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Information Standards Quarterly (ISQ) is NISO’s print and electronic magazine for communicating standards-based technology and best practices in library, publishing, and information technology, particularly where these three areas overlap. ISQ reports on the progress of active developments and also on implementations, case studies, and best practices that show potentially replicable efforts. ISQ was first founded in January 1989, when it replaced the existing primary NISO publication, the Voice of Z39, which ran from 1979-1988.

The first issue of ISQ describes the publication as following:

"ISQ ... will continue the primary mission of Voice of Z39: keeping NISO members informed on the progress of standards development, deadlines, activities and other NISO information. It will also serve as an ongoing source of information on NISO and information standards for potential members of NISO, students, libraries and others." (January 1989)

In 2008, ISQ underwent a transformation of its own. When it was formed in 1989 it was intended to be produced "by a volunteer editor and editorial staff," rather than by NISO staff. Walt Crawford first served as editor for the publication, but in subsequent years and with NISO's own organizational changes, ISQ was once again managed primarily in-house. However, the first issue of 2008 (volume 20, number 1) was published with a new look, with Todd Carpenter, NISO's Managing Director, providing leadership as Publisher to the magazine, a newly recruited editorial board, and with a broader charge. ISQ now serves not only as a means to inform the information community of NISO work, but also provides NISO members and the community with contributed articles that look more broadly at emerging trends, new topics, ongoing efforts, and other groups that impact standards development, both within NISO and in related areas.

In 2009, ISQ was further refined in response to reader feedback with a brand-new design and with Cynthia Hodgson, a long-time NISO consultant, serving in the primary role of Managing Editor. At this time, the NISO ISQ website was also updated to include online tables of contents, and access to all the article links online.

In 2011, NISO began to offer the electronic version of ISQ in open access to the public. Previoiusly, it was only available to NISO members and subscribers. The print edition is still available by subscription and a print-on-demand option is available to those who want only a particular issue in print format.

Most back issues of the ISQ magazine, ISQ newsletter, Voice of Z39, and Z39 News are now available in open access. Check the ISQ Archives page for availability of the backfile.

  • Publisher
    Todd Carpenter, Executive Director, National Information Standards Organization

  • Managing Editor
    Cynthia Hodgson, Technical Editor & Consultant, National Information Standards Organization

  • Editorial Board
    The NISO Publications Committee serves as the Editorial Board for ISQ.