NISO Publishes New Version of NCIP - NISO Circulation Interchange Protocol

Standard supports greater interoperability for resource sharing

Baltimore, MD - August 22, 2012 - The National Information Standards Organization (NISO) announces the publication of the two-part American National Standard on the NISO Circulation Interchange Protocol (NCIP), ANSI/NISO Z39.83. NCIP addresses the need for interoperability among disparate circulation, interlibrary loan, consortial borrowing, and self-service applications by standardizing the exchange of messages between and among computer-based applications. Part 1 of the standard defines the Protocol and Part 2: Implementation Profile provides a practical implementation structure. The NCIP protocol is widely supported in integrated library systems (ILS) and resource sharing software.
"This latest edition of NCIP, version 2.02, incorporates implementers' feedback and experience into the standard with changes that improve the usefulness and practicality of the various services," explained Mike Dicus, Product Manager at Ex Libris Group and Co-chair of the NCIP Standing Committee. "One of the larger changes in 2.02 is the addition of a Lookup Item Set service. This new service allows an initiator to query with a single request a set of items that may share some kind of relationship, such as multiple volumes of a book set. Additionally, Bibliographic Record Id has been made repeatable within Bibliographic Description. This makes it possible, for example, for an initiator to send an Accept Item message passing both an OCLC number and a Library of Congress Catalog Number. And Request Item has been changed so that it now accepts both Bibliographic Record Id and Item Id, and both elements are repeatable. In earlier versions, Request Item accepted either a single Bibliographic Record Id or a single Item Id."

"In addition to the standard, the NCIP Standing Committee has made available supporting tools and documentation to aid in implementation," stated Rob Walsh, representative for EnvisionWare, the Maintenance Agency for NCIP. "An XML schema is available that matches the implementation profile defined in Part 2 of the standard. The document Introduction to NCIP provides librarians and other implementers with a basic introduction to NCIP and links to sources of additional information about the standard. The NCIP Core Message Set defines a minimal set of nine messages (out of the full set of 45) that supports the majority of the current functionality for resource sharing and self-service applications and provides a simpler starting point for new implementers. And an NCIP Implementer Registry collects information about vendors' implementations-specifically which versions and which messages are supported."

"This new version of NCIP illustrates the responsiveness of the NCIP Standing Committee to the needs of the libraries and system vendors who are using the standard," asserts Todd Carpenter, NISO Executive Director. "The NCIP Standing Committee has semiannual meetings and monthly conference calls to discuss implementation practices and ways of promoting the standard. We encourage users of the new version to share their experiences with the Committee."

The NCIP standard and the supporting tools and documentation are freely available from the NCIP Workroom on the NISO website:

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 standards. NISO is a not-for-profit association accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). For more information, visit the NISO website: