NISO Recommended Practice on Test Modes for SUSHI Servers Issued for Trial Use

A new NISO recommended practice, Providing a Test Mode for SUSHI Servers (NISO RP-13-201x), has been issued for a trial use period ending January 31, 2012. The Standardized Usage Statistics Harvesting Initiative (SUSHI) Protocol is a NISO standard (ANSI/NISO Z39.93-2007) that automates the retrieval of COUNTER usage statistics by libraries. The process of developing a SUSHI client requires testing against the SUSHI servers where usage data is expected to be harvested. The new Recommended Practice describes how content providers should provide access to their SUSHI Servers in a test mode so that clients can be set up easier and faster, which is of benefit to both libraries and content providers.

”We have seen a tremendous surge in the adoption of the SUSHI standard, especially since it became a requirement for compliance with Release 3 of the COUNTER Code of Practice,” states Oliver Pesch, Chief Strategist for E-Resource

Access and Management Services at EBSCO Information Services and Chair of the NISO SUSHI Servers Working Group. “But many SUSHI client developers have encountered difficulty in accessing content providers’ servers to conduct testing of their client software. These recommendations provide guidelines to content providers on how they can easily provide test areas to prospective users of their SUSHI server without providing live, usually confidential, data or placing undue strains on their production servers.”

“SUSHI is quickly becoming one of NISO’s most popular standards,” explains Nettie Lagace, NISO’s Associate Director for Programs. “Libraries that are using the SUSHI protocol have seen significant time savings in gathering their usage statistics. This Recommended Practice will make it even easier for SUSHI to be adopted by reducing and eliminating development roadblocks.”

All content providers who provide COUNTER usage statistics are encouraged to implement the recommendations during the trial and provide their feedback. The recommended practice and an online comment form are available from the SUSHI Server webpage.

The SUSHI Standard is available at:

SUSHI Server webpage:

NISO Receives Mellon Foundation Grant for e-Book Annotation Sharing Workshops

NISO has been awarded a $48,500 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon foundation to fund two standards incubation workshops, which it will lead with the Internet archive, on the topic of E-Book Annotation Sharing and Social Reading. these meetings will be held in conjunction with the Frankfurt book fair in Frankfurt, Germany, on October 10th, 2011, and the books In browsers meeting in San Francisco, on October 26th, 2011. The Mellon Foundation grant will pay for the planning, organization, and direct meeting expenses for the two meetings workshops, for which NISO will conduct the majority of the planning, organization, and logistical support.

The two workshops will advance the discussions around the system requirements for annotation sharing--including technical challenges of citation location and systems interoperability--and around the development and implementation of a consensus solution for these issues. The objectives of the meetings are to provide input to a nISo-sponsored working group on scope, goals and any initial work the group undertakes; and the advancement of a syntax specification that will be further vetted by a standards working group for how bookmarks and annotations are located and shared in digital books.

Each meeting will include both invited speakers and breakout discussions, and participants will include technologists involved in the development of systems as well as librarians and scholars who would be the direct beneficiaries of annotation and social reading functionality. one goal of holding two meetings that are geographically diverse is to ensure that a world-wide community has opportunity for input and engagement on this issue, since the application of such a technology would be applied across the globe.

For more information, visit: topics/ccm/e-book_annotation/

Journal Usage Factors Project Publishes Results, Recommendations, and Next Steps

The Journal Usage Factor (JUF) is a proposed new measurement of journal impact and quality that will complement the Journal Impact Factor (IF) from ISI and compensate for some of its weaknesses. Unlike the IF, which is based on citation data, the JUF looks at actual usage of an online journal and can begin collecting and reporting data immediately after publication.

Phase 1 of the project looked at the usefulness and viability of a JUF. Librarians rated a potential JUF second in importance for acquisition decisions and third in importance for retention and renewal decisions. 62.5% of authors felt the IF was given too much weight in assessing authors’ work and 70% welcomed an additional JUF measure.

Phase 2 of the project tested the proposed JUF formula using real COUNTER data and included a statistical analysis performed by CIBER. Because the data showed high variance in usage between items, it was recommended that the formula be changed to use the median rather than the mean in calculating JUF. A mean usage factor should include a confidence level
to address issues of statistical “noise.” A maximum 24-month window for collecting data is sufficient and shorter windows of 6 or 12 months could be considered for the future.

