Headshot of NISO Eexecutive Director, Todd Carpenter

August 2016

Later this month, it will be ten years since I joined NISO. It is truly amazing how quickly "time flies when you're having fun." For all the ups, downs, challenges, and successes over the past decade, I look back happily on the time. There is much to be proud of.

Back in 2006, NISO was in the midst of a challenging period. A Blue Ribbon Panel prepared a report for the NISO Board of Directors in 2005 describing an organization in a dire shape, with mismatched membership, challenges regarding international engagement, inadequate relationships with other organizations, a lack of technical infrastructure, and a process that was plodding and slow.

Some of the ideas the panel considered, such as certification, didn't make sense to pursue. Some ideas were tested and then dropped as unsuccessful. Other suggestions the group made, such as developing an educational program, have been tremendously successful. Some very strong recommendations, such as deployment of an improved infrastructure, were quickly adopted and have made a significant impact.

NISO has navigated many economic challenges over the past decade, including the Great Recession and the consolidation waves in our community. Even in this challenging environment we have been able to expand our resources and to add staff to the team in order to boost our portfolio. We have attracted both new voting members and more than a hundred new Library Standards Alliance Members. NISO has also opened up new channels of funding for our standards-development work through obtaining ten grants in the same number of years. With all these resources, we have attracted an ever-increasing number of contributors and new project ideas, and we have been able to get our work done more quickly than previously.

While this month is my anniversary, the success we have had over this decade is certainly not an honor for me alone. There are a great number of people who have been involved in these developments and many deserve a great deal of recognition. NISO is a community effort and literally hundreds of people have contributed to these changes. Dozens of Board members have served the community and we owe them a debt of gratitude for their leadership. The staff that have joined me on this journey also deserve recognition. Finally, the volunteers who have served on leadership and working groups to create our standards and best practices are the real heroes in this tale.

If there were time, I would like to send a personal note to each of you who helped us to arrive this anniversary. Even though August is a slower month than others, in reality, the success we have had means that we hardly have a slow period any longer. Since I don't have the time to reach out directly to the hundreds of you, please take this 120th Newsline introduction as my personal thank you. For me and the staff, there are several reports to write, grant applications to craft, new working items to prepare, presentations to plan, and budgets to draft. The reward for success is often more work. And it is that additional work that leads me to believe that the next decade will be just as fun as the last.

Thank you to all of you for listening, for engaging, and for contributing.


Todd Carpenter’s Signature

Todd Carpenter

Executive Director

NISO Reports

Call for Participation: Working Groups on E-Book Metadata and KBART Enhancement

NISO Members have approved two new work items: Recommended Practice for Enhancing KBART for Automated Exchange of Title Lists and Library Holdings and Recommended Practice on E-Book Bibliographic Metadata Requirements in the Sale, Publication, Discovery, Delivery, and Preservation Supply Chain.

The KBART working group will update and extend the KBART Phase II recommended practice to support individual library holdings of electronic products and to automate the request and retrieval of KBART reports for title lists and library holdings, while those working on E-Book Metadata will identify the most effective and efficient way for metadata to be moved through the entire supply chain, and address several practical issues in metadata sharing across stakeholders.

NISO seeks experts from the vendor, publishing, library, and information technology fields to serve on these working groups. Working on a NISO committee is a rewarding way to build your CV, gain contacts in the industry, and participate in creating the future of information exchange. If you are interested in volunteering to work on one of these standards, or would like any further information about what is involved, please contact NISO's Associate Director for Programs, Nettie Lagace, at nlagace@niso.org.

NISO Members Asked to Consider Work on a Flexible API Framework for E-Content in Libraries

After it was approved as a voting item by NISO's Discovery to Delivery Topic Committee on July 18, 2016, proposed work regarding the modernization of library-vendor technical interoperability is being considered by NISO voting members. The project being considered would enhance interoperability by using RESTful Web service APIs and standard mobile application intent calls.

If the item is approved, a working group would "use the 'Queens Library API Requirements' as a proposed initial draft to establish community, vendor, and developer needs in transmitting library-related information related to serving licensed electronic content such as login/authentication, account information, availability, item status, item check-out, audio/video/online recording streaming, patron registration with vendor, etc."

NISO Professional Development Offerings in August

How Librarians Use, Implement and Can Support Researcher Identifiers
Developed in Partnership with NASIG
Wednesday, August 10, 2016
1:00 P.M.-2:30 P.M. (EDT)

Consistency in metadata is repeatedly discussed as a problem in information management and delivery of digital resources. One core element of that metadata is the use of controlled vocabularies and authority control. These methods can also be applied to various elements of the research process. Recently, a variety of projects that seek to identify elements of the process that will support discovery, linking, and interaction with research outputs have gained traction within the research community. These systems and approaches include ORCID, DataCite, Crossref Funder IDs, and CREDIT. This webinar will focus on the role that libraries and publishers can play in fostering these systems in their work. In addition to updates on a few of these initiatives, the webinar will also highlight the implementation of these systems in the research lifecycle.

