discovery Initiative

  • Conference Roundtable with all the speakers

To register and for more information, visit the event webpage.

NISO/DCMI December Webinar: Cooperative Authority Control

Libraries around the world have a long tradition of maintaining authority files to assure the consistent presentation and indexing of names. As library authority files have become available online, the authority data has become accessible—and many have been published as Linked Open Data (LOD)—but names in one library authority file typically had no link to corresponding records for persons and organizations in other library authority files. After a successful experiment in matching the Library of Congress/NACO authority file with the German National Library's authority file, an online system called the Virtual International Authority File (VIAF) was developed to facilitate sharing by ingesting, matching, and displaying the relations between records in multiple authority files.

Join NISO and DCMI for their December 3 webinar, Cooperative Authority Control, which will cover some of the challenges VIAF meets in dealing with many different formats and approaches to describing identities; the relationship of VIAF to the source authority files and to other identity systems such as ORCID and ISNI; VIAF's approach to sustainability, governance, and persistence; and how ambiguity is recognized and managed.

The speaker for this webinar is Thomas Hickey, Chief Scientist at OCLC and one of the founders of OCLC Research. In addition to implementing VIAF, his group looks into exploring Web access to metadata, identification of FRBR works and expressions in WorldCat, the algorithmic creation of authorities, and the characterization of collections.

For more information and to register, visit the event webpage.

December Webinar: Library Linked Data: From Vision to Reality

The library and cultural institution communities have generally accepted the vision of moving to a Linked Data environment that will align and integrate their resources with those of the greater Semantic Web. But moving from vision to implementation is not easy or well understood. A number of institutions have begun the needed infrastructure and tools development with pilot projects to provide structured data in support of discovery and navigation services for their collections and resources.

Join NISO for the December 11 webinar, Library Linked Data: From Vision to Reality, where speakers will highlight actual Linked Data projects within their institutions—from envisioning the model to implementation and lessons learned—and present their thoughts on how linked data benefits research, scholarly communications, and publishing.

For more information and to register, visit the event webpage.

New Specs & Standards

Comments Welcome on Seven NISO Standards Up for Periodic Review

The following published and approved NISO standards will be coming up for their periodic review. NISO is interested in hearing whether and how you are using these standards, their value to you, and if you have any suggestions for possible revision. Click on the link for each standard to take you to a webpage where you can download the standard and provide online comments. Standards are open for comment through November 30, 2013.

COUNTER, PIRUS Code of Practice for Recording and Reporting Usage at the Individual Article Level, Release 1

The PIRUS Code of Practice provides specifications for the recording and reporting of usage at the individual article level that are based on and are consistent with the COUNTER Code of Practice for e-Resources. The PIRUS Code of Practice provides the specifications and tools that will allow COUNTER-compliant publishers, repositories, and other organizations to record and report usage statistics at the individual article level that are credible, compatible, and consistent. (Non-COUNTER-compliant organizations may use the Secondary Clearing House services described in Section 1.10.)

W3C Linked Data Platform (LDP) Working Group, Linked Data Platform Use Cases and Requirements Draft Published

To foster the development of the Linked Data Platform specification, this document includes 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. The starting point for the development of these use cases is a collection of user stories that provide realistic examples describing how people may use read-write Linked Data. The use cases themselves are captured in a narrative style that describes a behavior, or set of behaviors based on and using scenarios from these user stories. The aim throughout has been to avoid details of protocol (specifically the HTTP protocol), and use of any specific vocabulary that might be introduced by the LDP specification. Comments are welcome to the W3C Linked Data Platform mailing list.

W3C Proposed Recommendation, XQuery 3.0: An XML Query Language

This specification describes a query language called XQuery, which is designed to be broadly applicable across many types of XML data sources. A query language that uses the structure of XML intelligently can express queries across all these kinds of data, whether physically stored in XML or viewed as XML via middleware. XQuery 3.0 is an extended version of the XQuery 1.0 Recommendation published on January 23, 2007. Comments are welcome through November 19, 2013 to the W3C XSLT/XPath/XQuery public comments mailing list.

W3C Proposed Recommendation, API for Media Resources 1.0

This specification defines an API to access metadata information related to media resources on the Web. The overall purpose is to provide developers with a convenient access to metadata information stored in different metadata formats. The API provides means to access the set of metadata properties defined in the Ontology for Media Resources 1.0 specification. Comments are welcome through November 25, 2013 to the public-media-annotation mailing list.

Media Stories

Open Data and Competitive Advantage
The Standards Blog [], October 30 2013; by Andy Updegrove

The Obama Administration has been working to enable publicly-funded research data to become available for repurposing. McKinsey & Company estimates the value to the global economy of making such data available is over $3 trillion annually. The European Union and Great Britain began efforts to make data "open" more than a year ago. The expectation is that private enterprise will find ways to create commercial products or services with this data that will add jobs and competition to the economy. U.S. companies, likely due to the stronger capitalist mentality, seem more interested in such commercialization than organizations in Great Britain. The U.S. had examples of such data reuse even before the new Obama administration policies, such as the creation of nautical charts from public data of sea depths. Exponential growth in the available data, new tools for data mining, and lowered storage costs will likely lead to even more commercial ventures from existing Fortune 100 companies and new startups. "It would be difficult not to conclude that the countries that do the most effective job of getting their governmentally gathered data into the hands of the private sector will not only provide greater value to their citizens, but will also enjoy a significant competitive advantage abroad. This will depend in part on developing standards to make the exchange and use of such data more efficient and less costly." A U.S. team, with funding from the Knight Foundation, will be working to replicate the UK's Open Data Institute model. (Link to Web Source)

ANSI Launches Online Portal for Standards Incorporated by Reference – Website Provides Free, Read-Only Access to Private-Sector Documents That Have Been Incorporated into U.S. Government Regulations
ANSI Press Release, October 28, 2013

The American National Standards Institute has launched an online tool, the Incorporated by Reference (IBR) Portal, to provide read-only access to standards that were incorporated by reference into federal laws and regulations. The Federal government has in the last few years issued requirements for such standards to be "reasonably available" to those in the U.S. affected by the legislation. This has created problems with people violating copyrights on these standards and caused others to suggest that such copyrights be declared invalid. ANSI has been leading the effort to educate legislators and the public about why these standards shouldn't automatically be free and the importance of the revenue from the standards in supporting the work or even existence of the relevant standards development organizations (SDOs). The IBR Portal is a solution that makes standards incorporated by reference available in a read-only mode (no printing, downloading, transferral, or even screenshots), thus providing access to the information but still safeguarding the SDO's intellectual property. Thirteen SDOs are offering their IBR standards through the ANSI portal and seven others are allowing links to the IBR standards on their own websites. Additional SDOs are expected to participate following Phase 1 of the portal's implementation. (Link to Web Source)

NISO Note: See also the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) Response to Petition Regarding Incorporation by Reference published in the Federal Register October 2, 2013.

Montevideo Statement on the Future of Internet Cooperation
ICANN, et al. Press Release, October 7, 2013

"The leaders of organizations responsible for coordination of the Internet technical infrastructure globally have met in Montevideo, Uruguay, to consider current issues affecting the future of the Internet. The Internet and World Wide Web have brought major benefits in social and economic development worldwide. Both have been built and governed in the public interest through unique mechanisms for global multistakeholder Internet cooperation, which have been intrinsic to their success.

The leaders discussed the clear need to continually strengthen and evolve these mechanisms, in truly substantial ways, to be able to address emerging issues faced by stakeholders in the Internet.

In this sense:

  • They reinforced the importance of globally coherent Internet operations, and warned against Internet fragmentation at a national level. They expressed strong concern over the undermining of the trust and confidence of Internet users globally due to recent revelations of pervasive monitoring and surveillance.

