2015 Education Programs


Headshot of NISO Eexecutive Director, Todd Carpenter

November 2014

From our own individual perspectives, we often don't consider the breadth and scope of the world and its interconnections. It is a rare opportunity when most of us can step outside of our comfort zone and engage on a broader scale. NISO is fortunate to engage an international community in a variety of ways, despite, as I often say, the "N" at the beginning of our organizational name. As Secretariat for ISO's subcommittee on identification and description (TC 46/SC 9), NISO leads and participates in standards development work on identifiers and metadata. In addition, we provide input to and participate in a variety of ISO standards work through our role as Technical Advisory Group Administrator to ANSI for all of the work of ISO technical committee on information and documentation (TC 46) Beyond ISO, we engage with the international community through a number of international organizations and partnerships. These include the International Council of Scientific & Technical Information, the International Association of STM Publishers, IFLA, the Research Data Alliance, the Linked Content Coalition, ICEDIS, and EDItEUR, among others.

Information distribution is a truly worldwide activity, particularly in this digital information environment we inhabit. Making information exchange work across borders and a variety of systems requires both machine interoperability and standards. This principle is generally understood and accepted. However, we don't always consider the implications of international exchange or the unexpected problems related to it, because they are usually too far outside of the scope of our own focus. So much of the content we consume is generated, shared, and consumed in our own language, using systems developed within those contexts. We don't often consider the implications of, for example, vertical reading for typesetting and production of texts, since in the Western-European tradition, text is written horizontally from left to right. Systems of content organization vary meaningfully from culture to culture. Fortunately, some of the basic precepts of content formation and distribution, such as accessibility, that make interchange and preservation of information easier within our own environment, also make international transformations work more smoothly.

This past month, I was able to connect with a number of these international communities at several meetings where I discusssed NISO's work and ways in which we can engage the international community on common goals and interests. One of these meetings covered the international scientific data infrastructure at the Amsterdam plenary meeting of the Research Data Alliance (RDA), where several important developments related to metadata and interoperability of research data were advanced. Following quickly on the heels of that meeting was 1:AM, the first European Altmetrics meeting, hosted by the Wellcome Trust in London. I was able to present there on NISO's alternative assessment initiative and the forthcoming Phase II of that project, which will be put before the NISO Voting Members for their approval in November. Later in October, the global publishing world gathered at the Frankfurt Book Fair with associated meetings by both EDITEUR and the STM Association. Many supply chain issues and questions around open access distribution of content were the focus of those meetings. Finally, the Japanese Science and Technology Administration hosted ICSTI's annual meeting in Tokyo. There again, research data was a topic of significant conversation, but from a more economic development perspective.

Each national community engages in these conversations from a slight different perspective, with slightly different needs and concerns. There are however, significant areas of overlap and potential topics where joint work could help avoid duplication of efforts or future conflicts. International organizations provide a forum where this cooperation and collaboration can take place. One of the challenges of such participation is the constrained resources in our community that often limit international travel. Improved technologies provide virtual platforms where international groups can function with participants connecting from a number of remote locations, with the result that a great deal of international work now takes place without any face-to-face interaction. However, there is still tremendous value from gathering in-person outside of our comfort zones. In-person interaction is critical to deeper understanding and improved engagement on a project. It also provides—particularly in an international context—a chance to better understand cultural underpinnings and implications of why particular actions may be taken in certain way in different locales. We all might collectively benefit from a better grasp of those cultural differences and the value of approaching problems from alternative perspectives.

There are always opportunities to engage internationally and I encourage you all to find ways to operate outside your comfort zone, at least occasionally. NISO is one venue for this, but there are many others. We regularly post opportunities for international engagement in Newsline and via our interest group lists, so be on the lookout for those projects and respond if something piques your professional interests. You will be surprised by how much a broadened perspective will add to your knowledge and also advance your own organization's efforts.

Before I sign off, it is with much sadness that I note the passing of Julia Blixrud last week. Julia, the Assistant Executive Director, Scholarly Communication for the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), was an incredible women and a friend, who possessed a deep passion for libraries, for her work, and for life, generally. Always one with a funny quip and a broad smile that one could "see" through a teleconference line, Julia brought with that smile a deep knowledge of how libraries do and should function. She was involved with NISO and standards development for libraries, as well as so many other topics, throughout her career. She could often and easily reflect on reasons for past decisions and then guide future related discussions and recommendations with the deft hand of experience. She passed peacefully, surrounded by her family in Kansas. We have lost a truly special leader in our community.


Todd Carpenter’s Signature

Todd Carpenter

Executive Director

NISO Reports

Comments Sought on Protocol for Exchanging Serial Content Draft Recommended Practice

NISO has released a draft of the recommended practice Protocol for Exchanging Serial Content (PESC), which was developed to provide guidance on the best way to manage all of the elements of digital serial content packaging in a manner that aids both the content provider and the content recipient in understanding what has been delivered and received.

When digital serial content is exchanged, the files that comprise a serial "publication" are packaged together in some manner and these packages can be highly variable. Currently, there is no standardized packaging format that addresses the level of specificity and granularity needed and the PESC Recommended Practice was developed to fill this gap. The recommendations in this document describe preferred practices for the packaging and exchange of serial content to enable the automation of processes to receive and manage serial content at scale.

The PESC Working Group is soliciting feedback on this draft Recommended Practice from any organization that needs to exchange serial publication information. The draft recommended practice is open for public comment through December 5, 2014. To download the draft or submit online comments, visit the Protocol for Exchanging Serial Content (PESC) Working Group webpage.

November 12 Webinar: Keyword Search = "Improve Discovery Systems"

The "single search box" approach of web search engines like Google and Bing have forced libraries and system developers to rethink their whole approach to end-user searching for library and publisher resources and electronic content. Discovery systems are continuing to evolve from simple keyword search systems to more elaborate indexed discovery, new forms of usage-based discovery, and beyond. Because discovery of content is such a critical component of library services, understanding in what potential ways these systems will develop is critical for library staff, either when selecting a system or in seeking ways to improve the services.

NISO's webinar Keyword Search = "Improve Discovery Systems"—to be held November 12 from 1:00 - 2:30 p.m. Eastern—will cover some of the latest developments of library discovery systems as well as discuss the findings of the NISO research study, launched in early 2014 on the status of discovery systems, their potential future development directions, and the systems interoperability needs of these services.

Topics and speakers are:

  • Differential Discovery: Effect of Discovery on Online Journal UsageJohn McDonald, Associate Dean, Collections, University of Southern California Libraries, and Jason Price, Program Manager, Statewide California Electronic Library Consortium (SCELC)

  • A Single Search Box is Definitely Not EnoughSteve Guttman, Senior Director of Product Management, ProQuest

  • Library Resource Discovery: Next StepsMarshall Breeding, Library Consultant, librarytechnology.org

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

November 19 Virtual Conference: Can't We All Work Together? Interoperability & Systems Integration

Library systems have typically operated either in silos within their own institutions or have integrated only with other libraries' systems. Even the standards used by these systems have been library-specific. Today's networked environment, powered by the growing use of linked data, makes structured information accessible and discoverable via the Web and makes these traditional silos outmoded. Opportunities abound for libraries to make their data more accessible beyond their own walls as well as to utilize others' data and systems to offer new services.

The virtual conference, Can't We All Work Together? Interoperability & Systems Integration—to be held November 19 from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern—will survey some of the ways libraries have integrated their data and systems beyond the library walls and will explore some new projects and tools that offer ideas for the near future of interoperability.

Topics and speakers are:

  • Keynote AddressCarl Grant, Associate Dean, Knowledge Services & Chief Technology Officer, University of Oklahoma

  • BIBFLOW and the Libhub InitiativeJeff Penka, Director of Channel and Product Development, Zepheira

  • Information Integration: Kuali OLE and Other initiatives at PennMichael Winkler, Director, University of Pennsylvania University Libraries

  • Distributed Person DataVioleta Ilik, Digital Innovations Librarian, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Galter Health Sciences Library, Chicago

  • Leveraging Wikipedia as a Hub for Data Integration: the Remixing Archival Metadata Project (RAMP)Timothy A. Thompson, Metadata Librarian (Spanish/Portuguese Specialty), Princeton University Library

  • ReadersFirst InitiativeJim Loter, Director of Information Technology, Seattle Public Library

  • Karma, a Data Integration ToolPedro Szekely, Project Leader/Research Associate Professor, Information Sciences Institute, University of Southern California

  • The Getty Vocabularies: Why LOD, Why Now?Joan Cobb, IT Specialist Project Manager, Information Technology Services, The J. Paul Getty Trust

  • Roundtable Discussion: Moving Interoperability Beyond One-Off Projects

A detailed agenda and registration information is available from the event webpage.

NISO/NFAIS Joint December 3 Virtual Conference: Connecting the Library to the Wider World: Successful Applications of Linked Data

For the vast majority of users, the launch of Google's Knowledge Graph in 2012 was the first glimpse they had of the value of linked data. All types of content providers—including libraries—are acting on the promise of knowledge systems built on linked data. By making data open, it becomes interoperable. By disambiguating and linking data, the user's experience is a better one. Content is more discoverable and more meaningful by exposing the relationships the data may have in the context of similar or relevant materials. By creating services that rely on linked open data, a more sophisticated information environment is created that better serves user communities in a variety of settings.

The joint NISO/NFAIS virtual conference on Connecting the Library to the Wider World: Successful Applications of Linked Data—to be held December 3 from 11:00 am to 5:00 p.m. Eastern— will feature speakers on the following linked data topics:

  • Keynote: What is linked open data (LOD); emerging tools and technologies

  • Library Initiatives: Metadata and discovery, digitized special collections

  • Enhanced Services: Creating online engagement, fueling smart content, insightful systems

  • Building Materials and Tools: Drawing from government and cultural heritage data, emerging tools for creation of engaging content

  • Roundtable Discussion: Long term future; short term needs; immediate next steps

A detailed agenda and registration information is available from the event webpage.

NISO Two-Part December Webinar: Sustainable Information

NISO will be holding a two-part webinar in December on the topic of Sustainable Information. Information resources are increasingly born digital and may never have a print counterpart. Many older resources are being digitized, with the digital resource now the primary version. But digital resources depend on technology and technology changes can render a resource inaccessible. To ensure digital information is sustainable, a preservation plan must be developed and implemented that addresses issues such as file formats, metadata, storage media, and compatible software and hardware.

In Part 1: Digital Preservation for Text—to be held on December 10 from 1:00 - 2:30 p.m. Eastern—speakers will share their experiences in developing a process for ensuring the preservation of digital textual resources.

In Part 2, to be held on December 17, the focus is on Digital Preservation of Audio-Visual Content. Audio-visual resources in digital formats present even more challenges to preservation than do digital text resources. While digital text may still be usable if done imperfectly (e.g., skewed but still readable pages), even small errors in digital A/V files could render the material unusable. This webinar will share the experiences of several projects that are working to ensure that A/V files can be preserved with their full integrity ensured.

You may register for one or both parts; registrants to both parts receive a 25% discount. For more information and to register, visit the event webpages: Part 1; Part 2.

Important Information about Information Standards Quarterly Subscriptions Ordered through Swets

As you are all likely aware, Swets Information Services B.V sought bankruptcy protection earlier this fall. This has had significant impacts on a number of publishers and libraries who partnered with Swets for services. We recognize the impact and challenges that this development has on the library community. We also recognize the impact that this bankruptcy has had on a number of NISO volunteers and contributors who worked at Swets and, through no fault of their own, were displaced by this situation.

A number of subscribers to NISO's magazine, Information Standards Quarterly (ISQ), used Swets to fulfill those orders. We will not be sending the remaining 2014 issues of ISQ to the Swets distribution center, as we cannot be assured of reshipment to the subscribing library. If you subscribed to ISQ in 2014 and use a Swets distribution facility for drop shipment, please contact the NISO office so that we can ensure you receive your issues. If your organization has already renewed ISQ for 2015 through Swets, please contact the NISO office. The NISO Board of Directors has taken a decision to fulfill any orders for subscription renewals through Swets processed prior to the bankruptcy announcement.

New Specs & Standards

Six NISO Standards Undergoing Periodic Review

NISO will be issuing periodic review ballots to the member voting pools in November on the six standards listed below. The recommended action by the relevant NISO Topic Committee or Maintenance Agency that members will be asked to vote on is noted for each standard. For information on how the review process works and how non-members can join the ballot voting pool, see the NISO procedures, sections 7 and 5.3.4, respectively. Contact Nettie Lagace if you have any questions.

