Headshot of NISO Eexecutive Director, Todd Carpenter

December 2016

There are many positives associated with being a first mover in a particular market space, such as market leadership, strengthened client relationships, customer loyalty, and an opportunity to leapfrog competitors. Unfortunately, however, moving first often ties one to legacy approaches toward certain processes, an issue that is true of scholarly publishers and the authentication systems that are widely deployed in the library and publishing communities.

Libraries and publishers moved quickly to provide their patrons access to subscribed content via IP-address-based authentication systems. This made sense in the early days of the Internet, when most users connected through desktop computers that were hard-wired to campus networks. In the mid-to-late 1990s, few people had home connectivity, and even fewer used mobile devices or laptops connected to a remote network. Since then, transformations in connectivity, institutional collaborations, and mobile computing have greatly enhanced and complicated the ways in which users access content. These complications mean that users experience subscriber access via IP-based protocols that are unreliable and error prone, for reasons unknown to the users.

When it works, the user experience and simplicity of IP-based authentication makes accessing content seamless and simple, but the system is also rife with problems. IP addresses are easily spoofed. Also, because the initial IP ranges were far too inadequate for the eventual demand, ranges overlap and are often used as proxies for broader communities than originally designed, making the network horribly insecure. Many nefarious attackers have taken advantage of these vulnerabilities to pirate significant amounts of publisher content.

We find ourselves in an environment where an outdated, inappropriate solution forms the basis for providing content to millions of users at tens of thousands of institutions. The entire situation is untenable (it probably has been for years) and we need to address the issue at a broad scale.

A number of initiatives to advance more robust technologies to improve access control have found varying levels of success over the years. Any success is often most dependent on local institutional infrastructure. Also, not every content provider is equally prepared to provide access via methods that are not IP-based. Similarly, not every institution can support these other authentication methods. Finally, the user education issue, meaning the task of informing patrons how to gain access via more robust methods, has gotten short shrift.

It is about time that libraries and publishers move beyond IP-based authentication. A related effort begun within the STM Association of publishers earlier this year is gaining momentum, and NISO has been engaged in these conversations and is supporting the initiative. Realizing that this work needs to be a broad-based community effort, we are helping to bring library and vendor voices into the conversation. Two community meetings are planned this December, with additional opportunities for engagement lined up as well. Discussions are underway to find means to enhance participation and explore reasonable approaches. This multi-year effort will require participation from a variety of community members. A survey has launched to gain insight into organizational capabilities and interest in this endeavor. If you're interested in helping in these efforts, please respond via the survey. The community will need to establish bridges between institutional IT and content providers and nurture better relationships between patrons and providers.

NISO is a terrific venue to bring many of these players together in a mutually supportive way to combat these new security challenges. The work will require a great deal of trust and collaboration; qualities NISO brings to the table. We will have our work cut out for us in the coming year.

With this ambitious agenda, I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season and a productive start to your new year!

We appreciate your feedback and input on these future directions for our Organization and for the information distribution ecosystem.

With kindest regards,

Todd Carpenter’s Signature

Todd Carpenter

Executive Director

NISO Reports

NISO Announces New Publishers Enacting Phase Two of KBART Guidelines, Encourages Other Publishers to Seek Endorsement

The National Information Standards Organization (NISO) is pleased to announce that five publishers are now supplying metadata that conforms to phase two of the recommended practice, KBART: Knowledge Bases And Related Tools (NISO RP-9-2014). Conformance with KBART indicates that the format and content of data supplied by these publishers observe practical recommendations for timely exchange between content providers and knowledge base vendors.

The newest endorsers are Greenleaf Publishing, Harvard University Press, IEEE, Oxford University Press, and Project MUSE.

NISO Executive Director to Speak at RMG's 2017 ALA Midwinter President's Seminar: The View from the Top

NISO Executive Director, Todd Carpenter, will participate in RMG's upcoming 2017 ALA/Midwinter Presidents' Seminar. At the event, IT consulting firm RMG explains, "company leaders are asked to consider possibilities for new standards and open source platforms to bring a new era of collaboration and interoperability among library industry systems, services, and customers, and with publishers." The meeting will address several questions, including:

  • Will FOLIO's Open Source Applications Architecture inspire a catch-up and go-ahead, across-the-library-industry automation era?
  • Will diverse, collaborating, and competing library communities and companies leverage a common open source microservices-driven core/platform to the advantage of all?
  • Can the library industry create a global library ecosystem of services and software to benefit library users worldwide?
  • How will NISO and new standards figure in developing interoperability among library industry players and FOLIO?
  • How will FOLIO work with NISO?

Speakers include Paul Cope (Auto-Graphics), George Coe (Baker & Taylor), Mitchell Davis (BiblioLabs), Mike Grasee (Demco), Neil Block (EBSCO), Sebastian Hammer (Index Data), James Tallman (Innovative Interfaces), Todd Carpenter (NISO), Steve Potash (Overdrive), Skip Dye (Penguin Random House), Jane Burke (ProQuest), Patrick Jones (PTFS/LibLime), Bill Davison (SirsiDynix), and Annette Murphy (The Library Corporation).

The seminar will take place on Friday January 20, 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Atlanta, Georgia World Congress Center, Room GWCC A312.

NISO Professional Development Events in December and January

Joint NISO-NFAIS Virtual Conference: Making Certain Digital Content is Preserved: Archiving Digital Resources
Wednesday, December 7, 2016
11:00am - 5pm, EST

Remember that your paid registration for a NISO virtual conference provides you with access to the archived recording of the full event, so that even if you missed today's live presentation, you can still take advantage of this learning opportunity. Don't let this one get lost in the December rush!

Publishers, aggregators, government agencies, research institutes, and libraries understand the value in, and require, archiving mechanisms that ensure access to scholarly records in a constantly changing information landscape. Over the last several years, related best practices have been developed and many initiatives have been launched that attempt to rise to the challenge of preserving these works. However, a clear vision for how to support long-term maintenance to ensure this critical information is not lost or degraded, and who will do the work, has sometimes been lacking. This virtual event will address the past, present, and future of digital preservation and include an overview of the field and information on institutional policies, metadata and formats, accessibility, types of archives and repositories, back-up systems, and issues of security.

See the NISO event page to learn the topics being addressed by each of these speakers:

  • Craig Van Dyck, Executive Director, The CLOCKSS Archive
  • Jonathan Wheeler, Data Curation Librarian, University of New Mexico
  • Andrea Goethals, Manager of Digital Preservation and Repository Services, Harvard University
  • Kate Wittenberg, Managing Director, Portico
  • Amy Kirchhoff, Archive Service Product Manager, Portico
  • Stephanie Orphan, Director, Publisher Relations, Portico
  • Hannah Scates Kettler, Digitial Humanities Research and Instruction Librarian, University of Iowa
  • Elizabeth Waraksa, Program Director for Research and Strategic Initiatives, ARL
  • Peter Herdrich, Co-Founder, Antiquities Coalition
  • Christine Madsen, Chief Innovation Officer and Megan Hurst, Chief Experience Officer, Athenaeum21
  • Ricc Ferrante, Information Technology Archivist and Director of Digital Services, Smithsonian Institution Archives

For registration details and linked online forms, visit the NISO event page.

NISO Webinar: Make it at the Library: How Does Library Technology Support Makerspaces?
Wednesday, December 14, 2016,
1:00pm - 2:30pm, EST

The movement to help support the "maker" culture among libraries has grown and and is creating vibrant communities centered around the library in many communities. Beyond purchasing equipment and the tools necessary to produce objects, what does the library need to do to support these innovation spaces? How do traditional library services and information management support these communities and new tools? This session will explore how some of the most successful makerspaces have been created and how traditional library services are being incorporated into those spaces. During this session, speakers from three different institutions that have implemented makerspaces, who will discuss how they have integrated traditional services into their maker initiatives.

See the NISO event page to find out what will be discussed on the day by speakers George Meadows, Professor, College of Education, University of Mary Washington; Sara Gonzalez, University of Florida; and John J. Burke, Library Director & Principal Librarian, Gardner-Harvey Library, Miami University at Middletown.

Begin Thinking Ahead to 2017!

NISO Webinar: What Can I Do with This? Making It Easy for Scholars & Researchers to Utilize Content
Wednesday, January 11, 2017
1:00pm - 2:30pm

Building on the NISO Working Group's activities in the realm of Access and License Indicators, this session will examine the new perplexities associated with open access content and its subsequent reuse in other contexts. What exactly is a permissible use? And for whom? Is there a timing factor involved? And how is one supposed to know that? Speakers will address the many concerns of readers, authors, funders, librarians, platform providers and publishers.

Confirmed speakers are Darla Henderson, Assistant Director, Open Access Programs, American Chemical Society (ACS); Maureen C. Kelly, Publishing Consultant; and Howard Ratner, Executive Director, CHORUS. Other names to be announced.

