Library Conformance Statement -- Frequently Asked Questions
1. Where is the library conformance checklist?
The library conformance checklist template is available through the NISO ODI website at https://niso.org/standards-committees/odi/conformance.
2. Why was the library conformance checklist developed?
The 2020 version of the Recommended Practice recognizes that libraries, too, have responsibilities to ensure that their chosen discovery provider is appropriately configured, that there is well-maintained documentation of configurations, and that library staff and users are trained to use and manage (as appropriate) the discovery systems. The library responsibilities section of the Recommended Practice is meant to give libraries a checklist of steps to take to ensure they have reviewed and considered the most common configuration challenges. A completed library conformance checklist allows discovery services and content providers to understand, at a glance, the degree to which a particular library conforms to the Open Discovery Initiative’s Recommended Practice.
3. Who is the library conformance checklist intended for?
The library conformance checklist is intended for use by any library that uses a discovery product, defined in the Recommended Practice as:
These organizations—which may be affiliated with universities, research institutes, or commercial firms—acquire content from a variety of content providers and may also implement an index-based discovery service. Libraries represent particular user communities including staff, students, researchers, etc.
Any library which makes use of a discovery service is requested to complete a conformance checklist and publish it via their public-facing website.
4. How does one go about achieving “conformance”? Is there a process I need to go through or any audits or approvals I need to submit?
Conformance statements are published voluntarily by a library on its own website. The NISO ODI website includes a directory of published conformance statements at https://www.niso.org/standards-committees/odi/completed-statements. Libraries are encouraged to share the URL of their completed conformance statements with ODI by sending the link to firstname.lastname@example.org.
There is no formal auditing mechanism in place.
5. How do I complete a conformance statement?
The conformance statement describes the degree to which a library has followed recommended practices for discovery service configuration as outlined by the Open Discovery Initiative Recommended Practice. For each item in the conformance checklist, libraries are asked to indicate their degree of conformance: Yes [fully conformant], Partial [partially conformant], or No [not conformant]. In the case of a “Partial” or “No” response to any particular item, libraries are invited to provide an explanatory note describing the response.
6. Should I publish my conformance statement if I am not perfect and not fully in conformance?
Yes. The Open Discovery Initiative does not audit conformance statements; they are designed to promote transparency and set expectations for discovery services and content providers that libraries have reviewed and considered broad configuration decisions. They reflect the library’s current level of conformance and can be amended at any time.
7. Where should I publish my conformance statement?
Conformance statements should be published on your organization’s webpage.
Once you have published your conformance statement to your organization’s webpage, send an email to email@example.com with the name of your organization and a link to the posted conformance statement.
ODI will then add your link to the list of completed conformance statements on the NISO website.