Working Group Connection, March 2021: projects via Information Policy & Analysis Topic Committee

Co-chairs of the IPA topic committee are: Athena Hoeppner (University of Central Florida) and Jack Maness (University of Denver).

Content Platform Migrations Working Group

Co-chairs: Athena Hoeppner (University of Central Florida); Kimberly Steinle (Duke University Press)
Working Group Web page with draft available for public comment
Work Item Approved by NISO Voting Members

The draft Recommended Practice created by this Working Group is now available for public comment through April 23. This effort, which began in mid-2019, is designed to improve communications between stakeholders when a publisher moves content from one hosting platform to another. It lists the core concepts, approaches, and tasks to facilitate a successful migration with minimal disruption to the libraries and other vendors affected, as well as the publisher itself and the content platform vendors. Ultimately, end users enjoy the most benefit from stakeholder adoption of the principles outlined in the Recommended Practice, as their access to necessary content is unimpeded. 

The draft Recommended Practice describes various areas of the process, includes specific recommendations and responsibilities for publishers, platform vendors, and libraries, as well as definitions for terms, a list of standards and vendors, and a downloadable task checklist that can be customized by a process adopter. 

Athena Hoeppner and Kim Steinle discussed the group's work on the October 2020 Open Teleconference. Athena Hoeppner presented on this project at the NISO Plus conference in February; Kim Steinle, Tom Beyer, Xiaoyan Song presented at ER&L in March.

Seamless Access

Project Website

Seamless Access is a service designed to help foster a more streamlined online access experience when using scholarly collaboration tools, information resources, and shared research infrastructure. The service promotes digital authentication leveraging an existing single sign-on infrastructure through one’s home institution, while maintaining an environment that protects personal data and privacy. NISO provides support and expertise to the Seamless Access project in order to help enable a more streamlined online access experience for researchers, students, and others when using scholarly collaboration tools, information resources, and shared research infrastructure. 

Seamless Access has been very busy recently with two main areas of activity. The first is the continued improvement of the core Seamless Access service and its implementations. The core service is now fully functional, in active use by major publishers and stable at a production workload. The pieces of the service that are now under scrutiny are those relating to User Experience, especially UX across publisher portals and normalizing of the interface for any use case (languages, layouts, etc.). 

The second major area of activity is the work of generally making Federated Authentication better for everyone, even outside the strict purview of the service. To this end Seamless Access created three new Entity Category definitions and moved them forward through the REFEDS standards process, where two of those were approved and accepted for use in federated authentication systems. The Contract Language working group is building on this work with the creation of a toolkit that links these Entity Category technical standards to contractual obligations so that libraries and service providers have clear expectations about data sharing and privacy preservation. This toolkit should be available for comment in Summer 2021. 

Other areas of work include a newly formed WAYF working group which is working on the problem of multiple Identity Providers at a single institution, or more directly, the user experience issue--extremely troublesome for users--of multiple versions of an organization appearing in a single WAYF screen in a federated authentication workflow. 

Seamless Access is also continuing its educational role, with presentations at a number of conferences over the past year, including two at NISO Plus 2021. As well, a series of quarterly Integrator workshops is underway, attempting to assist service providers in their integration efforts. 

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 website pages are available to help publishers and libraries understand and use the SERU material.

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). When COUNTER 4 was released it necessitated relevant changes to the SUSHI schema and applicable updates to the SUSHI workroom pages.  More recently, the SUSHI Standing Committee has been discussing the impact of the COUNTER 5 Code of Practice on its material; for example, the possible use of multiple schemas to support various aspects of COUNTER and/or the adoption of SUSHI-Lite as a mechanism for transfer of data. 

Note that the SUSHI Server Registry which was hosted on the NISO SUSHI site has been incorporated into the overall COUNTER Registry of Compliance.   The Standing Committee is also working to ensure that SUSHI support materials are congruent with USUS, the community web site.

Transfer Standing Committee

Co-chairs: Sophia Anderton (British Institute of Radiology), Jennifer Bazeley (Yale University Libraries) 
Transfer Workroom 
Transfer Recommended Practice (NISO RP-24-2019)

The most recent version of the Transfer Code of Practice, Version 4 was published in 2019. This Code of Practice helps publishers ensure that content remains accessible by readers and librarians when a journal or set of journals is transferred between parties, and supports a smooth process with minimal disruption. Publishers are asked to endorse the Code, and to abide by its principles wherever it is commercially reasonable to do so. Supporting publishers are included in a list of endorsers on the Transfer website.  The Transfer Alerting Service, sponsored by the ISSN Agency, facilitates communication about journal transfers, and includes a database where details about transfers can be searched. 

The members of the Transfer Standing Committee are responsible for encouraging publisher endorsement and planning outreach, education and training activities. At the most recent Transfer SC meeting in January, members learned from Rhodri Jackson, Publishing Director for Open Access at OUP, some of the aspects of open access causing potential pain points to the transfer process.

Transfer SC members Heather Staines, Linda Wobbe, and Gaelle Bequet discussed the initiative on the February Open Teleconference.

Z39.7 Data Dictionary Standing Committee

Chair: Martha Kyrillidou, QualityMetrics
Z39.7 Data Dictionary Standing Committee

The purpose of ANSI/NISO Z39.7-2013 Information Services and Use: Metrics & Statistics for Libraries and Information Providers - 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 finalizing a new draft of the standard. It is expected that this updated draft will be made available to NISO Voting Members for their approval in the coming months. After subsequent ANSI approval, it is hoped that updated standard will be published this year. In the meantime, the Standing Committee has assembled resources for a separate appendix to the standard which will capture ongoing work (projects and tools) related to assessment, and has been discussing recent meetings of interest and updates to various industry surveys.

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