Headshot of NISO Eexecutive Director, Todd Carpenter

September 2014

The start of fall is almost like a second start to the year, with schools and universities beginning new terms and some organizations, such as the government, beginning their fiscal years. This new beginning is usually marked with high excitement and activity levels as things gear back up after the summer holidays. Even though we all like new beginnings, the reality is our work is ongoing and part of a long, continuous development and improvement process. It's worthwhile to reflect on what's been accomplished over the past nine months.

Within NISO, we've been very productive. Publications have been released on Open Discovery Initiative: Promoting Transparency in Discovery, Demand Driven Acquisition of Monographs, the American National Standard ResourceSync Framework Specification, and revised recommendations for Knowledge Bases and Related Tools (KBART). As you all are developing, implementing, and improving your own systems, or seeking a system to purchase this fall, please refer to these standards and best practices to ensure compliance with these community practices.

Work is under development on several other projects and a lot of progress has been advanced. The Open Access and Metadata Indicators project, now rebranded Access and License Indicators, has advanced significantly since the year's start. The group's public draft for comment received more feedback than any other draft we have issued. Working group members are finishing up the final Recommended Practice, based on the received feedback, which is expected to be published this fall. The Protocol for Exchanging Serial Content (PESC) has also made significant progress toward its first public draft.

Another NISO project, which got underway in earnest this year, is the NISO Alternative Assessment Metrics (Altmetrics) initiative. A white paper outlining 25 potential project ideas, culled and aggregated from the more than 250 ideas generated in Phase 1 of the project, was distributed in May. Over the summer, NISO has been discussing the project and its output in a variety of forums. The community has contributed its own reactions and ideas via a public comment period and through a public survey to rank the ideas. I'll be providing a report of the initiative and the public feedback on Monday, September 8th, during the next NISO Open Teleconference.

Another pre-standards project that was reported on in June is the Bibliographic Roadmap Development Project to determine the needs and requirements for extending the usability of the new bibliographic framework into the global networked information environment and to develop community consensus for a roadmap of needed activities. A summary report was issued of the ideas that were collected, aggregated, and prioritized during the initial phase of the project. NISO's Content and Collection Management Topic Committee is evaluating the report and will be moving this work forward in late 2014 and 2015.

Just for fun, this is also the time of the year that Beloit College provides its annual Mindset List, the list of common cultural aspects that incoming college freshmen have never lived without. I thought to consider what important information standards new college students have never known a world without. The class of 2018 has never known a world where they would have to worry about the strength of single-tier steel bracket library shelving. Most books they have ever bought (particularly hardback) should have been published on paper manufactured consistent with standards for paper permanence. If they were looking for microfiche, the headers have always been consistent. The OCLC Online Union Catalog (OLUC) has always been known as WorldCat. Finally, the community has always been able to visit www.niso.org for more information about standards in our community.


Todd Carpenter’s Signature

Todd Carpenter

Executive Director

NISO Reports

September Two-Part Webinar: E-books for Education

NISO will be holding a two-part webinar in September on the topic of E-books for Education.

Speakers for Part 1, Electronic Textbooks: Plug in and Learn—to be held on September 10— will cover e-textbooks and affordability, getting students to use their e-textbooks, and the EDUCAUSE e-textbook pilot.

Speakers for Part 2, Open Textbook Initiatives—to be held on September 10—will discuss the library publishing landscape for e-textbooks, the e-textbook initiative at Kansas State University, and using open resources to expand access to education.

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.

September Virtual Conference: Library Data in the Cloud

Cloud computing seems to be a growing trend, no matter the industry or type of information system. Library systems are no stranger to this trend; just about every major systems provider has a cloud-based solution available. While many factors for selecting a cloud system are similar to those for any information system decision, there are some special issues and challenges for storing your data in the cloud, including security, privacy, ownership, interoperability, and transferability.

In NISO's September 24 virtual conference, Library Data in the Cloud—to be held from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm EDT—libraries that have explored the use of cloud systems will discuss their experiences, their concerns, issues encountered, and lessons learned.

Topics and speakers include:

  • Keynote SpeakerRick McMullen, PhD, Director of the Arkansas High Performance Computing Center and Research Professor of Computer Science and Computer Engineering, University of Arkansas

  • Integrated Library Systems Moving to the CloudJoseph R. Matthews, author and library consultant

  • Big Data Processing in the Cloud: a Hydra/Sufia ExperienceZhiwu Xie, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Technology Development Librarian, Center for Digital Research and Scholarship, University Libraries, Virginia Tech

  • Cloud Computing in Library InstructionLaura Fargo McKinnon, JD, MLIS, Department Head, Research & Instructional Services, University of North Texas Libraries, and Kris Helge, Scholarly Communications Librarian, University of North Texas Libraries

  • Data Publication and Sharing with GlobusSteve Tuecke, Deputy Director, Computation Institute, University of Chicago; Co-Founder of the Globus Project

  • eResource Management in the CloudJeffrey D. Kuskie, Electronic Resource Manager, Dr. C.C. and Mabel L. Criss Library, University of Nebraska at Omaha

  • Security and Data Ownership in the CloudAndrew Pace, Executive Director, Networked Library Services, OCLC; Councilor-at-large, American Library Association

  • Privacy in the Cloud – Speaker TBA

For more information and to register, visit the event 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, ANSI/NISO Z39.83-2012), 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?—to be held from 1:00 - 2:30 pm Eastern time—will explore these standards, discuss their differences and potential overlaps, and discuss when it makes sense to use which or whether they are all needed.

