Headshot of NISO Managing Director, Todd Carpenter

August 2009

This summer there has been a steady stream of project updates, drafts, and final reports that require attention and response from the information community. Trying to keep up with it all can be a challenge; however, there are three initiatives currently underway I feel are particularly worthy of comment and discussion.

The first, and potentially the most far-reaching, of these is from the U.S. Copyright Office in the Library of Congress. In July 2009, LC posted in the Federal Register a proposed change to the copyright deposit rules that will require the deposit of electronic editions of content where no print version is available. This change is the first major revision to the copyright mandatory deposit rules since September 1991. As we are all aware, how information is created, distributed, and stored has radically changed with the impact of digital technology. The rationale for mandatory deposit is to provide Congress and the public with as complete a record of published materials as possible for historical and reference purposes. The potential new amendment to the deposit regulations recognizes the fact that some materials are never produced or distributed in print form so must be deposited electronically to avoid gaps in the Library of Congress' collection of materials. The importance of this change cannot be overstated. Previously, the criteria given for the Library of Congress' Best Edition Statement has never included electronic versions, but with this change digital versions can be considered the "best available" for "electronic serials available only online." There will need to be a great deal of standardization about file types and formats acceptable to LC as well as identification and access questions that the community will need to address. The comment period for the proposed rule change is open until August 31, 2009. I encourage all of you to review and respond to this proposal.

The second project I'd like to mention is the OLE Project from the Open Library Environment (OLE), which has just published the OLE Project Final Report draft for review and public comment. This Mellon-funded project was tasked with the goal of producing "a design document to inform open source library system development efforts, to guide future library system implementations, and to influence current Integrated Library System vendor products." Over 300 organizations have participated in some phase of the project and the analysis of the business processes described in the draft final report should be useful to anyone engaged in library management systems development or implementation. While a Service Oriented Architecture might not be appropriate for every institution, system, or vendor, the analysis of the business processes that the OLE group has described may provide a useful starting point for discussions about an institution's needs and how best to address them. More about the OLE Project will be discussed at NISO's upcoming Library Management Systems Forum, to be held October 8-9 in Boston MA. Registration is now open and more information is available in the Newsline item below.

Finally, NISO and OCLC have partnered on a research report conducted by Judy Luther, President of Informed Strategies. The white paper, Streamlining Book Metadata Workflow , was published in late June, just prior to ALA's Annual meeting in Chicago. I was able to speak about this report while at ALA during OCLC's session on "Redesigning Technical Services Workflows," and the report was also mentioned during several other OCLC presentations during the conference. NISO and OCLC are currently reviewing the report recommendations and considering next steps. Please do take the time to read this report and forward your thoughts or reactions to me. As a follow-up to the report, NISO will be hosting a discussion on the paper and its suggestions in the fall. More information will be available next month.

I hope that you are enjoying your summer!


Todd Carpenter’s Signature

Todd Carpenter

Managing Director

NISO Reports

August Webinar: E-Books: A Rapidly Evolving Marketplace

NISO's August webinar will be held on Wednesday, August 12, 2009 from 1:00 - 2:30 p.m. (Eastern Time) on the topic of E-Books: A Rapidly Evolving Marketplace.

While e-books have been slow to garner wide adoption, the past few years have seen greatly expanded interest and use of e-books. New models and applications are growing exponentially. Building on the free NISO/BISG forum held at the American Library Association Annual Meeting in Chicago, this webinar will focus on the business applications of creating, selling, and using e-books.

Topics and speakers are:

  • Creation, Formatting, and Distribution Options for E-books – Tino Fleischer, Atypon Systems, Inc.

  • Business Models and Approaches for Selling E-books – Anne Orens, Independent Consultant

  • E-books in the Library: Successfully Reaching the End User – Sue Polanka, Head, Reference and Instruction, and Paul Laurence Dunbar Library, Wright State University

For more information and to register, visit the event webpage. Registration is per site (access for one computer) and includes access to the online recorded archive of the webinar. NISO and NASIG members receive a discounted member rate. A student discount is also available. Can't make it on the 12th? Register and gain access to the recorded archive for one year.

