NISO and NFAIS Issue Draft for Public Comment of Recommended Practice on Supplemental Materials for Journal Articles

Baltimore, MD & Philadelphia, PA - January 31, 2012 - The National Information Standards Organization (NISO) and the National Federation for Advanced Information Services (NFAIS) have issued a new Recommended Practice on Online Supplemental Journal Article Materials, Part A: Business Policies and Practices (NISO RP-15-201x) for public comment ending on February 29, 2012. Although supplemental materials are increasingly being added to journal articles, there is no recognized set of practices to guide in the selection, delivery, discovery, or preservation of these materials. To address this gap, NISO and NFAIS jointly sponsored a working group to establish best practices that would provide guidance to publishers and authors for management of supplemental materials and would solve related problems for librarians, abstracting and indexing services, and repository administrators. The Supplemental Materials project has two groups working in tandem: one to address business practices and one to focus on technical issues. The draft currently available for comment includes the recommendations from the Business Working Group.
"Electronic media and the Web have changed the nature of journal articles and what can be delivered along with the article," states Linda Beebe Senior Director, PsycINFO, American Psychological Association, and Co-chair of the Supplemental Journal Materials Business Working Group. "What hasn't changed is that the journal article constitutes the scholarly record and today's practices for handling them and their supporting materials must ensure that the information is available to future researchers. What is published outside the article as Supplemental Materials today may well be incorporated into a new type of article tomorrow."

"A key aspect of these recommendations is the distinction between what we call Integral Content, which is essential for the full understanding of the journal article, and what we have designated Additional Content, which provides relevant and useful expansion of the article's content," explains Marie McVeigh, Director, JCR and Bibliographic Policy, Thomson Reuters, and Co-chair of the Supplemental Journal Materials Business Working Group. "As this Recommended Practice makes clear, Integral Content and Additional Content are likely to be treated differently throughout the entire lifecycle of a scientific article."

"The Working Group has identified best practices across a wide spectrum of processes from selecting and editing supplemental material to hosting, referencing, metadata, and preservation," describes Nettie Lagace, Associate Program Director at NISO. "Ultimately, these practices all lead to ensuring the long-term ability to discover and use these materials."

Recommended Practice on Online Supplemental Journal Article Materials, Part A: Business Policies and Practices is available for download from the NISO website at: Publishers, authors, librarians, abstracting and indexing services, and repository administrators are all encouraged to review and comment on this draft.

About 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:

Founded in 1958, NFAIS is a membership organization of more than 60 of the world's leading producers of databases and related information services, information technology, and library services in the sciences, engineering, social sciences, business, and the arts and humanities. For more information on NFAIS and its member organizations, contact Jill O'Neill, Director of Communication and Planning ( or (215)-893-1561) or visit the NFAIS web site (