Working Group Connection, March 2021: projects via Information Discovery & Interchange Topic Committee

Co-chairs of the IDI topic committee are: Peter Murray (Index Data) and Christine Stohn (Ex Libris). 

Access & License Indicators Revision

Co-chairs: Dan O'Brien (American Chemical Society), Esther Heuver (Mendeley/Elsevier)
Working Group Web Page

The Access License and Indicators (ALI) Recommended Practice was first published by NISO in 2015 with the goal to standardize and communicate bibliographic metadata that describe the access rights status of journal articles and their license details.  The specification has since gained adoption and use via the ANSI/NISO JATS vocabulary and the Crossref metadata schema. This working group kicked into action in the last quarter of 2020. Its remit is to add metadata and indicators that would allow metadata users, such as content platforms, to filter or target subsets of license information.  This filtering or sub-setting would enable applications to determine whether their users can share a specific journal article version – or elements thereof – under specific contexts (e.g., sharing in researcher collaboration groups or on public profiles) using ALI data embedded in a PDF. NISO is anticipating a draft version of these modifications to be available for public review in the near future. 

Flexible API STandard for E-content NISO (FASTEN)

Co-chairs: Josh Weisman (Ex Libris), Christopher Carvey (Queens Library)
FASTEN Working Group Web Page

The FASTEN Working Group's NISO Recommended Practice is intended to modernize library-vendor technical interoperability using RESTful Web service APIs and standard mobile application intent calls and solve the problem of multiple vendor methods for integration with discovery platforms, OPACs, patron accounts, etc. Currently, each individual implementation provides a different patron experience which makes it difficult for new users to adopt e-content, and for libraries to support all the variances. The Working Group relied on the Queens Library API Requirements for its initial discussion points and liaised with the BIC LCF to ensure communication in development. 

The tasks undertaken by the Working Group included analysis of user and developer "pain points" and examination of existing library-vendor communication toolsets for potential overlap. The group output includes a foundation API set that the library industry can build on to fulfill an array of user and library needs related to authentication, finding and using various types of content and other functional considerations. Implementation of the recommendations should ultimately result in users experiencing quicker response times, more flexible item discovery and delivery options, improved information on resource availability, and seamless integration of electronic and physical resources. 

The Working Group is finalizing the finer points of responses to the public comments and expects to make the final document available for topic committee review and NISO publication in 2021.   

Knowledge Bases And Related Tools (KBART) Standing Committee

Co-chairs: Noah Levin (Independent), Andrée Rathemacher (University of Rhode Island)
Contact KBART Chairs for endorsement approval
KBART Web Pages
Knowledge Bases and Related Tools (KBART) Recommended Practice (NISO RP-9-2014)

KBART is a NISO Recommended Practice that facilitates the transfer of holdings metadata from content providers to knowledge base suppliers and libraries. Knowledge bases are widely used to support library link resolvers and electronic resource management systems. The first iteration of the KBART Recommended Practice, which focused on journal holdings, was published in 2010; a 2014 "Phase II" revision extended support to metadata for e-books, conference proceedings, consortial subscriptions and some open access publications. Starting in early 2020 the KBART Standing Committee has been hard at work on research and actions around elements of its Phase III work with subgroups addressing areas of work such as clarifying the recommendations, revamping the mission statement, determining new fields, and creating a new file guide.  The endorsement process continues as approved providers are added to the KBART Registry, although a new validator application under development may help speed this process further. 

Nettie Lagace presented on KBART at ER&L in March. Noah Levin, Andrée Rathemacher, Stephanie Doellinger, and Robert Heaton managed a user discussion about KBART at NISO Plus. Ben Johnson and Davin Baragiotta spoke about the KBART Validator app at NISO Plus in February.

To follow the group's activities, subscribe to the KBART interest mailing list

Enhancing KBART for Automated Exchange of Title Lists and Library Holdings

Co-chairs: Stephanie Doellinger (OCLC), Oliver Pesch (EBSCO Information Services)
KBART Automation Recommended Practice (NISO RP-26-2019)
KBART Automation Working Group Web Page 

The KBART Automation Working Group’s output, the KBART Automation Recommended Practice (NISO RP-26-2019) was published in June 2019. This work extends the KBART Phase 2 Recommended Practice to provide technical instructions to facilitate the automatic transfer and retrieval of holdings data between content providers and institutional knowledge bases with the goal of automatically and regularly updating institutional activations and settings via an API. Included in the Recommended Practice are descriptions of data elements and file formats; options a content provider must provide to enable customers to access its holdings reports; expected API support that enables automated retrieval of reports; suggested license language and a discussion of data confidentiality; and description of additional elements and attribute values that can be included in the reports.

NCIP (NISO Circulation Interchange Protocol) Standing Committee

Chair: Mike Dicus (Ex Libris)
NCIP Web Pages
NCIP Standing Committee
ANSI/NISO Z39.83-1-2012 (version 2.02), NISO Circulation Interchange - Part 1: Protocol (NCIP)
ANSI/NISO Z39.83-2-2012 (version 2.02), NISO Circulation Interchange Protocol (NCIP) Part 2: Implementation Profile 1 

The NCIP Standing Committee operates via Continuous Maintenance procedures to manage the latest NCIP standard, version 2.02, which was published in 2012. About every other month the committee holds conference calls to review status of implementations and discuss other general business, such as additions to the NCIP website and implementor questions.  The Standing Committee is also responsible for reviewing any ongoing updates to the NCIP protocol per the Standing Committee's continuous maintenance procedure. Input from the public is welcome. 

Open Discovery Initiative Standing Committee

Co-chairs: Rachel Kessler (ProQuest), Laura Morse (Harvard University)
ODI Web Pages
ODI Recommended Practice (NISO RP-19-2020)

The newest version of the Open Discovery Initiative Recommended Practice was approved by NISO and published in June 2020. The updated ODI Recommended Practice provides a more detailed treatment of Abstracting and Indexing (A&I) content products, and supports better metadata sharing (including information about open access material) and record display, as well as improved tracking of usage statistics and authentication mechanisms. It also includes advice on systems, training, and communication for libraries that configure and upgrade their discovery systems. ODI's intent is to unify the community by encouraging dialogue among stakeholders and by increasing order within the industry by standardizing practices.

The ODI Standing Committee is now concentrating on education and promotion, particularly around ensuring awareness of new conformance statements to be prepared by all stakeholders (content providers, discovery providers, and libraries). 

The ODI Standing Committee posts periodic updates on its work to the ODI observer mailing list; any interested observer may join this list. It is also possible to follow @NISO_ODI on Twitter.  Ken Varnum and Geoff Morse presented on ODI at NISO Plus in February and led a NISO webinar about it in November. Julie Zhu presented as part of the ERMB Pre-conference at the CEAL 2021 meeting. Julie Zhu and Teresa Hazen plan to speak about ODI at the NASIG 2021 conference. 

ResourceSync Working Group

Co-chairs: Todd Carpenter (NISO), Herbert Van de Sompel (Data Archiving and Networked Services (DANS))
ResourceSync Web Page
ANSI/NISO Z39.99-2017, ResourceSync Framework Specification 

ResourceSync, a specification which describes a synchronization framework for the web consisting of various capabilities that allow third party systems to remain synchronized with a server's evolving resources, was first published in 2014 and updated more recently in 2017 as ANSI/NISO Z39.99-2017. The problem that ResourceSync was designed to solve spans the areas of search, discovery, deposit, metadata harvesting, and transfer; there is a need to keep collections of resources in sync so that additions, updates, and deletions of one are reflected in the other. The ResourceSync standard was written in such a way that individual capabilities could be combined to meet local requirements. A server may also describe synchronization capabilities that it supports and means through which third party systems may discover this support. The core functionality of the specification is intended to represent a functional replacement of OAI-PMH. (Other features, such as change notificationframework notification, and archive capabilities are published through separate documents, not currently part of the material part of NISO/ANSI standardization.)

A quick overview of ResourceSync, via YouTube, is available at