Continuous Maintenance Procedures Z39.83-2008: NISO Circulation Interchange Protocol (NCIP), Parts 1 & 2

ANSI Continuous Maintenance

The 2009 ANSI Essential Requirements provides three options for the maintenance of American National Standards (ANS): periodic maintenance, continuous maintenance, and stabilized maintenance.

Section 4.7.2: Continuous maintenance of American National Standards, states:

Continuous maintenance is defined as the maintenance of a standard by consideration of recommended changes to any part of it according to a documented schedule for consideration and action by the consensus body. The standard shall be maintained by an accredited standards developer. A documented program for periodic publication of revisions shall be established by the standards developer. Processing of these revisions shall be in accordance with these procedures. The published standard shall include a clear statement of the intent to consider requests for change and information on the submittal of such requests. Procedures shall be established for timely, documented consensus action on each request for change and no portion of the standard shall be excluded from the revision process. In the event that no revisions are issued for a period of four years, action to revise, reaffirm, or withdraw the standard shall be initiated in accordance with the procedures contained herein.

In the event that a BSR-8/108 has not been submitted for an American National Standard under continuous maintenance within five years of its approval, the standards developer may request an extension, but shall then maintain the ANS under periodic maintenance.

In addition, the 2009 ANSI Essential Requirements provides for the following (Section 2.5: Notification of standards development and coordination):

A PINS is not required for revisions of an American National Standard that is maintained under continuous maintenance and (1) is registered as such on the ANSI website, (2) has a notice in the standard that the standard is always open for comment and how to submit comments, and (3) has information on the developer’s website that the standard is under continuous maintenance and how to submit comments. A PINS is also not required in connection with the decision to maintain an ANS under the stabilized maintenance option.

Further, the 2009 ANSI Essential Requirements state the following records requirements for standards that are continuously maintained (Section 3.3.2: An ANSI-Accredited Standards Developer has three options relative to new, revised or reaffirmed American National Standards maintained under the continuous maintenance option):

  1. Records shall be retained for a minimum of five (5) years or until approval of the subsequent revision or reaffirmation of the complete standard.
  2. Records shall be retained based on the formula established by the ANSI ExSC as set-forth in the ANSI Auditing Policy and Procedures.
  3. A developer that does not choose option 1 or option 2 will be audited more frequently and shall retain all records for all standards approved as ANS subsequent to the most recent ANSI audit until completion of the current audit.

Finally, the following terms are so defined (Annex A: Definitions):

  • Continuous Maintenance: Continuous maintenance is defined as the maintenance of a standard by consideration of recommended changes to any part of it according to a documented schedule for consideration and action by the consensus body.
  • Consensus: Consensus means substantial agreement has been reached by directly and materially affected interests. This signifies the concurrence of more than a simple majority, but not necessarily unanimity. Consensus requires that all views and objections be considered, and that an effort be made toward their resolution.
  • Consensus body: The group that approves the content of a standard and whose vote demonstrates evidence of consensus.
  • Periodic maintenance: Periodic maintenance is defined as the maintenance of a standard by review of the entire document and action to revise or reaffirm it on a schedule not to exceed five years from the date of its approval as an American National Standard.
  • Stabilized Maintenance: A standard that is maintained under the stabilized maintenance option shall satisfy the following eligibility criteria:
    1. the standard addresses mature technology or practices, and as a result, is not likely to require revision; and
    2. the standard is other than safety or health related; and
    3. the standard currently holds the status of American National Standard and has been reaffirmed at least once; and
    4. at least ten years have passed since the approval or last revision of the standard as an ANS; and
    5. the standard is required for use in connection with existing implementations or for reference purposes.

In accordance with the ANSI Essential Requirements, the ANSI/NISO Z39.83 - NISO Circulation Interchange Protocol (NCIP) standard is maintained under continuous maintenance procedures.

Proposed Changes
Under continuous maintenance procedures anyone may propose changes at any time. Each change will be considered by the Z39.83 NCIP Standing Committee according to a definite schedule, shown in Section 2. The Standing Committee and NISO leadership committees may also propose changes.

The Standing Committee shall follow the procedures in this section in lieu of periodic maintenance and stabilized maintenance procedures. All changes to the Z39.83 standard shall be submitted in compliance with this section.

Section 1. Instructions for Submittal of Proposed Change to ANSI/NISO Standard Z39.83 Under Continuous Maintenance
If a provision of the standard is proposed to be added or deleted, the text of the provision must be submitted in writing. Comments or proposals for revisions to any part of the standard may be submitted to NISO any time. Submissions must be accompanied by the submitter’s name, affiliation, telephone number, and e-mail address.

Written comments are to be sent to:

National Information Standards Organization (NISO) - ANSI/NISO Z39.83
Attn: Standards Program Manager
3600 Clipper Mill Road
Suite 302
Baltimore, MD 21211
Tel.: 301-654-2512 (main)
Fax: 410-685-5278

Comments may also be submitted to NISO online at

In addition, the following person(s) may be contacted by those interested in submitting changes:

Mike Dicus
Chair, ANSI/NISO Z39.83 Standing Committee
Ex Libris Group

Section 2. Maintenance Review Schedule 
All submittals received by NISO are acknowledged and forwarded to the NCIP Standing Committee for consideration. The Standing Committee will inform submitters of the disposition of their substantive proposals. Consideration will be given to proposed changes according to the following schedule:

  • Deadline: March 1
    Consideration to take place during the NCIP Standing Committee biannual meeting, to take place via teleconference or in person no later than May 31 of each year.
  • Deadline: August 1
    Consideration to take place during the NCIP Standing Committee biannual meeting, to take place no later than October 31 of each year.

Proposals received after the above deadlines shall be considered by the Standing Committee no later than the subsequent Standing Committee biannual meeting.

Section 3. Resolution of Proposed Changes
The NCIP Standing Committee may respond to submissions in the following ways:

  1. Proposed change accepted without modification
  2. Proposed change accepted with modification
  3. Proposed change accepted for further study
  4. Proposed change rejected

Responses are voted upon by the Standing Committee and approved by committee majority.

Accepted changes (response a or b) shall be incorporated to the continuously maintained standard within two (2) months following the biannual Standing Committee meeting. Changes shall be recorded in a change log and as an addendum to the standard.

The Standing Committee shall provide reasons and an estimated schedule for any action other than “Proposed change accepted without modification.” Proposed changes accepted for further study will be again brought to the Standing Committee for resolution no later than the next review period.

All submitted changes and Standing Committee responses will be recorded and made available at In addition, NISO has created a notification registry (NCIPinfo) that will send e-mail announcements when any maintenance activity occurs to the standard.

To register, visit Suggestions for improving this standard are invited.

Section 4. Publication of a New Edition or Reaffirmation
A new edition of a standard under continuous maintenance shall occur within five years of the prior publication date and may be a complete revision or shall incorporate changes to the standard approved by the Standing Committee since the previous edition. Publication of a new edition of the American National Standard that only incorporates previously approved changes does not require additional approval by NISO leadership committees or the ANSI Board of Review. An existing standard that has not been revised for four (4) years of the original publication date shall be reviewed at the beginning of the fourth year. If it is determined that the standard is needed but that no modification is required, action to reaffirm the standard shall be initiated.