Headshot of NISO Eexecutive Director, Todd Carpenter

May 2014

It is always a terrific day when we can announce the publication of the output of a project, be it a white paper, a Recommended Practice, or a formal standard. It's a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the work of the group that put the document together and to reflect on the impact these efforts will have on making our community that much more efficient and effective. It is also a time to reflect on the adoption stage of a project.

This month, we are pleased to announce the release of two publications, the revision of the Knowledge Base and Related Tools (KBART) recommendations and the ResourceSync Specification, a new American National Standard. Each touches on the importance of delivering interconnected content and they each have broad implications for how content is used, discovered, and shared.

As proud as we are of these new publications and as thankful as we are for the contributions of the working group members, we also acknowledge that the most difficult phase of making these projects truly successful is ahead of us. The publication of a standard or recommendation is actually not the end point of project; the real work lies in operationalizing the document into people's daily work, be it best business practice, operating code, or using a descriptive taxonomy. This effort can take years, requiring tremendous resources in training, development, and integration with business partners. It is usually many years after a standard is published before its success can really be assessed.

This adoption phase is not something that the working group or NISO can fully control, but we can work to encourage uptake. This is why NISO has invested so heavily in our educational programs and in supporting most projects with ongoing maintenance groups, who can continue to advance and promote the standards and recommendations we publish. We focus a lot of attention on initiatives well after they are published, such as the open teleconference next week on the PIE-J project.

Ultimately, though, adoption of these standards and best practices relies on the decisions of those of you out in the community—reading this newsletter—who will choose whether, when, and how to adopt these standards. NISO has taken the first, major step in improving information exchange with the publication of these standards. We will continue to provide education and implementation support, but it's now up to you to take the next steps in putting these standards into practice in your organization, or insisting that your vendors and suppliers adopt them in the products and services you purchase. NISO will do as much as we can to help in their adoption, but the real work is now in your hands.

With kindest regards,

Todd Carpenter’s Signature

Todd Carpenter

Executive Director

NISO Reports

Revised Recommendations Published for Knowledge Bases and Related Tools (KBART)

NISO has published a revision to the Knowledge Bases and Related Tools (KBART) Recommended Practice (NISO RP-9-2014). The original recommended practice, issued in 2010, provided all parties in the information supply chain with straightforward guidance about metadata formatting—focused mainly on journal resources—to ensure the exchange of accurate metadata between content providers and knowledge base developers. Building on the initial recommendations, the revision includes the more granular, complex issues that cause problems in metadata supply, including consortia-specific metadata and metadata transfer for open access publications, e-books, and conference proceedings.

The experience of endorsing publishers and feedback from a survey of libraries and consortia identified the areas of focus for this expanded KBART revision. Historically, it has been difficult for libraries and linking vendors to obtain accurate title list data for customized consortia packages and the new KBART recommendations encourage content providers to establish metadata feeds specific to these packages. The recommendations also address some of the unique needs for open access publications, e-books, and conference proceedings by updating some of the required and optional metadata fields included in a KBART transmission.

The KBART Recommended Practice and its supporting materials are available from the KBART workroom on the NISO website.

NISO and OAI Publish American National Standard on ResourceSync Framework Specification

NISO and the Open Archives Initiative (OAI) announce the publication of the ResourceSync Framework Specification (ANSI/NISO Z39.99-2014)—a new American National Standard for the web detailing various capabilities that a server can implement to allow third-party systems to remain synchronized with its evolving resources. The ResourceSync two-year collaborative effort, funded with support from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and Jisc, was initiated to develop a new open standard on the real-time synchronization of web resources.

Since Web resources are continually changing, the proliferation of content yields the challenging problem of keeping services that leverage a server's evolving content synchronized in a timely and accurate manner. The modular ResourceSync specification introduces a range of easy to implement capabilities by grounding it in protocols that are already widely adopted. The new standard will save a tremendous amount of time, effort, and resources by repository managers through the automation of the replication and updating process.

The ResourceSync specification and video tutorials on using the standard are available from the ResourceSync workroom on the NISO website.

May Webinar: Getting to the Right Content: Link Resolvers and Knowledgebases

Link resolvers have become an important element of providing access to full-text electronic content and are now ubiquitous in both the library and publishing community. These systems work well enough a majority of the time. However, they are not entirely problem free, and as a result, users may not always obtain access to information which their institutions have licensed for them. The management of the large volumes of linking data necessary to support these services is a problem in scale as well as in detail. Several NISO projects have sought to improve the reliability of these systems, including the Knowledgebases and Related Tools (KBART) and Improving OpenURL through Analytics (IOTA) initiatives.

NISO's May 14 webinar Getting to the Right Content: Link Resolvers and Knowledgebases—to be held from 1:00 - 2:30 p.m. EDT—will highlight these projects and other initiatives launched to create community-managed knowledge base repositories.

Speakers and topics are:

  • Building the Global Open KnowledgebaseKristen Wilson, Associate Head of Acquisitions & Discovery / GOKb Editor, North Carolina State University Libraries

  • KBART: A Recommended Practice to Increase Accessibility and DiscoveryChad Hutchens, Head, Digital Collections, University of Wyoming Libraries

  • What We Learned about OpenURL in NISO's IOTA InitiativeAdam Chandler, Electronic Resources User Experience Librarian, Cornell University

Visit the event webpage to register and for more information.

NISO/NASIG Joint May 21 Webinar: Playing the Numbers: Best Practices in Acquiring, Interpreting, and Applying Usage Statistics

In a time of shrinking budgets and growing reliance on electronic resources, the collection and analysis of usage statistics has become a staple of the library world. But while usage statistics may be ubiquitous, many librarians still struggle with the best methods of interpreting the data. The ability to effectively understand and apply usage data is an important skill for librarians to master as they attempt to analyze their collections and justify their expenses to administrations.

The jointly sponsored NISO/NASIG May 21 webinar Playing the Numbers: Best Practices in Acquiring, Interpreting, and Applying Usage Statistics—to be held from 1:00 - 2:30 p.m. EDT—will highlight the ins and outs of COUNTER, as well as discuss the process of analyzing the data once harvested.

Topics and speakers are:

  • COUNTER Update: Release 4 of the COUNTER Code of Practice for e-ResourcesPeter Shepherd, Project Director, COUNTER

  • Integrating COUNTER Statistics within the Information WorkflowOliver Pesch, Chief Product Strategist and Senior Vice President, EBSCO Information Services

  • Usage in the Eye of the Beholder: Developing Academic Library Usage Reports that Meet the Needs of Your InstitutionJill Emery, Collection Development Librarian, Portland State University Library

Visit the event webpage to register and for more information.

June 11 Webinar: Fragmented Publishing: The Implications of Self-Publishing

In the six years from 2006 to 2012, the number of self-published books grew an astounding 270% to more than 235,000, almost as many as were published "traditionally." The easy access to publication tools and distribution mechanisms has ushered in a new era of how content is created and disseminated. No longer do authors need to work through a publisher to have their content accepted, processed, and distributed. The impacts of this revolution in publishing extend well beyond what used to be called "vanity publishing." A variety of best-selling books in recent years have come out from successful self-publishers sharing their tips on how others can follow in their footsteps.

NISO's June 11 webinar Fragmented Publishing: The Implications of Self-Publishing—to be held from 1:00 - 2:30 p.m. EDT—will explore the issues and the impacts of the self-publishing movement on both publishers and libraries.

Speakers are:

  • Laura Dawson, Product Manager for Identifiers, Bowker

  • Mark Coker, Founder, CEO and Chief Author Advocate, Smashwords

Visit the event webpage to register and for more information.

June 18 Virtual Conference: Transforming Assessment: Alternative Metrics and Other Trends

For decades, the landscape of assessment has been reasonably stable with traditional metrics, primarily the Journal Impact Factor (JIF), now provided by Thomson-Reuters. The JIF has served the community reasonably well for many decades, but with the growth of social media, open access mandates, and greater emphasis on articles over the journal "package," new methods of assessing quality and impact have exploded on the scene.

The new "alternative metrics" are not without their own issues. As with any new measures, different interpretations of the definitions exist, the metrics are inconsistently applied, or data from comprehensive ranges of sources are limited.

NISO's June 18 Virtual Conference Transforming Assessment: Alternative Metrics and Other Trends—to be held from 11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. EDT—will explore the range of new metrics forms and the infrastructure necessary to create reliable measures across the range of platforms, publishers, and authors. It will also discuss the current status of the NISO Altmetrics initiative and what standards are forthcoming in this area.

Topics and speakers include:

  • Keynote Address: Altmetrics at the Portfolio LevelPaul Groth, Ph.D., Assistant Professor at the VU University Amsterdam

  • Snowball Metrics: University-owned Benchmarking to Reveal Strengths within All ActivitiesDr. Lisa Colledge, Snowball Metrics Program Director, Elsevier

  • The Becker Medical Library Model for AssessmentKristi L. Holmes, Ph.D., Director, Galter Health Sciences Library, Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine

  • NISO Altmetrics Initiative: A Project UpdateMartin Fenner, Technical Lead for the PLOS Article-Level Metrics project

  • Conference Roundtable: Finding Acceptance and Value: Why Altmetrics Matter

Visit the event webpage to register and for more information.