The project concluded that JUF comparisons need to be done within broad subject domains as the usage trend pattern over time varies by subject. The JUF data did not show a statistical association with citation impact and thus provides very different information. The measure is highly subject to “gaming” especially using software agents. The study showed that additional indicators for journal usage half-life or a reading immediacy index might also be useful.

Phase 3 of the project will use these conclusions for the next steps, which will include preparation of a draft Code of Practice for the Journal Usage Factor, developing an updated subject journal classification taxonomy, and running a trial with a subset of publishers.

View the full report at:

ISO Focus+ Magazine Now Available for Free Download

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has made their ISO Focus+ magazine, available free download in PDF format from the ISO website. Also available are the entire backfiles of ISO Focus+ (from 2010) and the two predecessor magazines ISO Focus (2004-2009) and ISO Management Systems (2001-2009).

ISO Focus+ highlights standardization initiatives, the technical groups that develop ISO standards, and the people who use them. “This initiative will help to further promote knowledge of the global contribution that ISo international standards can make in providing practical tools for tackling global challenges in the service of the international community,” said ISO Secretary-General Rob Steele.

Particular articles that may interest ISQ readers are:

  • Introducing XML: A Strategic Approach to Standards Publishing (July 2011)
  • A Coded World (April 2011)
  • How Strong is Your Company’s brand? An ISO Standard Can Help Tell You (November 2010)
  • Beyond the Barcode: Next Generation Libraries (April 2010)
  • Standardized Standards? The Case of the Multiple Identifiers (February 2010)
  • Facilitating Information and Documentation Systems in Changing Times (February 2010)
  • Françoise Pellé: Testing New Ideas in Informal Settings (January 2010)

Focus+ magazine:

OpenURL Canonical Citation Profile Approved

The OpenURL Maintenance Agency has approved a Canonical Citation Community Profile and Metadata Format for use with the NISO standard The OpenURL Framework for Context-Sensitive Services (ANSI/NISO Z39.88-2004).

The OpenURL Framework Standard defines an architecture for transporting packages of information over a network with the intent of obtaining context-sensitive services pertaining to the referenced resource. The standard is most commonly used to link full-text information resources and discovery search services. The standard included two example community profiles and assigned the maintenance agency with responsibility for approving additional profiles.

The Canonical Citation Community Profile was submitted for registration and approval by David Ruddy, Director, Scholarly Communications Services at the Cornell University Library, as
a method for using the OpenURL framework to link canonical citations—citations to a work or passage within a work that are independent of any specific published edition or translation
of the work—with various information services. Examples of canonical citations are: Homer,
Iliad, 1:125-130, or Romans 5:19.

The Canonical Citation profile was an outgrowth of a request made to the Cornell University Library by Eric Rebillard, Professor of Classics and History at Cornell, and General Editor of L’Année philologique, an abstracting and indexing service specializing in scholarship about Classical literature. Professor Rebillard was interested in improving the success rate of OpenURLs generated by L’Année, which typically contain citations to specific passages within works of Classical literature. These types of citations are “canonical” because they do not reference a particular edition, but instead use established conventions for citing a work and passages within it. Existing OpenURL implementations assume the existence of a particular manifestation of a work rather than a reference at the “work” level, which is needed for canonical citations. A new metadata format was necessary to carry a description of a canonical citation within an OpenURL Context Object. A grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation was used to explore the possibilities of using OpenURL to provide system independent linking between citations of Classical literature and an increasing array of available online resources in Classics. The resulting metadata format and community profile were then submitted to the OpenURL Maintenance Agency for approval and registration, which was granted in August 2011 following a public review and comment period.

Eric Rebillard and David Ruddy, along with Adam Chandler (Database Management and Electronic Resources Librarian) are currently implementing a Classical Works Knowledge Base that utilizes the new canonical citation linking and provides an intermediary service between a classical text discovery resource, such as L’Année and a user’s OpenURL link resolver. This OpenURL information model that “chains” links resolvers together to provided enriched services could be applicable to other domains as well.

OpenURL Standard:

Canonical Citation Community Profile and Metadata Format:

Classical works Knowledge Base: