Headshot of NISO Eexecutive Director, Todd Carpenter

February 2014

Transitions are never easy. This is equally true with systems as well as organizations. NISO is generally more focused on systems development transitions, but often the social changes are the hardest to deal with and overcome. It seems like this is the season for changes in our community and in our sister organizations' leadership. Some organizations manage transitions well, while many others are challenged by them; I am hoping that our fellow associations in information technology and standards will weather the transitions without issue. This month, we will see the departure of several leaders from our community. We should take a moment to reflect on their many contributions and find ways to help each organization and the new leaders contribute to our vital work.

Bonnie Lawlor, Executive Director of NFAIS and long-time member and supporter of NISO has announced her retirement and will step down at the end of February. Bonnie has adeptly led NFAIS through a difficult time of mergers and challenging market changes in her community. Under her leadership, the association broadened its focus from strictly abstracting and indexing organizations to a current membership that now includes libraries, social services, and information consultants. Among her many accomplishments during her 12 years as Director is leading the merger between NFAIS and ASIDIC (formerly the Association of Information and Dissemination Centers) in 2010. Always a supporter of our technical work, Bonnie participated in several standards initiatives, most recently the joint NISO/NFAIS Supplemental Journal Article Materials Project and as an observer on the Open Discovery Initiative. Marcie Granahan has been named the new Executive Director of NFAIS, effective January 6, 2014.

Mark Bide, the Executive Director of EDItEUR, is also retiring. EDItEUR has grown significantly in impact and scope since Mark took over five years ago, although Mark's involvement in standards work extends to well before that. Over his career, Mark has provided leadership for a variety of initiatives and seminal works, including co-authoring the <indec> model for content, the significant extensions of the ONIX messaging framework, the ACAP (Automated Content Access Protocol) initiative, and most recently the Linked Content Coalition. Mark has also been extremely active in international standards development, including work on ISBN, DOI, and other TC46/SC9 work. The Board of EDItEUR recently announced the appointment of Graham Bell as the Executive Director of EDItEUR beginning April 1, 2014.

Finally, Françoise Pelle, Director of the International ISSN Center has retired from her role as the head of the ISSN registration authority, effective January 28, 2014. In addition to her leadership of the ISSN community, Françoise has also served as Chair of the ISO Technical Committee for Information and Documentation (TC46) for the past 6 years. In this role, she is responsible for overseeing and coordinating the very broad range of international standards development within TC 46, as well as actively participating in the development work of a number of identifiers in our ecosystem. Dr. Gaëlle Béquet has been selected to be the next Director of the ISSN International Center and has also been nominated by AFNOR to serve as the new Chair of TC46.

It is important to reflect on the individual contributions of the many people in our community. I have often said, and it bears constant repetition, that we could not have accomplished what we have without the many contributions of people like Mark, François, and Bonnie. Each brought a particular style and attitude to his/her organization that has served us all well. We will miss each of them, but we are assured that each organization is in good hands moving forward.

We look forward to working with each of the new leaders, once they've had a chance to settle into their new roles. Please join me in welcoming those new Directors and wishing the very best for their success in the near and long terms.

Todd Carpenter’s Signature

Todd Carpenter

Executive Director

NISO Reports

Call for Participation: U.S. Profile of ISO 3166 Country Codes Standard

NISO Voting Members have approved a new work item to develop a U.S. profile of ISO 3166, Codes for the Representation of Names of Countries and their Subdivisions. This proposed standard will transition the Geopolitical Entities, Names, and Codes (GENC) Standard, developed by the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency in 2012, from a government standard to a US National Standard. The GENC standard replaced FIPS Publication 10-4, Standard for Countries, Dependencies, Areas of Special Sovereignty, and Their Principal Administrative Divisions, which was withdrawn by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in 2008.

The current GENC standard is itself a "profile" of the ISO 3166-1 standard and incorporates some needs specific to the United States, such as restrictions on recognition of the national sovereignty of certain countries; requirement to use names of geopolitical entities that have been approved by the U.S. Board on Geographic Names (U.S. Public Law 80-242), but which may not be recognized by the body that manages ISO 3166; and the need to identify and recognize geopolitical entities not identified in ISO 3166. More background on the GENC standard and the need to differentiate some codes from ISO 3166 can be found in the new work item proposal.

Because the GENC is a government standard, its current consensus body does not include any non-governmental voting members. By moving this standard to NISO and making it an American National Standard, its approval consensus body and ongoing development and maintenance can include a wider base of stakeholders—industry, libraries beyond the Library of Congress, academia, system vendors—many of whom are impacted by the standard. Adoption of such a profile will ease technical communications between industry and the federal government in the transmission of country-related data.