New on the NISO Website

New Specs & Standards

Center for Research Libraries, LIBLICENSE Draft Open for Public Comment

The Center for Research Libraries (CRL) announced that its North American working group will revise the LIBLICENSE Standard Licensing Agreement model license with support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The working group, led by Ann Okerson, CRL's senior advisor on electronic strategies, published a discussion draft that is open for public comment until May 14. LIBLICENSE's model license, which was last revised in 2008, is used by U.S. libraries and consortia as a negotiating framework that helps libraries identify and incorporate license terms to provide patrons with the widest possible access to resources. This year's revision is designed to strengthen libraries' negotiating positions with regard to e-resources. CRL plans to release the revised model license in summer 2014.

Federal Agencies Digitization Guidelines Initiative Still Image Working Group, Raster Still Images for Digitization: A Comparison of File Formats

The still image format-comparison effort is led by the Government Printing Office with significant input from the Library of Congress and the National Archives, and it is studying formats suitable for reformatting (digitization). The formats being compared include JPEG 2000, JPEG (DCT), TIFF, PNG, PDF, and several subtypes. Rather than recommend a single format for all digitization and preservation master creation, the group chose to characterize and compare a set of viable formats widely available in the current environment. The various attributes, characteristics, advantages, and disadvantages of each format can be used to assist in making decisions on formats to be used for preservation and access copies.

ISO 16439:2014, Information and documentation – Methods and procedures for assessing the impact of libraries

This new ISO standard defines terms for impact assessment of libraries and specifies methods for such assessment. Such assessment can be used for strategic planning and internal quality management of libraries; to facilitate comparison of library impact over time and between libraries of similar type and mission; to promote the libraries' role and value for learning and research, education and culture, social and economic life; and to support political decisions on levels of service and strategic goals for libraries.

ORCID & CASRAI Kick-off New Standards Project on 'Peer Review Services'

In addition to integrating ORCID (Open Researcher and Contributor ID) identifiers into manuscript submission and grant application workflows, publishers and funders have been adding the identifiers into reviewer workflows. From this, a question arose as to how to acknowledge review activities in ORCID. To address this need, ORCID has asked CASRAI (Consortia Advancing Standards in Research Administration Information) to facilitate a new standards project focusing on Peer Review Services Contributions. Key areas of discussion include assessing prior art, identifying and defining data elements to enable acknowledgement, identifying options for assigning a persistent document identifier to the review itself, and recommending citation structure.

UKSG, Transfer Code of Practice: Version 3.0

The Transfer Code of Practice is a set of voluntary guidelines for publishers involved in any journal transfer. It covers difficult issues including ongoing provision of access to online content, exchange of subscriber lists, DOI and URL transfer, as well as perpetual access rights to journal content. The UKSG Transfer Working Group has issued a new version of Transfer that has a number of key updates dealing with new content types, clarification of subscriber types, journal URLs and redirects, nomenclature, and the timing and content of communications.

Media Stories

Building a Digital Foundation: Will Emerging Standards And Specifications Help Us Normalize Digital Magazine Publishing?
Publishing Executive, April 2014; by John Parsons

"The emergence of an industry standard is usually a sign that that particular industry or practice has reached a tipping point of market acceptance and potential profitability.… There are currently three digital specifications for defining, packaging, and delivering magazine apps or content for tablets: Adobe's .folio (recently released for free license use), IDEAlliance's OpenEFT, and IDPF's EPUB 3. Only .folio is currently in widespread use thanks to the dominance of Adobe DPS. However, publishers and their technology providers are considering the benefits of using a common standard not controlled by a single commercial developer." (Link to full story.)

IMLS and Sloan Foundation Award $1 Million to ARL for SHARE Notification Service
IMLS Press Release, March 28, 2014

"The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) announced the award of a $500,000 out-of-cycle National Leadership Grant for Libraries to the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) to develop and launch the Shared Access Research Ecosystem (SHARE) Notification Service. The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation will provide matching funding of $500,000. SHARE is a collaborative initiative of ARL, the Association of American Universities (AAU), and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) to ensure the preservation of, access to, and reuse of research findings and reports." (Link to full story.)

NISO Note: ARL is a NISO Voting Member. For more on SHARE, view the slide presentation from NISO's April 23 Virtual Conference: Dealing with the Data Deluge: Successful Techniques for Scientific Data Management. (SHARE update starts on slide 197.)

