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Headshot of NISO Eexecutive Director, Todd Carpenter

March 2014

Although it may not quite feel like it, spring is just around the corner, or at least we keep telling ourselves so in the NISO office. One rite of spring within NISO is the international standards meeting of TC 46, where many of the key standards in the library and publishing world are discussed, settled and approved. Planning is well underway for the 2014 plenary meeting of ISO's Technical Committee on Information and Documentation, which NISO and ANSI will host, with the support of the Library of Congress and the National Archives, this May in Washington, DC. As this meeting is hosted in a different country each year, regular participation can be difficult due to travel budget limitations. This year, we are hoping that more community members will be able to take advantage of the US location. This is a great opportunity for the standards community to learn about what takes place at international standards meetings and become engaged in the ISO standards development process related to information and documentation. More information about the meeting is in this issue of Newsline. We look forward to welcoming the international community in a few months' time.

On a somewhat lighter note, the language of standards is something that requires precision and clarity. Untold hours have been spent fretting about the placement of commas versus periods (as yet unresolved) or in the appropriate use of "shall", "should," or "must" (resolved). In that vein, we should note that yesterday, March 4, was National Grammar Day. It is a relatively new holiday—as holidays go—celebrating its 6th year. Martha Brockenbrough, founder of the Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar (SPOGG) organized the first National Grammar Day in 2008 and it has expanded to include quizzes, haiku writing contests, and even T-shirt giveaways. While it may be too late to celebrate the day this year, we can cherish the goal by ensuring we are as clear as we can be, both in our standards formulation and in our everyday writing and speech.

Todd Carpenter’s Signature

Todd Carpenter

Executive Director

NISO Reports

Call for NISO Board Candidates

Pursuant to NISO's Bylaws, the Nominating Committee of the organization is conducting a call for nominations for the positions of Vice-Chair (succeeding to Chair) and two Directors. Please submit any nominations to the NISO office via e-mail to no later than March 21, 2014.

Information about the Board members responsibilities, terms of office, and other Board-related procedures are documented in the NISO Bylaws available on the NISO website.

NISO to Host 2014 ISO TC46 Plenary Meeting Week in Washington, DC

After more than 10 years, the United States will be hosting the annual plenary meeting of the ISO Technical Committee on Information and Documentation (TC46) and its five subcommittees. NISO will be hosting the meeting on behalf of the US national standards body, ANSI, on May 5-9, 2014 in Washington, DC. The Library of Congress and the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) will be co-hosting and providing the meeting venues. Bowker is a major sponsor of the event and OCLC is a supporting sponsor.

The meeting is expected to bring together as many as 175 senior-level domain experts in the information and documentation field, representing more than 40 countries. The plenary week includes a mix of administrative, planning, and working group meetings. New initiatives are discussed and launched, existing projects are advanced, and future developments are considered. More than 50 individual meetings are planned covering everything from metadata structures, country codes, identifiers, and assessment metrics to digital records management. A Gala Reception and Dinner will be held at the National Archives with a welcome from David S. Ferriero, Archivist of the United States, and featuring Keynote Speaker Vinton G. Cerf, Vice President and Chief Internet Evangelist for Google.

NISO members located in the US are invited to attend any of the plenary or ad hoc meetings. Working group meetings are closed to participants only. Since all attendees have to be accredited by their national member body, NISO members outside the US interested in attending need to contact their national standards body. Non-NISO members interested in attending should contact the NISO office (

More information about the meeting, including logistics, schedules, agendas, and a link to the online registration form are available from the 2014 TC46 Meeting Week page on the NISO website.

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:

  • The Lifecycle of Open Access ContentSusan Dunavan, Senior Product Manager, SIPX, and Franny Lee, Co-Founder & VP Business Development, SIPX

  • How Open is Open Access?Darlene Yaplee, Chief Marketing Officer, PLOS

  • Untangling Open Access Issues in Scholarly CommunicationGreg Tananbaum, Consultant; NISO Open Access Metadata and Indicators Working Group Co-Chair

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

  • Copyright Clearance Center: Open Access & APC ManagementRoy S. Kaufman, Managing Director of New Ventures, Copyright Clearance Center (CCC)

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

  • Open Access Business Models for Publicly-Funded ResearchFrederick Friend, Honorary Director Scholarly Communication, University College London

NISO Library Standards Alliance (LSA) members receive one free connection as part of membership and do not need to register. (The LSA member webinar contact will automatically receive the login information. If you would like to become an LSA member and receive the entire year's webinars as part of membership, information on joining is on the NISO website.) 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:

NISO April Webinar: Back from Marrakesh: Implementing an Accessible Content World

In the fall of 2013, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) agreed to a landmark treaty in Marrakesh, Morocco to Facilitate Access to Published Works by Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled. This treaty outlined for the first time a set of principles regarding the rights of the print-disabled to have all content made equally accessible for them. The opportunities afforded by digital content distribution to provide accessibility functionality built-in from the start of a publisher's production process and then be carried throughout the distribution process are tremendous.

NISO's April 9 webinar, Back from Marrakesh: Implementing an Accessible Content World—to be held from 1:00 - 2:30 pm Eastern—will provide an overview of the treaty, discuss its potential implications, and describe how standardized technology can facilitate access to the visually-impaired community.

Topics and speakers are:

  • Identifying Rights for Print-Disabled and Visually ImpairedGeorge Kerscher, Secretary General DAISY Consortium, and President, International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF)

  • Drafting the WIPO TreatyJames Love, Director of Knowledge Ecology International (KEI)

  • Walking the Walk: A Publisher's Perspective on Moving from Aspiration to Reality in Making Content AccessiblePaul Belfanti, Director, Content Architecture, Enterprise Architecture & Core Platforms, Pearson Education

NISO Library Standards Alliance (LSA) members receive one free connection as part of membership and do not need to register. (The LSA member webinar contact will automatically receive the login information. If you would like to become an LSA member and receive the entire year's webinars as part of membership, information on joining is on the NISO website.) 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.

NISO April Virtual Conference: Dealing with the Data Deluge: Successful Techniques for Scientific Data Management

With the expansion of digital data collection and the increased expectations of data sharing, researchers are turning to their libraries or institutional repositories as a place to store and preserve that data. Many institutions have created such data management services and see the data curation role as a growing and important element of their service portfolio. While some of the experience in managing other types of digital resources is transferrable, the management of large-scale scientific data has many special requirements and challenges. From metadata collection and cataloging data sources, to identification, discovery, and preservation, best practices and standards are still in their infancy.

NISO's April 23 Virtual Conference, Dealing with the Data Deluge: Successful Techniques for Scientific Data Management—to be held from 11:00 am - 5:00 pm Eastern—will explore in greater depth than traditional webinars some of the practical lessons from those who have implemented data management and developed best practices, as well as provide some insight into the evolving issues the community faces.

Topics and speakers include:

  • Keynote SpeakerJan Brase, Ph.D., German National Library of Science and Technology; Managing Agent of DateCite, Chair of the International DOI Foundation (IDF), Vice-President of the International Council for Scientific and Technical Information (ICSTI), and Co-Chair of the CODATA Data Citation task group

  • Guidelines and Resources for Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) Data Access PlansJared Lyle, Director of Data Curation Services, Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR), University of Michigan

  • Joint Declaration of Data Citation Principles: Implementation of the Principles in the Harvard Dataverse RepositoryMerce Corsas, Ph.D., Director of Data Science, Institute for Quantitative Social Science (IQSS), Harvard University

  • Purdue University Research Repository (PURR): A Commitment to Supporting ResearchersMichael Witt, Head, Distributed Data Curation Center (D2C2); Associate Professor of Library Science, Purdue University Research Repository (PURR)

  • The SHared Access Research Ecosystem (SHARE) Project: A Joint Initiative of ARL, AAU, and APLUJudy Ruttenberg, Program Director for Transforming Research Libraries, Association of Research Libraries (ARL)

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% through April 22.)

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

New Specs & Standards

Force11 Data Citation Synthesis Working Group, Joint Declaration of Data Citation Principles

After significant collaborative effort, the Data Citation Synthesis Group has released the Joint Declaration of Data Citation Principles. Many groups, including the CODATA-ICSTI Task Group on Data Citation, have contributed to the development of these principles. The group is calling on individuals and organizations that care about the place of data in research communications to endorse these principles (endorsement "button" available on the principles webpage).

JPEG Committee, Birth of JPEG video

To celebrate the 20 year anniversary of the JPEG standard, EPFL, Art and Media Communications, and Studio Colloseo produced a video, Birth of JPEG that describes the history of the JPEG standard and its successors. This 15-minute story covers JPEG development, and some other standards that the JPEG committee has been and continues working on, such as JPEG 2000, JPSearch, and JPEG XT. More information on the committee and its standards is available from the JPEG website.

ANSI Seeks Input on Proposed Revisions to OMB A-119, "Federal Participation in the Development and Use of Voluntary Consensus Standards and in Conformity Assessment Activities"

The White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB)'s recently issued proposed updates to OMB Circular A-119, Federal Participation in the Development and Use of Voluntary Consensus Standards and in Conformity Assessment Activities. Subjects covered include government participation in standards development activities, the role of the Interagency Committee on Standards Policy (ICSP), international conformity assessment schemes and regulatory cooperation, and the use of voluntary consensus standards in federal regulations, as well as incorporation by reference and intellectual property rights. The new rules are expected to have a significant impact on future U.S. government use of privately developed voluntary consensus standards. ANSI is soliciting comments from their member organizations; if you would like to comment, contact NISO at

ISO/IEC 20016-1:2014, Information technology for learning, education and training – Language accessibility and human interface equivalencies (HIEs) in e-learning applications – Part 1: Framework and reference model for semantic interoperability

This new standard states the principles, rules, and metadata elements for specifying language accessibility and Human Interface Equivalents (HIEs) in e-learning environments. It is structured to be able to support the requirements of applicable jurisdictional domains and in particular that of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