CASRAI, Call for Comments Contributor Roles Taxonomy (CRediT)

The Wellcome Trust, Digital Science, the Consortia Advancing Standards in Research Administration Information (CASRAI), and the National Information Standards Organization (NISO) are working together to develop a taxonomy that will allow contributions to scientific research to be assigned/classified into a series of specified roles. The goal of this project is to increase the transparency of research contributions and enable more granular tracking of attribution and associated credit, in the context of increased multi-authorship across all areas of science. An online feedback survey asks for opinions on each of the 14 proposed terms included in the taxonomy and your ideas on how the taxonomy might be best implemented.

COAR, CASRAI and Regional Repository Networks Launch International Group To Improve Interoperability

This international, multi-stakeholder working group—composed of representatives from CASRAI, COAR, EuroCRIS, Jisc/UK, La Referencia, OpenAIRE, NISO Open Access Metadata and Indicators Working Group, and SHARE—will develop a strategy to ensure greater interoperability across repository networks and other platforms. The Confederation of Open Access Repositories (COAR) will be the convener of the working group, and CASRAI will facilitate the process of developing the strategy. In order to ensure input from all relevant stakeholders, a review circle will be formed to consult with the broader community at major milestones.

ISO/IEC 17788:2014, Information technology – Cloud computing – Overview and vocabulary

This new standard provides an overview of cloud computing along with a set of terms and definitions. It is a terminology foundation for cloud computing standards and is applicable to all types of organizations (e.g., commercial enterprises, government agencies, not-for-profit organizations). The electronic version of this standard is available for free download.

ISO/IEC 17789:2014, Information technology – Cloud computing – Reference architecture

This new standard specifies the cloud computing reference architecture (CCRA). The reference architecture includes the cloud computing roles, cloud computing activities, and the cloud computing functional components and their relationships. The electronic version of this standard is available for free download.

ISO 24156-1:2014, Graphic notations for concept modelling in terminology work and its relationship with UML – Part 1: Guidelines for using UML notation in terminology work

This new standard gives guidelines for using a subset of Unified Modeling Language (UML) symbols, independent of their normal UML meaning, to represent concepts in concept models that result from concept analysis. A UML profile designed for this purpose is used to represent concepts and concept relations in terminology work. This standard does not describe UML and its general use in depth, which are covered in ISO/IEC 19505-1 and ISO/IEC 19505-2. It does not describe the principles and methods of terminology work, which is covered in ISO 704. It does not define the fundamental concepts of terminology work, which is covered in ISO 1087-1.

World Wide Web Consortium, HTML5: A Vocabulary and Associated APIs for HTML and XHTML

The HTML 5 standard was published as an official W3C Recommendation on October 28. "This specification defines the fifth major revision of the Hypertext Markup Language (HTML), the format used to build Web pages and applications, and the cornerstone of the Open Web Platform. HTML5 brings to the Web video and audio tracks without needing plugins; programmatic access to a resolution-dependent bitmap canvas, which is useful for rendering graphs, game graphics, or other visual images on the fly; native support for scalable vector graphics (SVG) and math (MathML); annotations important for East Asian typography (Ruby); features to enable accessibility of rich applications; and much more.…Read the Press Release, testimonials from W3C Members, and acknowledgments. For news on what's next after HTML5, see W3C CEO Jeff Jaffe's blog post: Application Foundations for the Open Web Platform."

Media Stories

Success Strategies for Electronic Content Discovery and Access
OCLC White Paper, September 2014; E-Data Quality Working Group

"A new white paper, authored by a cross-industry group of professionals from libraries, content providers and OCLC, identifies problems with data quality in the content supply chain and gives practical recommendations for improved usage, discovery and access of e-content in libraries.…Library e-content is facing a data quality problem that directly affects a user's ability to access library resources. Insufficient data quality negatively affects the performance and business outcomes of all segments of the content supply chain. Data suppliers, service providers and libraries have a shared interest in improving the flows of bibliographic metadata and holdings data that enable users to discover and access content. … This white paper combines business and practical information with recommendations for the content supply chain to achieve successful content discovery and access." (Read the full story)

NISO Note: For more on discovery, see NISO's Recommended Practice, Open Discovery Initiative: Promoting Transparency in Discovery (NISO RP-19-2014), which provides specific guidelines for content providers and discovery service providers on improving transparency across all aspects of indexed discovery services.

