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Versions of Journal Articles Working Group

In September 2005 NISO launched a partnership with the ALPSP (the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers) in the UK that will bring together experts from the publishing, library, library systems and user communities to examine the problems associated with the proliferation of different versions of journal articles.

What is the problem?

In the digital world, multiple versions of journal articles are often available online. This can cause confusion because there is no established way of identifying the various versions by either a common terminology or identification scheme. Versions of a journal differ in minor or major respects and 'preprints' and 'postprints' come in many variants. Sally Morris has provided an excellent overview of the problem in a recent paper.

Scope of Work

The work plan will include:

  1. Creation of use cases to identify the most common journal article life cycles.

  2. Analysis of use cases to determine common life cycle stages.

  3. Selection of preferred vocabulary for the most common life cycle stages.

  4. Development of appropriate metadata to identify each variant version and its relationship to other versions, in particular the definitive, fully functional published version.

  5. Establishment of practical systems for ensuring that the metadata is applied by authors or repository managers and publishers.

Members of the Journal Article Versions Technical Working Group

The members of the JAVTechWG include:

In addition, a Journal Article Versions Review Group (JAVReview) will provide feedback to the working group. Participating on the Review Group are:


Committee Roster