NISO Launches E-book Special Interest Group

New group will foster collaborative work, incubate new initiatives, and provide education

May 4, 2011-Baltimore, MD-The National Information Standards Organization (NISO) and its Architecture Committee are pleased to announce the creation of a Special Interest Group focused on E-books (the NISO E-book SIG). Simultaneous with the formation of the group, NISO is issuing a call for participation in the E-book SIG and its associated monitoring group. The E-book SIG will explore a range of industry best practices and standards related to the creation, distribution, discovery, delivery, and preservation of digital book content. The primary responsibilities of the group will be to continuously monitor and review the state of the industry for e-books and to suggest areas for new initiatives within NISO or areas where NISO can engage with other communities on e-book work underway outside of NISO. The group will also host thought leader meetings and commission relevant research to advance the state of the industry.
While NISO is best known for shepherding groups focused on a specific problem through the creation and implementation of recommended practices and standards, NISO's new strategic initiatives seek to widen its outreach within the information industry. Specifically, the NISO Board and Architecture Committee seek to emphasize NISO's role as a facilitator within the industry, one that can foster cross-community dialogue in a given topical area and provide a place for the incubation of ideas even if no formal standards process within NISO is ever initiated as a result.
In line with this strategy, the E-book SIG will explore the larger context in which development initiatives are unfolding, by addressing some of the following foundational questions:

  • How can NISO actively facilitate cross-community dialogue in this area, building bridges between what are now separate, sometimes disparate groups?
  • How can NISO work collaboratively to provide education and information to assist with this dialogue?
  • How can NISO actively foster "incubation teams" to identify specific pain points in the e-books realm that could be remedied through formal standards, recommended practices, dissemination of information (e.g., via white papers, educational workshops, professional forums, Thought Leader meetings, etc.) either through NISO or within another agency or in partnership with one or more organizations?

Initially, the NISO E-book SIG will identify relevant ongoing or proposed work related to e-books, then begin outreach to the communities within the library, publishing, information system, and scholarly communication communities actively engaged in some aspect of e-book development and support.
The NISO Architecture committee is seeking nominations for experts interested in actively participating in the core E-book SIG from all areas of the community. In addition to the core group, a larger monitoring group will also be established to receive updates from the core group and provide feedback. NISO encourages any organization actively engaged in this area to contact the NISO office via email ( to participate. Please indicate if you are interested in the core group or the monitoring group.
About NISO
NISO, based in Baltimore, Maryland, 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 information standard. NISO is a not-for-profit association accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).