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

In-Person and Livestream October Forum: Using the Web as an E-Content Distribution Platform – Opening and Closing Keynotes Available for Free

Web technologies have changed and continue to change the way that content is delivered to libraries and to users. Currently e-journals are delivered through platforms but the final object is still often a PDF file. E-books are generally delivered as a downloadable file to a stand-alone e-reader. However, with 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. The web as a distribution platform offers many new opportunities for 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.

NISO's two-day in-person forum Using the Web as an E-Content Distribution Platform—to be held October 21-22 in Chicago—will will discuss the current state, future trends, and implementation issues of web content distribution from the perspectives of both libraries and publishers. Participants can hear first-hand about new developments in this arena and have ample opportunity to network with speakers and other attendees to ask questions and share experiences. This forum will also be livestreamed. There are separate registrations and fees for in-person and livestream. Discounts are available for NISO and SSP (Scholarly of Scientific Publishing) members and students. The Early Bird registration deadline is October 7, 2014.

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 for both in-person and livestream is available from the event webpage. Paid registration is required for access to the full two-day livestream (beyond the free keynotes).

New Edition of COUNTER-SUSHI Implementation Profile

A new edition of the NISO SUSHI Protocol: COUNTER-SUSHI Implementation Profile (NISO RP-14-2014) has been published. This Implementation Profile has been developed to improve the consistency and interoperability of SUSHI client and server implementations. It offers guidance to developers of SUSHI server and client applications by setting out detailed expectations for how the SUSHI protocol and COUNTER XML reports are to be implemented so that they effectively meet the needs of the information community that relies on these reports to provide consistent, credible, and comparable usage statistics. This profile was also developed with the intention that it be used by COUNTER auditors as a means to verify compliance of a content provider's SUSHI server.

This 2nd edition is a minor maintenance revision to address an issue with the PubYr value when the publication year is unknown. The previous required value would not validate to the COUNTER schema and had to be changed. This edition also corrects how the COUNTER report Names appear in various tables throughout the document; the short report names should not include any spaces.

The Implementation Profile is available from the SUSHI webpage.

New on the NISO Website

New Specs & Standards

IEEE, Draft Recommended Practices to Ensure Conference Content Quality

"The use of trustworthy, high-quality scholarly research benefits both its author and the global information community. These draft recommended practices have been developed to provide guidelines that will help maintain an equitable balance of the interest of all participants in ensuring high quality, scholarly conference proceedings content." Comments should be sent by November 1, 2014 to Gordon MacPherson.

ISO 28560:2014, Information and documentation – RFID in libraries

Edition 2 of the three-part standard for the use of radio frequency identification (RFID) tags for items appropriate for the needs of all types of libraries. Part 1: Data elements and general guidelines for implementation provides the framework to ensure interoperability between libraries that exchange library items with RFID tags. Part 2: Encoding of RFID data elements is based on specifies rules for encoding a subset of data elements from ISO/IEC 15962, which uses an object identifier structure to identify data elements. Part 3: Fixed length encoding specifies the rules for encoding a subset of data elements into a basic block, and other data elements into extension blocks onto the RFID tag.

ISO/IEC 19788-1/Amd1:2014, Information technology – Learning, education and training – Metadata for learning resources – Part 1: Framework – Amendment 1

Amendment to the standard that specifies metadata elements and their attributes for the description of learning resources. The main standard (without the amendment) is publicly available at no charge.

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

Edition 4 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.

W3C Working Group Note, Linked Data Platform Best Practices and Guidelines

This document provides best practices and guidelines for implementing Linked Data Platform [LDP] servers and clients. While writing the Linked Data Platform Specification, the authors and contributors felt compelled to share common conventions and valuable lessons learned. Yet, at the same time, they did not wish to impose or imply unnecessary restrictions, or to make the formal specification unnecessarily verbose. This document, along with the LDP Primer [LDP-PRIMER], was therefore developed to provide additional context. Drawing upon the professional experiences of its authors and contributors, research into the rich history of related technologies, and continuous feedback from the community at large, it aims to help system implementers avoid common pitfalls, improve quality, and achieve greater interoperability with other Linked Data systems.

