With the start of the New Year, many turn to thoughts of resolutions or goals. Organizations, like people, often have the same mindset. Of course, we at NISO also create a series of goals, both big and small. One of the challenges facing NISO, and standards development generally, is weighing when it is too early to move forward with an initiative versus when practices are already mature and standardization might be less impactful. Both opportunities have their benefits and risks. Begin something too soon and the effort might either stifle innovation or crest before the value is broadly apparent, which leads to delayed adoption or even failure to adopt. If work is delayed too long, then standardization is merely a formality that reinforces existing practice.
NISO's work on user privacy released last month seems well-timed with industry needs after a relatively short development timeline—the principles were published after a nimble eight months of work. As a related effort, NISO is organizing another privacy-related project, this time focused on research data and privacy. At the end of last year, NISO was fortunate to receive grant funding from both the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. This funding will allow us to advance efforts toward a global framework that will establish community norms for addressing some of the nettlesome privacy issues surrounding research data that contains personally identifiable human subject data. As ever-greater amounts of human-subject data are collected and shared in order to advance science, the research community requires a common set of guidelines that can be used to both protect private personal data and to insulate the academy from potential ramifications of unintended data breaches. More information about the project is below and will be forthcoming on the project's webpage on the NISO site.
The new year is also a season of fresh beginnings and I am so pleased to welcome two new members of the NISO staff this month. Jill O'Neill has joined NISO as our Educational Programs Manager. Jill has tremendous expertise in the information community and working with the publishing, library, and supplier communities as part of the team at NFAIS. Also joining the NISO team is Etta Verma, who is NISO's new Editorial and Communications Specialist. Etta will be responsible for NISO's publications; our website; and editing our standards, best practices, and other publications. Etta joins NISO from the editorial side of Library Journal (LJ) and School Library Journal, where most recently she was responsible for the reviews sections of LJ. Jill and Etta will add tremendously to our work and efforts moving into the new year and beyond. More information about both is available below.
We are also kicking off another great year with educational programs for our members and the rest of the information community, and hosting our annual meeting during the ALA conference next week. More information about all of NISO's programming at ALA Midwinter in Boston is here and our first several websites of 2016 is below. Finally, we are so pleased to continue to serve all of our new and returning members in 2016. It will be another productive year, I'm sure!
Best wishes to you all for a fulfilling and prosperous 2016!