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NISO Open Discovery Initiative Revised Recommended Practice Now Published

NISO is pleased to announce that a revised version of its Recommended Practice, RP-19-2020, Open Discovery Initiative: Promoting Transparency in Discovery, is now published and freely available for use by the information community. Originally published in 2014, the proposed revisions to this Recommended Practice were open for public comment earlier this year. All feedback received was reviewed by the NISO Open Discovery Initiative (ODI) Standing Committee and, where appropriate, incorporated into this final version.

Index-based discovery services are one of the main channels through which users discover and access content. NISO’s Open Discovery Initiative provides technical recommendations for the exchange of data, in order to provide a way of assessing content providers’ participation in discovery services and to ensure fair and unbiased indexing and linking. The updated Recommended Practice provides a more detailed treatment of Abstracting and Indexing (A&I) content products, and supports better metadata sharing (including information about open access material) and record display, as well as improved tracking of usage statistics and authentication mechanisms. It also includes advice on systems, training, and communication for libraries that configure and upgrade their discovery systems.  

Standing Committee co-chair, Rachel Kessler (Product Manager, ProQuest), commented, “Before making these updates to the ODI Recommended Practice, we carried out extensive surveys and discussions to gather additional data about the current content discovery environment. This informed our work in the areas of library responsibilities for discovery tools, handling of open access content, more meaningful usage statistics, and source identity, among others. The revised recommendations take account of what we learned from the information community about the ongoing development and use of discovery services.” 

The second co-chair, Laura Morse (Director, Library Systems & Support, Harvard University), added, ”This new version of ODI recommendations has been developed — with NISO’s help — by and for the information community. Index-based discovery services are based on a complex ecosystem of interests among content providers, libraries, and discovery service providers, and we hope the recommendations can support improved communications and technical interactions between all parties. We are grateful to everyone who shared their feedback on the proposed changes, and hope that the revised Recommended Practice will make ODI an even more valuable resource for librarians, vendors, and publishers alike.”

NISO's Executive Director, Todd Carpenter, noted, "We are delighted to see the hard work of the NISO ODI Standing Committee come to fruition with the publication of this revised Recommended Practice. We are very grateful to  all members for volunteering their time and expertise to ensure that ODI reflects up-to-date requirements from our community and, in particular, to Rachel and Laura for their leadership of the group.” 

The updated version of NISO RP-19-2020, Open Discovery Initiative: Promoting Transparency in Discovery is available on the NISO standards and publications page and via the ODI Standing Committee page.

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 (


Nettie Lagace

Associate Executive Director

Nettie Lagace is the Associate Executive Director at NISO, where she is responsible for facilitating the work of NISO's topic committees and development groups for standards and best practices, and