Anyone interested in participating on the working group to develop the U.S. profile of ISO 3166 standard, should contact NISO at nisohq@niso.org.

NISO February Webinar: We Know it When We See It: Managing "Works" Metadata

In the new models for describing information resources (FRBR, RDA, BIBFRAME), the conceptual essence of an item—referred to as a "Work"—is separated from the specific manifestations of the item—referred to as "Instances" or "Expressions". The work "Macbeth by Shakespeare" could have multiple forms or versions and exist in a variety of media, from a print copy of the play to a DVD of a live performance. Of equal importance in the new models is describing the relationship between a Work and its various Instances/Expressions. This represents an entirely different way of thinking about resource description for libraries and users. While the new models are still in the early days of implementation, a number of efforts are already underway to describe resources using these new concepts and relationships.

Join NISO for the February 12 webinar, We Know it When We See It: Managing "Works" Metadata, to learn how metadata descriptive systems are developing around the new notion of "Works."

Topics and speakers are:

  • The Use and Designation of "Works" in GOKbKristin Antelman, Associate Director for the Digital Library, North Carolina State University

  • RDA's Impact on Library Technical and Public ServicesMagda El-Sherbini, MLS, Associate professor and Head, Collection Description and Access Department, Ohio State University Libraries

  • Works as a Collection of "Rights" about a Content ObjectGodfrey Rust, Principal Data Architect for Ontologyx, Rightscom

Registration is per site (access for one computer) and closes at 12:00 pm Eastern on the day of each 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.

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

And be sure to check out the 2014 webinar subscription packages where you can buy 5 webinar registrations and get 4 free or buy 9 registrations and get the whole year (all 14).

NISO Virtual Conference: The Semantic Web Coming of Age: Technologies and Implementations

The Semantic Web, the phrase coined by Sir Tim Berners-Lee, envisioned the Internet as a common framework of data that can be shared across numerous platforms. Libraries and publishers are among those leading the charge with projects and initiatives aimed at making information and resources more widely available in the greater web of data.

NISO's February 19 virtual conference (11:00 am - 5:00 pm Eastern),The Semantic Web Coming of Age: Technologies and Implementations, will look at the challenges and opportunities available through the Semantic Web, highlighting applications, projects, and initiatives that are changing the way libraries and publishers structure their metadata and improve the accessibility of their content.

Topics and speakers are:

  • Keynote AddressRamanathan V. Guha, Google Fellow; Founder of Schema.org

  • The W3C Semantic Web InitiativeRalph Swick, Domain Lead of the Information and Knowledge Domain at W3C

  • Engaging with Open Data: The Open Data Institute

  • The Social Data Graph: The Friend of a Friend (FOAF) ProjectHenry Story, Chief Technical Officer & Co-founder at Stample

  • Sharing Information on the Semantic Web: The Need for a Global License RepositoryPierre-Paul Lemyre, Director of Business Development, Lexum

  • Semantic Web Applications in PublishingHeather Ruland Staines, Vice President Publisher Development, SIPX

  • Semantic Web Applications in LibrariesKevin Ford, Network Development & MARC Standards Office, Library of Congress

  • Conference Roundtable: Services that Build on Others Semantic Web Data

Registration is per site (access for one computer) and closes at 4:00 pm Eastern the day before the virtual conference. Can't make it on the day of the virtual conference? All registrants receive access to the recorded version for one year. Take advantage of the Virtual Conference subscription package for all six of the 2014 Virtual Conferences and save 33%. (NISO members can save 50%.)

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

NISO Two-Part March Webinar: The Infrastructure of Open Access

NISO will be holding a two-part webinar in March to discuss The Infrastructure of Open Access. In Part 1, to be held on March 5, the focus is on Knowing What is Open. In Part 2, to be held on March 12, speakers will address how we can move Toward a Functioning Business Ecosystem.

Speakers for Part 1, Knowing What is Open, are:

  • Darlene Yaplee, Chief Marketing Officer, PLOS

  • Greg Tananbaum, Consultant; NISO Open Access Metadata and Indicators Working Group Co-Chair

Speakers for Part 2, Toward a Functioning Business Ecosystem, are:

  • Cameron Neylon, Advocacy Director at the Public Library of Science (PLOS) and Co-chair, NISO Open Access Metadata and Indicators Working Group

  • Frederick Friend, Honorary Director Scholarly Communication, University College London

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: www.niso.org/news/events/2014/webinars/what_is_open/
Part 2: www.niso.org/news/events/2014/webinars/ecosystem/

New Specs & Standards

NISO Z39.99-201x, ResourceSync Framework Specification to be Balloted for Approval by NISO Members

NISO will shortly be presenting a ballot to the Voting Members to approve a new standard, ResourceSync Framework Specification. The standard describes a synchronization framework for the web consisting of various capabilities that allow third-party systems to remain synchronized with a server's evolving resources. The capabilities may be combined in a modular manner to meet local or community requirements. This specification also describes how a server should advertise the synchronization capabilities it supports and how third-party systems may discover this information. The specification repurposes the document formats defined by the Sitemaps protocol and introduces extensions for them. If approved by NISO members, the standard will be sent to ANSI for final designation as an American National Standard. Non-members who are interested in joining the consensus body should contact the NISO office.

Call for Participants, INCITS Executive Board, ANSI Accredited SDO and US TAG to ISO/IEC JTC1, Information Technology

The InterNational Committee for Information Technology Standards (INCITS), an ANSI accredited SDO, is the forum for information technology developers, producers, and users for the creation and maintenance of formal de jure IT standards. INCITS' mission is to promote the effective use of Information and Communication Technology through standardization in a way that balances the interests of all stakeholders and increases the global competitiveness of the member organizations. The INCITS Executive Board serves as the consensus body with its oversight of programs of its 40+ Technical Committees. Additionally, the INCITS Executive Board exercises international leadership in its role as the US Technical Advisory Group (TAG) to ISO/IEC JTC1, Information Technology. The INCITS Executive Board seeks to broaden its membership base and is recruiting new participants in the following membership categories: special interest (user, academic, consortia) and non-business (government and major/minor SDOs). Membership in the INCITS Executive Board is open to all directly and materially affected parties in accordance with INCITS membership rules. To find out more about participating on the INCITS Executive Board, please contact Jennifer Garner at 202-626-5737 or by e-mail. Visit www.INCITS.org for more information regarding INCITS activities.

World Wide Web Consortium, Updated Techniques for Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) for Public Review

The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines Working Group (WCAG WG) requests review of draft updates to Notes that accompany WCAG 2.0. The updated draft notes are: Techniques for WCAG 2.0 (Editors' Draft) and Understanding WCAG 2.0 (Editors' Draft). Techniques for WCAG 2.0 provides guidance about how to conform to WGAC 2.0. Understanding WCAG 2.0 provides specific techniques to meet each success criterion defined in the standard. (Note: This is not an update to WCAG 2.0, which is a stable document.) Comments are welcome through February 14, 2014 using the online comment form.

World Wide Web Consortium, Best Practices for Publishing Linked [Government] Data

This first Public Working Group Note document sets out a series of best practices designed to facilitate development and delivery of open government data as Linked Open Data. In recent years, governments worldwide have mandated publication of open government content to the public Web for the purpose of facilitating open societies and to support governmental accountability and transparency initiatives. This guidance is offered to aid in the access and re-use of open government data. Comments should be sent to public-gld-comments@w3.org e-mail list.

Media Stories

Collaborative Improvements in the Discoverability of Scholarly Content
SAGE White Paper, January 16, 2014; by Mary M. Somerville and Lettie Y. Conrad

"In a changing academic environment, discoverability of scholarly content demands cooperative efforts across the communications supply chain. This new SAGE white paper summarizes the current discovery landscape for scholarly communications, advocates for cooperative efforts across the industry, and proposes specific recommendations for discoverability improvement for librarians, publishers, and service providers." (Read the full story.)

NISO Note: SAGE is a NISO voting member. NISO's Open Discovery Initiative is developing recommended practices for the ways that content is represented in discovery services and for the interactions between the creators of these services and the information providers whose resources they represent.

Welcome to the Metadata Millennium: A Guide to The Many Dimensions of Metadata
Book Business, January 2014; by Bill Kasdorf

"In the context of publishing, the easiest way to think of metadata is this: it's not the content, it's information about the content. To use an industrial age metaphor for what we think of as an information age concept, metadata is the oil that keeps the machinery of publishing cranking smoothly. It's how publishers sell their content, and it's how we find that content; it's essential throughout the editorial, production, and distribution processes that publishers use; it's at the heart of cataloguing and librarianship, search, and discovery.…Publishers spent half of the last millennium perfecting and expanding how to render, produce, and deliver content as books. While that work is clearly not over, the focus has shifted in this millennium to metadata: how to manage the information about the content to make it more valuable to its authors, its publishers, and its consumers." (Read the full story.)

NISO Note: BISG, CrossRef, and Library of Congress are NISO voting members. This special Book Business issue on metadata includes other articles that may be of interest: ONIX 3.0 Raises Standard for Ebook Metadata, EPUB 3: A Foundation For the Future, Why the U.S. Publishing Industry Should Embrace Thema Global Standards, and Building an Open Annotation System to Curate a "Cacophony of Perspectives".

Successful Press-Library Collaborations Rely on Complementary Skills, Resources, and Missions
AAUP Press Release, January 14, 2014

"The Library Relations Committee of the Association of American University Presses (AAUP) today issued a number of broad conclusions and recommendations for successful collaboration between presses and libraries. These conclusions are the product of extensive surveying and interviews with member institutions of both AAUP and the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), conducted through 2012-2013. Forty-two libraries and forty-one presses participated in this information gathering process. The full report can be read online." (Read the full story.)

NISO Note: The Association of Research Libraries is a NISO voting member.

Court Strikes Down FCC's Net Neutrality Mandate
Library Journal, January 14, 2014; by Ian Chant

"In a ruling that could have serious implications for the way Internet access is regulated in the United States, the Washington, D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled today that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) does not have the authority to impose so-called 'net neutrality' rules on Internet service providers (ISPs).…Many abuses potentially allowed by the D.C. court's ruling concern librarians. "The American Library Association is extremely disappointed with today's decision by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals to strike down the FCC's Net Neutrality decision," American Library Association (ALA) President Barbara Stripling said in a statement." (Read the full story.)

Recipes for Enhancing Digital Collections with Linked Data
code{4}lib, Issue 23, 2014-01-17; by Thomas Johnson and Karen Estlund

"Standards-based metadata in digital library collections are commonly less than standard. Limitations brought on by routine cataloging errors, sporadic use of authority and controlled vocabularies, and systems that cannot effectively handle text encoding lead to pervasive quality issues. This paper describes the use of Linked Data for enhancement and quality control of existing digital collections metadata. We provide practical recipes for transforming uncontrolled text values into semantically rich data, performing automated cleanup on hand-entered fields, and discovering new information from links between legacy metadata and external datasets." (Read the full story.)

Who Can Rival Amazon?
The Scholarly Kitchen, January 22, 2014; by Joseph Esposito

"However dominant Amazon is for the trade, the fact is that it plays an even bigger role in scholarly book publishing. It has become a significant distributor to libraries and is by far the leading retailer for academic publishers that sell books outside of libraries.…Amazon is the leading online bookseller for print books and without question the dominant seller of ebooks, which are also purchased online. Combine the 2 formats and Amazon may have a market share for some categories of books over 50%." (Read the full story.)

Marcie Granahan Named New Executive Director of NFAIS Replacing Bonnie Lawlor
NFAIS Press Release, January 29, 2014

"The NFAIS Board of Directors announced today that Marcie Granahan has been named Executive Director, effective January 6, 2014. Ms. Granahan succeeds Bonnie Lawlor who is actively assuring a smooth transition of leadership responsibilities after more than a decade of dedicated service as Executive Director of NFAIS." (Read the full story.)

NISO Note: Ms. Lawlor co-chaired the joint NISO/NFAIS initiative on Supplemental Journal Article Materials and was an observer on the Open Discovery Initiative.

Françoise Pelle to Retire; Gaëlle Béquet to be the Next Director of the ISSN International Center
ISSN International Centre Press Release, January 2014

The ISSN International Center and the French Ministry of Higher Education are pleased to announce that Dr. Gaëlle Béquet has been selected to be the next Director of the ISSN International Center. Dr. Béquet will replace Ms. Françoise Pelle, who will retire as Director of the ISSN International Center on February 28th, 2014 after 16 years of outstanding service to the ISSN Network and international bibliographic standards community. (Read the full story.)

NISO Note: Dr. Béquet has also been proposed to replace Ms. Pelle as the Chair of the ISO Technical Committee on Information and documentation (TC46), pending approval of the committee members.

Graham Bell Appointed Executive Director of EDItEUR Replacing Mark Bide
EDItEUR Newsletter, January 2014

"The Board of EDItEUR has announced the appointment of Graham Bell as the Executive Director of EDItEUR with effect from 1 April 2014, in succession to Mark Bide. Mark retires from EDItEUR at the end of March, having served over 5 years as Executive Director." (Read the full story.)