One of the most ironic truths about standards is that there are so many of them. Unfortunately, along with this multiplicity, there is also a lot of overlap and duplication. For various reasons, two or more specifications are often developed that serve the same purpose, or possibly address different components of a larger problem. Over time, technological solutions for managing an issue could change, requiring new standards to be developed, leaving both solutions to exist in the market simultaneously. Since old technologies hardly ever die off completely, those legacy systems and the newer ones will likely need to interoperate at some level, so that the standards that support them must be mapped or translated and thus both need to be continually maintained. Of course, there are also social, business, and political reasons why people choose to implement a given solution. This description is only a portion of the puzzle as to why multiple specifications exist and are advanced. I often state the adage that 90% of standards issues have nothing to do with technology; that 90% causes the majority of problems related to duplication in standards work.
A few examples of this phenomenon come to mind this month. First, a new specification related to transferring of rights information is being considered by ISO TC 46/SC 9. The proposal was developed simultaneously half a world apart by two groups that are concerned about the availability of rights information for cultural content yet weren't communicating with each other. One group, led by Europeana and the Digital Public Library of America, released a set of rights statements for cultural heritage institutions last spring. Meanwhile, a group in Japan suggested that the ISO community that develops identification and description standards address the same problem. Neither group is the first to explore the issue of rights information, nor to include it in metadata. Dublin Core included rights as early as 1999, though in an unstructured form. Several rights expression languages have been developed. And now it seems yet another effort may move forward.
Another example: during the ALA Midwinter conference in Atlanta, NISO hosted a meeting to discuss the variety of circulation-related exchange standards in the community. This isn't a case of multiple organizations pursuing related work, but in fact a rationalization of NISO's portfolio. Work on improving the SIP standard has been in progress since 3M transferred SIP 3.0 to NISO several years ago. At the same time, the NCIP standard is managed through a continuous maintenance procedure, and NISO has recently launched new work on standardizing APIs to exchange information for electronic resources. Beyond NISO, UK-based BIC (Book Industry Communication) has been working on its Library Communications Framework (LCF). ISO standards for some of these services exist as well. Each of these efforts serves its own role and function in the world of library systems, but our community isn't so big and the number of suppliers isn't so large that we couldn't and shouldn't consolidate these related endeavors. Such a rationalization was the topic of discussion during the meeting in Atlanta. We plan to extend this conversation with a public webinar on the morning of March 23rd, so be on the lookout for more information on that.
NISO is also making a broader effort to reorganize and consolidate our varied portfolio of current and future work. We need to be efficient, focused on those efforts that provide the greatest value to our members and our community. We must keep asking ourselves whether what we are focused on developing serves the greatest number of users in the most robust way possible. We began this reorganization process last fall with a community survey to which many people contributed. NISO's leadership is now reviewing this data and considering which of our efforts have had the greatest impact. We are also looking at how to restructure our portfolio while retaining close connections to our various communities to make sure that maintenance of legacy activities doesn't inhibit us from advancing new and critical work to help all of you remain effective and productive. This process includes re-grouping our work to bring it more closely in line with functional activities, stabilizing long-standing standards, and expanding participation on those leadership groups.
NISO shouldn't advance every project or every idea. We need to be selective and to work together to ensure that our projects have the best impacts. Sometimes that means partnerships, sometimes it means deprecating efforts or standards. Occasionally being selective means stopping work after it has begun, in favor of other newer, better ideas when they are raised. It also requires there be a willingness to set aside social preferences that might lead to multiple efforts, in support of singular projects. Sometimes complexity is appropriate, because we live in a complex world; other times, complexity just adds to overall confusion instead of helping to solve problems. NISO is committed to being more efficient and reducing that complexity whenever possible.
New Specs & Standards
NISO continues its Primer Series with the publication of Understanding Metadata by Jenn Riley, Associate Dean, Digital Initiatives at McGill University Library, Montréal, Québec, Canada. The guide, which Current Cites calls "required reading in library and information science curricula everywhere," offers a comprehensive overview of information about an item's creation, name, topic, features, and more. It updates NISO's 2004 advice on the subject and follows on the "Research Data Management" Primer published in 2015.
NISO Professional Development Events in February and March
All stakeholders have an interest in ensuring that properly licensed content is made accessible and usable to the authorized communities. Content providers want to minimize cancellation due to under-utilization while maximizing efficiencies in their business. Libraries want to ensure that users aren't blocked from content to which they should have rights. Speakers will discuss their experiences in balancing the needs of various stakeholders in the community. For more information and registration details, please visit the event page.
