Working Group Connection, November 2019: projects via Information Creation & Curation Topic Committee

The Co-chairs of the ICC topic committee are: Sherle Abramson-Bluhm (University of Michigan) and Jody DeRidder (OCLC).

Assessment of Video and Audio Metadata Recommendations and Standards

Co-chairs: Bill Kasdorf (Kasdorf & Associates), Barbara Chen (retired, MLA), Violaine Iglesias (Cadmore Media).
Work Item Approved by NISO Voting Members
Working Group Web Page

In today’s academic, research and professional information industry, video and audio are growing in popularity and volume and, with the rapid progress of streaming technology, in global reach. Libraries are seeing higher demand from their patrons, publishers are developing their media offerings, and software developers and other vendors are improving support for media assets in their products and systems. However, clear, mutually accepted recommendations do not exist for the academic, research and professional information community to consistently and precisely identify and describe media assets, similar to metadata standards that are in place for text-based materials such as journals and books. There do exist many types of metadata that can be applied to media assets, whether exclusively or not, but none encompass the full range of properties that would be needed to allow for extensive collaboration and interoperability between organizations and systems.

This Working Group, which started its work in August, is planning to establish guidelines for metadata for video and audio assets, incorporating existing standards rather than creating new ones, and covering the following categories of properties: Administrative metadata; Semantic metadata; Technical metadata; Rights metadata; Accessibility metadata. For each of the categories, the working group is developing a list of properties and arranging these into levels of abstraction, at least preliminarily for the purposes of discussion and testing. Use cases and other contributions of media types from working group members will serve to validate this proposal. 

Criteria for Indexes

Co-chairs: Marti Heyman (OCLC), Pilar Wyman (Wyman Indexing).
Work Item Approved by NISO Voting Members
Working Group Web Page

This Working Group is addressing the issue that NISO does not have a standard which addresses indexes and related information retrieval mechanisms. There is an outdated technical report from 1997 (NISO TR02-1997, Guidelines for Indexes and Related Information Retrieval Devices) which was based on Z39.4-1984, Basic Criteria for Indexes. There is community interest in using it as the foundation for creation of a new NISO index standard. Publishers will be able to refer to the reestablished standard when specifying requirements for index creation, for both print and electronic materials. End-users of the published materials will experience an increased level of uniformity of indexes which will drive improved consistency (and therefore effectiveness) of the end-user experience.

The Working Group began its work in August, created its workplan (including a timeline planning a circulation for public comment in May 2020) and has divided into subgroups (Closed, Open, Automatic, and Editorial) for closer review and evaluation on recommended updates to the TR02 text. 

E-Book Bibliographic Metadata Requirements in the Sale, Publication, Discovery, and Preservation Supply Chain (E-Book Metadata Working Group)

Co-chairs: Ravit David (University of Toronto), Alistair Morrison (Johns Hopkins University)
E-Book Metadata Working Group Web page

Working group members for this NISO initiative are working on their draft Recommendation for public comment, which they hope to make available for a public comment period by the end of this year. Their work has been underway since 2017; the group's remit has been to collect the minimal metadata requirements necessary to describe e-books in order to support sales, discovery, delivery, deaccessioning, and preservation, and to make recommendations for the most effective and efficient ways for metadata to be moved through the entire supply chain. It's intended that the NISO Recommended Practice to be created by the E-Book Metadata Working Group will help the creators and managers of bibliographic records cooperate to minimize duplication of work and ensure overall quality of metadata, ultimately to the benefit of end users. 

The draft is the culmination of a multi-phased project.  The Working Group's first phase formed subgroups to study the metadata areas of authorities, dates, and identifiers in more detail to better understand further requirements and potential areas of interaction between stakeholders. Its second phase charted workflow processes for various stakeholders to identify and prioritize the different metadata elements and map proposed requirements at the element level across workflows. The third phase consisted of close analysis of the previous outputs, again against a stakeholder perspective. 

Journal Article Tag Suite (JATS) Standing Committee

Co-chairs: Jeff Beck (National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine), B. Tommie Usdin (Mulberry Technologies, Inc.)
JATS Standing Committee Web Page
JATS: Journal Article Tag Suite (ANSI/NISO Z39.96-2019)

The purpose of JATS is to define a suite of XML elements and attributes that describes the content of metadata and journal articles using a common format that enables the exchange of journal content between publishers and archives. This Tag Suite is intended to preserve intellectual content of journals independent of the form in which the content was originally delivered, and to enable an archive to capture structural and semantic components of existing material. In addition, the JATS standard includes three implementations of the suite, called Tag Sets, which are intended to provide models for archiving, publishing, and authoring journal article content. Following ANSI approval, NISO published the newest version of the standard, JATS: Journal Article Tag Suite 1.2, ANSI/NISO Z39.96-2019, in early February. This new version addresses issues such as the addition of CRediT roles to contributors; the ability to associate subjects and keywords with external vocabularies; and the ability to record Asian-styles of emphasis such as over-dots, among others. 

The JATS Standing Committee manages its work via Continuous Maintenance procedures, which support incoming comments to be managed in an ongoing process of updates, and is continuing to meet regularly to discuss future changes and strategies for JATS, including a non-backwards compatible JATS 2.0 (which would be published no earlier than 2021) and its process. The Standing Committee recently released a Committee Draft of JATS 1.3d1, and is continuing to examine uses of the three tag sets and creation and review of new JATS samples.


Chair: Melissa Harrison (eLife) with Steering Committee
JATS4R Website
Work Item Approved by NISO Voting Members

JATS For Reuse is an initiative which develops best practices for tagging content in JATS (ANSI/NISO Z39.96) XML to optimize content reuse and exchange.  About a year ago, the JATS4R efforts became a NISO Working Group. JATS4R creates best-practice recommendations for encoding journal article content in JATS XML, to be published as NISO Recommended Practices. Each article object that JATS4R works on has its own separate document of best practice recommendations. Examples of article objects include article permissions, math, and conflicts-of-interest statements. These recommendations are developed by the community; the areas they potentially cover are prioritized based on user request and emerging standards. It is an ongoing effort and recommendations are revisited and revised when necessary.

JATS4R subgroups currently in discussion include: Ethics Statements (now accepting comments), Emerging Reference Types, and Peer Review Materials. Subjects & Keywords is now finalized and is in the process of publication by NISO as a Recommended Practice. 

Steering Committee members Jeff Beck, Melissa Harrison, Stephen Laverick, Kevin Lawson, and Nick Nunes joined Nettie Lagace of NISO on the October NISO Open Teleconference to discuss JATS4R.   If you would like to participate in JATS4R efforts, see the "Participate" tab on the JATS4R web site.

Manuscript Exchange Common Approach

Co-chairs: Tony Alves (Aries Systems), Stephen Laverick (Green Fifteen Publishing Consultancy)
MECA Working Group Web Page
Approved work item proposal, MECA

This working group, underway since September 2018, is developing a common means to easily transfer manuscripts between and among manuscript systems, such as those in use at publishers and preprint servers. Its forthcoming NISO Recommended Practice is intended to alleviate pain points encountered by researchers as well as service providers operating in the scholarly ecosystem. Currently, in workflow processes such as manuscript rejection or alternate recommendations for article submission, there is no easy way for a manuscript to move programmatically from one publisher system to another's. The result is frustration for authors and reviewers who complain of wasted time, duplicative efforts, and delays in enabling access to novel research.  An open protocol available for adoption across the industry would ease this process substantially and better support publishing operations and communication among all stakeholders.

The working group meets regularly to discuss technical aspects of the initial MECA draft that are being adjusted, and additional use cases and requirements to be accommodated in the NISO publication. It is currently in the last phases of this work and anticipates wrapping up its work in the fall, publishing a draft NISO Recommended Practice for public comment by the end of the year and then finalizing it in early 2020.

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

PIE-J logo

Chair: Sarah (Sally) Glasser (Hofstra University) 
PIE-J Working Group Web Page 
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 web page

Members of the PIE-J Standing Committee meet regularly to discuss implementation, feedback regarding specific publishers, and marketing efforts. As part of this work, the Standing Committee has made available a 
template on the PIE-J website for librarians who would like to contact publishers and providers to describe concerns about the presentation of e-journals on their websites. The Committee is currently discussing the feasibility of organizing some future revisions to PIE-J, based on the revision of the ISSN standard (ISO 3297) and updates to ISO 8.

Chair Sally Glasser organized a panel presentation, “Publisher Platforms and NISO’s PIE-J” to be presented at the Charleston Conference in November.

STS: Standards Tag Suite

Co-chairs: Bruce Rosenblum (Inera), Robert Wheeler (American Society of Mechanical Engineers)
NISO STS Standing Committee Web Page
ANSI/NISO Z39.102, STS: Standards Tag Suite

The purpose of ANSI/NISO Z39.102, STS: Standards Tag Suite, a standard published by NISO in October 2017, is to define a suite of XML elements and attributes that describes the full-text content and metadata of standards--including co-produced standards and standards bodies' adoptions of existing standards--with the intent of providing a common format in which standards organizations, publishers, disseminators, archives, and any lawful user can publish and exchange standards content.  The intent of the Tag Suite is to preserve the intellectual content of standards independent of the form in which that content was originally delivered. The Tag Suite enables the capture of structural and semantic components of material without modeling any particular sequence or textual format. 

STS is an update and modification of ISO STS, a specific tag set used for standards publishing, and is now officially linked it to JATS (ANSI/NISO Z39.96-2015 JATS: Journal Article Tag Suite), a widely used specification which defines a set of XML elements and attributes for tagging journal articles and describes several article models. Supporting non-normative materials, including a tag library and DTD, XSD, and RNG schemas for each of the tag sets, are available at; an email discussion list provides community support for STS topics. 

The STS Standing Committee is responsible for the work of reviewing and responding to comments on the standard under a NISO continuous maintenance procedure, which will allow it to more easily publish updates to the standard. It is planning several meetings during the fall to review comments received.

Taxonomy, Definitions, and Recognition Badging Scheme

Co-chairs: Lorena Barba (George Washington University); Wayne Graves (ACM); Gerry Grenier (IEEE) 
Working Group Web page
Work Item Approved by NISO Voting Members

This Working Group is developing a recommended practice pertaining to reproducibility in the computational and computing sciences, to “make badges more than an image.” This group is examining existing metadata, taxonomies, and badging schemes to define various levels of reproducibility and communicate these, as well as recommended applications and communication steps for the publishing process.  Publishers and researchers are placing greater emphasis on the practice of reproducibility as an essential ingredient of the scientific research process. As reproducibility is spreading in the scholarly publishing landscape, badging schemes and taxonomies are developing on an ad-hoc basis. This NISO effort is focusing on the computational and computing sciences, but it may also help to encourage support for a standardized approach for such indicators spanning a variety of disciplines.

The working group is continuing to examine materials it’s brought together as part of its investigative phase and is creating a draft recommended practice as it works. It’s also contemplating how implementation and testing might be carried out. Most meetings are conducted by Zoom (as are all NISO working groups), but a one-day in-person meeting is planned for early November in Washington, DC, to accelerate the completion of the draft. 

NISO Vocabularies

Working Group Web Page
NISO TR-06-17, Issues in Vocabulary Management

NISO published this technical report, Issues in Vocabulary Management, in September 2017. The project grew out of the 2013 NISO Bibliographic Roadmap Initiative, work which intended to identify areas where agreement on standard or recommended practices would support better bibliographic data exchange.  Several different areas were examined and described:  "Vocabulary Use and Reuse," "Vocabulary Documentation," and "Vocabulary Preservation."

This technical report provides a background on the vocabulary management landscape and aids community members working in the current "transitional" environment, where experience with policies, social constructs, and practical aspects of moving forward in a common infrastructure might be scattered or missing. These sets of people may include individuals and groups building and sharing bibliographic and other descriptive data, as well as knowledge managers within a variety of organizations using vocabularies to solve problems.