Headshot of NISO Eexecutive Director, Todd Carpenter

May 2016

Getting ideas adopted and implemented often entails the right mix of ideas, timing, resources, and willing participants. Over the past month, I've been on the road a lot at various industry meetings. They ranged from the STM Association meeting of publishers, to the Open Scholarship Initiative (OSI), which both aimed to drive advances in open communications; and from Force 11's meeting of scholars and academics seeking to advance novel forms of scholarship and communications to the Fiesole retreat focused primarily on libraries and slightly more traditional issues with e-books (if one can call e-book issues traditional). In its own way, each group was interested in addressing its own community challenges and issues.

While these recent discussions differed in focus, there was overlap from meeting to meeting and I spotted many familiar faces on my travels, with each community challenged to identify the core problem and potential solutions. The themes at these meetings were so broad that I couldn't possibly cover the breadth of the discussions, nor even the highlights in which I participated, in all of Newsline, but a common theme was a sense of urgency.

The librarians and publishers at Fiesole were working to support changing models surrounding the traditional monograph, while the researchers and scholarly communications specialists at both Force11 and OSI focused on expanding new and open forms of scholarly communications. Meanwhile, the publishers present were keen on supporting these advances in scholarly communications while simultaneously focused on issues of piracy and control. While arguments can be made about which activities should be priorities and which will have the greatest impact on scholarly communications, each of these goals, and the many others discussed, requires focused attention and support from various players in the community.

No one group can drive any of the innovative ideas or solutions I heard talked about. The publishing community, which saw the need for improved access control and identity management, will need the cooperation of libraries and institutional IT staff to bring its vision to reality. Librarians focused on transforming the monograph will need the skills of publishers in content selection, formatting, and distribution to adequately serve authors, as well as in addressing some of the business model challenges. Among the issues discussed during Force11, the one that caught my attention was the need for improved institutional identity management, which will require coordination among all of those in the supply chain.

Even when all of those constituencies are brought together, as they were at OSI, some of the challenges of scholarly communications extend beyond the publisher, librarian, and software-provider communities. Some of the issues deliberated require the involvement of the faculty and administrations that play such a huge part in scholarly communications but are not robustly represented at the vast majority of these meetings. Similarly, the technology vendors that increasingly play a critical role, keeping all of these communications systems operating behind the scenes, are usually absent.

Even with the right players gathered and engaged in determining the appropriate solution, they must still marshal the resources to come to agreement and maintain the initial energy through to completion and eventually adoption. When that appropriate solution is found, the ever-present challenge of inertia remains, and the new solution must be sufficiently better than existing approaches to overcome it.

NISO has several roles to play in supporting this work, even when it is work being undertaken at other organizations. First, we can tie into those other communities, using the expertise that exists within NISO's constituency to enhance initiatives. This is particularly important when the other community needs collaborators to advance its ideas. NISO can support the educational aspects of expanding awareness of the problem and of the use cases or solutions being developed. We can also provide a neutral forum and framework within which those problems can be resolved. This process will only work, however, if those in need of the solution are willing to talk to those with the resources, the talents, and the ambition to see the results brought forth and implemented.

In the past year, we have seen the positive effects of those efforts in NISO's work on patron privacy, our efforts related to discovery, and our leadership in the domain of metrics. Importantly, each is at a stage of needing support to drive adoption. There are many more areas where we can also be beneficial and supportive of some of the ideas discussed this month. You can look forward to more reports and details from those meetings and potential efforts. I'm looking forward to seeing where the results drive us.


Todd Carpenter’s Signature

Todd Carpenter

Executive Director

NISO Reports

NISO Seeks Volunteers to Help Revise Standards on Technical Reports, Controlled Vocabularies, and Bibliographic References

NISO seeks experts from the vendor, publishing, library, and information technology fields to work on the revision of three standards that are central to scholarly communication. 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. The three standards in focus are:

ANSI/NISO Z39.18-2005 (R2010) Scientific and Technical Reports - Preparation, Presentation, and Preservation
See the current standard
Z39.18 outlines the elements, organization, and design of scientific and technical reports. It includes guidance for the uniform presentation of front and back matter, text, and visual and tabular matter in print and digital formats, as well as recommendations for multimedia reports. The committee that developed the standard in 2005 recognized that the way technical reports were organized had evolved over the past 30 years from a content-based organization pattern to a user-based one. Further changes have happened since that time, of course, and the huge growth in digitally formatted documents necessitates a revision of the standard.