MA State Ebook Pilot Offers Insights
The Digital Shift, September 25, 2014; by Matt Enis

"The Massachusetts State Ebook Project (MA EBook Project), conceived by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioner's (MBLC) Statewide Resource Sharing Committee and the Massachusetts Library System (MLS), with funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), this summer concluded a pilot program, offering many insights into the challenges and promises that statewide consortial ebook lending programs may offer." Baker & Taylor's Axis 360 platform, BiblioLabs, and EBL, a division of ProQuest, participated in the pilot with 10 academic, 28 public, eight school, and three special libraries. (Read the full story)

NISO Note: For more on managing e-books, see NISO's Recommended Practice, Demand Driven Acquisition of Monographs (NISO RP-20-2014), which discusses and makes recommendations for publishers, vendors, aggregators, and libraries about key aspects of DDA.

Tyler Walters, Founding Director of SHARE, on Next Steps in Sharing Research
Library Journal, October 13, 2014; by Lisa Peet

"Tyler Walters, dean of university libraries at Virginia Tech, was named founding director of SHARE (SHared Access Research Ecosystem) October 6.…Services provided [by SHARE] will include a notification service to publicize research events, a central registry of research outputs, a discovery layer, and a content aggregation layer to facilitate the mining of large volumes of content." In this interview, Walters discusses the three planned phases for the SHARE project and provides his views on the project's goals and challenges, use of altmetrics, expected contributions from the founding organizations (ARL, AAU, and APLU), and the relationship to CHORUS. (Read the full story)

NISO Note: The Summer 2014 issue of Information Standards Quarterly has a theme of open access infrastructure and includes articles on both SHARE and CHORUS. The Association of Research Libraries (ARL), one of the founding organizations of SHARE, is a NISO voting member.

A Web of Meaning: Linked Open Data Resources on the Web
College & Research Libraries News, October 2014, 75 (9): 492-505; by Cliff Landis

"Librarians have been talking about the Semantic Web for years, but with the increasing adoption of linked data standards and frameworks by major information and search providers, we are finally beginning to see it grow. Although not exhaustive, the [resources discussed in this article] will help you learn about the principles behind linked open data, identify some of the ways it is already being used, see how knowledge organizations are contributing to this emerging field, and get involved with creating the next version of the web." (Read the full story)

NISO Note: The Library of Congress and OCLC, both mentioned in this article, are NISO voting members.

Altmetrics: What Are They Good For?
PLOS Opens, October 3, 2014; by Cameron Neylon

"Last week, along with a number of PLOS folks, I attended the 1AM Meeting (for "First (UK) Altmetrics Conference") in London....Bubbling along underneath all this there is an outstanding question that although it appeared in different contexts remains unanswered. What do these various indicators mean? Or perhaps more sharply what are they useful for? Here I will give some examples of questions that can (or could in the future) be answered, with a focus on non-traditional indicators." Examples given are in the categories of providing evidence, comparing, and what flavor is it. (Read the full story)

NISO Note: See also the white paper from Phase 1 of NISO's Altmetrics Initiative. PLOS is a NISO voting member.

Archiving the Web: A Case Study from the University of Victoria
code{4}lib, Issue 26, 2014-10-21; by Corey Davis

"The University of Victoria Libraries started archiving websites in 2013, and it quickly became apparent that many scholarly websites being produced by faculty, especially in the digital humanities, were going to prove very challenging to effectively capture and play back. This article will provide an overview of web archiving and explore the considerable legal and technical challenges of implementing a web archiving initiative at a research library, using the University of Victoria's implementation of Archive-it, a web archiving service from the Internet Archive, as a case study, with a special focus on capturing complex, interactive websites that scholars are creating to disseminate their research in new ways." Includes discussion of the use of the WARC standard. (Read the full story)

NISO Note: The WARC File Format is an ISO TC46/SC4 standard (ISO 28500). Association of Research Libraries, Library of Congress, Los Alamos National Laboratory, and Portico are NISO voting members. British Library, California Digital Library, and Library & Archives Canada are NISO Library Standards Alliance (LSA) members.

Standards Keep Pages Turning During National Book Month
ANSI Press Release, October 14, 2014

"October marks the annual observance of National Book Month, honoring the importance of reading and providing an important opportunity to highlight the significant role played by books in culture and everyday life in the United States. And while voluntary consensus standards might not be the first thing you think of in connection with books, these documents provide important support to the publishers, libraries, and printing firms that make it possible to curl up with a favorite novel or picture book." (Read the full story)

NISO Note: The two NISO standards referenced in this article have newer reaffirmation dates than the article shows. The current editions are available for free download from the NISO website.