Home | News & Events | Events | 2017 Events | NISO Training: Working With Scholarly RESTful APIs


NISO Training Program: Working with Scholarly Information Resource RESTful APIs (Fall 2017)

Objective: To provide consistency of training and a baseline of knowledge across the information community for appropriate use of APIs using the HTTP REST paradigm for scholarly resources across multiple information services and systems.  

Who Can Benefit from This Online Training:
• Early career content professionals working in editorial/production environments of small to mid-size scholarly societies or similar publishing entities.
• Early or mid-career programmers and developers working in libraries and seeking to make use of APIs provided by organizations in the scholarly communications ecosystem
• Mid-career managers or supervisors whose roles require them to be familiar with multiple information systems and platforms and the relevant APIs that support transfer of information between those systems.

Course Dates: Fridays from September 15 – November 3.
Note: Each consecutive Friday session will last for at least ninety minutes and some may last two full hours. It will not be possible to register for individual program segments or lectures.

Time: 11:30am – 1:00pm (U.S. Eastern Time Zone)

Course Instructor: Peter Murray is the Open Source Community Advocate at Index Data, a software development and consulting enterprise with expertise in networked information retrieval and management based on open standards. He received an MLIS from Simmons College and a Bachelor of Science degree in Systems Analysis from Miami University. Peter’s current activities include building relationships among libraries, organizations, and service providers participating in the FOLIO open source library service platform project. His other interests include promoting awareness and integration of privacy-supporting tools into library services, the application of JPEG 2000 for long-term access and preservation of still and moving image content, distributed identity management systems, and—with the moniker “The Disruptive Library Technology Jester”—the rapid advancement of library services in a social web world.

Basic Student Requisites: Those who plan to register for this training should be able to understand and execute the following:

• Familiarity with HTTP headers and status codes (404, etc.).

• Familiarity with JSON and XML data structures, and an understanding of the similarities between the two

• Familiarity with the command line “cURL” command is desirable, but not required.

The course will make use of the “Postman” (https://www.getpostman.com/apps) application/plugin to explore HTTP requests and responses. Finished exercises to be submitted to GitHub for purposes of evaluation by instructor.

Note: The registration fee for this event allows a group to listen into each lecture. However, only two exercises by individuals within that organizational group may be submitted for review by the instructor.

Preliminary Course Outline

Friday, September 15, 2017, Introductory Session
Peter Murray
, Index Data

 This introduction to the training series will
• Establish baseline, common vocabulary for the discussion and use of APIs in the REST paradigm.
• Install and configure the Postman REST client to be used in subsequent sessions.
• Provide appropriate context of API use from perspective/needs of publishing organizations and from perspective/needs of library organizations;
• Choosing the API best suited to particular type of content (format, discipline);
• Best practices for integrating API into organizational workflow

Guest Lecturers

For each guest lecture given over to discussing a specific provider’s APIs, the lecturer will address the following aspects of available APIs
• Available API and the metadata/content associated with it
• Tagging Syntax for purposes of preparing content for use in context of API (server side)
• Search Syntax for purposes of retrieving data from specific API (client side)
• Nuances and/or quirks that may be encountered in use; challenges, known issues
• Parsing API documentation; frequency of and alerts to updates/versions of the API
• Means for verification; Each segment will include practical exercise for handling tasks encountered when working with a layered API.

Each segment will include practical exercise for handling tasks encountered when working with a layered API.

Friday, September 22, 2017
Geoffrey Bilder
, CrossRef

Crossref’s REST API provides access to 90+ million metadata records for a variety scholarly research objects including journal articles, preprints, books, data, standards and more. This workshop will provide an introduction to using the REST API. Examples will be provided in Postman and Jupiter notebook. The latter will include some simple and short python examples. The workshop will cover:

- Result types

- Content negotiation to retrieve metadata in representations other than JSON.

- Major resource components and identifiers

- Tips & gotchas

- Filters, facets and sampling

- Result controls

- Popular Crossref API libraries

- Example short use-cases using Jupiter Notebook

Friday, September 29, 2017
Liz Krznarich
, Tech Lead, Front End Development, ORCID

ORCID provides an identifier for researchers as well as APIs that enable transparent and trustworthy connections between those researchers, their contributions, and their affiliations. ORCID APIs can be integrated into applications in order to help users find information and to help simplify reporting and analysis (among other use cases). This workshop session provides an introduction to ORCID's APIs, including:
• ORCID API types and features
• Getting access to ORCID APIs 
• Data structure
• Searching/retrieving public data
• Getting user permission (via OAuth2) to retrieve an authenticated ORCID iD, add/update data and read non-public data
• Adding/updating data
• Support resources 

Friday, October 6, 2017
Peter Cooper,

This session will cover the NCBI API to our Entrez system, the E-Utilities, which provides access to PubMed but also the molecular biology databases (Nucleotide, Protein, Gene and so on). I’d also like to at least introduce and demo EDirect, an NCBI package of Perl scripts that access the E-Utilities. EDirect includes a compiled executable called xtract. This is a powerful XML parser that is specially designed to work with NCBI/NLM XML, but will work well with any XML. The student can use EDirect easily on the Mac terminal or under CygWin on a Windows machine.

Friday, October 13, 2017
Doug Loynes

This segment will focus on the WorldCat Metadata API, which provides qualified institutions with tools for contributing and updating metadata records in WorldCat through a machine interface. 
The workshop will cover how the WorldCat Metadata API works and offer examples of how libraries use the API and overviews of the code libraries backing the service and of developer tools available for testing code.

Friday, October 20, 2017
Ale de Vries, Scopus

Friday, October 27, 2017
Glen Robson, IIIF

Friday, November 3, 2017
Wrap-Up and Final Exercises 



  • Early bird registration: Register before September 5th and pay a discounted rate of USD $750.00.
  • Register after September 5th and pay USD $850.00


  • Early bird Registration: Register before September 5th and pay a discounted rate of USD $825.00
  • Register after September 5th and pay USD $925.00


Registration is on a single-site basis (one group, one room, one computer) and is for the entire series of training lectures. However, each registering organization is only permitted to submit two student exercises per lecture for grading or review by the instructor. Note that the registration fee will include access to an archived recording of each lecture. Registering organizations may gather an unlimited number of individuals in a single room at a single physical site to view the live broadcast of the training lectures. Organizations seeking the option of staff attendance from multiple physical locations must register separately for each physical location. However, the archived recording made of each session may be shared internally within the organization.

Please note that it is not possible to register for individual program segments or lectures.

NOTE: Sign-on credentials will be distributed weekly to registrants on the Monday prior to the specific lecture. If you have not received those sign-on credentials by 12 noon of the Tuesday prior to the specific lecture, please contact NISO headquarters via email (using the address nisohq (at) niso (dot) org)

To register for this training program, using a credit card, please use this form.

To register for this training program using other methods of payment, please use this (PDF) form.