Web E-Content Virtual Conference
Headshot of NISO Eexecutive Director, Todd Carpenter

October 2014

When electronic content distribution on the internet really took off in the mid-1990s—and even before—people had grand visions for what the future of digital publishing might look like. Some of those visions are not yet fully realized, such as annotations or bidirectional linking. While some of these conversations are ongoing and enhancements in web content distribution are continuing to move forward, significant progress has been made and much has already been achieved and even put into daily practice.

I've heard some claim over the past few months that the core elements of writing, sharing, editing, and reading have not changed in spite of the tremendous technology set out before us. They feel that nothing fundamental has shifted in how information is gathered and consumed. I couldn't disagree more. The nature of information services from publisher through vendor to library and end user have transformed radically over the past thirty years. The scale and speed of search and delivery of extensive amounts of information provide extraordinary opportuntities in the creation, discovery, and reuse of content. It appears that we are finally starting to push out the boundaries of what we can do with content using digital distribution systems.

In the past week, I participated in two meetings centered on these transformative forces in our community. The first of these, the Research Data Alliance 4th plenary meeting brought together several hundred data repository managers, data scientists, and organizations involved with data exchange. So much of current science advances are involved with or centered on data science, data sharing, and data analysis, with the tools for communicating and sharing interactive data online rapidly improving. The organizations in the Research Data Alliance community are pushing the boundaries of what can be made available and how, as well as working to incorporate these resources into the traditional content distribution models.

The second meeting, the 1:AM conference, the first Altmetrics conference hosted in the EU, similarly was full of people pushing the boundaries of assessment of digital resources. The digital information trails of usage and impact that are being recorded can be used to derive value and indications of future impact. Of course, NISO is engaging in a development project on altmetrics and expects to launch at least a few working groups to explore them.

The changing ecosystem of information distribution impacts the many participants in our space. NISO will be exploring these issues during a special two-day virtual conference we will host on October 21 and 22. An amazing list of contributors will present on transformations to a web-based content ecosystem. With the generous support of SAGE, the keynote presentations will be open and freely available. You can RSVP for the free sessions or register for the entire event here.

I hope among the now ubiquitous digital resources, you include Newsline, Information Standards Quarterly, and NISO's many other resources, freely available on the website, in your reading lists.

Todd Carpenter’s Signature

Todd Carpenter

Executive Director

NISO Reports

Open Access Infrastructure: Special Themed Issue of Information Standards Quarterly

NISO has published a special themed issue of Information Standards Quarterly (ISQ) on the topic of Open Access Infrastructure. As Guest Content Editor, Liam Earney, Head of Library Support Services, Jisc, notes, "2013 seems to have been a watershed for open access (OA). Driven by a number of policy announcements from funding bodies and governments worldwide, the question is no longer whether open access will or should happen, but rather how will it be implemented in a sustainable way." Earney has gathered in this issue of ISQ a wealth of insights from a wide variety of viewpoints—publishers, funders, universities, intermediaries, standards bodies, and open access experts on where we are and where we are going with a sustainable OA infrastructure.

ISQ is available in open access in electronic format on the NISO website. Both the entire issue on Open Access Infrastructure and the individual articles may be freely downloaded. Print copies of ISQ are available by subscription and as print on demand. For more information and to access the free electronic version, visit the issue's webpage.

October Webinar: 21st Century Resource Sharing: Which Inter-Library Loan Standard Should I Use?

Not every library can hold every item. To address this, libraries have developed intricate systems of sharing resources between libraries through interlibrary loan (ILL). Over time, standards were developed to automate many of the processes involved in ILL to reduce the costs and staff load required to handle the requests. Additionally, self-service aspects have been built into systems and standards. Several different standards exist, including the NISO Circulation Interchange Protocol (NCIP, Z39.83), the Standard Interchange Protocol (SIP), originally developed by 3M and now becoming a NISO standard, and the ISO series of Open Systems Interconnection ILL Protocol standards (ISO 10160, 10161-1, and 10161-2), which is in the process of being replaced by a new ISO standard on ILL Transactions (ISO 18626).

NISO's October 21 webinar, 21st Century Resource Sharing: Which Inter-Library Loan Standard Should I Use, will explore these standards, discuss their differences and potential overlaps, and how interlibrary loan standards are currently in use for both traditional and e-resources, often without the users even being aware of them.

Topics and speakers are:

  • Has "Rethinking Resource Sharing" Succeeded? A Survey of Resource Sharing Protocols Ten Years LaterTed Koppel, Product Manager, VERSO® ILS, Auto-Graphics, Inc.

  • Good Standards are Invisible: How Libraries Use a Variety of ILL Standards Everyday and Don't Necessarily Know ItMargaret Ellingson, Head of Interlibrary Loan and Course Reserves, Robert W. Woodruff Library, Emory University

  • Occams Reader and the Interlibrary Loan of E-booksKenny Ketner, Software Development Manager, Texas Tech University Libraries and Ryan Litsey, Document Delivery/Interlibrary Loan Assistant Librarian, Texas Tech University Library

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

October Two-Day Virtual Conference: Using the Web as an E-Content Distribution Platform: Challenges and Opportunities

NISO has cancelled the in-person event scheduled for October and will be holding Using the Web as an E-Content Distribution Platform: Challenges and Opportunities as a virtual conference only.

This two-day event—to be held only on October 21and 22 from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm each day— will discuss many new opportunities offered by the Web as a distribution platform. the advent of the Open Web Platform using standards such as HTML5, we are looking at a new era of separating the content from the container, more utilization of multimedia and streaming media, embedding of apps, increased linkages and interoperability between related content, greater interactivity with content, social sharing of user-generated content related to a "publication," text mining, and much more that hasn't even been imagined yet.

Session topics to be discussed include:

  • History and Legacy Systems

  • Lessons from Implementations

  • Next Generation Systems

  • What Can We Expect from the Future?

  • What Libraries Still Need from Discovery Layers

  • Retooling Metadata Around Linked Data Principles

  • Educational Publishing, Platform Providers, and E-reserves

With the generous support of SAGE Publishing, NISO is able to make the livestream of the following opening and closing Keynote presentations free. Virtual space is limited for this offer, so those interested in the free keynotes must fill out this RSVP form.

  • Opening Keynote Presentation: Embrace Technology or It will Embrace YouTimo Hannay, Managing Director, Digital Science

  • Closing Keynote: What Libraries Need To Do To Foster Community and CollaborationR. David Lankes, author of The Atlas of New Librarianship, professor and Dean's Scholar for the New Librarianship at Syracuse University's School of Information Studies; Director of the Information Institute of Syracuse

A detailed agenda of the two-day event and information about registering is available from the event webpage.

November 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, to 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 seeking ways to improve its service. NISO launched a research study in early 2014 on the status of discovery systems, their potential future development directions, and the systems interoperability needs of these services.

NISO's November 12 webinar Keyword Search = "Improve Discovery Systems"—to be held from 1:00 - 2:30 pm Eastern—will cover some of the latest developments of library discovery systems as well as discuss the findings of the NISO research study, and the implications of those results. For more information and to register, visit the event webpage.

November 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 outmodes traditional silos. 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.

NISO's November 19 virtual conference Can't We All Work Together?: Interoperability & Systems Integration—to be held November 19 from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm 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.

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

New Specs & Standards

ACRL, Draft Standards for Distance Learning Library Services

A draft revision of the 2008 Standards for Distance Learning Library Services, that addresses the fundamental, institutional, and library requirements for ensuring the delivery of equivalent library services and information resources to college and university students, faculty, and other personnel in remote settings. Submit comments to Standards Committee Chair, Harvey Gover, no later than November 1, 2014.

ISO/IEC 10646:2014, Information technology – Universal Coded Character Set

4th edition of the standard that specifies the Universal Character Set (UCS). It is applicable to the representation, transmission, interchange, processing, storage, input, and presentation of the written form of the languages of the world as well as additional symbols. It covers 120 585 characters from the world's scripts. Available for free download.

