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Business Information Topic Committee

Business Information Topic Committee

August 2016

Co-chairs: Anne Campbell (EBSCO Information Systems), Christine Stamison (Northeast Research Libraries Consortium)

Altmetrics Working Groups

NISO Altmetrics Initiative web page
Altmetrics New Work Item Proposal

After two phases of work spaced over a period of three years, the NISO Altmetrics Initiative is finalizing the publication of its Recommended Practice, NISO RP-25-2016, Outputs of the NISO Alternative Assessment Metrics Project, which is expected to take place in September 2016, following its approval by the Business Information Topic Committee. Public comment periods for documents drafted by each of the three working groups, who are described below, took place in spring 2016. 

  • Working Group A drafted a definition of altmetrics and assembled use cases representing potential activity and motivations for several personas: librarians; research administrators; members of hiring committees; academics/researchers; publishing editors; and media officers and producers of altmetrics data. Themes of showcasing key achievements in scholarly outputs, aid in research assessment, and support of discovery are illustrated via these use cases. The output of this working group, which was co-chaired by Michael Habib, formerly of Elsevier and now independent, and Robin Chin Roemer of the University of Washington, is an important support for the other parts of the project. 
  • Working Group B created three output products to cover its scope of work. One subgroup wrote a report and set of recommendations in the area of data metrics, including a landscape analysis and discussion of key metrics and workflows. A second subgroup compiled various outputs and indicators that could serve as alternative metrics, to establish the breadth and depth of the non-publication metric space, as well as serve as a way to push the conversation on metrics closer to a discussion about impact. A third subgroup built a comprehensive catalog of persistent identifier players and schema, including a discussion of domain relevance and initiatives. Public websites serving as registries for these two collections will be maintained by a NISO Standing Committee so that potential additions can be contributed by the community into the future. Working Group B was co-chaired by Kristi Holmes of Northwestern University and Mike Taylor of Elsevier and liaised with other efforts in this area, such as the CASRAI data dictionary, BioCADDIE, and Project COUNTER.  
  • Working Group C created a Code of Conduct to support data quality, aimed at those providers whose data is used for the calculation and circulation of alternative assessment metrics. This Code is intended to "provide clear guidelines for the collection, processing, dissemination and reuse of altmetric data [...] intended to introduce transparency and ensure that delivered data is trustworthy, replicable, consistently reported within and across sources, and accurately represents what it intends and/or purports to measure."  Generic guidelines are further illustrated by examples from many providers and aggregators. The group was co-chaired by Stefanie Haustein of the University of Montreal and Greg Tananbaum of SPARC. 

Martin Fenner of DataCite served as project consultant. A Steering Committee which was made up of the co-chairs of the working groups; Martin; Todd Carpenter and Nettie Lagace of NISO; and Stuart Maxwell, representing the Business Information Topic Committee communicated regularly to enhance coordination and communication among the groups. 

These working groups enact Phase II of the NISO Altmetrics Initiative, which was begun in 2013 with funding from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. This development of recommended practices follows on the publication of an industry white paper distilling community discussions on what areas of alternative metrics would benefit most from standards-related development.

NISO plans to assemble a Standing Committee to provide support and outreach for all areas of the Outputs Recommended Practice, continue to observe the altmetrics landscape, and potentially recommend future areas of standardization. If you are interested in participating on this committee, please contact Nettie Lagace

A panel presentation on this project was presented at the Society for Scholarly Publishing 2016 Annual Meeting held in Vancouver, British Columbia in June. Panel members included Greg Tananbaum of SPARC, Tracey DePellegrin of the Genetics Society of America, and Stuart Maxwell of ScholarlyIQ. Todd Carpenter of NISO moderated the discussion.  Todd Carpenter and Nettie Lagace, Executive Director and Associate Director for Programs at NISO, respectively presented on this initiative at the ALA Annual meeting in Orlando, FL, in June.  Also in June, the project was featured on the NISO Open Teleconference, for which a recording is available

Demand Driven Acquisitions Working Group

Co-chairs: Barbara Kawecki (YBP Library Services); Michael Levine-Clark (University of Denver) 

DDA Workroom 

Demand Driven Acquisition of Monographs Recommended Practice (NISO RP-20-2014)

 The Demand Driven Acquisition of Monographs Recommended Practice, published by NISO in late June 2014, includes recommendations covering overall goals and objectives for a library's DDA program. Descriptions of processes include best practices for profiling, management of MARC records (methods for automated updating and removal of discovery records), mechanisms for local program assessment, and some additional considerations for consortia and public libraries. In addition to the Recommended Practice, the DDA Working Group published a summary of surveys it conducted as part of its research on areas of technical processes, access methods, and metric modeling. This survey data is extremely comprehensive and contains a wealth of qualitative information representing library perspectives and experiences in this area, useful to anyone studying this area of growth.

