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NISO Year in Review 2010

NISO Year in Review 2010

January 2011

This report summarizing the previous year’s standards development work appears in the first issue of the year of ISQ to keep you informed of the scope and status of nISo’s programs on an annual basis.

The workroom webpages for each of the initiatives discussed are available at:

The free monthly e-newsletter Newsline and the quarterly Working Group Connection reports also provide regular updates on NISO activities; to sign up send an e-mail to

Most initiatives have an interest group e-mail list that you can sign up for to receive periodic updates; visit:

Physical Delivery of Library Resources Working Group

Approved: September 1, 2009
Discovery to Delivery Topic Committee
Valerie Horton (Colorado Library Consortium), Diana Silveira (Novare Library Services)

This working group is tasked with developing a recommended practice for the delivery of physical library resources. although e-resource numbers are substantial, the sharing and delivery of physical library items has also seen steady growth in recent years. Issues such as packaging, labeling, courier services, and more will benefit immensely from the development of best practices.

The NISO physical delivery of library resources Working group’s interest lies in identifying methods for improving performance and reducing the cost of moving materials between a library that owns an item and another library whose patron wants to use the item. the scope of their document is limited to the external delivery of items between separately administered libraries, though many recommendations could apply to delivery between branches of a single library system, as well. external delivery can include consortial delivery within a shared system, a region, a state, or a country. It can also be described as items moving through a standard interlibrary loan request. the group’s recommendations focus on ensuring that the physical delivery of library materials happens in the most cost-effective and time-sensitive manner possible. all aspects of the physical move are covered: labeling, packaging, automation, and receiving the item.

RFID Revision

Approved: February 12, 2010
Content & Collection Management Topic Committee Chairs: Vinod Chachra (VTLS), Paul Sevcik (3M)

A project to revise the NISO Recommended Practice RFID in U.S. Libraries (NISO RP-6-2008) was approved in February 2010 to ensure that the RP is up-to-date and to provide United States implementers of RFID tags in libraries with sufficient guidance to conform with the international ISO three-part standard on this topic (ISO 28560) that is expected to be published in early 2011.

The group began by reviewing the original recommended practice to identify areas where revision is necessary, reviewing the ISO work to determine a US position on the adoption of the encoding parts of the ISo standard, and discussing what potential position the group might recommend regarding UHF (ultra high frequency) RFID. Work then began on active revision of the recommended practice document. The draft revision is expected to be released for comment in early spring 2011.

SUSHI Standing Committee

Business Information Topic Committee
Hana Levay (University of Washington), Oliver Pesch (EBSCO Information Services)
ANSI/NISO Z39.93-2007,
The Standardized Usage Statistics Harvesting Initiative (SUSHI) Protocol

This standing committee provides maintenance and support for SUSHI and further acts as a maintenance group for the COUNTER Code of Practice XML schemas. In 2010, the SUSHI Standing Committee updated support resources including FAQs, Getting Started pages, SUSHI reports registry of sample files, and SUSHI Schemas.

In addition, the committee created a SUSHI Server registry of available SUSHI servers to aid libraries and usage consolidation system suppliers in accessing their reports. Finally, in November 2010 the SUSHI Standing Committee proposed a new working group to focus on improving SUSHI servers through enhanced reporting. This proposal was approved by the business Information topic Committee and the working group roster is currently being developed.

Z39.7 Data Dictionary Standing Committee

Business Information Topic Committee
Denise Davis (Sacramento Public Library), Elizabeth Aversa (University of Alabama)
ANSI/NISO Z39.7, Information Services and Use: Metrics & statistics for libraries and information providers — Data Dictionary (

The Z39.7 data dictionary Standing Committee provides support for the continuously maintained data dictionary standard. The committee has reviewed the standard and all the public feedback received, and has finished work to integrate the content from the original appendices Methods of Measurement and Measuring the Use of Electronic Library Services into the main body of the standard.

The NISO office is currently working to put those changes in place as per the continuous maintenance procedures for this standard.


A Joint NISO/UKSG Initiative
Approved: March 17, 2010 Discovery to Delivery Topic Committee
Chairs: Andreas Biedenbach (Springer Science+Business Media), Sarah Pearson (University of Birmingham)

Following the publication of the phase 1 KBART (Knowledge Bases and Related Tools) recommended practice (NISO RP-9-2010) in January 2010, a new proposal was approved to begin work on KBART phase 2, to develop a second recommended practice. this phase will focus on the more advanced, complex issues that cause problems related to OpenUrl Knowledge bases, including accessibility of e-books, conference proceedings, hosting services, and open access content.

For the phase 1 RP, a KBART registry was established of knowledge base supply chain contacts and organizations that have officially endorsed the KBART RP. By the end of 2010, nine organizations had submitted endorsements and had their sample files validated. Several more endorsements have been requested and are pending file validation.

IOTA: Improving OpenURLs Through Analytics

Approved: December 8, 2009
Business Information Topic Committee Chair:
Adam Chandler (Cornell University)

The IOTA (Improving OpenUrls Through Analytics) Working Group—formerly called OpenUrl Quality Metrics—is a two-year project to investigate the feasibility of creating industry-wide, transparent and scalable metrics for evaluating and comparing the quality of OpenUrl implementations across content providers. At the end of two years an evaluation process will be conducted and a decision made on whether or not to continue the initiative, to be provided in a published NISO technical report. This qualitative research report is intended to help OpenUrl providers compare their OpenUrl quality to that of their peers, include recommendations for source vendors and possibly link resolver vendors, and ultimately improve OpenUrls across the industry—and particularly for end users.

The IOTA working group made the Iota reporting system and resolver log data available at and focused their work on consistent, clear terminology; user interface and documentation; and analysis and outreach.

At this time, nearly 10 million OpenUrls have been analyzed from log files supplied by ten different organizations, including publishers, aggregators, system suppliers, and libraries. Available reports show OpenUrl element frequency and patterns contained within OpenUrl strings from source databases and source vendors. a variety of report filters are available. The working group is also developing a “Vendor Completeness Index” that tests the assumption that more information makes for a better OpenUrl, and looking at element weighting, e.g., if a particular element is considered “more important” than others.

In addition, IOTA is currently in discussions with the
NISO/UKSG Kbart phase II Working group about potential collaboration on “linkto” syntax and behavior standardization.

I² Working Group

Approved: January 10, 2008
Business Information Topic Committee
Grace Agnew (Rutgers University), Oliver Pesch (EBSCO Information Services)

The (Institutional Identifier) Working group was established to develop a standard that includes a globally unique institutional identifier string that is usable in the web environment, together with sufficient metadata to uniquely relate the institution to its identifier. The standard, has the potential to improve the reliability and efficiency of many business-related transactions including materials acquisition, e-resource management, and interlibrary loan. The working group is also tasked with identifying a strategy for the implementation of the institutional identifier.

During the first phase of their work in 2008-2009, the group surveyed the environment and developed scenarios to represent the most compelling use cases for institutional identifiers that engage all relevant stakeholders and identify their institutional identifier needs, focused on: e-resources, institutional repositories, and library resource management. a report from the first phase of this work, including a metadata schema of 16 elements that can robustly identify the institution associated with the I2 identifier, was released for comments in July 2010.

In 2010, phase two of the work began with a focus on development of the standard, finalizing metadata that would be required by the standard, and looking at how this standard would work with other related standards. Comments on the mid-term report were supportive of the work, and some changes—primarily in the development of more use cases to show how the might be integrated and used—were made as a result of feedback. following the report, the working group began to focus on potential collaboration opportunities between and ISNI—the ISO International Standard Name Identifier standard. The group is currently initiating discussions with the new ISNI registration authority to explore how ISNI can be extended to support the mission and scenarios of use for the .

Educational Programs

In 2010, with the support of the education Committee, nISo held three in-person forums, including the third annual nISo/ bISg forum at ala annual, as well as thirteen webinars—one each month (except July), with may and September having special two-part webinar events. over 300 people attended nISo’s forums, and an additional 1,100 sites registered for nISo webinars. With an average of four people viewing the live webinars at each site, that’s a grand total of over 4,500 people benefiting from nISo’s education events!

The Dublin Core Metadata Initiative partnered with NISO to present a webinar on Dublin Core and Linked Data that drew over 350 people from more than 100 sites. This partnership will continue into 2011 with even more joint webinars.

Slide presentations from all of the events and the webinars are available on the NISO website in the 2010 events area.

NISO also held free open teleconferences every month except July to keep the community apprised of activities and provide an opportunity for feedback. audio recordings of the calls are posted on the NISO website in the 2010 events area.

PIE-J: Presentation and Identification of E-Journals

Approved: February 8, 2010 Business Information Topic Committee

Chairs: Bob Boissy (Springer), Cindy Hepfer (University of Buffalo)

The PIE-J working group, approved in February 2010, is charged with development of a NISO recommended practice for the presentation and identification of e-journals. Unless journal websites accurately and uniformly list all the titles under which content was published, user access to desired content is considerably diminished.

This effort will provide much-needed guidance to publishers and platform providers on the presentation of e-journal—particularly in the areas of title presentation, accurate use of the ISSN, citation practices, title changes, and the supporting metadata that it would be helpful to provide on journal. The group hopes to have a draft for comment available in late spring 2011.

Information Standards Quarterly (ISQ)

Four themed issues of ISQ were published in 2010:

Winter: 2009 Year in Review
Spring: Digital Preservation

Summer: Enhanced Journal Articles
Fall: Resource Sharing

NISO announced that beginning in 2011, ISQ will be issued electronically in open access. both the full issue and individual articles will be available for free download from the NISO website. NISO’s board of directors strongly believes that providing the information in ISQ via open access will enhance the visibility and reach of the work of our community. the existing archives that were previously protected will be migrated to open access and the backfile will be converted to electronic format.

Print copies will still be available to subscribers and to NISO members who opt-in to receive a print copy. Additionally, a print copy of individual issues will be available for on-demand purchase.

ERM Data Standards and Best Practices Review Working Group

Approved: June 30, 2009 Business Information Topic Committee
Chairs: Ivy Anderson (California Digital Library), Tim Jewell (University of Washington)

This ERM data review Working Group was charged to undertake a gap analysis regarding electronic resource management (ERM)-related data, standards, and best practices. Following the analysis, the working group will make recommendations regarding the future of the ERMI data dictionary within that broader context, describe the typical challenges libraries face in using currently available ERM systems and services, and identify gaps in interoperability and best practices.

In 2010, the working group completed work in mapping extant standards and best practices to ERMI terms to identify where the existing work meets the needs of ERM, where related work exists, and what gaps there may be. In addition, a subgroup was tasked with reviewing existing surveys of ERM use to identify what additional information—if any—may be needed from vendors, libraries using ERM systems, and other identified stakeholders concerning data requirements and erm system implementation and management issues.

In July 2010, the working group released a report of their work through June 30, 2010. In fall 2010, the group began drafting their report; it is expected to be published in June 2011.

JATS: Journal Article Tag Suite

Approved: September 2, 2009
Content & Collection Management Topic Committee
Chairs: Jeff Beck (National Center for Biotechnology Information, NIH), Tommie Usdin (Mulberry Technologies, Inc.)

Originally known as Standardized Markup for Journal Articles, the goal of the JATS Working Group is to take the currently existing National Library of Medicine (NLM) Journal Archiving and Interchange Tag Suite version 3.0, the three journal article schemas, and the related documentation and shepherd the tag suite through the NISO standardization process, with each of the schemas to be maintained outside of the standard.

The group began by reviewing a list of changes that had been suggested for the existing journal article tag sets. the working group first revised the version 3.0 document in order to handle outstanding requests, and made further decisions as to how the standard will be formatted and made available, as well as how to make supporting documentation available. as an outreach activity, NLM’s National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) hosted the Journal Article Tag Suite Conference (JATS-Con) on November 1-2, 2010 at the NIH campus in Bethesda, Maryland. Plans are now underway for a second JATS-Con September 26 & 27, 2011.

The standard is currently in its final draft stage in the working group and will be made available for trial use in Spring 2011. Once complete, the standard will be continuously maintained, which allows for regularly updating by a standing maintenance committee in order to quickly address ongoing changes and requirements.

Supplemental Journal Article Materials

A Joint NISO/NFAIS Initiative
Approved: April 16, 2010
Content & Collection Management Topic Committee
Business Working Group Chairs:
Linda Beebe (APA), Marie McVeigh (Thomson Reuters)
Technical Working Group Chairs:
Dave Martinsen (ACS), Sasha Schwartzman (AGU)

This joint project follows the January 22, 2010 roundtable meeting on this topic and acts on the recommendation of that group. the goal is to create a recommended practice for publisher inclusion, handling, display, and preservation of supplemental journal article materials.

To do so, three groups were created:

» Business Working Group to focus on the semantic and policy issues related to delivering materials that are supplemental to scholarly journal articles.

» Technical Working Group to look at the technical issues related to supplemental materials, e.g., syntax, linking, interoperability, markup, metadata, etc.

» Stakeholders Interest Group to serve as a way for the working groups to share information about their work with the community and as a forum for questions and feedback about that work.

The working groups first met in September 2010 and drafted charges for their work that help to define their duties and scope. The business working group began by creating definitions for “article” and “supplemental material” to help guide their work and provide context for the technical working group, and further identified three categories to help publishers, editors, and authors classify supplemental materials and to help refine the group’s recommendations. In fall 2010 they began drafting recommendations, categorized into sections that deal with selecting, editing, presenting, and preserving supplemental material. The Technical Working Group began with the creation of a hierarchy of suggested metadata, and has been reviewing the metadata terms to provide attributes and definitions. In February 2011, following the review of all the metadata elements, the technical Working group plans to split into subgroups to focus on each of its areas of focus (as defined in its charge) in order to move more quickly in its work.

CORE Standing Committee

Business Information Topic Committee
Ted Koppel (Auto-Graphics, Inc.), Kathy Klemperer (Harrassowitz)
NISO RP-10-2010,
Cost of Resource Exchange (CORE) Protocol

The CORE specification identifies a compact yet useful structure to facilitate the transfer of cost and related financial information from an Integrated library System (ILS) acquisitions module (the source) to an electronic resource management System (ERMS) (the requester). the population of ERMS financial data from the ILS acquisitions system makes cost-per-click and other cost-related reports in the ERMS all the more possible.

The Cost of Resource Exchange (CORE) Protocol standard (Z39.93-201x) was released in April 2009 as a draft for trial use. The trial period was originally planned to end on March 31, 2010, but the economic environment precluded any implementations during the trial. as a result, the working group and topic committee agreed to make CORE available as a NISO recommended practice to allow ILS and ERM vendors, subscription agents, open-source providers, and other system developers to implement the XML framework for exchanging cost information between systems. In August 2010, CORE: Cost of Resource Exchange Protocol (NISO RP-10-2010) was formally published. at that time, the CORE Standing Committee was established to monitor the use of CORE, to continue to promote the specification and its adoption, and to conduct an annual review of its uptake in the first three years.

SERU Standing Committee

Business Information Topic Committee
Judy Luther (Informed Strategies), Selden Lamoureux (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill) NISO RP-7-2008, SERU: A Shared Electronic Resource Understanding

This standing committee provides maintenance and support for NISO RP-7-2008, SERU: A Shared Electronic Resource Understanding. during the first half of 2010, the standing committee was inactive, but it reconvened in June 2010 in order to address some items that have arisen in the last year, including:

» Updating the SERU website to ensure that support is available to those interested in implementing SERU

» Continued promotion and outreach about SERU, particularly to smaller publishers

» Addressing questions that have arisen about the use of SERU internationally

» Discussing and considering issues and questions that have arisen around how SERU might be applied to e-book licensing

In September 2010, the SERU FAQs were updated and made available on the SERU site in HTML and as a PDF download. These FAQs include questions ranging from when to use SERU to how to implement it, provide guidelines on perpetual access and use of materials, describe next steps, and more. In addition, at the end of 2010 a SERU logo was developed to help SERU implementers identify themselves on their websites and to help identify those products that are available for use with SERU.

The committee has drafted a proposal to minimally revise the SERU document in order to allow for its easier use with e-books. this primarily entails adjusting current language that specifically references subscriptions to allow for broader application of SERU, and includes a new paragraph around Ill.

This new work was approved in early 2011.

ESPReSSO: Establishing Suggested Practices Regarding Single Sign-On

Approved: April 22, 2009
Discovery to Delivery Topic Committee
Harry Kaplanian (Serials Solutions), Steven Carmody (Brown University)

This effort, a Chair’s Initiative project, was formed to develop recommendations that will improve the user experience by providing consistency, improved usability, and a single sign-on (SSO) authentication experience across a set of distributed e-resource service providers. the end result of this work will be small, smart conventions for moving the user seamlessly from licensed site to licensed site within a single session.

In 2010, the working group originally focused on clarifying and structuring its charge and scope, defining four specific deliverables of the charge:

» Standardized terminology

» Recommendations for standardized user interface presentation for user authentication

» Identification of approaches that allow federated search technologies and portals to leverage existing web SSO authentication sessions of a user when contacting back-end service provider sites

» Plans for the promotion and adoption of the recommended practice to make the access improvements a reality

ESPReSSO is primarily concerned with the situation where an organization (a company, a campus, a public library, etc.) acquires a license to access specific content and where the browser user is a member of the group authorized to access that content. This working group is not addressing the situation where an individual would obtain a license for his or her own personal use. Drafting of the recommended practice document is in its final stages, with a draft for public comment expected in early 2011.

DAISY Standard Revision Working Group

Approved: August 29, 2008
Content & Collection Management Topic Committee

Chairs: Markus Gylling (DAISY Consortium), George Kersher
(DAISY Consortium)

The DAISY standard, officially ANSI/NISO Z39.86-2005, Specifications for the Digital Talking Book, is being revised in order to modularize it for easier and more flexible use, as well as to take advantage of current technologies to enable a significantly better user experience. The proposed revision divides the specification into two parts: Part A, Authoring and Interchange, and Part B, Distribution. Part A (the ZedaI framework) was released in May 2010 for public review. Currently it is expected that Part A will be released as a draft standard for trial use in early April 2011. For Part B, the working group is evaluating the IDPF’s publication of EPUB 3, which was released as a draft on February 14, 2011. If the features and function requirements needed for the proposed Part B of the DAISY standard are met by the EPUB 3 specification, the DAISY working group may recommend dropping Part B of Z39.86.

NCIP Standing Committee

Discovery to Delivery Topic Committee
Mike Dicus (Ex Libris)
Maintenance Agency: EnvisionWare (Point of Contact:
Rob Walsh)
ANSI/NISO Z39.83-1 2008,
NISO Circulation Interchange Part 1: Protocol (NCIP)
ANSI/NISO Z39.83-2 2008, NISO Circulation Interchange Protocol (NCIP) Part 2: Implementation Profile 1

This standing committee provides guidance for the published standard, ANSI/NISO Z39.83-2008, NISO Circulation Interchange Protocol (NCIP). In early 2010, this standard was shifted from a periodically maintained standard that undergoes a review every five years to a continuously maintained standard that allows for regular updating and changes through established procedures. The committee met in person in April 2010 to discuss proposed changes and make determinations on them, as well as to discuss outreach efforts, implementation status updates, and to identify needed support documentation.

The changes that were approved in spring were completed in late 2010, and a maintenance version 2.01 was made available in early 2011. This version is aimed primarily at correcting defects identified in the standard and ensuring that the standard and the NCIP schema agree with one another. Further, some structural changes have been made in the standard to improve the presentation of the information and make it more usable for implementers. Finally, Bibliographic Record ID has been made repeatable within Bibliographic Description, and Request Item has been changed so that it now accepts both Bibliographic Record ID and Item ID, and both elements are now repeatable.

In November 2010, an NCIP Implementer registry for both initiators and responders was completed; the registry will help libraries to learn about NCIP implementers and the messages they have implemented.

Finally, the group has drafted a support document on Core Messages Explained, which provides additional information about the core message set that this committee recommends for an implementation of NCIP; this is expected to be made available in spring 2011. Implementation of NCIP continues to grow, with several implementations of version 2 underway. NCIP has been shown to both reduce staff time and speed up the delivery of materials —thus the continued call for the use of NCIP for resource sharing and self-service applications.