Headshot of NISO Eexecutive Director, Todd Carpenter

September 2016

Digital systems interactions have long been an area of work for NISO. Interoperability among systems in our network requires a certain degree of agreement concerning communication protocols, methods, and forms; standards facilitate that functionality. From NISO's oldest standard, Z39.2, Information Interchange Format, to our newer publications, such as Z39.93, The SUSHI Protocol and Knowledge Base And Related Tools (KBART), interoperability is at the core of NISO's work. We are pleased to extend this activity even further.

Earlier this month, NISO members approved a new work project to standardize API calls from a variety of systems involved in information distribution. This project seeks to improve systems interaction and functionality by describing an API framework that will address areas of login/authentication; patron account information; and availability, check-out, statuses, and usage for e-books, streaming media, and other digital content. Starting from a set of specifications initially drafted and implemented by the Queens Library staff and its partners, the working group will seek input from a diverse group of publishers, libraries, and e-content vendors, using the material generated during the initial stage of this project to create a list of core functionalities and expected implementation issues. The working group will then modify and enhance the specifications and begin tweaking the schemas needed within the APIs. This standard, once released, will lead to quicker development times and more seamless integration by and between software parties and content providers, and facilitate better service and digital content delivery to library end users.

While critically important for data exchange, APIs have been at the center of some complicated business and legal challenges in recent years. Earlier this year, a jury in San Francisco issued a judgment in a six-year-long case involving Oracle and Google that examined whether Google infringed on Oracle's software copyright on certain Java APIs. While the jury decided in favor of Google and judged that Google's Android Operating System did not infringe on Oracle's copyright, it did so by claiming a fair-use exemption rather than deciding that APIs were not copyrightable. Last year, the judge in the case had ruled that APIs could be subject to copyright protections, just as software code could be copyrighted. This decision could create barriers to trade and electronic interoperability, because, as was argued by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, while the data calls and formats might be openly available, copyright holders could limit their reuse to only those partners with whom the copyright holder chooses to do business.

Agreeing to, and conforming with, agreed-upon standards for APIs could circumvent the messy and expensive legal challenges that might follow from this ruling, if it is upheld in higher courts upon any appeal. This standardization process brings critical systems functionality into the community sphere and allows suppliers and systems developers equal footing in the exchange of their data and the interoperability of their systems, with fewer barriers to open exchange. NISO's royalty-free, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (FRAND) intellectual property policy ensures that the API standards we develop and publish will be accessible to all, without intellectual property restrictions. In this way, developers of both open source and proprietary systems can be assured of the availability, functionality, and stability of the specifications.

A public call for participants is currently out, and we expect work on the project to begin in the coming month. If you are interested in participating, see information about the group and how to engage in the effort. Thank you to all those who have expressed interest already and we look forward to working with you.


Todd Carpenter’s Signature

Todd Carpenter

Executive Director

NISO Reports

NISO Launches New Project to Create a Flexible API Framework for E-Content in Libraries

Voting Members of the National Information Standards Organization (NISO) have approved a new project to modernize library-vendor technical interoperability to improve the access of digital library content and electronic books. Building upon a set of API (Application Programming Interface) Requirements developed by Queens Library, a new NISO Working Group will create a foundational API set that the library community can build on. This set will fulfill an array of user and library needs, including quicker response times, flexible item discovery and delivery options, improved resource availability, and more seamless integration of electronic and physical resources. Those who are interested in participating in the E-Content API Framework working group should read the work item approved by NISO Voting members and contact NISO's Associate Director for Programs, Nettie Lagace, at nlagace@niso.org.

NISO Professional Development Events in September

NISO Two Part Webinar: Managing An Open Access World
September 7 & 14

As open access has proven itself a viable business model in the journal marketplace, 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.

Even if you missed out on registering for the live broadcast on September 7th, you can still register for the packaged two-part webinar! Listen to the archived recording of the September 7th event, Open Access & Acquisitions, and then tune in for the live broadcast of the September 14 presentation, Compliance With Funder Mandates.

Open Access & Acquisitions
Wednesday, September 7
1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m., EDT

The first part of this miniseries will focus on the implications of open access on content acquisition. What are the impacts of hybrid open access on publisher pricing at the title or collection level? Is there a tipping point at which open access availability of a portion of a title's content changes the acquisition calculus? How do we keep track of the increasing number of open access titles and the increasing amount of hybrid open access content at the journal level? Presenters will cover these questions as well as provide information on related research.