  • They identified the need for ongoing effort to address Internet Governance challenges, and agreed to catalyze community-wide efforts towards the evolution of global multistakeholder Internet cooperation.

  • They called for accelerating the globalization of ICANN and IANA functions, towards an environment in which all stakeholders, including all governments, participate on an equal footing.

  • They also called for the transition to IPv6 to remain a top priority globally. In particular Internet content providers must serve content with both IPv4 and IPv6 services, in order to be fully reachable on the global Internet."

(Link to Web Source)

VIAFbot and the Integration of Library Data on Wikipedia
code{4}lib, Issue 22, October 14, 2013; by Maximilian Klein and Alex Kyrios

While some librarians have been skeptical about Wikipedia, others are looking to it as a partner in making library metadata more available. This article discusses a project where Wikipedians in Residence at OCLC and the British Library took biographical Wikipedia articles and matched them with Virtual International Authority File (VIAF) identifiers using a bot and a matching algorithm. The project used a number of Wikipedia "templates" of structured data, some visible on the Wikipedia pages (such as the Infobox person template) and some behind-the-scenes (such as the Persondata template). Although an Authority control template already existed in Wikipedia, this template was modified as part of the project. Wikidata, a central storage for Wikipedia data, was also utilized in the project. After running the VIAFbot and matching on the English-language Wikipedia and creating VIAF "clusters", interlanguage links were done with the German Wikipedia. Wikidata, which went live in the midst of the project, allowed easier and faster matching to other language Wikipedias. Authority data was then merged from the English, German, French, and Italian Wikipedia compilations. Unfortunately, "while Wikidata can keep data synchronized across Wikipedias, it cannot do so outside of Wikimedia projects. So when a when a user changes a link from Wikidata into VIAF, the link from VIAF into Wikipedia will not change, leading to a disagreement. To address this issue, it is planned that VIAF will read the inbound links from Wikidata and heal the link discrepancy." Referral traffic to VIAF has increased 300% since the VIAFbot was launched on Wikipedia. A proof-of-concept validation was done using the gender property, which showed a very high correlation between Wikidata and VIAF. While this project focused on personal names, it demonstrates that such matching could potentially be done with corporate names, controlled subject headings, or even classification systems. "The positive reception to the project at Wikipedia affirms the strength of libraries in performing authority control and proves the utility of this work in the era of linked data." (Link to Web Source)

NISO Note: To learn more about VIAF, attend the November 30 NISO/DCMI Webinar on Cooperative Authority Control. NISO members mentioned in this article are: OCLC, the British Library, and the Library of Congress.

Announcing ORCID Adoption & Integration Program Awardees!
ORCID Blog, Oct 01, 2013; by Rebecca Bryant

ORCID, an open, non-profit, community-driven effort to create and maintain a registry of unique researcher identifiers and a transparent method of linking research activities and outputs to these identifiers, has announced nine partners who will be part of the ORCID Adoption and Integration (A&I) Program. The program, supported by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, funds work to integrate ORCID identifiers with systems or services within universities, research institutions, or science/social science professional associations. The nine projects (and awardees) will integrate ORCID identifiers into: the Profiles researcher platform (Boston University), VIVO open source researcher profiles (Cornell University), the Hydra stack/Fedora Commons open source institutional repository (University of Notre Dame), the HUBzero open source research collaboration platform (Purdue University), biological pathways knowledge base data center (Reactome), association membership system (Society for Neuroscience), Vireo electronic theses and dissertations system (Texas A&M University), faculty information system and sharing through a SPARQL endpoint (University of Colorado), and Dspace open source institutional repository (University of Missouri). Each grantee will be asked to demonstrate their prototype integrations at the Spring 2014 ORCID Outreach Meeting on May 21-22 in Chicago. (Link to Web Source)

NISO Note: See also the announcement about the availability of the ORCID Public Data File. Cornell University Library, University of Notre Dame Libraries, Purdue University Libraries, Texas A&M University Libraries, and University of Colorado at Boulder Libraries are NISO Library Standards Alliance members.