World Wide Web Consortium, RDF 1.1 is a W3C Recommendation

The W3C RDF Working Group has published a set of eight Resource Description Framework (RDF) Recommendations for version 1.1. Included are RDF 1.1 Concepts and Abstract Syntax, RDF 1.1 Semantics, RDF Schema 1.1, RDF 1.1 Turtle, RDF 1.1 TriG RDF Dataset Language, RDF 1.1 N-Triples, RDF 1.1 N-Quads, and RDF 1.1 XML Syntax. An additional four related Working Group Notes are: RDF 1.1 Primer, What's New in RDF 1.1, RDF 1.1: On Semantics of RDF Datasets, and RDF 1.1 Test Cases. Among the changes in RDF 1.1 are that identifiers are now IRIs, the introduction of the concept of RDF Datasets, and a number of new serialization formats.

Media Stories

New NDSA Report: The Benefits and Risks of the PDF/A-3 File Format for Archival Institutions
The Signal [LC digital preservation blog], February 20, 2014; by Butch Lazorchak

"We're lucky in the digital stewardship community that our challenges tend to be non life-threatening. Still, when we get fired up about something there is guaranteed to be spirited debate and passionate advocacy on all sides. Such was the case with the release of the PDF/A-3 file format specification in October 2012.…While a PDF/A-3 file's primary document is still intended to be robust against preservation risks over the very long term, PDF/A-3 does not require that the embedded files be considered archival content, creating a series of potential technical and policy challenges for preserving institutions. Which leads to today's release of the NDSA report on The Benefits and Risks of the PDF/A-3 File Format for Archival Institutions." (Read the full story)

NISO Note: The National Digital Stewardship Alliance is managed by the Library of Congress, a NISO voting member.

SCOAP3 Lifts Off: An Interview with Ann Okerson
The Scholarly Kitchen, Feb 14, 2014; by David Wojick

Ann Okerson has been a member of the international steering committee for SCOAP3, the CERN based project to transition the main scientific journals in the field of high energy physics to a sustainable gold open access (OA) business model. SCOAP3 launched on January 1, 2014 with LYRASIS as its US National Contact Point and Ann is the National Contact Person. (Read the full story)

NISO Note: Los Alamos National Laboratory is a NISO Voting Member. The California Digital Library, Stanford University Libraries, and Yale University Library are NISO Library Standards Alliance members.

UNESCO Publishes Guidelines to Compare Institutional Repository Software
UNESCO News Release, February 17, 2014

The Guidelines to compare Institutional Repository Software is being published as part of the UNESCO's Open Access Strategy. It compares the features of the major platforms and is intended to help libraries focus on which features will help facilitate the success of their repository. (Read the full story)

Orphan Works and Mass Digitization; Request for Additional Comments and Announcement of Public Roundtables
Federal Register, 02/10/2014Copyright Office, Library of Congress

The U.S. Copyright Office will host public roundtable discussions and seeks further comments on potential legislative solutions for orphan works and mass digitization under U.S. copyright law. The meetings and comments will provide an opportunity for interested parties to address new legal developments as well as issues raised by comments provided in response to the Office's previous Notice of Inquiry. The meetings are scheduled to take place on March 10-11, 2014 at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC and include nine sessions on various topics related to orphan works and mass digitization. (Read the full story)

NISO Note: Library of Congress is a NISO Voting Member.

Academic Torrents Offers New Means of Storing, Distributing Scholarly Content
Library Journal, February 13, 2014; by Ian Chant

"By putting distribution and storage of papers and datasets in the hands of their authors, Academic Torrents brings even more DIY ethos to the world of academic publishing, and may help to solve a few problems in the field in the bargain.…Academic Torrents puts torrenting technology—long employed by users of sites like The Pirate Bay to download music and movies—to make scholarly content more easily available while also offering authors, libraries, and other common hosts a new way to store their work that doesn't take up server space.…That kind of distributed hosting makes Academic Torrents a good place for libraries to participate by hosting data, without having to worry that they're the only source for it." (Read the full story)

NISO Note: Portico is a NISO Voting Member.

Bad Scholarship and Us
Online Searcher, January/February 2014; by Barbara Quint

"Barbara Quint takes on the open access debate and makes a pair of keen observations: First, OA stands as a light in the darkness of shrinking budgets and the ever-rising cost of scholarly journals. And therefore, as this beacon, the ultimate success or failure of open access will greatly impact the library profession, one way or the other." (Read the full story)

New Whitepaper Advises Academic Publishers to Think Outside the Book
Good EReader, February 18, 2014; By Mercy Pilkington

"A new report, issued today by global publishing adviser Ixxus, aims to help academic publishers organize their move to a more digitally focused landscape.…This whitepaper visualizes some of the obstacles and challenges which educational publishers may find themselves facing in the transition towards digital.…Some of the most important data in the report addresses the speed with which digital publishing is having an impact on educational markets, the transition from creating whole textbooks to smaller content-based "chunks" of material, the impact of MOOCs on the digital textbook market, and more." (Read the full story)

NISO Note: Cengage Learning is a NISO Voting Member.