ISO/TR 17797:2014, Electronic archiving – Selection of digital storage media for long term preservation

New technical report that gives guidelines on a selection of the most appropriate storage media for use in long-term electronic storage solutions. It includes a discussion on magnetic, optical, and electronic storage.

W3C, Call for Review: HTML5 Proposed Recommendation

The HTML Working Group has published a Proposed Recommendation of HTML5. This specification defines the fifth major revision of the core language of the World Wide Web: the Hypertext Markup Language (HTML). In this version, new features are introduced to help Web application authors, new elements are introduced based on research into prevailing authoring practices, and special attention has been given to defining clear conformance criteria for user agents in an effort to improve interoperability. Comments are welcome through 14 October. Also published is a Working Draft of HTML5 Differences from HTML4.

W3C, Updated Understanding Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 and Techniques for WCAG 2.0

The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines Working Group has published updates of two Notes that accompany WCAG 2.0: Understanding WCAG 2.0 and Techniques for WCAG 2.0. (This is not an update to WCAG 2.0, which is a stable document.) For information on these updates, please see the Understanding WCAG and WCAG Techniques Updated September 2014 e-mail. The WCAG Working Group has also published Web Accessibility Tutorials on Images and Tables and will be announcing additional tutorials soon.

W3C, User Agent Accessibility Guidelines (UAAG) 2.0 Updated Working Drafts

The User Agent Accessibility Guidelines Working Group today published updated Working Drafts of User Agent Accessibility Guidelines (UAAG) 2.0 and UAAG 2.0 Reference: Explanations, Examples, and Resources for User Agent Accessibility Guidelines 2.0. UAAG defines how browsers, media players, and other "user agents" should support accessibility for people with disabilities and work with assistive technologies. It is introduced in the UAAG Overview.

Media Stories

Discovery Services
Texas State Library & Archives Commission White Paper, August 2014; by Arta Kabashi, Christine Peterson, and Tim Prather

"Discussions among libraries that have recently implemented discovery services are likely to result in agreement that implementation was challenging. However, once implemented, librarians are generally happy with their decisions to offer discovery services to their patrons. Based on librarian experiences of both the challenges and rewards of implementing a discovery service, the Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC) contracted with Amigos Library Services to write a white paper that would include basic information concerning discovery services, as well as an overview of the major discovery vendors." The paper includes definitions, current state of discovery services, advantages, disadvantages, limitations, areas of library most impacted by a discovery service, what to look for in a discovery service, best practices for implementing a discovery service, evaluating a discovery service, and major discovery service vendors. (Read the full story).

NISO Note: NISO's Open Discovery Initiative, recommended practice on Promoting Transparency in Discovery (NISO RP-19-2014) that is mentioned in this white paper is available for free download from the NISO website. EBSCO, Ex Libris, Innovative, OCLC, and ProQuest are NISO voting members. Columbia University Libraries, Indiana University Bloomington Libraries, Harvard University Library, Sheridan Libraries of Johns Hopkins University, Stanford University Libraries, Texas A&M University Libraries, University of Texas at San Antonio Libraries, Virginia Tech University Libraries are NISO Library Standards Alliance members.

Data Publishing: Editorial
Learned Publishing, special issue to volume 27, pp.1-2; by Fiona Murphy and Alice Meadows

"For today's researchers, the digital environment creates both opportunities and challenges in terms of data. On the plus side, more data than ever are being collected and thanks to technological developments, we are better equipped than ever to analyse and share them. On the flip side, though, much data collection is still manual (and, therefore, time-consuming and potentially error-prone, and there are few globally recognized standards in place around, for example, the management, preservation, or citation of data....In this special issue of Learned Publishing, we have tried to provide a collection of papers that represent a snapshot of current thinking about research data from a variety of perspectives." (Read the full story).