The following noted professionals will contribute their expertise and perspectives:

  • Attribution from a Research Library Perspective
    Micah Altman, Head Scientist, MIT Libraries Program on Information Science
  • Data, Metadata, and Data Citation: Insights from PLOS
    Emma Ganley, PhD., Chief Editor, PLOS Biology
  • How Libraries can Support the Identification and Discovery of Scholarly Output
    Ekatarina (Eka) Grguric, Fellow, North Carolina State University Libraries; Madison Sullivan, Fellow, North Carolina State University Libraries; William Cross, Director, Copyright and Digital Scholarship Center, North Carolina State University Libraries

For more details on this event, including registration information, please visit the NISO event page.

NISO Virtual Conference
Data Curation: Cultivating Past Research Data for Future Consumption
Wednesday, August 31, 2016
11:00 A.M.-5:00 P.M. (EDT)

Research data is an increasingly important component of communicating science. The responsibility for providing curation support for research data is falling on libraries, repositories, and archives. Support for research data is no small task, requiring expertise in data management, field-specific metadata structures, integration and sharing issues, and, potentially, access control, rights management, and privacy concerns. Cultivation and curation of this new form of scientific information at scale is a service that many in the scholarly world expect the library to manage, and librarians are well positioned to provide.

This virtual conference will explore the many aspects of data curation, including trusted-repository certification, metadata creation and management specific to data, systems deployment issues, facilitation of data sharing services, and data control issues. Speakers will provide first-hand experience of the unique challenges involved in curating data. The session will close with a panel discussion of future trends in data management and how libraries can prepare now to address them.

Confirmed speakers include: Suzie Allard, University of Tennessee-Knoxville; Jennifer Lee, University of Texas, Austin; Lisa Johnston, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities; Melissa Levine, University of Michigan; Rebekah Cummings, University of Utah; Ashley Clark, Northeastern University; and Ian Lamb and Nicole Contaxis, New York University Health Sciences Library.

For more details on this event, including registration information, please visit the NISO event page. Your registration for this NISO virtual conference entitles you to participate in the follow-up Training Thursday webinar, scheduled for September 8.

NISO Professional Development Offerings in September

NISO Two Part Webinar: Managing an Open Access World
Wednesday, Sept. 7 and Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2016
1:00 P.M.-2:30 P.M., EDT

As Open Access has proven itself a viable business model in the marketplace of journals, institutions are beginning to grapple with the implications and ramifications of its success. This includes the practicalities of how to manage acquisitions in a hybrid open access environment, dealing with discovery implications of open access, and institutional compliance with funder mandates. This two-part series will explore the practical issues of a world in which open access becomes the norm for some segment of scholarly communications. The first segment, on September 7, will focus on the implications of open access on content acquisition. The second segment, scheduled for September 14, will examine how institutions address compliance requirements of funder mandates.

For details as to scope and how to register, please visit the event page.

Privacy Implications of Research Data
A NISO Symposium, Sponsored by the NISO-RDA Joint Working Group
Sunday, September 11, 2016, Denver Colorado

Special Note: This is an event allowing for both on-site participation as well as streaming as no-cost options!

For additional details and registration information, please visit the NISO event page.

Attendees will hear from experts on the following:

  • The feasibility of balancing research requirements with the need for privacy protections
  • The limits of anonymization in the context of personally identifiable information
  • The demands of security, privacy, and trust
  • Privacy, policy, and data governance in university research practice
  • Privacy and legal frameworks in the European Union

    ...and more.

    Confirmed speakers include John Wilbanks, Sage Bionetworks; Micah Altman, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Christine Borgman, University of California, Los Angeles; and Christoph Bruch, Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres; with other names to be released soon!

Forthcoming ISO Ballot

NISO Voting members participate in the development, revision, and evaluation of standards. Voting members are able to influence the standards process and mold the future of the industry. The following NISO ballots are open and will close before the next newsletter is distributed. If you are a NISO Voting Member, log into your NISO page and you'll see the ballots linked there.

Your vote is needed to resolve the resolution for ISO NP 20674 title change and split.

ISO/TC 46 RESOLUTION 2016-14: ISO NP 20674 title change and split into parts. ISO/TC 46 decided to follow WG3 "Conversion of written languages" recommendations:

  • to split the project ISO NP 20674 " Transliteration of Thai-ThamIsan and Thai-Noi" into parts
  • to change the title of the standard project as follows: "Information and documentation -- Transliteration of scripts in use in Thailand -- Part 1: Transliteration of Akson-Thai-Noi."