For more information, see the NISO event page.

NISO Events at ALA Midwinter
NISO Annual Update & Standards Meeting
Saturday, January 21, 2017, 10:30am - 12:00pm
Location: GWCC - B207

The NISO Annual Meeting & Update will take place on Saturday, January 21 (10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. in Georgia World Congress Center Room B207), where you can hear the latest news about NISO's current efforts, including standards, recommended practices, and community meetings covering many areas of interest to the library community.

NISO Annual Meeting 10:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
Join us for our Annual Meeting to learn about the status of the organization, all the work that has taken place in 2016, and what's coming in 2017. The meeting is open to the public and all are welcome to participate.

NISO Update 11:00 a.m. to Noon.
The NISO Update provides the latest news about NISO's current efforts. Working group members and staff will provide updates on projects, some newly underway.

For more information, see the NISO event page.

Forthcoming ISO Ballots

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.

Systematic Review of ISO 9:1995 (Ed 2, vers 3) Information and documentation -- Transliteration of Cyrillic characters into Latin characters -- Slavic and non-Slavic languages
This is a ballot for the five-year systematic review of the standard. This International Standard establishes a System for the transliteration into Latin characters of Cyrillic characters constituting the alphabets of Slavic and non-Slavic languages, in accordance with the principles of stringent conversion in Order to permit international information exchange, particularly by electronic means.

Systematic Review of ISO 9985:1996 (vers 3) Information and documentation -- Transliteration of Armenian characters into Latin characters
This is a ballot for the five-year systematic review of the standard. This International Standard establishes a system for the transliteration of the modern Armenian alphabet into Latin characters, in accordance with the principles of stringent conversion in order to permit international information exchange, particularly by electronic means.

Systematic Review of ISO 15919:2001 (vers 3) -- Information and documentation -- Transliteration of Devanagari and related Indic scripts into Latin characters
This is a ballot for the five-year systematic review of the standard. This International Standard provides tables which enable the transliteration into Latin characters from text in Indic scripts which are largely specified in rows 09 to 0D of UCS (ISO/IEC 10646-1 and Unicode).

Systematic Review of ISO 259-2:1994 (vers 3) Information and documentation -- Transliteration of Hebrew characters into Latin characters -- Part 2: Simplified transliteration
This is a ballot for the five-year systematic review of the standard. This part of ISO 259 specifies a simplified System for the transliteration of Hebrew characters into Latin characters. This simplification of the stringent rules established by ISO 259:1984 is especially intended to make easier the processing of bibliographic information (catalogues, indices, citations, etc.).

Systematic Review of ISO 259:1984 (vers 4) Documentation -- Transliteration of Hebrew characters into Latin characters
This is a ballot for the five-year systematic review of the standard. This International Standard establishes a system for the transliteration of Hebrew characters into Latin characters following the principles of stringent conversion in order to permit international information exchange.

Systematic Review of ISO 233-2:1993 (vers 5) Information and documentation -- Transliteration of Arabic characters into Latin characters -- Part 2: Arabic language -- Simplified transliteration
This is a ballot for the five-year systematic review of the standard. This part of ISO 233 establishes a simplified System for the transliteration of Arabic characters into Latin characters. This simplification of the stringent rules established by ISO 233:1984 is especially intended to facilitate the processing of bibliographic information (e.g. catalogues, indices, citations, etc).

Systematic Review of ISO 233:1984 (vers 4) Documentation -- Transliteration of Arabic characters into Latin characters
This is a ballot for the five-year systematic review of the standard. This International Standard establishes a system for the transliteration of Arabic characters into Latin characters following the principles of stringent conversion in order to permit international information exchange.

New Work Item Proposal: Revision and Replacement of the Third Edition of ISO TC 46-SC 9 690, Guidelines for Bibliographic references and citations to information resources
This International Standard gives guidelines for the preparation of bibliographic references. It also gives guidelines for the preparation of citations in Latin scriptsin works that are not themselves primarily bibliographical. It is applicable to bibliographic references andcitations to all kinds of information resources. This fourth edition willcancel and replace the third edition of ISO 690:2010, which has been technically revised and updated.

New Work Item Proposal: Description and presentation of rights information in digital collections
The proposed standard provides guidelines on how to describe rights information for digital collections and where to present rights information in the pages of such collections.

New on the NISO Website

New Specs & Standards

COUNTER Code of Practice Release 5 Update

Last month's Charleston Conference saw a presentation on the latest developments regarding Project COUNTER. These slides from the presentation outline the progress to date with drafting Release 5 of COUNTER, and include information on new reports, metric types and related attributes, report formats, sample use cases, and the project timeline.

Safer, Less Vulnerable Software Is the Goal of New NIST Computer Publication

The new NIST Interagency Report (NISTIR) 8151: Dramatically Reducing Software Vulnerabilities is based on the organization's work with coders in private industry and government agencies. The publication discusses strategies such as using the appropriate language for the task at hand and making programs modular so that if one part fails, it doesn't all crash. In addition, the authors offer ways for members of the programming community to educate themselves on these important techniques.

Media Stories

NISO Recommended Practice: Outputs of the Alternative Assessment Metrics Project
Journal of Collaborative Librarianship 8 (2016) Issue 3; by Jill O'Neill

This article by Jill O'Neill, NISO Educational Programs Manager, describes NISO's collaboratively produced Recommended Practice, NISO RP-25-2016, Outputs of the Alternative Assessment Metrics Project. This document "sought to establish a consensus among stakeholders whose activities require robust and precise tools for gauging the impact and reach of scholarship in a globally networked research environment-more robust than were available from impact factor and other such measures." O'Neill also considers next steps, including propelling related efforts and encouraging adoption of the recommended practices.

Ask The Chefs: Where Is The Balance Between Security, Authentication, Marketing, and Privacy?
Scholarly Kitchen, Dec. 1, 2016; by Ann Michael

MichaeI, herself a Scholarly Kitchen "Chef," or blogger, asks her fellow chefs David Smith, Joe Esposito, Rick Anderson, Michael Clarke, Todd Carpenter, Jill O'Neill, and Lettie Conrad to discuss the thorny issue of balancing the right to privacy with other important concerns.

Monographs, Transparency, and Open Access
The Scholarly Kitchen, December 5, 2016; by Jill O'Neill

NISO Educational Programs Manager Jill O'Neill finds that, despite some progress in the market, curiosity about a citation can still lead readers down an OA rabbit hole.

Partnering for Discoverability: Knitting Archival Finding Aids to Digitized Material Using a Low Tech Digital Content Linking Process
Code{4}Lib Journal, Issue 34, Oct. 25, 2016; by Liz Woolcott, Andrea Payant, Sara Skindelien

"As libraries continue to ramp up digitization efforts for unique archival and special collections material, the segregation of archival finding aids from their digitized counterparts presents an accumulating discoverability problem for both patrons and library staff. [Utah State University Libraries have created a process] for semi-automating the batch linking of item and folder level entries in EAD finding aids to the corresponding digitized material in CONTENTdm."

Invitation to Tender: A Feasibility Study on Monographs
Code{4}Lib Journal, Issue 34, Oct. 25, 2016; by Liz Woolcott, Andrea Payant, Sara Skindelien

"As libraries continue to ramp up digitization efforts for unique archival and special collections material, the segregation of archival finding aids from their digitized counterparts presents an accumulating discoverability problem for both patrons and library staff. [Utah State University Libraries have created a process] for semi-automating the batch linking of item and folder level entries in EAD finding aids to the corresponding digitized material in CONTENTdm."

Is Open Access Enough? Strategies for Healthier OA
ACRLog, November 12, 2016; by Dylan Burns

Burns maintains that predatory journals and publishers benefit from faculty and librarian enthusiasm about open access, while at the same time, even quality OA materials are viewed with suspicion by some in the academy because of concerns with the accuracy of Internet material. He offers librarians some solutions to both problems, providing a way to strengthen OA as a movement as well as improve the materials that OA journals publish.

A PLOS Response to Open in Action with Open Science
HThe Official PLOS Blog, November 4, 2016 by Sheryl P. Denker

"With the theme of Open in Action, International Open Access Week 2016 served as a call for researchers, policymakers, funders and publishers around the globe to take 'concrete steps to open up research and scholarship.' In direct response to this call, PLOS thought carefully about Open Science and what it means for us."

The Internet Archive is Building a Canadian Copy
Internet Archive Blogs, November 29, 2016; by Brewster Kahle

"On November 9th in America," says Internet Archive founder Brewster Kahle, "we woke up to a new administration promising radical change. It was a firm reminder that institutions like ours, built for the long-term, need to design for change. For us, it means keeping our cultural materials safe, private and perpetually accessible. It means preparing for a Web that may face greater restrictions." The Archive is therefore building a copy of itself in Canada, with this blog entry soliciting donations for the millions of dollars that undertaking will cost.