Our Vision, Mission, and Values
Our vision is a world where all benefit from the unfettered exchange of information.
NISO's mission is to build knowledge, foster discussion, and advance authoritative standards development through collaboration among the cultural, scholarly, scientific, and professional communities.
Our Core Values
Engagement: NISO enables libraries, publishers, and vendors to collaborate and solve problems of mutual interest by providing a neutral forum in which they can engage and build consensus.
Interoperability: NISO supports choice and efficiency across our community by promoting interoperability of information products and services through standards and best practices.
Education: NISO keeps our community up to date by publishing news, running educational programs, and providing thought leadership.
What Is NISO?
NISO is where content publishers, libraries, and software developers turn for information industry standards that allow them to work together. Through NISO, all of these communities are able to collaborate on mutually accepted standards—solutions that enable them to better serve their customers, enhancing their operations today and forming a foundation for the future.
NISO, the National Information Standards Organization, is a non-profit association accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). We identify, develop, maintain, and publish technical standards and recommended practices to manage information in today's continually changing digital environment. NISO standards apply to both traditional and new technologies and to information across its whole lifecycle, from creation through documentation, use, repurposing, storage, metadata, and preservation.
Founded in 1939, incorporated as a not-for-profit education association in 1983, and assuming its current name the following year, NISO draws its support from the communities we serve. The leaders of more than 100 organizations in the fields of publishing, libraries, IT, and media serve as our Voting Members. Over 500 experts and practitioners from across the information community serve on NISO working groups, committees, and as officers of the association.
Throughout the year we offer a cutting-edge educational program of webinars, virtual conferences, and training series focused on timely issues affecting all our stakeholder groups—libraries, publishers, and the vendors that serve them. Our annual NISO Plus conference brings together information professionals from around the world for conversations that become outcomes to be developed as projects, yielding solutions that benefit all.
NISO recognizes that our standards must reflect global needs and that our community is increasingly interconnected and international. Designated by ANSI to represent U.S. interests as the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) to the International Organization for Standardization's (ISO) Technical Committee 46 on Information and Documentation (TC46), NISO also serves as the Secretariat for Subcommittee 9 on Identification and Description (SC9) with our Executive Director, Todd Carpenter, serving as the SC9 Secretary. We are well-positioned to bring together all interested parties, wherever they are based.
How does NISO work?
As a non-profit membership organization, NISO works with and for our community of stakeholders across the information ecosystem.
NISO’s work is overseen by our Board of Directors. We strive to ensure a balance of Board members from across our community of content providers, libraries, and service providers/vendors. Elections for the Board are held annually in May. The slate of new directors is proposed by the Nominations Committee, which comprises three directors or Voting Member representatives/alternates. Directors, who must be members of a NISO member organization, serve for three years. Following Board approval of the slate, all Voting Members are eligible to cast a ballot, on behalf of their organization, for the directors of their choice.
In addition to the 12 Directors, the Board also includes five Officers, appointed by the Directors: Chair, Vice Chair, Past Chair (one-year terms each); Treasurer (two-year term); and Secretary (NISO Executive Director). All but the Secretary have full voting rights.
Our Executive, Finance, Governance, and Audit committees are composed of Board members designated by the Chair. The Chair and the Managing Director are ex officio members, without a vote, of all Board Committees, unless otherwise noted in our bylaws.
Other Board-appointed committees include our Architecture Committee, Topic Committees, and Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA) Committee.
Subject to Board approval, the Chair may also establish other committees or task forces as needed.
Our Annual Meeting is held in June and is open to both members and non-members. We share our annual report and financials for the previous year, provide updates on our plans for the current year (including our standards work), and invite questions and feedback from our community.
Written notice of the meeting is sent to the representative and alternate representative of each
Voting Member at least 30 days beforehand, as well as to Library Standards Alliance (LSA) member contacts. The meeting is also announced to the public via our events page and in our monthly newsletter. Originally held as an in-person meeting, our annual meetings now take place virtually, allowing for broader participation.
For more information about how NISO works, please see our bylaws and our policies and procedures page.