There have been informal discussions by stakeholders about a possible update to the Recommended Practice, now that nearly two years have passed since it was published and DDA has become an essential part of the library collections and use landscape. Such a project may begin later in 2016, subject to discussion and approval of the Business Information Topic Committee.

PIE-J (Presentation & Identification of E-Journals) Standing Committee

Co-chairs: Ed Cilurso (Taylor & Francis), Sarah (Sally) Glasser (Hofstra University) 

PIE-J Workroom 

PIE-J Recommended Practice (NISO RP-16-2013)

The PIE-J Recommended Practice, PIE-J: Presentation & Identification of E-Journals (NISO RP-16-2013) was published in 2013. It provides guidance to publishers and platform providers on the presentation of e-journals--a critical component of the global scholarly infrastructure--particularly in the areas of title presentation, accurate use of ISSN, and citation practices. The PIE-J Recommended Practice is intended to alleviate the problems encountered by end users who attempt to access article-based materials online using citation elements. Two forms of a brochure describing PIE-J are also available via the PIE-J Workroom page

The PIE-J Standing Committee is charged with responding to specific questions about the Recommended Practice, gathering comments for a full review of the Recommended Practice document, and promoting PIE-J. As part of this work, the Standing Committee has made available a template on the PIE-J website for librarians wishing to contact publishers and providers with concerns about the presentation of e-journals on their websites. The template includes suggested wording but is completely customizable.  The Standing Committee continues to meet to discuss implementation and communication efforts, and is liaising with efforts to update ISO 8:1977 Documentation -- Presentation of periodicals.

Earlier this year, the Standing Committee presented its 24-month report to the Business Information Topic Committee for approval and renewal of its charge. (The document and renewal were approved!) This report includes a summary of the work done to promote PIE-J, including conducting a survey of the community, which will help to drive further communication strategies.

SERU (Shared E-Resource Understanding) Standing Committee

Co-chairs: Adam Chesler (American Institute of Physics), Anne McKee (Greater Western Library Alliance)

SERU Workroom

SERU Recommended Practice (NISO RP-7-2012)

The SERU Recommended Practice was updated in 2012 to be more flexible for use with online products beyond e-journals, and is supported by its Standing Committee who works to publicize SERU and educate libraries and publishers via direct contacts and public presentations at industry conferences.  The SERU public workroom pages are available to help publishers and libraries understand and use the SERU material. The SERU Registry, whose purpose is to enable publishers and librarians to more easily identify each other, continues to be updated with new supporters of SERU; since April, 3 new publishers and 11 new libraries have been added bringing the total SERU Registrants to 147 publishers/vendors and 314 libraries and consortia.

SUSHI (Standardized Usage Statistics Harvesting Initiative) Standing Committee

Co-chairs: James Van Mil (University of Cincinnati), Oliver Pesch (EBSCO Information Services) 

SUSHI Workroom 

SUSHI standard (ANSI/NISO Z39.93-2014)

COUNTER-SUSHI Implementation Profile (NISO RP-14-2012)

This Standing Committee provides maintenance and support for ANSI/NISO Z39.93, The Standardized Usage Statistics Harvesting Initiative (SUSHI) Protocol, and acts as the maintenance group for the COUNTER schema by providing recommendations to COUNTER and making changes to the COUNTER XML schemas (as approved by COUNTER). The group works under a continuous maintenance procedure, which enables it to more smoothly shuttle through further updates to the standard. When COUNTER 4 was released it neccesitated relevant changes to the SUSHI schema and applicable updates to the SUSHI workroom pages.  As COUNTER is now quite actively discussing the makeup of its future release of Code of Practice 5, the SUSHI Standing Committee has started to consider the impact on its material - for example the possible use of multiple schemas to support various aspects of COUNTER. 

The SUSHI schemas, COUNTER schemas, and sample reports are continually updated on the SUSHI web pages. Note that the SUSHI Server Registry now lists only providers who support COUNTER Code of Practice Release 4. The Standing Committee is also working to ensure that SUSHI support materials are congruent with the new community web site, USUS and is discussing a move of the Server Registry later in 2016, to be managed by COUNTER on its web site together with other compliance information. 

SUSHI-Lite Working Group

Co-chairs: Paul Needham (Cranfield University), Oliver Pesch (EBSCO Information Services)

SUSHI-Lite Workroom

The SUSHI-Lite Working Group is continuing to modify its draft NISO Technical Report to address issues of more fine-grained reports and effects of various frameworks.  This working group is exploring the potential adaptation of the SUSHI Standard to accommodate present day development tools and usage needs related to retrieving 'snippets' of usage through web services. 
Three objectives of the technical report (described in the original SUSHI Lite Work Item) are to: 

  • Allow smaller units of usage ("snippets") to be retrieved with SUSHI to enable SUSHI to become the standard for implementing real-time retrieval of usage for single journals or articles, as is becoming the practice within e-resource workflows and systems offering alternative metric displays.
  • Allow for an optional implementation of SUSHI with the web services that would be accessing SUSHI snippets--specifically, a RESTful HTTP interface with COUNTER usage data returned in JSON format.
  • Introduce a generalized filter specification that can be used with the new RESTful/JSON approach. These filters would allow the client to refine the request to a single book, journal, or article, or to specify extended data like account or customer details that are currently not available in the current standard.

The Technical Report is expected to be finalized and published before the end of 2016. Demonstration sites and code examples provided by Working Group members are intended to be available via the SUSHI-Lite web pages to enable users to create more localized programs to experiment with the report's ideas. 

Transfer Standing Committee

Co-chairs: James Phillpotts (Oxford University Press), Elizabeth Winter (Georgia Institute of Technology) 

Transfer Workroom 

Transfer Recommended Practice (NISO RP-24-2015)

The aim of the Transfer initiative, begun by the United Kingdom Serials Group (UKSG) in 2006, is to support smooth and uninterrupted access to content by librarians and readers when a journal changes ownership and online content is transferred from a transferring publisher to a receiving publisher. UKSG announced the availability of the updated Transfer Code of Practice, Version 3.0, in March 2014. During late 2014 and early 2015, Transfer successfully moved from UKSG to NISO and the UKSG document was republished as a NISO Recommended Practice in January 2015. Further support, education, and potential future revisions to Transfer are now managed by the NISO Standing Committee which discusses promotion and communication strategies for all audience on regular conference calls. Subgroups focusing on society and commercial publishers and librarians discuss specific issues which can then be raised for discussion and decision by the full Standing Committee.  The Standing Committee recently conducted a survey covering the Transfer Alerting Service framework which has provided much new input for consideration. 

The Transfer Code of Practice provides consistent guidelines to help publishers ensure that journal content remains easily accessible by librarians and readers when there is a transfer between parties, and to ensure that the transfer process occurs with minimum disruption. The Code contains best practice guidelines for both the Transferring Publisher and the Receiving Publisher. Publishers are asked to endorse the Code, and to abide by its principles wherever it is commercially reasonable to do so.

Transfer-compliant publishers are listed on the Publisher Endorsement web page. An alerting service is also available at the Enhanced Transfer Alerting Service; this tool gives advance notification to libraries and third parties, such as subscription agents, regarding journals that are moving. Publishers are not required to sign up to the Code, and there is no sanction if a publisher does not; but it is hoped that as the Code of Practice delineates an industry-standard best practice, statements of Transfer compliance provide a common understanding between publishers on the tasks associated with journal transfer and thus support an efficient handover, clearly beneficial to any business transaction.

The Transfer Standing Committee presented a free NISO webinar targetted to librarians in May, for which slides and a recording is now available.

Z39.7 Data Dictionary Standing Committee

Chair: Martha Kyrillidou, QualityMetrics

Z39.7 Data Dictionary 

 The Information Services and Use: Metrics & statistics for libraries and information providers - Data Dictionary (ANSI/NISO Z39.7) is a continuously maintained standard; the fifth edition was released in summer 2013. The purpose of the Data Dictionary is to assist the information community by indicating and defining useful quantifiable information to measure the resources and performance of libraries and to provide a body of valid and comparable data on American libraries. It identifies standard definitions, methods, and practices relevant to library statistics activities in the United States. Any user of the online standard may submit suggested changes. The Standing Committee then reviews these suggestions during its scheduled monthly phone calls.

As part of its work, the Standing Committee scans and reviews the statistical survey landscape and examines other assessment efforts-including use of particular vocabularies-in the community for effects on the Data Dictionary. The Z39.7 Standing Committee is currently considering possible updates to the standard as part of its adherence to ANSI-approved Continuous Maintenance procedures (Section 4). Its survey of the assessment landscape has so far included discussion of how libraries may need to account for shared collections and for resources in institutional repositories; the PLA initiative Project Outcome (not a formalized data collection platforms as yet, but one that may offer useful information about methodologies, protocols, etc. to the library and information community); management of usage statistics generated by institutional repositories; OMB's recent call for comments on the proposed revisions to IPEDS 2016 academic libraries component; and other national surveys with data elements. 

For notifications about approved future revisions to the standard, subscribe to the Z39.7 notification mailing list.