NISO Publishes Recommended Practice for Institutional Identifier

Provides guidance on how to use the International Standard Name Identifier (ISNI) for institutions

Baltimore, MD – April 5, 2013 – The National Information Standards Organization (NISO) announces the publication of a new Recommended Practice: Institutional Identification: Identifying Organizations in the Information Supply Chain. This Recommended Practice describes the work done by the NISO Institutional Identifier (I²) Working Group to define the requirements for a standard identifier for institutional identification in the supply chain. It also provides background on the collaboration agreement between the NISO I² Working Group and the International Standard Name Identifier (ISNI) International Agency to use the ISNI standard (ISO 27729) and the ISNI-IA's infrastructure for institutional identification, rather than publish a separate standard for institutions.
"The I² Working Group did extensive community needs assessment with the publishing, library, and repository use sectors," states Grace Agnew, Associate University Librarian, Digital Library Systems, Rutgers University Libraries, and Co-chair of the I² Working Group. "Based on this input, the Working Group developed a minimum set of metadata elements needed to uniquely and unambiguously identify an organization engaged in a digital information workflow. This metadata was later harmonized with that of the ISNI standard to define the final set of elements."

"The ISNI standard was not originally designed to be used for institution identification," explains Oliver Pesch, Chief Strategist for Information Technologies at EBSCO Information Services and Co-chair of the I² Working Group. "However it was clear that the planned infrastructure could easily be extended to institutions and after several discussions on how this could work, the ISNI Registration Authority (ISNI-RA) agreed to support using ISNIs for institutions. This Recommended Practice provides guidance for both requesters of an ISNI for institutions and prospective ISNI Registration Agencies on how to apply ISNI to institutions."

"As the Secretariat for the ISO committee responsible for the ISNI standard, NISO was very supportive of using the ISNI for institutions rather than creating a new standard and infrastructure," states Todd Carpenter, NISO's Executive Director. "The ISNI-RA has already appointed two Registration Agencies—Ringgold and Bowker—who can register ISNIs for institutions."

The Institutional Identification: Identifying Organizations in the Information Supply Chain Recommended Practice is available for free download from the NISO I² workroom webpage:

About the National Information Standards Organization (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: