Headshot of NISO Eexecutive Director, Todd Carpenter

May 2015

From time to time, taking stock of where an organization stands and where it is headed is a good idea. Gathering the leadership together, focusing attention on the organization’s strengths, and assessing the current state of the landscape, is a useful exercise. Even when things are going well, there are always improvements that can be made. Taking stock is also a time to consider developments in the community that can challenge even the best-laid plans. Such is the case with NISO.

A lot has changed within NISO since our last major strategic planning effort was begun back in 2004. We have successfully implemented the ambitious strategy we set forth for ourselves back then to increase NISO’s relevance, pace, and activity levels. Over the past decade, we instituted new procedures to develop standards and instituted a new leadership structure to manage that growth. We implemented a back-end infrastructure to support our development work and keep the organization’s business organized and on track. NISO’s educational programs grew from a single in-person event per year to a robust virtual program. The overall plan has been revisited and reaffirmed by the Board in subsequent years.

This reorganization has proven extremely adept at improving our productivity and focus. Since 2009, when the new leadership structure was finally in place, we have averaged more than 7 standards projects completed per year. Expanding our portfolio of project outputs from strictly formal standards to include lighter-weight, recommended practices has also proven successful. We have published 19 recommended practices since the restructuring was launched in 2006. NISO’s educational programs routinely draw hundreds of participants each month. Our publications, Newsline and Information Standards Quarterly, have grown and adapted.

With all of these successes, we still need to remain a vibrant organization that is responsive to the needs of our community. To ensure that we are both aware of and ready for these transformations, the NISO Board of Directors is convening a strategic planning meeting this week in Baltimore, timed to align with the Board’s spring meeting. A majority of NISO’s leadership topic committee members, the Board, and the NISO staff, are meeting to discuss our strengths, our opportunities and how NISO should best position itself for another decade or more of success. I expect it will be an enlightening and robust conversation. The Board will use the meeting and its output to revise our strategic plan in the coming months. Once it is ready, it will be shared first with the members of NISO for their input, and then it will be circulated more broadly this fall.

Speaking of change, as I noted last month, we have a new editor for NISO’s Newsline. This is the first issue produced by Gary Price, NISO’s Editor. Gary has a long history of providing the community with information and news via his highly-regarded infoDocket service provided by Library Journal. Gary will continue that publication in addition to Newsline and taking editorial lead of ISQ. We are looking forward to the great things that Gary will do, along with some changes that we are planning under his leadership later this year with our publications program.

Change is always afoot and hopefully it is—on balance—for the best. We’re hoping that you all will agree and join us in the ongoing transformation.

Todd Carpenter’s Signature

Todd Carpenter

Executive Director

NISO Reports

May Webinar: Software Preservation and Use

The digitization of resources can provide expanded access to information as well as a preservation mechanism for now-fragile materials. Preserving the digital copy of the resource is an issue now being addressed, but what about the software used to create digital files? How can no longer be read - or that requires obsolete hardware and operating systems - be preserved?"? If that software can't be accessed, what happens to the material created by, and only read by, that software? Progress has been made in methodologies for ensuring software preservation, but no formal standard or framework yet exists.

The May 13 webinar Software Preservation and Use: I Saved the Files But Can I Run Them?— to be held from 1:00 - 2:30 p.m. EDT—will feature three presenters who will speak on aspects of software preservation, including a how-to approach (technical aspects), a metadata component, and observations from the field as part of the continuing discussion on the need for standardization. Included topics and speakers are:

  • Software Artifacts: Migration and Emulation - Michael Lesk, Professor of Library and Information Science, Rutgers University
  • Emulation in Practise: Emulation as a Service at Yale University Library: Lessons Learnt and Plans for the Future - Euan Cochrane, Digital Preservation Manager, Yale University Library
  • Preserving our Digital Civilization - Jon Ippolito, Professor of New Media and Director of the Digital Curation Graduate Program, University of Maine

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

May Training Thursday: Implementing SUSHI/COUNTER at Your Institution

Based on comments and feedback from previous webinar and virtual conference attendees, NISO has instituted a new series of three "Training Thursday" webinars for 2015. These are technical webinars for those wanting more in-depth knowledge. Each Training Thursday follows a related virtual conference. Registrants to the related virtual conference receive a free login to the associated Training Thursday, or you may register separately just for the training webinar.

On Thursday, May 14 from 1:00 - 2:30 p.m. EDT, our second training webinar will be Implementing SUSHI/COUNTER at your Institution. Lead by Oliver Pesch (Chief Product Strategist and Senior Vice President, EBSCO Information Services), attendees will be provided attendees will be provided a guided, step-by-step session to teach you the practical implementation of harvesting your COUNTER reports using the SUSHI protocol. Data analysis and interpretation will be discussed as well.

For more information and to register for this training webinar, visit the event webpage. All registrants to the April 29 virtual conference on Expanding the Assessment Toolbox will receive a free login to this training webinar and do not need to register separately. If you wish to register for the just the training session, please visit the website.

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

NISO/NASIG Joint May Webinar: Special Cases in RDA Serials Cataloging

Resource Description and Access (RDA) is a standard for descriptive cataloging, replacing AACR2, that provides instructions and guidelines on formulating bibliographic data in a linked data environment. Cataloging of special materials, such as reproductions, microforms, rare materials, etc., has always had unique requirements, which is also true when using RDA for cataloging. Catalogers dealing with these special materials are experimenting with using RDA to meet the needs of their users and staff to effectively describe these resources.

In this joint NISO/NASIG webinar, Not Business as Usual: Special Cases in RDA Serials Cataloging, to be held on May 20 from 1:00-2:30 p.m. EDT, presenters will explore the topic of specialized RDA cataloging, the different formats requiring an extra level of data for cataloging, and share experiences with converting specialized collections into RDA. Included topics and speakers are:

  • Filling in the Blanks: RDA for Moving Images and Music - Mary Huismann, Music/Media Original Cataloger, University of Minnesota
  • CONSER Implementation of RDA - Les Hawkins, CONSER Coordinator, Library of Congress
  • Applying the RDA CONSER Standard Record to Rare Serials - Robert L. Maxwell, Senior Librarian, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University

June Webinar: Taking Your Website Wherever You Go: Delivering Great User Experience across Multiple Form Factors

The increased utilization of mobile devices for content consumption places demands on publishers to be more adept at engaging on mobile devices. As the device market has changed, size, capability, and usability of the devices continue to evolve rapidly. The capability of the web sites needs to keep pace with the changing market both in terms of rendering content on devices and managing the access to the content.

One of the first waves of design called for using custom Apps for mobile devices. Many of the early adopters learned quickly that App maintenance consumed more resources that anyone had predicted.

Access management is another consideration for the mobile experience. Simply put, publishers want be sure that users are authorized to have access to content. In the academic environment, the task is particularly troublesome because students are transient and very mobile. Rather than setting up onerous, session-based manual login processes, content providers, usually enabled by hosting companies, have developed techniques to “pair” devices with authentication systems to ensure that access is available when requested, but not extended past a designated time frame. Management of this capability should be transparent intermediaries, such as librarians, but available for management should the need arise.

In this NISO Webinar, to be held on June 10 from 1:00-2:30 p.m. EDT, speakers will discuss multiple form factors including responsive web design and responsive design with service side components, that help institutions deliver a great experience to their users.

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

June Virtual Conference: The Eternal To-Do List: Making E-books Work in Libraries

From scholarly monographs to textbooks, the range of e-book formats and use cases is rapidly expanding. Libraries are on the front lines of this issue, actively evolving their approach to offering e-books to meet patron needs and expectations. The webinar The Eternal To-Do List: Making E-books Work in Libraries will probe the key issues surrounding e-books from a variety of library, technology, and end-user viewpoints and share experiences of how some libraries have met these challenges.

Lead by the Keynote Presenter Suzanne M. Ward, Professor and Head of Collection Management, Purdue University Libraries and her opening presentation, E-Books: Promise into Practice, attendees are invited to participate in the community discussion for advancing e-book distribution and understanding their use, as panelists examine issues such as:

  • How the four stakeholder communities—librarians, publishers, suppliers, faculty and students—are affected by e-book acquisition, usage, and technology changes
  • E-book business models, including various demand driven acquisition (DDA) options, and the impact on collection development, consortial selection
  • Evolving standards and best practices for e-book management
  • Assessment and gauging the value of e-books through benchmarking and case studies
  • The reactions, engagement, and usage trends from student feedback on e-books
  • How e-textbooks are challenging libraries
  • Creating e-book library “wish lists”

This NISO Virtual Conference, to be held on June 17 from 11:00 a.m. - 5:00p.m. EDT, will also include a Roundtable Discussion around the e-book “ecosystem” and perspectives on the e-book supply chain, including acquisition, usage, and technological hurdles for accessibility and discoverability.

NISO at ALA Annual

NISO will be hosting a number of events and meetings during the ALA Annual Conference at San Francisco's Moscone Conference Center.

On Friday, June 26 from 12:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m., NISO and BISG (Book Industry Study Group) will co-host the 9th Annual Changing Standards Landscape Forum. This year's theme Access or Ownership: Evolving Business Models and Your Institution, will examine the traditional print subscription services model process and how standardized business processes can efficiently get content from publishers through vendors to libraries and ultimately to patrons.

For planning purposes, please RSVP to this free event, which is generously sponsored by CrossRef, Bowker, Highwire, and OCLC.

On Saturday, June 27, NISO will be hosting two free meetings on topics critical to the library and information communities. NISO has been awarded a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to develop a Consensus Framework to Support Patron Privacy in Digital Library and Information Systems. The grant will support a series of community discussions on how libraries, publishers, and information systems providers can build better privacy protection into their operations. The grant will also support creation of a draft framework to support patron privacy and subsequent publicity of the draft prior to its advancement for approval as a NISO Recommended Practice. Those that are interested in patron privacy in the library setting are welcome to attend this meeting from 1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. in Room: MCC - 228-230 (South Building).

Also on Saturday, from 3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. in Room: MCC - 3008 (West Building), NISO will host The Future of Library Resource Discovery: Creating New Worlds for Users (and Librarians). Presenters will talk about the recent NISO White Paper by Marshall Breeding, The Future of Library Resource Discovery, as a way for libraries to assess content providers’ participation in discovery services.

NISO White Papers are contributed or solicited papers that address an issue that has implications for standards development. A white paper commissioned by the NISO Discovery to Delivery (D2D) Topic Committee

On Sunday, June 28, stop by the NISO Annual Meeting & Standards Update from 1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. in Room: MCC - 228-230 (South Building) to learn about current and upcoming NISO work and strategic initiatives. The NISO Update provides the latest news about NISO's current efforts, including standards, recommended practices, and community meetings covering many areas of interest to the library community. No registration is needed. And be sure to drop by NISO Booth #414 in the Exhibits area.

Save the Date! The Future of Library Resource Discovery Forum

NISO will host a two-day meeting to take place in Baltimore, Maryland on October 5-6 on The Future of Library Resource Discovery. In February 2015, NISO's Discovery to Delivery Topic Committee commissioned a White Paper from library consultant Marshall Breeding. The in-person meeting will be an extension of the white paper with a series of presenters and panels to offer an overview of the current resource discovery environment. Attendees will participate in conversations that will examine possibilities regarding how these technologies, methodologies, and products might be able to adapt to changes in the evolving information landscape in scholarly communications and to take advantage of new technologies, metadata models, or linking environments to better accomplish the needs of libraries to provide access to resources.

New Specs & Standards

Linked Data Platform 1.0 Primer Note Published

"The Linked Data Platform (LDP) Working Group has published a Group Note of Linked Data Platform 1.0 Primer. This primer provides an introduction to the Linked Data Platform (LDP), with examples illustrating the principal concepts such as the notion of an LDP resource, and the LDP container and how they can be used by Web clients. Two sample scenarios show how an LDP client can interact with an LDP server in the context of a read-write Linked Data application, i.e., how to use HTTP for accessing, updating, creating and deleting resources from servers that expose their resources as Linked Data. Learn more about the Data Activity."

Library of Congress Preparing to Implement Changes to Cataloging in Publication (CIP) Data Block

"The Library of Congress, is pleased to announce that a new version of the CIP Data Block, the cataloging information printed by publishers at the front of the book, will be implemented by the Cataloging in Publication Program this summer, no earlier than July 1, 2015. Over the last year and a half, the Library of Congress with the assistance of experts from the school, public and academic library communities has been investigating a new layout for the CIP Data Block"

OASIS Advances CMIS4DAM New Interoperability Standard for Digital Asset Management

"Members of the OASIS open standards consortium are defining a profile of the widely adopted Content Management Interoperability Services (CMIS) standard for use in Digital Asset Management (DAM). The work of the new OASIS CMIS4DAM Technical Committee will eliminate the need for expensive custom integration by enabling standard protocols for digital assets to travel more freely and efficiently between different systems."

W3C, Language Tags And Locale Identifiers For The World Wide Web Draft Published

"The Internationalization Working Group has published a Working Draft of Language Tags and Locale Identifiers for the World Wide Web. This document describes the best practices for identifying or selecting the language of content as well as the the locale preferences used to process or display data values and other information on the Web. It describes how document formats, specifications, and implementations should handle language tags, as well as extensions to language tags that describe the cultural or linguistic preferences referred to in internationalization as a “locale”. Learn more about the Internationalization Activity."

ISO/IEC FDIS 29190.2 Information technology -- Security techniques -- Privacy capability assessment model

This standard is under development with an expected publication date during November, 2015

Media Stories

Disrupting The Subscription Journals’ Business Model For The Necessary Large-Scale Transformation To Open Access
by Ralf Schimmer, Kai Karin Geschuhn, Andreas Vogler (Max Planck Digital Library)

From the Abstract: "This paper makes the strong, fact-based case for a large-scale transformation of the current corpus of scientific subscription journals to an open access business model. The existing journals, with their well-tested functionalities, should be retained and developed to meet the demands of 21st century research, while the underlying payment streams undergo a major restructuring. There is sufficient momentum for this decisive push towards open access publishing. The diverse existing initiatives must be coordinated so as to converge on this clear goal." (Read the full story)

NISO Note: Open access will be discussed at the upcoming NISO/BISG 9th Annual Forum on June 26, 2015 in San Francisco.

Privacy Commissioner of Canada Announces 2015-2016 Independent Privacy Research Projects
News Release: April 29, 2015

The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada is a government agency.

From the News Release: "The Contributions Program funds not only research but also its application in ways that have a real impact of Canadians. Some examples of this year’s projects include:

Privacy and fitness tracking devices – This project will examine the relationship between the data collection and transmission practices of fitness tracking devices, the cloud services they integrate with, and how third parties may access their personal information from the providers of these services.

Lawful access – This project will explore the implications of the Edward Snowden revelations regarding the relationships between government signals intelligence authorities and private sector telecommunications companies over access to and sharing of metadata and private communications.

Helping young teens understand privacy policies – This initiative will involve the development of a bilingual, interactive web resource aimed at children ages 12‐14 that will help them understand online terms of use and privacy policies.

Children and mobile privacy – This research is aimed at helping to improve children's understanding of mobile online privacy, enable them to recognize potentially risky situations, and empower them to better protect themselves.

