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Access and License Indicators

NEW! The Recommended Practice Access and License Indicators (NISO RP-22-2015) is now available.

See updated code examples related to Appendix A, Means of Expressing Metadata Elements.

This project, formerly known as the "NISO Open Access Metadata & Indicators" work, was formed to standardize bibliographic metadata to describe the accessibility of journal articles as well as communicate the item's license details. The problem statement as detailed in the original work item described that "many offerings are available from publishers under the banner of Open Access (OA), Increased Access, Public Access, or other descriptions; the terms offered vary between publishers and, in some cases, based on the funding organization of the author. Adding to the potential confusion, a number of publishers also offer hybrid options in which some articles are "open" while the rest of the journal's content are available only by subscription or license. No standardized bibliographic metadata currently provides information on whether a specific article is freely readable and what re-use rights might be available to readers."

The project, completed at the end of 2014, focused initially on metadata elements that describe the readership rights associated with an OA article. The NISO Working Group aimed to determine the optimal mechanisms to describe and transmit the right, if any, an arbitrary user has to access a specific article from any internet connection point. Recommendations include a means for distribution and aggregation of this metadata in machine-readable form. The group considered the feasibility of incorporating information on re-use rights and the feasibility of reaching agreement on transmission of that data.