Media Stories

Resolving the Link Resolver Problem
Library Journal, August 7, 2014; by Steven Bell

"Link resolvers have made a huge difference in allowing researchers to get to the full text articles they want. When it works. It's easy to be critical of most link resolver technology, but the truth is that without this technology, the vast majority of electronic full-text content to which academic libraries subscribe would be far less useful and accessible. We've now been using link resolvers for over ten years, and I think it would not be misguided to say that user experience still falls short....No matter how wonderfully we may enhance the search piece, if we are unable to get the user to the desired item—most often full text—the entire search, including the discovery portion, will leave the user disappointed. That's the crux of the problem. Do we have a solution?" (Read the full story.)

NISO Note: NISO has issued two Recommended Practices that if adopted will help to address many of the link resolver problems. See Knowledge Base And Related Tools (KBART) (NISO RP-9-2014) and Improving OpenURLs Through Analytics (IOTA): Recommendations for Link Resolver Providers (NISO RP-21-2013).

What Happens When You Take Something of Value and Give it Away?
Congress Blog, August 12, 2014; by Gordon L. Nelson

"Last week, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) released a plan to require free public access to science journal articles on a broad scale within 12 months of publication. The DOE plan resulted from a February, 2013 directive on open access to the results of federally funded research from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). As the head of the Council of Scientific Society Presidents, I have been concerned about the impact of such calls for public access for some time. While popular and politically expedient, it is overly simplistic to demand that government-financed research be made available at no charge within a blanket, arbitrary timeframe....Unfortunately, if public access policies are not carefully designed around the unique needs of each discipline, some scientific societies may not survive, and with their loss the loss of essential services not just limited to the communication of science." (Read the full story.)

Report: Libraries Struggling with E-books
Publishers Weekly, August 4, 2014; by Andrew Albanese

"U.S libraries have made the most headway with e-books in libraries, but internationally, the situation remains problematic, according to a new report from the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA). Noting a quickly changing e-book marketplace, IFLA officials say the latest report serves as an update to the group's 2012 Background Paper on eLending, and the IFLA Principles for Library eLending. And overall, the situation is not looking good for libraries around the world....The 'overriding e-book issues for libraries continue to be the withholding of content and the imposition of problematic and differing license terms and conditions by major trade publishers,' and 'a lack of consistency by individual multinational trade publishers in e-book licensing practices from country to country.'" (Read the full story.)

NISO Note: NISO's Recommended Practice, Demand Driven Acquisition of Monographs (NISO RP-20-2014), makes recommendations for publishers, vendors, aggregators, and libraries about effective ways to implement a DDA program.

An Interview with Amy Brand on a Proposed New Contributor Taxonomy Initiative
The Scholarly Kitchen, August 20, 2014; by Alice Meadows

"The globalization of research, combined with improvements in technology, are resulting in ever larger collaborations among researchers. The average number of authors per paper is now around four (though in disciplines such as physics, the numbers can run into the hundreds or even thousands), but typically only the lead author gets full credit—for example, when it comes to the faculty review and promotion process....A group of funders, publishers, institutions, and others, led by Amy Brand (VP Academic & Research Relations and VP North America for Digital Science) and Liz Allen (Head of Evaluation for the Wellcome Trust) is now working on a possible way to address this inequity through the creation of a contributor role taxonomy." (Read the full story.)

NISO Note: Columbia University Libraries, Cornell University Library, CrossRef, Elsevier, Harvard University Library, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Libraries, and PLOS are NISO members.

The State of the University Press
Book Business, August 2014; by Dan Eldridge

"Many of the major challenges the university press community is attempting to solve today are, at their core, structurally similar to the issues faced by commercial houses....The mainstreaming of the open-access model, for instance, in which scholarly content is made available for free online, has sent the industry scrambling for viable internet-based business opportunities. And yet it certainly hasn't helped that the academic market in the United States has proven itself fairly resistant to the digital format. As a result, many presses today are struggling simply to stay in the black....Some houses are experimenting with innovations that could have far-reaching effects on the academic and commercial publishing space." (Read the full story.)

NISO Note: Johns Hopkins University Press is a NISO Voting Member.

The Lyon Declaration Tackles Information Access and Sustainable Development
Information Today NewsBreaks, September 2, 2014; by Marydee Ojala

"At the 80th IFLA (International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions) World Library and Information Congress on Aug. 18, 2014, in Lyon, France, IFLA introduced the Lyon Declaration on Access to Information. It calls upon member states of the United Nations (UN) to make an international commitment to use the post-2015 development agenda—intended to succeed the UN's expiring Millennium Development Goals—to ensure that everyone has access to information. Moreover, it notes that access to information must be coupled with the ability to understand, use, and share information....Moving from simply declaring the importance of libraries and of access to information to the UN's actual acceptance of the concept requires active engagement on the part of the library community.... At its launch, the Lyon Declaration had 134 signatories, making it the most successful campaign IFLA has ever undertaken." (Read the full story.)