Headshot of NISO Eexecutive Director, Todd Carpenter

January 2016

With the start of the New Year, many turn to thoughts of resolutions or goals. Organizations, like people, often have the same mindset. Of course, we at NISO also create a series of goals, both big and small. One of the challenges facing NISO, and standards development generally, is weighing when it is too early to move forward with an initiative versus when practices are already mature and standardization might be less impactful. Both opportunities have their benefits and risks. Begin something too soon and the effort might either stifle innovation or crest before the value is broadly apparent, which leads to delayed adoption or even failure to adopt. If work is delayed too long, then standardization is merely a formality that reinforces existing practice.

NISO's work on user privacy released last month seems well-timed with industry needs after a relatively short development timeline—the principles were published after a nimble eight months of work. As a related effort, NISO is organizing another privacy-related project, this time focused on research data and privacy. At the end of last year, NISO was fortunate to receive grant funding from both the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. This funding will allow us to advance efforts toward a global framework that will establish community norms for addressing some of the nettlesome privacy issues surrounding research data that contains personally identifiable human subject data. As ever-greater amounts of human-subject data are collected and shared in order to advance science, the research community requires a common set of guidelines that can be used to both protect private personal data and to insulate the academy from potential ramifications of unintended data breaches. More information about the project is below and will be forthcoming on the project's webpage on the NISO site.

The new year is also a season of fresh beginnings and I am so pleased to welcome two new members of the NISO staff this month. Jill O'Neill has joined NISO as our Educational Programs Manager. Jill has tremendous expertise in the information community and working with the publishing, library, and supplier communities as part of the team at NFAIS. Also joining the NISO team is Etta Verma, who is NISO's new Editorial and Communications Specialist. Etta will be responsible for NISO's publications; our website; and editing our standards, best practices, and other publications. Etta joins NISO from the editorial side of Library Journal (LJ) and School Library Journal, where most recently she was responsible for the reviews sections of LJ. Jill and Etta will add tremendously to our work and efforts moving into the new year and beyond. More information about both is available below.

We are also kicking off another great year with educational programs for our members and the rest of the information community, and hosting our annual meeting during the ALA conference next week. More information about all of NISO's programming at ALA Midwinter in Boston is here and our first several websites of 2016 is below. Finally, we are so pleased to continue to serve all of our new and returning members in 2016. It will be another productive year, I'm sure!

Best wishes to you all for a fulfilling and prosperous 2016!


Todd Carpenter’s Signature

Todd Carpenter

Executive Director

NISO Reports

NISO Receives Two Grants To Undertake a Framework on Data and Privacy

The National Information Standards Organization (NISO) has received two grants to develop a consensus framework for mitigating and managing the privacy risks related to the collection, preservation, sharing, use, and re-use of research data sets. The grants from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation will further advance NISO's existing privacy initiatives on user privacy in library, publisher, and software supplier systems, details of which were published in December 2015.

The 22-month project funded by the Mellon Foundation is called "Development of a Consensus Framework for Mitigating the Privacy Risks Related to the Collection, Sharing, and Use of Research Data Sets." A proposed joint NISO-Research Data Alliance (RDA) working group will develop the framework and associated metadata, use cases, and implementation support materials. Todd Carpenter, NISO Executive Director, will serve as the overall project director and co-chair of the working group. The working group will also be co-chaired by Bonnie Tijerina, a Researcher at the Data & Society Research Institute and founder of the Electronic Resources & Libraries conference. The Working Group Case Statement is currently open and available for comment on the RDA website.

Work on privacy issues surrounding data sets is related to and will build upon ongoing initiatives at NISO and RDA. The framework will fill a need in the international science, social science, and humanities communities, which often work with human subject research data but lack concrete guidelines as to how to safeguard those data as they are shared, used, and processed. Institutional repositories have too often dealt with the question of privacy in data sets by exclusion rather than management. Not only do repository managers risk incurring significant financial penalties in this process, they also create avoidable barriers to data sharing and reuse.