NISO Virtual Conference
Automatically included with your registration for this virtual conference is access to the associated Training Thursday, Metadata for the IR, Thursday, February 23, 1:00 pm-2:30 pm.
The keynote address for this event will be provided by Cliff Lynch, Executive Director, Coalition for Networked Information (CNI). Other confirmed speakers are:
Other speakers will be confirmed soon! For more information and registration details, please visit the event page.
NISO Two-Part Webinar
The information industry continues to adapt to changes in technology, in user expectations, and in the library marketplace. Those adaptations have taken the form of consolidation in specific areas (such as the consolidation in integrated library systems). Who are the new players? What exactly does a venture capitalist do and why are they entering this chaotic information ecosystem? The first portion of this two-part webinar on March 8 will review exactly what's happening in this rapidly shifting industry.
Product is re-invented in new forms, buoyed by new business models. Providers that used to be in the business of journal publishing now are developing and licensing complex workflow environments. The second half of this two-part webinar, held on March 15, will feature discussions of how product design and development operates now. Some time may be given over to how librarians might best work with content providers to ensure that practical requirements are understood, negotiated, and satisfied by these new players and providers.
Confirmed speakers for this two-part webinar include:
Remember that NISO offers a variety of registration options. Library Standards Alliance (LSA) members will automatically receive access to both sessions of this two-part event. Non-members of NISO may register for one session or for both at a packaged rate. Access to an archived recording of the event is included in that registration fee. For more information and registration details, please visit the event page.
Library Standards Alliance members receive the full series of NISO webinars with their membership. Not a member? Join now, as the 2017 NISO Webinar series will provide your staff with 14 opportunities for engagement with experienced professionals on emerging areas of concern. It will include in-depth attention to the burgeoning information marketplace, innovative information products and services, and the underlying technologies that support discovery, authentication, and access.
Do you need to maximize the reach of your organization's training budget? For NISO webinars, registration is per site, not per individual computer. Gather your team to watch the live broadcast as a group; colleagues not available on those Wednesdays will always be assured of access to the event's recording. Sign up for the Buy 9, Get 5 Free package, and ensure access to all 14 of the NISO webinars. Or, select the Buy 5, Get 4 Free package, and choose 9 webinars from the 2017 line-up:
For more information on webinar subscription packages, visit: http://www.niso.org/news/events/2017/webinars/
NISO Virtual Conferences offer in-depth examination of current topics of interest, including institutional repositories, open educational resources, image digitization and preservation, and more! See the scheduled events and the available subscription packages here.
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 five-year systematic reviews of standards. Each concerns the transliteration into Latin of another script and closes on March 6, 2017. If you are a NISO Voting Member, log into your NISO page and you'll see the ballots linked there.
New on the NISO Website
New Specs & Standards
The combining of the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF) with the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), the plan for which was announced in May 2016, has been completed, said W3C on February 1, 2017. The new organization, called Publishing@W3C, has already announced a roadmap for the work ahead.
U.S. Access Board Releases Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Final Standards and Guidelines
Taking effect on March 20, 2017, this new rule revises and updates accessibility standards for electronic and information technology developed, procured, maintained, or used by Federal agencies covered by section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. It also covers guidelines for telecommunications equipment and customer premises equipment covered by Section 255 of the Communications Act of 1934.
NIST has issued a draft update to the Framework for Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity, or the Cybersecurity Framework. The update, states NIST, "provides new details on managing cyber supply chain risks, clarifying key terms, and introducing measurement methods for cybersecurity, and aims to further develop NIST's voluntary guidance to organizations on reducing cybersecurity risks." NIST welcomes comments on the draft until April 10, 2017.
Intellectual Craftsmanship and Scholarly Engagement: JSTOR's Ideas for Redesigning the Digital Monograph
About NISO Newsline
NISO's free monthly e-newsletter reports on the latest NISO news, highlights new specifications and standards of interest including calls for public review and comment, abstracts significant media stories on topics of interest to the NISO community, and links to news releases of NISO member organizations.
Newsline is distributed via e-mail to subscribers on the first Wednesday of the month and is posted to the NISO website.
News from NISO Members:
Upcoming NISO Events
Feb. 8, 2017
Feb. 13, 2017
Feb. 15, 2017
NISO Virtual Conference
March Two-part Webinar: Understanding the Marketplace
Other Events of Interest
Feb. 1–4, 2017
Ontario Library Association Super Conference
Toronto, ON, Canada
Feb. 2–3, 2017
Association of Canadian Publishers (ACP) Mid-Winter Meeting
Toronto, ON, Canada
Feb. 6–10, 2017
International Conference on Web Search and Web Data Mining
Feb. 9–11, 2017
Specialized Information Publishers Association (SIPA) Winter 2017 Owners and Publishers Retreat
Montego Bay, Jamaica
Feb. 12–15, 2017
13th International Conference on Information Technology
St. Gallen, Switzerland
Feb. 13–17, 2017
Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) Information Online 2017 Conference
Sydney, NSW, Australia
Feb. 19–21, 2017
3rd International Conference on Information Systems Security and Privacy (ICISSP 2017)
Feb. 20–21, 2017
Researcher to Reader Conference
Feb. 20–23, 2017
12th International Digital Curation Conference
Feb. 23–26, 2017
Alaska Library Association 2017 Annual Conference
Feb. 26–28, 2017
NFAIS 59th Annual Conference
Mar. 1–3, 2017
Universities Australia Higher Education Conference
Mar. 5–6, 2017
International Conference on Computer Science and Information Technology
Mar. 6, 2017
Mar. 6–9, 2017
Los Angeles, CA
Mar. 7–9, 2017
Louisiana Library Association (LLA) Annual Conference
Mar. 7–11, 2017
Association for Computing Machinery, Special Interest Group on Information Retrieval Conference on Human Information Interaction and Retrieval
Mar. 9, 2017
Developing Open Access and Hybrid Journals
Mar. 9–10, 2017
NELLCO Symposium 2017: "Open Access and Legal information"
Garden City, NY
Mar. 13–15, 2017
International Symposium of Infomration Science
Mar. 13–16, 2017
Mar. 14–15, 2017
Mar. 20–22, 2017
Grant Makers Network Annual Conference
Mar. 20–22, 2017
Library Publishing Forum 2017
Mar. 22, 2017
Open Scholarship Early and Often: A Community Conversation on Increasing Openness
Mar. 22–25, 2017
Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) 2017 Conference
Mar. 22–26, 2017
Information Architecture (IA) Summit 2017
Vancouver, BC, Canada
Mar. 28–29, 2017
Library Leaders Summit
Mar. 28–30, 2017
Computers in Libraries
Mar. 29–31, 2017
Michigan Library Association Spring Institute
Mar. 29–April 1, 2017
Montana Library Association (MLA) Annual Conference
Apr. 2–5, 2017
Electronic Resources & Libraries (ER&L) Conference
Apr. 3–4, 2017
Coalition for Networked Information (CNI) Spring 2017 Membership Meeting
Apr. 3–5, 2017
UK Academy for Information Systems International Conference
Apr. 3–5, 2017
Designing for Digital
Apr. 3–7, 2017
International World Wide Web Conference (WWW 2017)
Perth, WA, Australia
Apr. 5–7, 2017
Tennessee Library Association (TLA) Annual Conference 2017
Apr. 10–12, 2017
International Conference on Information Technology
Las Vegas, NV
Apr. 10–12, 2017
Librarians' Information Literacy Annual Conference (LILAC) 2017
Swansea, Wales, UK
Apr. 18–21, 2017
Alabama Library Association (ALLA) Annual Convention
Apr. 19–21, 2017
Research Data Access and Preservation (RDAP) Summit
Apr. 19–21, 2017
Oregon Library Association (OLA) Annual Conference
Apr. 19–22, 2017
Texas Library Association (TLA) Annual Conference
San Antonio, TX
Apr. 20–22, 2017
Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference
Apr. 24–26, 2017
Annual Conference of the Oklahoma Library Association (OLA)
Apr. 24–26, 2017
New Jersey Library Association (NJLA) Conference
Atlantic City, NJ
Apr. 24–28, 2017
Data Science and Visualization Institute for Librarians
Apr. 25–27, 2017
International Conference on Web Information Systems and Technologies - WEBIST 2017
Apr. 25–27, 2017
STM Annual US Conference
Apr. 27–28, 2017
National Digital Stewardship Residency (NDSR) Symposium
Apr. 30–May 5, 2017
IFLA MetLib Conference 2017
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Newsline editor: Henrietta Verma
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