This webinar is sponsored by Swets.

September Two-Part Webinar: E-Resources Licensing: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

Not many librarians are also lawyers, but they often need to have an understanding of legal issues to succeed in their jobs. Licensing, contract, and copyright law all have significant impacts on our community. NISO's September two-part webinar, E-Resources Licensing: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly, to be held on September 9 and 16 from 1:00 - 2:30 p.m. (Eastern time), is your solution to the dilemma.

Part I of the webinar will provide an introduction to the basics of a license agreement as a legal contract. Participants will learn about basic legal terminology common to most licenses and what terms should be included or excluded as part of the negotiation. Mapping of the license terms to an ERM will be reviewed along with an introduction to the ONIX for Publication Licenses (ONIX-PL) schema as the mapping standard.

Part II of the webinar will review key terms in an agreement as highlighted in a sample license. The NISO Shared E-Resource Understanding (SERU) recommended practice will be introduced and compared to the sample license. The terms from the sample agreement that need to be mapped to the ERM will be highlighted. Two different agreements will be compared to show the differences or overlap in license terms.

Speakers for both parts of the Licensing webinars will be:

  • Trisha L. Davis, Associate Professor, Rights Management Coordinator, and Head, Serials & E-Resources Department, The Ohio State University Libraries

  • Clinton Chamberlain, Professional Librarian, University of Texas Libraries

You can register for either webinar or both. Register for both webinars and receive a 25% discount! Registration is per site (access for one computer) and includes access to the online recorded archive of the webinar. NISO and NASIG members receive a discounted member rate. A student discount is also available. Can't make it on the webinar date? Register and gain access to the recorded archive for one year. For more information and to register, visit the event webpages:
Part 1; Part 2.

Library Resource Management Systems Forum in Boston, October 8-9

Join NISO for a two-day forum on October 8-9 in Boston on Library Resource Management Systems: New Challenges, New Opportunities where we will consider the issues related to library resource management systems and the consequences for customers, users, vendors, and developers. During this event, we will:

  • Explore the effects of changes to the library community on system suppliers' business models

  • Compare the benefits and disadvantages of commercial and open-source systems through real libraries' experiences

  • Examine the implications of placing library systems in the cloud

  • Address the need for interoperability between library management systems and other systems at work in the library

  • Consider how information standards can help all stakeholders cope with this shifting terrain

Attendees at all levels of system involvement and expertise will find thought-provoking discussion and ample opportunity to share ideas with the library, vendor, and developer communities. Confirmed speakers include:

  • Ivy Anderson, Director, Collection Development & Management Program, California Digital Library

  • Annette Bailey, Digital Assets Librarian, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech)

  • Oren Beit-Arie, Chief Strategy Officer, Ex Libris, Inc.

  • Talin Bingham, Chief Technology Officer, SirsiDynix

  • Marshall Breeding, Director for Innovative Technologies and Research, Jean and Alexander Heard Library, Vanderbilt University

  • Vinod Chachra, President and CEO, VTLS

  • Galen Charlton, Vice President of Data Services, Equinox Software, Inc.

  • John Culshaw, Professor and Associate Director for Administrative Services, University of Colorado at Boulder Libraries

  • Betsy Graham, Vice President of Product Management, Innovative Interfaces, Inc.

  • Carl Grant, President, Ex Libris North America

  • Tim McGeary, Senior Systems Specialist, Lehigh University

  • Andrew Nagy, Senior Discovery Services Engineer, Serials Solutions

  • Diane C. Mirvis, CIO and University Librarian, University of Bridgeport

  • Thomas Wall, University Librarian, Boston College

Early bird registration discounts are available through September 23. For the complete agenda, logistics information, and to register, visit the event webpage.

This forum is sponsored by Ex Libris and EBSCO Information Services.

Two New Work Items at Ballot: Physical Delivery of Library Resources and Standardized Markup for Journal Articles

Ballots have been presented to NISO Voting Members to approve two new work items.

The first is a proposal submitted by Valerie Horton, Executive Director, Colorado Library Consortium (CLiC), on the Physical Delivery of Library Resources—and subsequently approved by NISO's Discovery to Delivery Topic Committee—that aims to develop a statement of best practices. This proposed project would build on the efforts of three recent projects: Moving Mountains, Rethinking Resource Sharing's Physical Delivery Committee, and the American Library Association's ASCLA ICAN's Physical Delivery Discussion Group. The document is proposed to include recommendations for: packaging, shipping codes, labeling, acceptable turn-around time, lost or damaged materials handling, package tracking, ergonomic considerations, statistics, sorting, a set of elements to be used for comparison purposes to determine costs, linking of regional and local library carriers, and international delivery.

The second proposal on Standardized Markup for Journal Articles was submitted by Jeff Beck, Technical Information Specialist, National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI)—and subsequently approved by NISO's Content & Collection Management Topic Committee—and is based on the National Library of Medicine's journal archiving and interchange tag suite. Three schemas for journal articles are include in the Suite and are maintained by NLM: NLM Archiving and Interchange Tag Set, NLM Journal Publishing Tag Set, and the NLM Article Authoring Tag Set. The goal of this work item is to take the currently existing Journal Archiving and Interchange Tag Suite version 3.0, the three journal article schemas, and the documentation and shepherd them through the NISO process to become an ANSI/NISO consensus standard.

In order for these two proposals to be approved so that Working Groups can be formed to pursue the proposed work, a minimum of 10% of NISO's Voting Members must express interest in each of the new work items. A full list of NISO Voting Members can be found on the NISO website. The Physical Delivery ballot ends on September 1 and Journal Article Markup ends on September 2.

The proposals are available for free download. Public comments are welcome. Assuming the projects are approved, if you would like to be a member of either working group or join the affiliated interest groups, please send a note to: Karen A. Wetzel, NISO Standards Program Manager, or use the website contact form.

Developers of Shared E-Resource Understanding (SERU) Receive Coutts Award for Innovation in Electronic Resources Management

NISO is pleased to announce that Judy Luther, President of Informed Strategies, and Selden Lamoureux, Electronic Resources Librarian at North Carolina State University Libraries, are the recipients of the Coutts Award for Innovation in Electronic Resources Management for their work in developing SERU: A Shared Electronic Resource Understanding, a NISO recommended practice.

The award, sponsored by Coutts Information Services, is given by the Collection Management and Development Section (CMDS) of the Association for Library Collections & Technical Services (ALCTS). It was presented to Luther and Lamoureux in an awards ceremony at the American Library Association Conference in Chicago on July 12, 2009.

Read the complete press release here.

For more information on SERU, visit the group's webpage.

In Memoriam: James Joseph Michael

At the annual ALA conference, a memorial resolution was passed honoring James Joseph Michael who passed away at the age of 81 on May 20, 2009.

Michael was a pioneer in the Z39.50 standard's development and implementation and was named a NISO fellow in 1995 in recognition of his extensive work on the development of national and international voluntary standards for libraries, publishing, and information services.

NISO recognizes the many contributions of James Joseph Michael to our community and mourns his loss.

Read the complete ALA resolution here.

New Specs & Standards

Book Industry Communication, Returns Authorization Request and Response and Post Returns Despatch Advice Request and Response, Version 1.0

This pair of services will enable the use of web services to request authorization to return overstocks, faulty or incorrectly supplied products, and raise claims for shortages or invoicing errors; and to then confirm the dispatch of authorized products being returned. These formats are closely based upon the EDItX Returns Authorization Request and Returns Response (version 1.0) formats developed by EDItEUR.

