NISO/ALPSP Working Group on Versions of Journal Articles

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. This working group's output, a NISO Recommended Practice, was published in 2008.

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 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.


Committee Roster

Chair, Working Group & Review Group

Members, Working Group

Members, Review Group (JAVReview)

Nathan Robertson

Director of Information Policy and Management and Lecturer in Law
University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law