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Continuous Maintenance Procedures

Continuous Maintenance Procedures for Z39.7, Information Services and Use Metrics & Statistics for Libraries and Information Providers – Data Dictionary

The ANSI Essential Requirements provides two options for the maintenance of American National Standards (ANS): periodic maintenance and continuous 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 reaffirm or withdraw the standard shall be taken in accordance with the procedures set-forth in the ANSI Essential Requirements.

In addition, the ANSI Essential Requirements provides for the following (Section 2.4: 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.

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

  • 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.
  • In accordance with the ANSI Essential Requirements, the ANSI/NISO Z39.7, Information Services and Use Metrics & Statistics for Libraries and Information Providers--Data Dictionary standard is maintained under continuous maintenance procedures.

Under continuous maintenance procedures anyone may propose changes at any time. Each change will be considered by the Z39.7 Standing Committee according to a definite schedule, shown in Section 2. The Standing Committee and NISO leadership committees may also propose changes.

The Z39.7 Standing Committee shall follow the procedures in this section in lieu of periodic maintenance (5-year cycle) procedures. All changes to the Z39.7 standard shall be submitted in compliance with this section.

Section 1. Instructions for Submittal of Proposed Change to ANSI/NISO Standard Z39.7 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 Z39.7
Attn: Nettie Lagace, Associate Director for Programs
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

Section 2. Maintenance Review Schedule

All submittals received by NISO are acknowledged and forwarded to the 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: May 31 Consideration to take place during the Standing Committee's monthly teleconference, to take place during June, and no later than July of the same year.
  • Deadline: December 15 Consideration to take place during the Standing Committee's monthly teleconference, to take place during January of the following year.

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

Section 3. Resolution of Proposed Changes

The Standing Committee may respond to submissions in the following ways:

a. Proposed change accepted without modification
b. Proposed change accepted with modification
c. Proposed change accepted for further study
d. 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 and submitted for approval via consensus action pursuant to NISO Operating Procedures (section 5), available from this webpage. 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 on the NISO website. In addition, NISO has created a notification registry that will send e-mail announcements when any maintenance activity occurs to the standard.

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 follows the same procedures for approving new standards. If within five years of ANSI approval of the current version, no changes have been recommended by the Z39.7 Standing Committee, the NISO consensus group will be asked to reaffirm the standard. For more information on this process, see the NISO Operating Procedures, available from this webpage.