Confirmed Speakers: Jill Emery, Portland State University; Allyson Rodriguez, University of North Texas; and Chris Bulock, California State University - Northridge.

Compliance with Funder Mandates
Wednesday, September 14
1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m., EDT

Register now!

The second part of this miniseries will examine how institutions address compliance requirements of funder mandates. As more and more funding bodies adopt mandates for open distribution of content, at many universities the tracking of this compliance is falling on the library directly or in support of research offices. Are there ways to automate compliance tracking and strategies for improving compliance? This session will explore progress being made by initiatives to gather and disseminate open access compliance, as well as the perspective of funders who are requiring this information.

Confirmed Speakers: Pamela Shaw, Northwestern University; Jeff Broadbent and Betty Rozum, both of Utah State University; and Sarah Young, Cornell University.

NISO Training Thursday: Emerging Tools to Improve Management of Data
Thursday, September 8
1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m., EDT

Register now!

During this training event, three experienced Data Management Librarians will discuss newly developed services and tools for collecting and curating research data. Projects in development and some that have been newly released will be the focus of this session. Presentations will cover implementation and systems deployment of these services at your institution.

Training Thursday webinars are usually associated with a preceding virtual conference (see here for details about the related August 31 event). However, NISO also allows you to register for the training as a stand-alone event. If you're a Data Management Librarian, you won't want to miss this opportunity to see the tools that are available to you and the faculty you serve.

Confirmed Speakers: Kristin Briney, University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee; Jenny Muilenburg, University of Washington; and Plato Smith, University of Florida.

NISO Symposium: Privacy Implications of Research Data
Sunday, September 11, 2016
9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., MT
Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel, Denver, CO

RSVP now!

Special Note: In conjunction with the International Data Week event being held in Denver, CO, this event will be offered as both on-site (RSVP here) and as a virtual (streaming) event. There is no cost to attendees either way.

NISO and the Research Data Alliance (RDA) have formed a joint working group that aims to address major challenges in the advancement of scientific data sharing: privacy and security. In particular, the sharing of human-subject data is hampered by lack of any framework that adequately factors in and addresses those concerns. The RDA-NISO Joint Working Group is taking on the challenge of creating a related global consensus framework, and this highly interactive program is intended to move that activity forward.

Confirmed speakers include John Wilbanks, Sage Bionetworks; Micah Altman, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Christine Borgman, University of California - Los Angeles; Christoph Bruch, Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres; and Paul Burton, University of Bristol, England.

For specifics, visit the NISO event page. Attendees are urged to use the RSVP form linked in that page to notify us of their planned participation.

NISO Professional Development Offerings in October

NISO Virtual Conference: E-Books
Wednesday, October 5
11 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., EDT

For more specifics on what will be covered throughout the day and how to register, please visit the event page.

While the growth of digital books in the broader market has slowed, it has settled as a significant portion of the popular book market. Packages of scholarly e-monographs and the availability of e-book collections for the library market continue to increase as publishers become more comfortable with offering material via library channels. While the market for e-books matures, the systems for managing delivery of the titles continue to develop. Dominant players still remain, but other entrants are providing innovative solutions for publishers and libraries. During this virtual conference, we will explore the changes underway in the marketplace for electronic books and how those developments impact the availability to patrons of digital books. In addition to business trends, the interconnected issues of content forms, platforms, and devices for accessing e-books will also be covered.

NISO Webinar: Internet of Things
Wednesday, October 19
10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m., EDT

For details of scope and how to register, please .

The decrease in the cost of sensors and the connectivity necessary to support them have given rise to a network of interconnected devices. This network, often called the Internet of Things (IoT), creates a variety of information management challenges. For the library and publishing communities, the IoT presents opportunities and challenges regarding the gathering, organization, and processing of the tremendous amounts of data the IoT generates. This session will introduce concepts and potential implications of the IoT on the information management community.

NISO/ICSTI Joint Webinar: Enabling Innovations for Researcher Workflows and Scholarly Communication
Wednesday, October 26
1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m., EDT

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

(Please note this October 26 event is not part of the regularly scheduled NISO webinar series, included as a benefit of NISO LSA membership; it requires a separate registration fee.)

