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

Baltimore, MD & Philadelphia, PA - July 30, 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 B: Technical Recommendations (NISO RP-15-201x) for public comment until September 15, 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 Technical Working Group; the Business Group draft recommendations were issued earlier this year. Following the current public comment period, the two parts will be finalized and combined into the final Recommended Practice.
"The Technical Recommendations are consistent with the distinction made in Part A between Integral Content, which is essential for the full understanding of the journal article, and Additional Content, which provides relevant and useful expansion of the article's content," stated David Martinsen, Senior Scientist, Digital Publishing Strategy, American Chemical Society, and Co-chair of the NISO/NFAIS Supplemental Journal Article Materials Technical Working Group. "Integral Supplemental Materials essential for understanding the article constitute part of the scholarly record and should be preserved at the same level as the article. The recommendations provide guidance to ensure such materials will be available in conjunction with, and as long, as the relevant journal article."

"Ensuring effective access, use, and long-term preservation of supplemental materials to journal articles requires up-front planning about persistent identifiers, metadata, file formats, and packaging," explained Alexander ('Sasha') Schwarzman, Content Technology Architect with OSA - The Optical Society, and Co-chair of the NISO/NFAIS Supplemental Journal Article Materials Technical Working Group. "These technical recommendations for handling of supplemental materials simplify much of that planning and decision-making, and will also ensure a standardized approach across publishers and publishing platforms."

"In support of the recommendations, the Working Group has also developed a metadata schema, a tag library, and tagged examples," said Nettie Lagace, Associate Director for Programs. "This supporting documentation, which is also available for review during the comment period, should be very helpful to implementers of this Recommended Practice."

Recommended Practice on Online Supplemental Journal Article Materials, Part B: Technical Recommendations, the supporting documentation, and an online commenting form are available 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 (