NISO Note: Produced with the support of Wiley (a NISO voting member), this entire special issue of Learned Publishing on data management is available in open access. To learn more about data management, see the slide presentations from NISO's April 2014 virtual conference, Dealing with the Data Deluge: Successful Techniques for Scientific Data Management.

Interview with Laurel Haak of ORCID: Supporting the Efforts with Membership and Integration
The Scholarly Kitchen, September 18, 2014; by Angela Cochran

"Few initiatives enjoy the widespread admiration of multiple communities within scholarly publishing. As funders try to keep track of the money, universities try to keep track of work done on their campuses, and publishers want to disambiguate the universe of scholarly authors, ORCID, the Open Researcher and Contributor ID is the 'killer app.'... Laurel L. Haak, PhD, Executive Director, of ORCID answers questions about the current status of ORCID implementation as well as the financial viability of the organization going forward." (Read the full story).

NISO Note: The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and CrossRef are NISO voting members.

A Scalable and Sustainable Approach to Open Access
EDUCAUSE Review, September 15, 2014; by Alexis Seeley, Lisa Norberg, and Rebecca Kennison

"In the 12 years since the Budapest Open Access (OA) Initiative launched the OA movement, we've made considerable strides toward widespread adoption of OA principles. Practice, however, has often lagged behind, as both credibility and business models have struggled to gain traction. The transition to OA from subscription-based scholarly society publishing operations in the humanities and social sciences (HSS) has been particularly difficult, for reasons that expose many current OA models' limitations....In our white paper, "A Scalable and Sustainable Approach to Open Access Publishing and Archiving for Humanities and Social Sciences," we offer a new model that tackles head-on the predominant OA business model's major drawback: it is based on individual payments from researchers—typically called article-processing charges (APCs)—and offers access only to certain types of publications. Our model, in contrast, asks tertiary institutions to contribute to systemic support of the research process itself, including its entire scholarly output." (Read the full story).

NISO Note: For more information on OA sustainability, see the Summer 2014 issue of Information Standards Quarterly on Open Access Infrastructure.

The Imperative for Open Altmetrics
Journal of Electronic Publishing, Summer 2014, 17 (3); by Stacy Konkiel, Heather Piwowar, Jason Priem

"In this article, we'll describe the current state of the art in altmetrics and its effects on publishing, share our plan to build an open infrastructure for altmetrics, and describe [Impactstory's] ethos and actions....Altmetrics are a solution to a problem that increasingly plagues scholars: even in situations where scholarship may be best served by a publishing a dataset, blog post, or other web-native scholarly product, one's own career is often better served by instead putting that effort into traditional article-writing. If we want to move to a more efficient, web-native science, we must make that dilemma disappear: what is good for scholarship must become good for the scholar. Instead of assessing only paper—native articles, books, and proceedings, we must build a new system where all types of scholarly products are evaluated and rewarded. The key to this new reward system is altmetrics: a broad suite of online impact indicators that goes beyond traditional citations to measure impacts of diverse products, in diverse platforms, on diverse groups of people." (Read the full story).

NISO Note: NISO is undertaking a two-phase project on Alternative Assessment Metrics to explore, identify, and advance standards and/or best practices related to a new suite of potential metrics in the community. A draft of the Phase One White Paper summarizing and prioritizing the potential actions for work in phase 2 is available from the Altmetrics project webpage.

Show Me the Money
ISO Focus, September-October 2014; by Elizabeth Gasiorowski-Denis

"The theory that standards slow growth is bunk. In fact, they are an economic opportunity. How do we know? Because these savings and advantages can be determined. A method to calculate the benefits of standards now enables companies to see how much they are making. And the figures are fascinating.... You can now find out how your company can assess and communicate the economic benefits of standards, and pinpoint exactly which areas are likely to result in the highest benefits. This has been the focus of a long-term study by ISO and its members in which around 30 companies, and even one whole industry sector, have scrutinized the way they use standards and calculated the savings that have been made....For all these companies, benefits were seen, usually between 0.15% and 5% of a company's annual sales revenues." (Read the full story).