NISO to Develop Standard Identification for Institutions

Baltimore, MD -- JANUARY 10, 2008 -- Members of the National Information Standards Organization (NISO) have voted to approve the creation of a working group to explore issues surrounding institutional identification. This working group will be charged with proposing an identifier that will uniquely identify institutions and that will describe relationships between entities within institutions. This new NISO group will also consider what minimum set of data is required for unique identification as well as what other data may be used to support the business models of respective organizations, while also taking into account privacy and security issues.
"The supply chain for serials is a complicated process and content providers often distribute materials to a variety or entities within an institution: in libraries, across departments, and directly to individuals," said Todd Carpenter, Managing Director of NISO. "Identifying these entities and describing their relationships will improve customer service for all engaged in information exchange."

The NISO working group will build on the work of the Journal Supply Chain Efficiency Improvement Pilot (JSCEIP), an industry-wide pilot project that aimed to discover whether the creation of a standard, commonly used identifier for institutions would be beneficial to all parties involved in the journal supply chain. The project sees participants working closely together to integrate interoperability around a standard identifier codified with standard descriptive metadata.

"Many transactions take place in the supply chain between libraries and their content providers. In the electronic era any mistake in these transactions may lead to the customers not receiving their content," said Helen Henderson, Managing Director, Ringgold Ltd, an active participant in JSCEIP and one of the new project's leading advocates among NISO's Voting Membership. "One of the major issues is the lack of a common way of uniquely identifying the institution and its relationships with its subsidiaries which would include libraries, departments, campuses, or offices. This new institutional identifier will improve the efficiency of the process."

NISO is currently soliciting parties in the community interested in engaging with this working group. People interested in participating in or monitoring the development process should contact the NISO office. The NISO Business Information Topic Committee, chaired by Patricia Brennan, Product Manager at Thomson Scientific, will appoint members of the working group and oversee the work of the committee.

About the National Information Standards Organization (NISO)
NISO fosters the development and maintenance of standards that facilitate the creation, persistent management, and effective interchange of information so that it can be trusted for use in research and learning. To fulfill this mission, NISO engages libraries, publishers, information aggregators, and other organizations that support learning, research, and scholarship through the creation, organization, management, and curation of knowledge. NISO works with intersecting communities of interest and across the entire lifecycle of an information standard. NISO is a not-for-profit association accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). More information about NISO is available on its website: