Member News & Announcements, October IO 2020

News from NISO Members

Libraries and Archives

DAISY Publishes White Paper on the Benefits of EPUB 3
DAISY Consortium, Voting Member, News Announcement, September 2020

The DAISY Consortium has published a white paper encouraging the use of Born Accessible EPUB 3 files for corporate, government and university publications and documents. This important piece of work recognizes the work of the publishing industry who have embraced EPUB 3 as their format of choice for ebooks and digital publishing and focuses on how this same approach should be used for all types of digital content, both online and offline:

“It is time for companies and organizations to consider adopting modern digital publishing standards for their document output. Reading documents digitally is the norm today and it is taking place on smartphones, tablets, and on computers….Wonderful for printing and ubiquitous, PDF can only be made accessible after time-consuming, expensive remediation has been completed.”

Leadership Opportunities

Altum, Inc. joins National Information Standards Organization (NISO) as a Voting Member
Altum, Inc., Voting Member, News Announcement, September 29, 2020

Altum, Inc. has joined the National Information Standards Organization (NISO) as a voting member, entitling it to vote on and assist NISO with deciding which standards to develop.  NISO is a not-for-profit membership organization that identifies, develops, maintains, and publishes technical standards to manage information, in three main categories — Information Creation & Curation, Information Discovery & Interchange, and Information Policy & Analysis.

“We’re excited to join NISO as a voting member, and look forward to partnering with leaders across the organization to shape the next generation of standards that will support open research and open science,” said Steve Pinchotti, CEO of Altum

Leaders of over 100 organizations serve as voting members of NISO, a further 100+ are Library Standards Alliance members, and over 500 experts and practitioners serve on NISO working groups, committees, and as officers of the association.

Ex Libris First in Industry to Attain ISO 27701:2019 Certification for Privacy Information Management Systems
Ex Libris, Voting Member, News Announcement, September 24, 2020

Ex Libris, a ProQuest company, is pleased to announce that the company has achieved certification for ISO 27701:2019, an international standard published by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), the only organization in the library software industry to do so. ISO 27701:2019 provides a code of practice for maintaining the privacy of data in a privacy information management system (PIMS). This standard establishes privacy requirements, helps organizations manage risks related to personally identifiable information (PII), and outlines a comprehensive set of operational controls that can be mapped to various regulations.

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and other data privacy laws such as the Brazilian General Data Protection Law are just some of the many privacy regulations which are becoming more relevant for organizations around the world. Achieving ISO 27701:2019 certification demonstrates that systems are in place to support compliance to these privacy regulations and strengthens Ex Libris’ ongoing commitment to aligning with leading privacy and security practices. Ex Libris customers benefit from the assurance that Ex Libris complies with robust internationally recognized standards and that Ex Libris will continue to invest in complying with future standards as well.

Shira Perlmutter Is Named Register of Copyrights
Library of Congress, Voting Member, News Announcement, September 21, 2020

Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden announced today that she has appointed Shira Perlmutter as Register of Copyrights and director of the U.S. Copyright Office.

“I am pleased to announce that Shira Perlmutter will serve as the 14th United States Register of Copyrights,” said Hayden. “Shira brings to this role a deep knowledge of domestic and international copyright law and policy and a background in negotiating international intellectual property agreements. She has experience working with a wide range of stakeholders and finding common ground on complex issues.”

Perlmutter will step into the role of Register of Copyrights in late October and will assume leadership of the organization during its 150th anniversary year.

“I’m honored to have the opportunity to lead the U.S. Copyright Office during its 150th year,” said Perlmutter. “I look forward to working with Dr. Hayden and rejoining the dedicated staff of the Copyright Office on its mission of promoting the creation and dissemination of works of authorship to the benefit of the American public.”

ORCID Proudly Announces its New Executive Director
ORCID, Inc., Voting Member, News Announcement, September 14, 2020

After an intensive four-month search, ORCID, Inc. is proud to announce the appointment of Chris Shillum as its new Executive Director. Shillum follows ORCID’s founding Executive Director, Dr. Laurel Haak, who left the organization in June to direct her energy and skills to establishing her company, Mighty Red Barn, that supports start-ups in building information-sharing tools and platforms. ORCID selected Shillum after an extensive global search led by Perrett Laver and a team of ORCID Board members. ORCID Board Chair Linda O’Brien coordinated the search.

Shillum brings to ORCID more than 25 years experience as a digital product management leader and technology strategist in scholarly communications and STM Publishing, with unique experience working on market-leading online information and analytics products. He served on the ORCID Board in its formative years, helping to steer the organization through its critical start-up phase and set it on its successful trajectory. He is respected as a thought leader in scholarly communications and has been instrumental in launching many collaborative infrastructure initiatives, including most recently SeamlessAccess and GetFTR—both focused on improving access to scholarly information resources.

EBSCO Information Services Announces EBSCO Year of the Nurse Award
EBSCO Information Services, Voting Member, Press Release, September 13, 2020

EBSCO Information Services (EBSCO) announces the EBSCO Nurse of the Year Award, which awards an exemplary nurse and/or midwife with a $1,000 scholarship to be used for the continuing education opportunity of their choosing. EBSCO customers worldwide are encouraged to nominate nurses and/or midwives from their organizations who demonstrate the World Health Assembly’s Year of the Nurse and Midwife key directives, including a drive to strengthen nursing and midwifery, to achieve health care for all and encourage fellow nurses and midwives to act as change leaders influencing improvements in health care.

The World Health Organization designated 2020 as the official International Year of the Nurse and Midwife. EBSCO, which provides tools that support the research, decision support and skills development needs of nurses and midwives around the world with evidence-based information resources, is paying tribute to nurses and midwives with the first-ever EBSCO Year of the Nurse Award.

EBSCO Chief Nursing Officer and Editor in Chief of Dynamic Health, Diane Hanson says EBSCO recognizes the immense impact of nurses and midwives in health care facilities across the globe. “Nurses play an important role in ensuring high-quality, effective point-of-care services. We appreciate the commitment, hard work and passion that nurses demonstrate and hope this scholarship will help provide further educational opportunities and a much-needed reward for their tireless dedication.”

Financials, Mergers, and Acquisitions

16 Major Donors, Including Getty Foundation, Commit $156 Million to Support Black, Latinx, Asian, and Indigenous Arts Organizations
J. Paul Getty Trust, Voting Member, Blog Posting, September 24, 2020

Sixteen major donors and foundations, including Getty, announced an unprecedented commitment to a two-pronged national and regional initiative to recognize “America’s Cultural Treasures.” Together, the funders will grant more than $156 million to support Black, Latinx, Asian, and Indigenous arts organizations in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic that has devastated America’s arts and culture landscape. The funding includes $85 million from the proceeds of the Ford Foundation’s historic social bond offering announced earlier this year.

The foundations identified grant recipients as “America’s Cultural Treasures” to acknowledge and honor their vital contributions to the diversity of expression and excellence in America, and to bring greater recognition to a group of organizations that have been impactful, despite historically limited resources and funding streams. They, along with others, represent the cultural heritage and creativity of communities that have been historically marginalized, underfunded and under-represented in the narrative of American culture.

Led by an initial investment of $50 million from the Ford Foundation — with leadership support from Bloomberg Philanthropies and Barbara and Amos Hostetter, and additional support from the Abrams Foundation, Alice L. Walton Foundation, and Tom and Lisa Blumenthal — the national component of the initiative will provide $81 million in operational and general support funds to an initial cohort of 20 organizations that are significant national anchors for artistic and cultural diversity in America.

Wiley Reports First Quarter Fiscal 2021 Results
John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., Voting Member, Press Release, September 3, 2020

John Wiley & Sons, Inc. (NYSE: JW-A and JW-B), a global leader in research and education, today announced results for the first quarter ended July 31, 2020.

“Wiley’s core strategies in open research and online education are paying off with unprecedented gains in Research article output and content consumption, strong online enrollment growth, and record new adoption of digital courseware,” said Brian Napack, President and CEO. “The Wiley team is executing well through the pandemic as we continue to take advantage of market-driven growth trends in Research and Education, while driving further efficiency gains across our business.”

Infrastructure and Platforms

Initiative for Open Abstracts Launches To Promote Discovery of Research
eLife Sciences Publications Ltd, Voting Member, Press Release, September 24, 2020

The Initiative for Open Abstracts (I4OA) calls on all scholarly publishers to open the abstracts of their publications, and specifically to distribute them through Crossref, in order to facilitate large-scale access and promote discovery of critical research. I4OA – a collaboration between scholarly publishers, academic librarians, researchers, infrastructure providers and other stakeholders – launched today at the online conference of the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA).

I4OA has been established to advocate and promote the unrestricted availability of the abstracts of scholarly publications, particularly journal articles and book chapters.

Stuart Taylor, Director of Publishing at the Royal Society, says: “Abstracts summarise the content of scholarly publications, and their wide availability will boost discoverability and draw readers, both human and machine, to the full text.”

Open Access, Open Science

Collection of ebooks from University Presses Now Available
California Digital Library (DCL), L.S.A. Member, Featured Article, September 24, 2020

The UC libraries have acquired a collection of ebooks from Project Muse, an aggregator of books and journals from university presses and other scholarly publishers.  The acquisition gives UC libraries perpetual access to more than 10,000 ebooks from these prestigious publishers .  The collection includes titles from the 2020 front list, and the recent back file from the years 2017-2019.   The titles are accessible now on the Project Muse platform.

CDL was able to license this collection, with no costs borne by the campuses, thanks to a generous allocation of FY19/20 year-end funds by the University Provost as well as drawing upon a pooled fund established to support the needs of the UC collective and to improve systemwide access to important scholarly work.    The final selection of the Project Muse ebook collection as a top choice for the UC Libraries was a collaborative effort from all the campuses, as well as two systemwide groups:  the Shared Content Leadership Group (SCLG) and the ebook Strategies Team.   Earlier this year, library staff from the campuses were surveyed and asked which scholarly resources they would like to acquire.   Their responses were ranked and CDL began soliciting proposals from several vendors.  The proposals were evaluated by CDL staff and the ebook Strategies Team, and their recommendations were presented to SCLG for approval. 

OCLC and LIBER announce joint discussion series on Open Science
OCLC, Voting Member, Press Release, September 22, 2020

OCLC and LIBER announced today the launch of a discussion series on Open Science through webinars and discussion groups from 24 September-5 November. The series, based on the LIBER Open Science Roadmap, will help guide research libraries in envisioning the support infrastructure for Open Science (OS) and their role at local, national, and global levels.

Speaking of the initiative, Astrid Verheusen, Executive Director, LIBER, said, "We believe Open Science is a cause where breakthroughs are needed and where efforts to introduce widespread practices could benefit from alignment at a global scale. The events will provide a valuable forum for discussion between subject matter experts and practitioners on both sides of the Atlantic to find meaningful ways forward."

Rachel Frick, Executive Director, OCLC Research Library Partnership, added, "While respecting differences in approach at national levels, bringing library communities in higher education together to compare and share will help them head in the same direction. We respect the lead that the European Research library community has taken in Open Science and hope that a collaboration between OCLC and LIBER can add further momentum to the effort. It is anticipated that the format of the series discussions will expose potential research questions for further investigation by OCLC Research."

Diversifying Readership through Open Access: A Usage Analysis for Open Access Books
Springer Nature, Voting Member, Press Release, September 10, 2020

Open access (OA) books are reaching more countries and have greater usage and higher citation numbers than non-OA books. A new analysis collaboratively produced by Springer Nature and COARD (Collaborative Open Access Research & Development) presents these and other key findings in a new white paper that explores how OA affects the geographical diversity of readers. 

It shows that OA books have substantially more readers in low-income and lower-middle-income countries and that OA also helps to increase attention to scholarship about these countries. The study is to date the largest and most comprehensive of its kind; the underlying dataset is based on 3,934 books published by Springer Nature, including 281 OA books.

Confirming previous research looking at the potential usage benefits of OA, this analysis shows more downloads and more citations for every type of book, in every discipline, in each of the three years of publication (2015, 2016, 2017) included in the sample. The report finds that OA books on average achieve ten times more downloads and 2.4 times more citations than non-OA books. Furthermore, download numbers from the open web are generally around double those from institutional network points.


Index Data Joins Mass TLC Tech Compact for Social Justice
Index Data, Voting Member, News Announcement, September 21, 2020

Index Data is proud to announce that we, along with over 60 other Massachusetts technology companies, have joined the Tech Compact for Social Justice.  This initiative was established under the leadership of the Executive Diversity and Inclusion Steering Committee (EDISC) of the Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council (Mass TLC) to promote meaningful change in making Massachusetts’ tech industry more diverse, inclusive, and socially just for workers of all backgrounds. To participate in the Tech Compact, tech companies commit to change in three or more areas relating to diversity, inclusion, and social justice. Index Data, a long-term member of Mass TLC, embraced the opportunity to respond to the challenge.

Cloudflare and the Wayback Machine Joining Forces For a More Reliable Web
Internet Archive, Voting Member, Blog Posting, September 17, 2020

Cloudflare and the Internet Archive are now working together to help make the web more reliable. Websites that enable Cloudflare’s Always Online service will now have their content automatically archived, and if by chance the original host is not available to Cloudflare, then the Internet Archive will step in to make sure the pages get through to users. 

Cloudflare has become core infrastructure for the Web, and we are glad we can be helpful in making a more reliable web for everyone.

“The Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine has an impressive infrastructure that can archive the web at scale,” said Matthew Prince, co-founder and CEO of Cloudflare. “By working together, we can take another step toward making the Internet more resilient by stopping server issues for our customers and in turn from interrupting businesses and users online.”

Springer Nature and ResearchGate To Move Forward with Long-Term content sharing partnership
Springer Nature, Voting Member, Press Release, September 9, 2020

The partnership will enable content delivery of the version-of-record (VoR) articles directly to ResearchGate publication pages. Entitled users will be able to download and read the VoR of articles published in Springer journals from the past five years, and all Nature-branded research journals from the past three years, on ResearchGate; new articles will be made available on a daily basis as they are published. Non-entitled users will be able to access an enhanced abstract of the article on ResearchGate, which includes metadata, abstract, figures and captions and the full first page. By combining Springer Nature’s expertise in publishing high-quality research with ResearchGate’s online platform for millions of scientists, both organisations aim to deliver an enhanced and seamless experience for the communities they serve.

Steven Inchcoombe, Chief Publishing and Solutions Officer at Springer Nature, said: “This partnership is a wonderful example of how we can provide content directly to researchers on the platforms that they use for collaboration and networking, therefore improving the discoverability and visibility of our authors’ work. We are pleased that we can build on the success of the pilot phases, which showed numerous benefits to librarians, researchers and authors. By bringing together two organisations with differing areas of expertise but similar goals, we strongly believe that we can support a seamless experience so that researchers can access the articles they need while maximising engagement with their peers.

Research Efforts

Preprints and COVID-19: Findings From Our PRW Survey
Delta Think, Inc., Voting Member, News Announcement, September 21, 2020

In anticipation of Peer Review Week 2020, and in consideration of the theme ‘Trust in Peer Review’, Delta Think surveyed broadly across a two-week period in August to determine whether COVID-19 has impacted perceptions of preprints. The survey was open to everyone – from Publishers to Librarians to Researchers to the Lay Public with an interest in scientific output.

We entered into the survey with open minds, though a few recurring themes circulating in news outlets were on our minds including: the idea that both traditional journal submissions and articles posted to preprint servers have spiked in the last six months, owing to COVID-19; and the hunch that perhaps increased traffic indicated a correlated spike in trust, or conversely, that challenged findings making their way into mainstream news might have reduced trust. Was the reputation associated with preprints in jeopardy? Or could they play a critical role in speeding up science at a time so critical for the global health community? With these early loose hypotheses and questions, we launched the survey.

Eleanor Roosevelt Speaks for Herself: Identifying 1,257 Married Woman by their Full Names
Columbia University Libraries, L.S.A. Member, Bog Posting, September 9, 2020

It sounds like the setup for a magic trick:  how can an archivist and a public services assistant, both working from home without access to the Rare Book and Manuscript Library, identify 1,257 (!) women previously referred to in our finding aids by their husbands’ names?  Yet it involved no sleight of hand.  We used the same research skills we bring to work every day, only a touch of technical wizardry, and a lot of digitized archival materials.

It was once accepted practice to call married women by their husbands’ names, with the honorific “Mrs.” attached–for example, “Mrs. Franklin Delano Roosevelt.” However, doing so is problematic from both an information retrieval and a feminist perspective.  Before this project began, 26 files in 10 different archival collections containing material related to Eleanor Roosevelt called her “Mrs. Franklin Delano Roosevelt.”  How many twenty-first century researchers studying Eleanor Roosevelt search for “Mrs. Franklin Delano Roosevelt”?

At best, calling women by their husbands’ names adds another layer of ambiguity to research.   At worst, it is flat-out wrong.  Naming conventions are culturally specific.  Despite the western tendency to call her “Madame Chiang Kai-shek,” the First Lady of the Republic of China from 1928 to 1975 was legally named Soong May-ling. Naming conventions also change over time. The photographer Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe chose to hyphenate her last name when she married tennis star Arthur Ashe in 1977.  Calling her “Mrs. Arthur Ashe” is incorrect.  For these reasons and more, calling women by their husbands’ names in finding aids hides potentially relevant materials from researchers.

Harvard Library Unveils Set of Organizational Values to Guide Current and Future Planning
Harvard University Library, L.S.A. Alliance Member, News Announcement, September 3, 2020

After a months-long process including input from users and staff, Harvard Library has articulated a core purpose, vision, mission, and set of values that are guiding us through the pandemic and beyond. 

Called the Values Project, this work began last fall in collaboration with the creative design firm IDEO. The start of the new academic year marks the public release of these collective values, which are listed in detail below and emphasize curiosity, progress, collaboration, diversity, and access. They speak to the strengths of the Library’s nearly 400-year history and our aspirations going forward.

The project was envisioned as a foundation for Harvard Library’s continuing development, both in the immediate and longer-term future.

Vice President for the Harvard Library and University Librarian Martha Whitehead said it has been affirming for her, as a leader still fairly new to the organization, to watch the Values Project work develop.

Product Innovation

Library of Congress Launches New Tool to Search Historical Newspaper Images
Library of Congress, Voting Member, Press Release, September 15, 2020

The public can now explore more than 1.5 million historical newspaper images online and free of charge. The latest machine learning experience from Library of Congress Labs, Newspaper Navigator allows users to search visual content in American newspapers dating  1789-1963.

The user begins by entering a keyword that returns a selection of photos. Then the user can choose photos to search against, allowing the discovery of related images that were previously undetectable by search engines.

For decades, partners across the United States have collaborated to digitize newspapers through the Library’s Chronicling America website, a database of historical U.S. newspapers. The text of the newspapers is made searchable by character recognition technology, but users looking for specific images were required to page through the individual issues. Through the creative ingenuity of Innovator in Residence Benjamin Lee and advances in machine learning, Newspaper Navigator now makes images in the newspapers searchable by enabling users to search by visual similarity.