NISO Releases Draft Technical Report, Issues in Vocabulary Management, for Public Comment

The National Information Standards Organization (NISO) seeks comments on a new draft Technical Report, Issues in Vocabulary Management. This document is one outcome from the NISO Bibliographic Roadmap Development Project, which was conducted beginning in 2013 with funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The Bibliographic Roadmap work examined requirements for usability and adoption of advanced bibliographic exchange in a global network environment and its final report, published in April 2014, prioritized several areas of potential future work, including those included in this technical report: policies supporting vocabulary use and reuse; documentation for vocabularies; and requirements for preservation of RDF vocabularies.

As interest in the new environment for sharing bibliographic information grows, questions about appropriate policies and the supporting infrastructure come to the fore. The intent of this Technical Report is to provide a background on vocabulary management for those operating in the current transitional environment, where there may be less knowledge of policies and social constructs and less practical experience in moving forward using a common infrastructure. The technical report is also intended to position general recommendations for future gap-filling work.

"The goal of discussing all of these activities is to highlight the importance of stability in the vocabulary environment, particularly regarding the need for interoperability as descriptive information moves into the Linked Open Data environment," notes Diane Hillmann, Principal of Metadata Management Associates LLC and co-chair of the Use and Reuse working group. "These issues are not new and we see the recent upswing of interest in linked data feeding interest in this area. We hope that this technical report will promote further solutions work."

"The NISO community consists of librarians, publishers, and system and service providers, and of course the document is written for them," comments Nettie Lagace, NISO Associate Director for Programs. "But beyond these groups we hope the document may also help the many individuals and groups building and sharing bibliographic and other descriptive data, as well as knowledge managers within a variety of organizations using vocabularies to solve problems."

The NISO Issues in Vocabulary Management technical report is available for public comment from June 19 to July 19, 2017. To download the draft document or submit comments, visit the NISO project page at All input is welcome.

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.