NISO and NFAIS Publish Recommended Practices for Online Supplemental Journal Article Materials

Baltimore, MD & Philadelphia, PA - February 4, 2013 -The National Information Standards Organization (NISO) and the National Federation for Advanced Information Services (NFAIS) have published a new Recommended Practice on Online Supplemental Journal Article Materials (NISO RP-15-2013). Supplemental materials are increasingly being added to journal articles, but until now there has been no recognized set of practices to guide in the selection, delivery, discovery, and preservation of these materials. To address this gap, NISO and NFAIS jointly sponsored an initiative to establish best practices that would provide guidance to publishers and authors for management of supplemental materials and would address related problems for librarians, abstracting and indexing services, and repository administrators. The Supplemental Materials project involved two teams working in tandem: one to address business practices and one to focus on technical issues. This new publication is the combined outcome of the two groups' work.
"A key aspect of these recommendations is the distinction between what we define as Integral Content, which is content that 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 Business Working Group. "As this Recommended Practice makes clear," states Linda Beebe, co-chair of the Business Working Group who recently retired as Senior Director, PsycINFO, American Psychological Association, "Integral Content and Additional Content are likely to be treated differently throughout the entire lifecycle of a scientific 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 David Martinsen, Senior Scientist, Digital Publishing Strategy, American Chemical Society, and co-chair of the 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," affirmed Alexander ('Sasha') Schwarzman, Content Technology Architect with OSA - The Optical Society, and co-chair of the Technical Working Group.

"Supplemental materials are appearing with increasing frequency and can no longer be effectively managed on a case-by-case basis," Todd Carpenter, NISO Executive Director, stated. "This new Recommended Practice will provide a consistent approach for publishers to use in handling these materials. Ensuring discovery, access, and preservation of these materials is in the interests not only of the authors and publishers, but also of the library community and end users."

"Electronic media and the Web have changed the nature of journal articles and what can be delivered along with the article," asserts Bonnie Lawlor, NFAIS Executive Director. "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."

The Recommended Practice on Online Supplemental Journal Article Materials, a metadata schema, a tag library, and tagged examples are available from the NISO website at:

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 (