In order to explore the issues and provide needed guidance, global leaders in the areas of data science, repositories, privacy, publishing, and technology will be invited to participate in the working group, which will convene both virtually and in person at RDA plenary meetings over the next 18 months in Tokyo, Japan; Denver, CO; and Barcelona, Spain.

Additional efforts related to this working group and the initiative will be supported by a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation called "Support for public outreach, engagement, and promotion of the joint NISO-RDA Working Group on the Privacy Implications of Research Data." Following the development of the framework and data protection guidelines for the international scholarly community, it will be important to advance an understanding by data creators, managers, and consumers of the privacy implications of exposing, using, and preserving research data. A full understanding of the risks will support better adoption of the framework, so that a key component of this project will be a public symposium where stakeholders will discuss important practical aspects of privacy and research data.

The symposium will be held concurrently with International Data Week 2016, September 11-17, 2016. This public symposium will bring together members of the Research Data Alliance, the ICSU World Data Systems, International CODATA, and the SciDataCon conference for a week of associated meetings in Denver, CO. Free live virtual participation is planned for those unable to attend in person, and a permanent video archive of the event will also be posted on the Internet for public viewing. Promotion of the work will continue after the symposium, with the Sloan Foundation also supporting the creation of related articles in NISO's Information Standards Quarterly and planned additional news reports documenting the event. Subsequent working group efforts will focus on wider adoption of the framework.

Public comments on the draft Case Statement on the RDA webpage are welcome. People interested in participating in this project are encouraged to either contact NISO's Associate Director, Nettie Lagace, or register with the Research Data Alliance and join the group on the RDA website.More information about the project is posted on the NISO website.

Two Industry Leaders Join the NISO Staff

The National Information Standards Organization (NISO) is pleased to announce that Jill O'Neill and Henrietta Verma have joined the organization as Educational Programs Manager and Editorial and Communications Specialist, respectively. Both bring to NISO years of high-level experience in information science and print and digital publishing. They offer expertise that will further NISO's goals of offering the community optimal educational opportunities and reliable, timely publications.

Jill O'Neill has been an active member of the information community for 30 years, most recently managing the professional development programs for the National Federation of Advanced Information Services (NFAIS). Her publishing expertise was gained working for such prominent content providers as Elsevier, Thomson Scientific (now Thomson Reuters), and John Wiley & Sons. Jill continues to write for a diverse set of publications, including Information Today and the Scholarly Kitchen blog.

Henrietta Verma is a librarian who has worked in public libraries in New York, first as a librarian then as a library director. In 2006, she started her publishing career at School Library Journal, where she developed the magazine's Series Made Simple supplement. Most recently, Etta worked at Library Journal (LJ), where she managed the reviews team and was the editor of the science and reference reviews sections of the magazine. Etta continues to review for LJ and is also working on book about writing and reviewing that will be released in mid 2016.

"NISO is exceptionally fortunate to attract such well-known and well-regarded leaders in our community," said NISO Executive Director, Todd Carpenter. "Both Etta and Jill will add to our capacity and enrich the quality of our efforts to advance technology adoption, efficient management, and broader dissemination of information content to our constituency."

New edition of Journal Article Tag Suite (JATS) is formally published

Now formally approved by ANSI, NISO has published the updated version of JATS: Journal Article Tag Suite Version 1.1, ANSI/NISO Z39.96-2015. This newly official edition is a revision of ANSI/NISO Z39.96-2012, also known as JATS 1.0, first published in July 2012. JATS 1.1 includes changes based on comments from users made on JATS 1.0 through February 2015, which have been addressed by the NISO JATS Standing Committee. All changes are also backward compatible with JATS 1.0, which means that any document that was valid according to JATS 1.0 will be valid according to JATS 1.1. The Journal Article Tag Suite provides a common XML format in which publishers and archives can exchange journal content. The JATS provides a set of XML elements and attributes for describing the textual and graphical content of journal articles as well as some non-article material such as letters, editorials, and book and product reviews. Documents are available via the JATS web pages.

NISO Annual Meeting at ALA Midwinter Conference

Join NISO for events at ALA Midwinter in Boston! NISO's booth is #1035 in the Exhibits area.

A presentation on NISO's Consensus Framework for Patron Privacy in Library and Information Systems will take place on Saturday, January 9 (1:00 - 2:30 pm in Westin Waterfront, Room Commonwealth A & B).NISO launched a project in 2015 to develop a consensus framework for privacy of patron data in library, publisher, and vendor systems, with input from stakeholders and leaders within the information systems community. This talk will provide an overview and next steps for the now-published framework, a set of principles for how suppliers of end-user systems for content or services should address concerns around privacy.

The NISO Annual Meeting & Update will take place on Sunday, January 10 (1:00 - 2:30 p.m. in Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, Room 257A), 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 Meeting1:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.Join us for our Annual Meeting to learn about the status of the organization, all the work that has taken place in 2015, and what's coming in 2016. The meeting is open to the public and all are welcome to participate.

NISO Update1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.The NISO Update provides the latest news about NISO's current efforts. Working group members and staff will provide updates on projects, some newly under way:

January Webinar: Ensuring the Scholarly Record: Scholarly Retractions, Scientific Reproducibility, and the Role of Publishers and Libraries

Science is often referred to as a self-correcting system and scholarly communications are meant to play an important role in that process. By describing the steps that have been undertaken, others can verify the work by replicating it, testing its validity, and applying it themselves, thereby building upon it. Recently, questions have arisen about the scholarly record, with revelations about false data, erroneous processes, and irreproducible research.

Are there problems with the peer review process that are allowing more faulty research into publication? Is the availability and discoverability of content making it simply more visible to the scholarly marketplace? Once content is retracted, what practices should be implemented to identify retracted materials as having been withdrawn? How is retraction information communicated and are corrections to the scholarly record connected in an obvious way?

In this webinar to be held on January 13 from 1:00 - 2:30 p.m. ET, attendees will learn more about the ways in which scholars, publishers and libraries are working to ensure the trustworthiness of the scholarly record.

  • Retractions, Post-Publication Peer Review, and Fraud: Scientific Publishing's Wild West Ivan Oransky, Co-Founder, Retraction Watch
  • Life After Publication — Reproducibility Challenges and the Role of Publishers Veronique Viermer, Ph.D., Executive Editor, PLOS
  • Trust Through Transparency — Why the Quality (and Quantity) of Publishers' Metadata Matters Kirsty Meddings, Product Manager, CrossRef

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

January 18 NISO Open Teleconference: Standards in Review

The NISO January Open Teleconference will be held at 3 pm on Monday, January 18 (postponed one week due to ALA Midwinter). This month, Associate Director for Programs Nettie Lagace will discuss several standards that are now before NISO Voting Members for review: ANSI/NISO Z39.18-2005 (R2010) Scientific and Technical Reports - Preparation, Presentation, and Preservation, ANSI/NISO Z39.19-2005 (R2010) Guidelines for the Construction, Format, and Management of Monolingual Controlled Vocabularies, ANSI/NISO Z39.29-2005 (R2010) Bibliographic References, and ANSI/NISO/ISO 12083-1995 (R2010) Electronic Manuscript Preparation and Markup. More information about connecting to this event is available on the NISO website.

February Webinar: The Start Up Effect — How Startups are Changing the Culture of Scholarly Communications

For an industry that just celebrated its 350th anniversary, scholarly communications is in the midst of a period of disruption. Long-established companies are joining new start-ups in fostering a culture of innovation and iteration in this once staid community. New applications, tools, and even new content forms are being tested and adopted by researchers and library patrons. Understanding the drivers of this change, and its broader effects will be vital to planning near- and long-term technology investments, staffing needs, and training investments.

This session, to be held on February 10, 2016, will explore the organizational and cultural characteristics that support innovation from the perspective of both new and traditional organizations. It will also explore the impact the culture of start-ups has already had on scholarly communications and what might be forthcoming from this innovative explosion.

Planned speakers are:

  • Melinda Kenneway, Executive Director, Kudos
  • Lenny Teytelman, Founder, Protocols.io
  • Robin Champieux, Scholarly Communication Librarian, Oregon Health & Science University

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

February Virtual Conference: Using Open Source in Your Institution

Open Source technology is broadly adopted in a variety of contexts and has long-since proven its value in many technology environments. With their significant advantages, open source technologies can allow for community priorities to be addressed; flexibility for implementers, community interactions, and support; as well as potential cost savings. There are challenges, costs, and potential pitfalls posed by an open-source approach as well. Understanding the benefits, risks, costs, and opportunities is vital to determining the best option to choose in selecting a solution to large-scale software management.

During this virtual conference, we will explore the variety of decision points regarding an open source investment to ensure a successful implementation. The session will cover investments necessary in staffing and technology resources, as well as legal issues to consider. We will discuss integration issues, collaboration, and support networks that can either hinder or propel a project's realization. Case studies of open-source successes and disappointments will be addressed.

All registrants to this virtual conference will receive a login to the associated Training Thursday on GitHub - How to Use it to Greatest Effect to be held on February 25. (Separate registration to the training event only is also available.) If you are unable to attend the Training Thursday in person, you can view the recording of the session.

For more information about this virtual conference and to register, visit the event webpage.

Forthcoming ISO Ballots

US–based NISO Voting members participate in the development, revision, and evaluation of international ISO standards. Voting members are able to influence the process and mold the future of the industry. The following ISO ballots are open for consideration by Voting members and will close in before the next Newsline is distributed.

  • New Work Item Proposal ISO/TR 28118 Quality Assessment for National Libraries
    The proposed Technical Report "Quality assessment for national libraries" shall cover two purposes: ​to revise and enlarge the collection of performance indicators in ISO/TR 28118 (2009), Performance indicators for national libraries​; and to define and describe methods for assessing and measuring the impact of national libraries and their services. Ballot closes on January 8, 2016​.
  • ISO/FDIS 15489-1 (Ed 2) Information and Documentation — Records Management — Part 1: Concepts and Principles
    This part of ISO 15489 defines the concepts and principles from which approaches to the creation, capture, and management of records are developed. Ballot closes on February 2, 2016.
  • ISO/DIS 17068-Information and Documentation — Trusted Third Party Repository for Digital Records
    This International Standard specifies requirements for a Trusted Third Party Repository (TTPR) to support the authorized custody service in order to ensure provable integrity and authenticity of the clients' digital records and serve as a source of reliable evidence. Ballot closes on February 3, 2016.

New Specs & Standards

W3C Publications on Best Practices for Data on the Web, Spatial Data on the Web Use Cases and Requirements, and CSV on the Web

The World Wide Web Consortium's (W3C) Data on the Web Best Practices Working Group has published working drafts on data quality vocabulary and data on the web best practices, reports INFOdocket. The data quality vocabulary document, says W3C, "sets out a consistent means by which information can be provided such that a potential user of a dataset can make his/her own judgment about its fitness for purpose." The other draft, concerning data on the web, emphasizes that data and their usage should be discoverable and understandable by both people and machines, with a view to facilitating interaction between publishers and consumers.

In another project, which is underway in collaboration with OGC (The Open Geospatial Consortium), W3C's Spatial Data on the Web Working Group has released a "Group Note of Spatial Data on the Web Use Cases & Requirements," which "describes use cases that demand a combination of geospatial and non-geospatial data sources and techniques."

Lastly, W3C has released recommendations regarding the treatment of CSV (tabular data) and its metadata on the web. The documents are: "Model for Tabular Data and Metadata on the Web," "Metadata Vocabulary for Tabular Data," "Generating JSON from Tabular Data on the Web," and "Generating RDF from Tabular Data on the Web."

More information about these porjects are available on the W3C website.

