The Three S's of Electronic Resource Management:
Systems, Standards and Subscriptions

Below are listed questions that were submitted during the January 12, 2011 webinar. Answers from the presenters will be added when available. Not all the questions could be responded to during the live webinar, so those that could not be addressed at the time are also included below.


  • The First S: Standards for Organizing and Distributing Information
    Todd Carpenter, Managing Director, NISO
  • The Second S: Systems for Electronic Resource Management
    Bob McQuillan, Senior Product Manager, Innovative Interfaces, Inc.
  • The Third S: Subscriptions to Electronic Resources
    Oliver Pesch, Chief Strategist, E-Resources, EBSCO Information Services

Feel free to contact us if you have any additional questions about library, publishing, and technical services standards, standards development, or if you have suggestions for new standards, recommended practices, or areas where NISO should be engaged.

NISO Webinar Questions and Answers

  1. Could you talk a little more, point us to information about, the NISO ERM Data Review gap analysis project that Todd and Bob mentioned? Thanks!

    Bob McQuillan (Innovative): You can learn more about the ERM Data Standards & Best Practices Review project at As noted on that page, "This working group is charged to undertake a 'gap analysis' regarding electronic resource management (ERM) related data, standards and best practices. ... Following the analysis, the working group will make recommendations regarding the future of the ERMI data dictionary within that broader context, describe typical challenges libraries face in using currently available ERM systems and services, and identify gaps in interoperability and best practices." That report is expected out in late spring 2011.

  2. Does ONIX-PL have an associated ontology?

    Todd Carpenter (NISO): Yes, the ONIX-PL format is supported by an extensive dictionary of coded values. The ONIX-PL Dictionary carries the full set of controlled values that are available to be used in ONIX-PL data elements, with their definitions. These values are included in the ONIX-PL Schema. A read-only Excel spreadsheet version of the ONIX-PL dictionary can be downloaded via the EDItEUR website (  Much more detailed information about the ONIX standard is available on the EDItEUR website:
  3. You say that SUSHI is simple to implement but we encountered a lot of problems because all providers have a slightly different implementation. Do you have example of libraries that are using SUSHI extensively?

    Oliver Pesch (EBSCO): Compared to other standards it is relatively simple to implement. While there are some variations in how content providers have implemented their services, the SUSHI Standing Committee (which provides maintenance support for the standard) is working with COUNTER to standardize these implementations. Tools on the NISO SUSHI site (, such as the open-source MISO SUSHI client, make implementation easier and provide content providers with an accepted means of testing their service. Both the SUSHI Standing Committee and COUNTER encourage content providers to take advantage of such tools when developing and testing their services.

    Bob McQuillan (Innovative): In addition to Oliver's comments, there are many Innovative Interfaces Millennium ERM libraries harvesting usage statistics via SUSHI. These include Wayne State University, Library of Congress, San Jose State University, and University of Washington.
  4. For Bob: when do you think the ERM Data Review report will be released? This year?

    Bob McQuillan (Innovative): The ERM Data Standards & Best Practices Review report is scheduled for release in the May/June 2011 timeframe.
  5. Is there a current initiative to develop SUSHI best practices? The most recent COUNTER compliancy requires SUSHI compliancy, but aren't some publishers/content providers “more” compliant than others?

    Oliver Pesch (EBSCO): The SUSHI Standing Committee is working with COUNTER to develop and include in the COUNTER Code of Practice best practices for SUSHI implementation -- particularly for areas like authentication. The expectation is that adherence to these best practices will be part of the COUNTER audit.
  6. What role does the consortia play in this process and does it help or hinder the work of the vendor?

    Oliver Pesch (EBSCO):& Agents, such as EBSCO, work effectively with consortia. The agent can often add extra services that the consortium may not be equipped to -- like providing title-level details on invoices or integration of holdings details with other access services.
  7. Why do you think there are only 110 publishers that are COUNTER/SUSHI compliant? How hard is it for them to comply? Any plans to make compliance mandatory?

    Oliver Pesch (EBSCO): The major online publishers are represented and as more libraries press for usage data to be provided in a standard way, more publishers will be added. Many publishers use an outside service to handle their usage gathering and reporting -- much like they use an outside service to host their content; therefore, the effort of becoming COUNTER/SUSHI compliant falls on the outside service or content host, not the individual publisher. Providing a SUSHI service is required for a provider to be COUNTER compliant. The more pressure non-compliant publishers get from their customers to become  compliant, the more likely they are to comply.
  8. Attendee Comment: Include standards compliance in RFP process.