This webinar focuses on the usage of the innovative tools that have been developed to facilitate information sharing and collaboration in the scholarly world. Presenters will address the need for consensus among stakeholders in differing scientific communities on the principles needed to guide implementation so as to positively impact research practice, openness, efficiency, reproducibility, and quality of outcomes.

Confirmed speakers: Cameron Neylon, Centre for Culture and Technology, Curtin University; Jeroen Bosman and Bianca Kramer, both of Utrecht University, The Netherlands; and Alex Viggio, University of Colorado - Boulder.

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.

ISO/NP 15836-2 - Information and documentation -- The Dublin Core metadata element set -- Part 2: DCMI Properties and classes
This International Standard will contain properties in the DCMI metadata terms namespace. This International Standard establishes a standard for cross-domain resource description, known as the Dublin Core Metadata Terms. It includes all properties in the /terms/ namespace and classes published as DCMI recommendation in 2012 [DCMI-TERMS]. The following properties from the aforementioned document are excluded:

  1. core elements published in Part 1 of this standard,
  2. vocabulary encoding schemes
  3. syntax encoding schemes
  4. DCMI Type vocabulary
  5. terms related to the DCMI Abstract Model

This International Standard does not limit what might be a resource. This International Standard does not provide implementation guidelines. However, the core elements, properties and classes are typically used in the context of an application profile which constrains or specifies their use in accordance with local or community-based requirements and policies.

This ballot closes on Friday, September 9, 2016.

Systematic Review of ISO 3297:2007 Information and documentation -- International standard serial number (ISSN)
This International Standard defines and promotes the use of a standard code (ISSN) for the unique identification of serials and other continuing resources. Each International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) is a unique identifier for a specific serial or other continuing resource in a defined medium. This International Standard also describes a mechanism, the "linking ISSN (ISSN-L)," that provides for collocation or linking among the different media versions of the same continuing resource.

This ballot closes on September 9, 2016.

SHORT TURN AROUND BALLOT - ISO 3166/MA recommendation to ISO TC 46
This is a TC46 ballot to approve of the recommendations of ISO 3166/MA
Recommendation to ISO/TC 46: Revision of ISO 3166 parts 1 to 3
Referring to Resolution 2014-04: Revision of ISO 3166 of ISO/TC 46 and after consultation with its members, the ISO 3166/MA recommends ISO/TC 46 to revise ISO 3166 parts 1 to 3 and requests ISO/TC 46 to:

  • publish the rules for establishing the codes (normative text) separately from the codes themselves and information given in the tables since they are now available on the ISO Online Browsing Platform
  • changes are released on OBP upon approval by the ISO 3166/MA voting members
  • on request, ISO member bodies can obtain a copy of the tables and codes (in Word, PDF and/or Excel formats) for ISO 3166 parts 1 to 3 from the ISO 3166/MA secretary
  • ISOCS no longer publishes multicolumn standards except for certain vocabularies

This ballot closes on Friday, September 16, 2016.

SHORT TURN AROUND BALLOT: ISO TC46 Strategic Business Plan 2016
ISO/TC 46 RESOLUTION 2016-09: Strategic business plan for TC 46 ISO/TC 46 instructs its Secretariat to distribute ISO/TC 46 strategic business plan and send it for a 3-month CIB ballot for review and comment by September 2016 before the ISO/TC 46 2016 strategic business plan is sent to ISO/CS for information to ISO TMB.

This ballot closes on Friday, September 23, 2016

ISO/DTR 19814 - ISO/TC 46/SC10 N166 - Information and documentation -- Holdings management for archive and library holdings
The ISO/TR 19814 Holdings Management technical report provides guidance and recommendations to plan, implement, maintain and improve preservation of archive and library holdings through holdings management.

TR 19814 provides recommendations and guidance for preservation planning and ongoing management of physical archive and library holdings.

TR 19814 applies to preservation of archive and library physical holdings of institutions and volumes small and large. It applies to all collections housed by an institution; their own holdings and deposits or loans from other institutions. Some information on digital collections - born digital and digitized for conservation is included for reference.

TR 19814 also applies to holdings that are being managed by governmental agencies. TR 19814 includes procedures for managing holdings in the stacks, research and reading rooms, conservation facilities, and while on exhibit and during transportation.