U.S. Copyright Office Announces DMCA "Operation" Study

Following a request from the House Judiciary Committee's Ranking Member to the Register of Copyrights, the Library of Congress has announced that it is seeking public comment on "the impact and efficacy" of Section 1201 of Title 17 of DOMA. Among other things, this section "prohibits the circumvention of technological measures employed by or on behalf of copyright owners to control access to their works […] as well as the trafficking in technologies or services that facilitate such circumvention." Comments must be submitted by February 25, 2016.

ISO Publishes New Code of Practice for Information Security Controls for Cloud Services, ISO/IEC-27017

Released in December 2015, ISO/IEC 27017 is concerned with information security for both cloud services providers and consumers. It supplements ISO/IEC 27002 and other ISO27k standards that address the privacy, business continuity, and relationship-management aspects of cloud computing.

ISO Publishes Standard to Improve Inter-organizational and Inter-sector Communications

ISO/IEC 27010 "Information technology — Security techniques — Information security management for inter-sector and inter-organizational communications" was released on December 15, 2015. The sector-specific addition to the ISO/IEC 27000 toolbox offers additional guidance on the initiation, implementation, maintenance, and improvement of information security in inter-organizational and inter-sector communications. The standard has an ambitious scope; it aims to address the exchange of information and protection of information-related infrastructure of bodies as large as nation states. ISO/IEC 27010, says ISO, is designed to encourage "the international growth of information sharing communities."

ISO 11799:2015, Information and Documentation — Document Storage Requirements for Archive and Library Materials

An updated standard published in December, ISO 11799:2015 "specifies the characteristics of repositories used for the long-term storage of archive and library materials. It covers the siting and construction and renovation of the building and the installation and equipment to be used both within and around the building. It applies to all archive and library materials held in repositories, where mixed media may be stored together with paper-based materials. It does not preclude the establishment of separate areas or compartments within individual repositories, where the environment can be controlled to create conditions suitable for the needs of specific archive materials."

Information and Documentation on the Romanization of Chinese is Published as ISO 7098:2015

Updating 1982 and 1991 versions of the standard, this edition of ISO 7098:2015 describes the principles behind the Romanization of Modern Chinese Putonghua (Mandarin Chinese). ISO explains that the update "is in response to new application needs, for instance to reflect current Chinese romanization practice and new developments in China and the rest of the world."

Media Stories

Peter Brantley on "Why James Billington's Retirement is a Wake-Up Call for Librarians"

In an article in the December 1 issue of Publisher's Weekly, Peter Brantley, a contributing editor at the magazine and Director of Online Strategy for the University of California Davis Library, laments the lack of innovation at the Library of Congress. "With its unique historical collections," says Brantley, "the Library of Congress should be among the most important digital libraries in the world. But it is not." According to the author, the problem is not all due to the staid Billington's long tenure.

NISO Note: The Library of Congress discussed is a member of NISO; UC Davis, where Peter Brantley works, is an LSA Member.

ProQuest Completes Acquisition of Ex Libris

"In a move that will combine two of the world's largest academic library solutions providers, on October 6 ProQuest signed an agreement to acquire Ex Libris Group from private equity firm Golden Gate Capital. Officials stated that ProQuest's information resources and expertise in electronic resources management will pair well with Ex Libris's library automation tools, combining to span 'print, electronic, and digital content, as well as solutions for library management, discovery, and research workflows.'"

NISO Note: Both ProQuest and Ex Libris are Voting Members of NISO.

Creative Commons releases "State of the Commons Report"

Creative Commons (CC) CEO Ryan Merkley calls his organization's 2015 "State of the Commons Report" "our best effort to measure the immeasurable scope of the commons by looking at the CC licensed content, along with content marked as public domain, that comprise the slice of the commons powered by CC tools." The report notes that there are now more than one billion CC licensed works in the Commons and that these works were viewed online 136 billion times last year. The report also includes a section of regional highlights for various areas across the globe.

IFLA appoints Gerald Leitner as Secretary General

On January 4, the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) named Gerald Leitner, who is currently Secretary General of the Austrian Library Association, as IFLA Secretary General. On June 1, 2016, Leitner, who was previously head of library education in Austria, will replace the current director, Jennefer Nicholson, who is retiring.