Toward Improved Discoverability of Scholarly Content: Cross-Sector Collaboration Essentials
Collaborative Librarianship, v.6 no.1, 2014; by Mary M. Somerville, Lettie Y. Conrad

"By way of follow-up to earlier work in understanding and improving discoverability of scholarly content, this article reports on recent data and reflections that led to clearer definitions of discovery and discover-ability, as well as deeper cross-sector collaborations on standards, transparency, metadata, and new forms of partnerships. Recent advances in discoverability are also described—from enhanced library-based web-scale searching to serving researcher needs through the Open Researcher and Contributor ID (ORCID) registry. The article points to a 2014 SAGE white paper that presents in greater detail opportunities for wider collaboration among libraries, publishers, service providers, and researchers in the interest of furthering discovery, access, and usage of scholarly writings and creative work." (Link to full story.)

NISO Note: SAGE is a NISO voting member. For a related article on discovery tools, see As Researchers Turn to Google, Libraries Navigate the Messy World of Discovery Tools. NISO's Open Discovery Initiative is developing recommendations to promote transparency in discovery.

Protect Your Data: File Fixity and Data Integrity
The Signal, April 7, 2014; by Trevor Owens; guest post by Jefferson Bailey

The National Digital Stewardship Alliance (NDSA) Levels of Digital Preservation guidance document "covers five different topic areas with four different levels of activity for each area. This post will cover the second cell in Level 1, File Fixity and Data Integrity.… Fixity, in the preservation sense, means the assurance that a digital file has remained unchanged, i.e. fixed. [K]nowing that a digital file remains exactly the same as it was when received, as well as through the process of adding it to [a] preservation system and storing it into the future, is a bedrock principle of digital preservation." (Link to full story.)

NISO Note: The Library of Congress is a NISO voting member.

The Past, Present, and Future of Demand Driven Acquisitions in Academic Libraries
College & Research Libraries, accepted: March 28, 2014; anticipated publication date: March 1, 2015; by Edward A. Goedeken and Karen Lawson

"With a DDA [demand driven acquisition] in place, ebook titles that have immediate usage can be incorporated directly in a library's permanent collection. But in practice, how do the titles patrons access during their online catalog investigations compare with those chosen consciously by the professional library selector? Do patrons and librarians identify the same materials or are there differences in what is chosen? We conducted a study at the Iowa State University (ISU) Library to investigate how ebooks added to our collection through our DDA compared with titles chosen by the professional librarians." (Link to full story.)

NISO Note: NISO's Demand Driven Acquisition Working Group is finalizing its recommended practice, which is expected to be available in early summer. Currently available are the results from the survey conducted in August 2013.

Special Report: The Open Access Movement
Synapse, April 23, 2014; by Alexandra Greer

This three-part series explores the impact of open access journals on the scientific publishing industry, scientists, and university libraries. Part 1, Scientific Publishing: An Industry in Flux, examines the impact of open access journals on the scientific publishing industry. Part 2, Scientific Publishing In The Era of Open Access, reviews the publishing industry's response to the growing popularity of open access journals. Part 3, Open Access Inspires New Publishing Models, looks at the impact of the industry's shifting fee structure on scientists and explores the rise of alternative publishing models. (Link to full story.)

NISO Note: NISO members mentioned in this series are: Reed Elsevier, John Wiley & Sons, Public Library of Science (PLOS), American Chemical Society, and California Digital Library. NISO's Open Access Metadata and Indicators Working Group is finalizing its recommended practice for metadata to describe the openness of journal articles as well as tags for linking to the item's license terms.

OSU Libraries Offer Open Access Etextbooks to Students
Library Journal, April 10, 2014; by Ian Chant

"Oregon State University (OSU) is helping faculty produce their own open access textbooks for courses. The university press, an arm of the OSU libraries, is starting work on a series of open access e-textbooks that officials hope will ease the rising textbook costs that are a consistent cause of student complaints. To make the etextbook program work, the library and press are partnering with OSU's Ecampus program, which administers distance and online learning programs for the college." (Link to full story.)

NISO Note: Oregon State University Libraries is a NISO Library Standards Alliance member. To learn more about electronic textbooks, register for NISO's two-part September webinar: E-books for Education.

Open Access Monographs and the Role of the Library
Insights: the UKSG journal, 2014, 27(S), 11-16; by Ellen Collins and Graham Stone

"If open access (OA) books are to succeed, they need to operate in a way that works for academic libraries. Humanities researchers rely upon libraries to help them find and access many of the books they need for their research. Furthermore, many business models require direct input from librarians in the form of funding for first-copy costs or alternative formats. This article uses interviews with librarians and repository managers at four UK universities to consider some key issues for OA monographs from the point of view of librarians, and concludes with a reflection on these findings from the point of view of the University of Huddersfield's Library." (Link to full story.)