This ballot closes on Friday, September 30, 2016.

New on the NISO Website

New Specs & Standards

Announcing New Updates for the EPUB 3 Support Grid

BISG's EPUB 3 Support Grid has been updated, with the organization explaining that users can now find support by feature, use a URL that points to the results of a specific test, employ accessibility testing scores, and more.

Memento at the W3C

W3C Wiki and the W3C specifications are now accessible using the Memento "Time Travel for the Web" protocol, specified in RFC7089, explains Herbert Van de Sompel, leader of the Prototyping Team at the Research Library of the Los Alamos National Laboratory (and co-chair of the NISO ResourceSync Working Group). This new availability is the result of a collaboration among the author's institution, the W3C, and the Web Science and Digital Library Research Group at Old Dominion University. Van de Sompel notes that, "The Memento protocol is a straightforward extension of HTTP that adds a time dimension to the Web. It supports integrating live web resources, resources in versioning systems, and archived resources in web archives into an interoperable, distributed, machine-accessible versioning system for the entire web."

First Editors Draft of EPUB Accessibility 1.0 Now Available

The International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF) has released EPUB Accessibility 1.0: Conformance and Discovery Requirements for EPUB Publications, which addresses evaluation and certification of accessible EPUB Publications, and discovery of their accessible qualities. The requirements provide guidance to authors who wish to evaluate whether their material is accessible, and the metadata mandated by the requirements offer consumers a way to assess quality.

Best Practices for Consumer Wearables and Wellness Apps and Devices

Released by the Future of Privacy Forum (FPF), this document describes steps that "responsible companies can follow to ensure they provide practical privacy protections for consumer-generated health and wellness data." Such guidance is necessary, says FPF, because although these health devices and apps collect sensitive data, most related companies do a poor job of furnishing privacy policies.

Media Stories

The Internet of Things
ISOfocus, September/October, 2016

"In a few short years," explains the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), "IoT [Internet of things] technology will be connected to nearly 50 billion 'things' of one kind or another." What that world will be like and the kinds of standards it may require are the subjects of a themed issue of the magazine that looks at safety, lifestyle issues, and more.

NISO NOTE: The Internet of Things is also the subject of an upcoming NISO webinar.

How Should We Organize the Academic Library?
ITHAKA S+R Blog, August 18, 2016; by Roger Schonfeld

Various management and organizational techniques and viewpoints have been adopted by library managers over time. Here, Schonfeld outlines the results of a study in which he spoke to 18 library leaders about what works for them and what needs a rethink.

NISO NOTE: ITHAKA is a NISO Voting Member.

How Social Media Can Distort and Misinform When Communicating Science
Elsevier SciTech Connect, July 22, 2016; by Jacob Groshek and Serena Bronda

"A recent workshop about Social Media Effects on Scientific Controversies that we convened through the Center for Mobile Communication Studies at Boston University fielded a panel of interdisciplinary experts to discuss their own experiences and research in communicating science online. [...] Most indicated it's more possible than ever for researchers to participate meaningfully in public debates and contribute to the creation and diffusion of scientific knowledge--but social media presents many pitfalls along the way."

NISO NOTE: Elsevier is a NISO Voting Member.

Text Mining at an Institution with Limited Financial Resources
D-Lib Magazine, July/August 2016; by Drew E. VandeCreek

Text mining is now a standard technique in digital humanities research, but not every institution can afford the large databases that are usually the raw material for this work. VandeCreek outlines options that those at smaller institutions can explore.

A Quick Tour Around the World of Scholarly Journal Publishing
The Scholarly Kitchen, August 18, 2016; by David Crotty

This lengthy paper is the transcript of a talk Crotty gave at the ISTME meeting in Philadelphia on August 12, which he refers to as a "'state of the union' address, essentially distilling the last few years of The Scholarly Kitchen."

Elsevier's New Patent for Online Peer Review Throws a Scare Into Open-Source Advocates
The Chronicle of Higher Education, September 1, 2016; by Goldie Blumenstyk

Elsevier has been awarded a patent that covers "an online peer-review system and method." Despite reassurances from the publishing giant that it merely seeks to protect its investment in a system it has created, critics worry that enforcement of the patent will stifle innovation in open-source publishing.