Open data and privacy – This initiative will survey government open data portals and their exploitation by commercial private sector data analytic firms, and assess potential implications for Canadians’ privacy." (Read the full story)

NISO Note: NISO recently received a grant from the Mellon Foundation to explore patron privacy in libraries.

Science Europe Posts New Principles on Open Access Publisher Service
News Release; April 27, 2015

From the News Release: "The new principles adopted by Science Europe aim at setting minimum standards for Open Access publishing services provided by scholarly publishers. These general - and at the same time very practical - principles will help ensure scholarly and technical quality and cost effectiveness of Open Access-related services in all fields, from sciences to social sciences and the humanities." (Read the full story )

NISO Note: Open access infrastructure was the focus of the September 2014 issue of Information Standards Quarterly

An Initiative To Address Name Ambiguity Implementing ORCID at a Large Academic Institution
by Merle Rosenzweig and Anna Ercoli Schnitzer; C&RL News (May 2015)

From the Abstract: "Among the thousands of authors publishing all over the world, some have distinctive surnames, but numerous others have names that can be similar to one another or even precisely the same. Therefore, when searching for a particular author, it is often necessary to match the name with the topic, the provenance, or the timeframe, and still one would have to guess and hope that one has located the correct author. For example, searching in PubMed for the author lee j retrieves more than 54,468 records. Thus, a researcher’s name is insufficient to reliably identify the author of, or contributor to, an article published in a journal or in a dataset uploaded to a repository. Obviously, a foolproof method to distinguish and disambiguate names in both the published and unpublished literature would be very helpful, and is, in fact, becoming a necessity in these times of extensive research and publication". (Read the full story)

NISO Note: NISO's Executive Director Todd Carpenter wrote a blog post titled "Why Assessment Needs Persistent Identifiers Like ORCID" on January 27, 2015.

Number of Mobile-Only Internet Users in U.S. Now Exceeds Desktop-Only
comScore Announcement: April 28, 2015

From comScore: "Just a year ago, there was still nearly twice the percentage of desktop-only internet users (19.1 percent) as mobile-only users (10.8 percent). While the share of mobile-only users has climbed over the past year to 11.3 percent, the desktop-only population has drastically declined to just 10.6 percent. Of course these numbers also tell us that the vast majority of the digital population (78 percent) is multi-platform and goes online using both desktop and mobile platforms." (Read the full story)

NISO Note: On June 10, 2015 NISO will offer a webinar: "Taking Your Website Wherever You Go: Delivering Great User Experience across Multiple Form Factors"

The Digital Public Library of America Partners with President Obama to Provide Children with Greater Access to Ebooks
News Release: April 30, 2015

From DPLA: "President Obama announced a major new program, with the Digital Public Library of America as a core partner, that will provide children from across the country with greater access to thousands of ebooks. The Open eBooks initiative will include ebooks from DPLA’s extensive collection of openly available content as well as contemporary titles from publishers, which are being generously donated as part of the effort and available for free to students from low-income families. The publisher commitments include $250 million in ebook donations. DPLA’s national network of librarians will help coordinate books for inclusion in the program, and will connect to children and libraries across America." (Read the full story)

Balisage: The Markup Conference 2015 Set to Take Place in August

Balisage 2015 is scheduled to take place on August 11-14, 2015 in Washington, DC. "The 2014 program included: case studies from government, the standards world, big data, and a web-browser game; web application development with XML; change tracking and versioning in XML documents; XSLT streamability; new approaches to overlapping data structures; a discussion of MathML technology and practice; and technical papers covering such topics as: Web Components, XForms for editing, RELAX NG for DITA, an XQuery framework, OWL, identity in XML and JSON, and RDF and the Internet of Things. The conference was preceded by a one-day symposium on HTML5 and XML." Balisage is a peer-reviewed conference." (Read the full story)