ANSI/NISO Z39.19-2005 (R2010) Guidelines for the Construction, Format, and Management of Monolingual Controlled Vocabularies
See the current standard
Controlled vocabularies are the backbone of knowledge organization systems. They seek to describe information in a systematic way, by providing lists of acceptable terms. Supporting this kind of work is ANSI/NISO Z39.19-2005 (R2010), a standard that presents guidelines and conventions for the contents, display, construction, testing, maintenance, and management of controlled vocabularies.

The community has noted the need for general revisions and edits of this standard, such as replacing references to AACR2 (the Anglo-American Cataloging Rules) with references to RDA (Resource Description and Access) and revising references to ISO (International Organization for Standardization) standards to ensure they are the current versions. In some cases, definitions and terms used need improvement or refer to obsolete taxonomy approaches. Another reason for the planned revision is that some aspects of the guidance offered in the standard is contrary to common practice.

ANSI/NISO Z39.29-2005 (R2010) Bibliographic References
See the current standard
Citing work by others is a cornerstone of academic endeavor, and having one's work cited is crucial to an academic career. With the proliferation of formats in use in scholarly communication today, a tool that helps to create, organize, and maintain bibliographic referencing systems such as APA, MLA, and Chicago Style, and one for users of those systems, is essential. Such a standard was created in 2005.

Z39.29 provides rules, guidelines, and examples for the creation of bibliographic references to numerous types of print, audiovisual, and electronic materials, both published and unpublished. This standard is intended for a broad audience, including the creators of bibliographic references, the processors who publish and otherwise display references, and the ultimate users of those references. The standard was reaffirmed in 2010 with some open questions and comments from members of the community. Since that time additional questions have arisen. In some places, the standard is contrary to cataloging rules and current best practices; in other areas, it provides guidance that leads to confusion for users. In addition, there are some areas omitted that should be considered, and some of the guidance is in the wrong part of the standard.

If you are interested in volunteering to work on any of these standards, or would like any further information about what is involved with the work, please contact NISO's Associate Director for Programs, Nettie Lagace, at nlagace@niso.org.

NISO Webinar: Supporting Research on Your Campus

Wednesday, May 4, 2016
1:00 P.M. - 2:30 P.M., EST

Libraries serve as important conduits of research. Not only is information about previous activities important, libraries also support ongoing research activities through the provision of information resources, repository activities, and information-management assistance to research teams. In providing these services, academic libraries support the overall research mission of many institutions and make the library more visible and valued in its community.

This webinar will highlight some successful libraries that have integrated their services into the research activities in their institutions. Speakers will describe offering more than traditional library services to support researchers, and how they have become more engaged in research activities though the provision of tools, data, resources, and skills.

Featured speakers include Dr. Paul J. Bracke, Associate Dean, Research & Assessment, Purdue University; Dr. Greg Raschke, Associate Director for Collections and Scholarly Communication, North Carolina State University; and Kenning Arlitsch, Dean of the Library, Montana State University.

For more information on this event, please visit the event page.

NISO Working Group Connections, Live!: Project Transfer for Librarians: Making Your Life Easier When Titles Change Hands

Friday, May 20
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM, EST

What is the Transfer Code of Practice? Why was it developed? How does it benefit librarians?

Often referred to as Transfer, this code offers consistent guidelines to aid publishers and librarians when a journal title transfers from one publisher to another. It is maintained by a group of librarians, publishers, subscription agencies, and other intermediaries, from both the United Kingdom and the United States. Transfer originated with the United Kingdom Serials Group (UKSG) but was moved under the auspices of NISO in the past year.

It's not just for publishers! Many librarians are unaware of the Transfer tools and how they might be of use to them. This webinar will provide attendees with an overview of the code, its history and purpose, results of a recent survey on awareness of the code, and a discussion of how librarians can incorporate Transfer tools into their existing e-journals workflow.

Featured speakers are Elizabeth Winter, Head, Collection Acquisitions & Management, Georgia Tech Library and Information Center, Georgia Institute of Technology; and Jennifer Bazeley, Interim Head, Technical Services, King Library, Miami University, OH.

For more about this free and informative event, please visit the event page.

NISO Webinar: Integrating Library Management Systems

Wednesday, June 8
1:00 P.M. - 2:30 PM, EST

WManaging library resources and fulfilling user requests requires robust interaction among a variety of systems. From circulation systems and ebook collections to discovery services and OpenURL resolvers, interfaces to exchange data between systems are a key element of successful system deployment. Unfortunately, not every system works seamlessly with every other. Integration is often painful, especially with systems from competing providers. The process can be complicated by proprietary access, the lack of APIs, or specific exchange standards. This lack of interoperability frustrates users of the content or services the library is providing.

This webinar will cover key elements of how to manage an integration projects and what to look for in deploying these systems. Participants will learn via case studies from several successful, and some less successful, integration efforts in libraries.

Confirmed speakers include: Marshall Breeding, Creator and Editor, Library Technology Guides; Ellen Bishop, Director, Integrated Library Services, Florida Academic Library Services Cooperative - FLVC; and Susan Johns-Smith, Coordinator of Library Systems & Consortia, Pittsburg State University.

For more about this event, please visit the event page.

NISO Virtual Conference: BIBFRAME and Real-world Applications of Linked Bibliographic Data

Wednesday, June 15
11:00 A.M. - 5:00 PM, EST

In the four years since the Library of Congress launched the BIBFRAME project, a tremendous amount of progress has been made in transforming traditional bibliographic information using new structures that are more grounded in linked data and web-centric principles. This virtual conference will explore implementations of BIBFRAME data and related approaches to sharing and interacting with bibliographic data. Speakers will address active projects based on linked data and how those services are improving interactions and discovery of information resources.

Confirmed speakers include: Shana McDanold, Georgetown University; Carolyn Hansen, University of Cincinnati; Ted Lawless, Thomson Reuters; Michael Lauruhn, Elsevier; Tim Thompson, Princeton University; Eric Miller, Zepheira; and Carl Stahmer, University of California-Davis.

For more about this event, please visit the event page.

NISO/BISG 10th Annual Forum, at the American Library Association 2016 Annual Meeting
The Changing Standards Landscape: The User Experience

Friday, June 24
12:00 P.M. - 4:00 PM, EST

User experience with ebooks encompasses far more than just an interface or an application, and influences patron attitudes towards more than a device or an author; it changes their outlook on the library itself. In the tenth annual Changing Standards Landscape event, we'll examine the full spectrum of the user experience, from patron attitudes toward digital borrowing and reading to privacy and security of patron data, and the increasingly important area of digital-book accessibility standards and best practices.

The Forum will open with a discussion on the findings of a recent joint ALA/BISG (American Library Association/Book Industry Study Group) survey illuminating patron attitudes on digital library usage. Among issues to be explored are formats library patrons, from adults to children, prefer when borrowing and reading books; how often patrons visit the physical and online versions of their local public library; and differences in patron attitudes and behaviors depending on age, gender, geography, and other demographic factors.

During the Forum, we will also take a close look at those less immediately visible elements of the user experience: user-data collection, storage, and use. In a conversation inspired by the NISO Privacy Principles Project, participants will discuss: What user data is being gathered, and by whom? What protections are possible for the behavioral and usage data associated with reader interactions with digital systems? And, what might be the next steps for the community? We'll end the day with an overview of BISG's "Quick Start Guide to Accessibility," focusing on the digital publishing issues that pertain most directly to libraries and patrons.

For more about this event, please visit the 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. Log into your NISO page and you'll see the ballots linked there.

  • Technical Content of ISO/DIS 2108 (Ed 5)

    The purpose of this International Standard is to establish the specifications for the International Standard Book Number (ISBN) as a unique international identification system for each product form or edition of a separately available monographic publication published or produced by a specific publisher that is available to the public.

    It specifies the construction of an ISBN, the rules for its assignment and use, the metadata to be associated with the ISBN allocation, and the administration of the ISBN system. This International Standard is applicable to monographic publications (books) not to textual works (content). Monographic publications include individual sections or chapters where these are made separately available and certain types of related products that are available to the public irrespective of whether those publications are made available for sale or on a gratis basis. Examples of applicable and non-applicable products are provided in Annex A.

    This ballot closes on Friday, May 6, 2016.

  • SHORT TURN-AROUND BALLOT: Regarding current draft of DIS of ISO 3901

    This is a ballot for the five-year systematic review of the TC46 standard ISO 11940-2:2007 Information and documentation - Transliteration of Thai characters into Latin characters Part 2: Simplified transcription of Thai language.

    "In consideration of the decision by WG 10 (ISRC) that the current draft of DIS of ISO 3901 should include a reference to "Registration Agencies." Furthermore, as the ISO TMB's current policy on Registration Authorities (RAs) is provided in the TMB "Registration Authorities -- Guidelines to Committees" in Clause 6 b) v under Drafting standards with RAs.

    This ballot closes on Wednesday, May 25, 2016.

New Specs & Standards

ISO Publishes ISO/TC 46/SC 11/WB 13, Information and Documentation - Records Management - Part 1: Concepts and Principles

In this interview, Cassie Findlay, Project Leader of the working group that developed ISO/TC 46/SC 11/WG 13, discusses why records management is important, the reasons for the new version of the standard, and what it aims to achieve.

W3C Releases TTML Profiles for Internet Media Subtitles and Captions 1.0 (IMSC1)

The World Wide Web Consortium's (W3C) Timed Text Working Group has released a Recommendation concerning TTML, or timed-text markup language, which enables the provision of Internet TV metadata including captions and subtitles. TTML Profiles for Internet Media Subtitles and Captions 1.0 (IMSC1) specifies a text-only and an image-only profile of TTML and enables the system to be used worldwide..

NIST Kicks Off Effort to Defend Encrypted Data from Quantum Computer Threat

"If an exotic quantum computer is invented that could break the codes we depend on to protect confidential electronic information, what will we do to maintain our security and privacy? That's the overarching question posed by a new report from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), whose cryptography specialists are beginning the long journey toward effective answers."

DPLA Announces RightsStatements.org

The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) announced at its recent DPLAfest the availability of a new resource for cultural heritage organizations, RightsStatements.org. The new site, created in partnership with Creative Commons, Kennisland, and "key stakeholders of the DPLA and Europeana networks," offers 11 standard rights statements to describe the copyright status of an item. The site, notes Julia Hickie of the Australian Open Access Strategy Group, offers citable URLs for inclusion in metadata records. "This is just the kind of URL," explains Hickie, "that would go in the field proposed in last year's NISO Access and License Indicators Recommended Practice."

Media Stories

Report from the Field: NISO Conference on Library Value and Assessment
Assessment on the Ground, April 22, 2016; by Nancy B. Turner

On April 20, NISO presented a virtual conference on how to use assessment to highlight the library's value. Presenting on the day were Steven J. Bell and Nancy B. Turner, both of Temple University; Jocelyn Wilk, Columbia University; Ken Varnum, University of Michigan; Jan Fransen, University of Minnesota; Kristi Holmes, Northwestern University: Carl Grant, University of Oklahoma; Elizabeth Brown, SUNY-Binghamton' and Starr Hoffman, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. In this blog post, Turner recaps the events of the day.

Neal Wins 2017-2018 ALA Presidency
ALA News, April 29, 2016; by JoAnne Kempf

The American Library Association has announced that James G. (Jim) Neal, university librarian emeritus at Columbia University, New York, will be the association's president for the 2017-2018 term, succeeding Sari Feldman.

EBSCO Supports New Open Source Project
American Libraries, April 22, 2016; by Marshall Breeding

A new nonprofit organization, the Open Library Foundation, has been established to oversee the development of an open-source library platform. The new product, which is expected to be released in 2018, will offer academic libraries the kind of software that meshes with their values more than do current commercially available options. As-yet-unnamed, the product will also allow institutions to separate their discovery services from their resource management. The Kuali Foundation, which was up till recently developing its own Open Library Environment (OLE), has discontinued that plan in favor of working with EBSCO on this open-source venture.

NISO Note: EBSCO Information Services is a NISO Voting Member.

Getting Our Hands Dirty: Why Academics Should Design Metrics and Address the Lack of Transparency
The Impact Blog, April 6, 2016; by Chris Elsden, Sebastian Mellor, and Rob Comber

"Metrics in academia are often an opaque mess, filled with biases and ill-judged assumptions that are used in overly deterministic ways," say Elsden, Mellor, and Comber. Part of the London School of Economics's Accelerated Academy series, their article urges academics to be more involved in the design of metrics, and the authors discuss a related project at their institution, Newcastle University in England.

Europe Tried to Rein in Google. It Backfired
New York Times, April 18, 2016; by Mark Scott

European citizens envisioned gaining more control of their Internet privacy when directives from the European Court gave them the "right to be forgotten." This meant that individuals could petition to have material about them made unavailable through Google searches. Two years later, though, citizens' groups are up in arms at how cases are being decided: Google itself is the adjudicator.

President, First Lady Review Design Proposals for Presidential Library
Chicago Tribune, May 2, 2016; by Blair Kamin

On May 1, President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, and members of the Barack Obama Foundation attended presentations by the seven architectural firms that have created visions for the Obama Presidential Center, the Chicago building that will house the Presidential Library.

Nothing Compares to Prince
In the Muse: Performing Arts Blog, April 27, 2016; by Pat Padua

Prince registered some 500 items for copyright, including unreleased recordings, says Padua, a digital conversion specialist at the Library of Congress's Music Division, who worked on the Library's Performing Arts Encyclopedia. Padua notes that the Library also holds movies by and books about the prolific performer, who died on April 21.

NISO Note: The Library of Congress is a NISO Voting Member.