Ballot closes on Wednesday, August 31, 2016

New Specs & Standards

Version 1.2 of Thema Now Available

EDItEUR reports that Version 1.2 of Thema, the international, multilingual subject category scheme is now available at http://editeur.dyndns.org/thema, and on the EDItEUR website, where users can find the scheme in various formats.

EDItEUR also notes that upcoming changes include those by national groups responsible for maintaining each Thema language. Updated translations for Spanish, Swedish, Polish, and German are already available, notes the organization, with more to come over the next couple of months. In addition, a full Chinese translation of Thema 1.2 is expected to be published this month.

W3C Invites Implementations of Mixed Content

W3C's Web Applications Security Group has released a Candidate Recommendation of Mixed Content. The document addresses the problem that when a user contacts a secure, authenticated website, that website may request sub-resources over an unencrypted channel; the encryption and authentication status of material so received is unknown. This specification discusses how user agents should handle fetching this unreliable content, tackling topics such as opting in, modifications to WebSockets, and UI requirements.

Library of Congress Releases Recommended Formats Statement

The Library of Congress has released its latest Recommended Formats Statement, which "identifies hierarchies of the physical and technical characteristics of creative formats, both analog and digital, which will best meet the needs of all concerned, maximizing the chances for survival and continued accessibility of creative content well into the future."

Media Stories

Have You Looked at This?: Yewno
Scholarly Kitchen, July 13, 2016; by Jill O'Neill

NISO's Educational Programs Manager, Jill O'Neill, recently test-drove Yewno, the new search engine that created buzz at the ALA Annual Conference in Orlando. Writing about the service for Scholarly Kitchen, O'Neill concludes that Yewno has worthwhile aims and that readers try it out for themselves.

Measuring Up: Impact Factors Do Not Reflect Article Citation Rates
PLOS Blogs KnightBlog, July 5, 1016; by Veronique Kiermer and Catriona MacCallum

Though impact factor and other journal-level metrics fail to reflect the performance of individual articles in those journals, many researchers and research assessment panels continue to rely upon them. Using data regarding their own publications, Kiermer and MacCallum aim to show that such reliance is a mistake.

NISO Note: NISO will soon publish a Recommended Practice created by the Altmetrics Initiative working groups.

Introducing the New Sector Agreement for Open Research Data
Jisc Blog, July 28, 2016; by Rachel Bruce

The various stakeholders involved in producing, using, and publishing research data now recognize, says Bruce, that open availability of that data is a positive force. However, "while funders and universities have their own policies, and in some cases mandates, in place for open research data," she explains, "what hasn't been so apparent is that these key stakeholders are working together towards shared goals and are aligned." One result of that alignment is the new Concordat on Open Research Data.

NSF Commits $35 Million to Improve Scientific Software
National Science Foundation Press Release, July 29, 2016

The software that scientists rely on for simulations, data crunching, and more will benefit from two awards announced by the National Science Foundation on July 29, 2016. The awards, the purpose of which is to enable the establishment of Scientific Software Innovation Institutes, will support the Molecular Sciences Software Institute and the Science Gateways Community Institute. While these two bodies are the direct recipients of the $35 million dollars that is earmarked for five years of work, Rajiv Ramnath, program director in the Division of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure at NSF, notes that the new institutes will ultimately effect thousands of researchers.

SocArXiv, COS Partner on New OA Social Science Archive
Library Journal, July 29, 2016; by Lisa Peet

On July 9, the steering committee of open-access, open-source repository SocArXiv announced plans to partner with the Center for Open Science. The two organizations plan to develop a preprint server that enables data and code to be shared. The work also creates, says Peet, the potential for post-publication peer review.

Rewarding open access scholarship in promotion and tenure: Driving institutional change
College and Research Libraries News, July/August 2016; by Jere Odell, Heather Coates, and Kristi Palmer

The National Science Foundation's (NSF) Advanced Cyberinfrastructure (ACI) Division "supports and coordinates the development, acquisition, and provision of state-of-the-art cyberinfrastructure resources, tools, and services essential to the advancement and transformation of science and engineering." Starting in 2013, NSF positioned the OCI within the Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering. Now that this arrangement has been in place for several years, the foundation is assessing the situation, and seeks science and engineering community input on several questions.

Meet Moxie Marlinspike, the Anarchist Bringing Encryption to All of Us
Wired, July 31, 2016; by Andy Greenberg

Moxie Marlinspike, creator of the encrypted messaging app Signal who for a time led Twitter's security team, strongly believes that encryption is important in keeping government out of our lives. "So far," says Greenberg in this lengthy profile of the anarchist, "governments aren't having much luck pushing back."