EDItEUR, ONIX Books Code Lists, Issue 10

An update to the code lists used with ONIX for Books. Issue 10 applies mainly to version 2.1 but also includes new lists and values that have been added for Release 3.0 only. To avoid possible confusion, Release 3.0 codes are not included in this eye-readable document, except in a few cases where they are also visible in Release 2.1 schemas. They are included in the comma-delimited and XML files.

ISO 10957:2009, Information and documentation – International standard music number (ISMN)

This is the second edition of the standard that specifies the International standard music number (ISMN), which is a means of uniquely identifying editions of notated music. The most significant change is expanding the ISMN to a 13-digit number, consistent with the new ISBN.

ISO 23081-2:2009, Information and documentation – Managing metadata for records– Part 2: Conceptual and implementation issues

First edition of the standard that establishes a framework for defining metadata elements consistent with the principles and implementation considerations outlined in Part 1 (ISO 23081-1:2006). It further identifies some of the critical decision points that need to be addressed and documented to enable implementation of metadata for managing records.

W3C Working Draft, User Agent Accessibility Guidelines (UAAG) 2.0

Provides guidelines for designing user agents that lower barriers to Web accessibility for people with disabilities. User agents include browsers and other types of software that retrieve and render Web content. A user agent that conforms to these guidelines will promote accessibility through its own user interface and through other internal facilities, including its ability to communicate with other technologies (especially assistive technologies).

Media Stories

Lost in the Cloud
New York Times, July 19, 2009; by Jonathan Zittrain

Google's announcement of their Chrome operating system is another sign of the trend towards cloud computing, or doing everything online. Many consider this development a positive one: your data is backed up and you can share more easily with others. But there are many risks. Those providers who hold your data could go bankrupt or take away information you paid for without your permission. Your data may not be private, especially to the government, which could demand and be given access to it without your knowledge. Governments abroad without our protections could monitor your cyberspace information and spy on you for political reasons. A bigger negative impact is on innovation. Currently there is great freedom to write and sell computing applications or to create totally new products. Cloud computing puts much more control back in the hands of the application provider. Facebook, for example, reserves the right to eliminate functions or to add or change fees at any time. Apple limits who can create iPhone applications and has censored e-books and games. Amazon and Google currently have fewer restrictions on their cloud computing offerings. Some method needs to be considered to keep cloud computing vendors more open, such as tax incentives or more forceable regulations. We don't need to stop the cloud trend; we just need to make sure that it doesn't stifle innovation. (Link to Web Source)


A Reflection on the Structure and Process of the Web of Data
Bulletin of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, August/September 2009; by Marko A. Rodriguez

The Web of Data is a standards-based framework to make the world's data as accessible as web documents. URIs are used for identification and, unlike URLs, are not required to be resolvable to a digital resource. The Resource Description Framework (RDF) is a model that allows URIs to be linked using the components of a subject, predicate, and object in a statement called a triple. RDF statements can be represented in several formats, one of which is RDF/XML. RDF statement repositories known as triple stores can integrate RDF triples across data providers. The Linked Data Community is developing tools to link these repositories into the envisioned Web of Data. Currently data providers have to manage both their data repository and an interface that provides access to it. The RDF Web of Data model separates the data from the application, allowing more opportunities for third party application providers to offer services and for data from multiple sources to be used in mash-ups. Since the Web of Data will utilize more machine processing across domains (whereas with documents, users make the domain traversing requests), a more efficient distributed process mechanism is needed. For the Web of Data, the process needs to move to the data, rather than vice versa as is done with the current HTML document processing method. Another issue is that traditional keyword searching is not sufficient for processing this data structure, nor is the SPARQL query language since it can't represent the needed complex algorithms. A framework that is safe, efficient, and easy to use is necessary to drive the adoption of the Web of Data model and create a rich, truly decentralized cloud computing environment.
(Link to Web Source)

NISO Note: Last year, NISO held a Thought Leaders meeting on Research Data. The Architecture Committee is currently reviewing the recommendations to determine where the NISO community can most effectively contribute to this area.


Harvesting Power and Opportunities Beyond Federated Search
Online, v. 33 no. 4, July/August 2009, pp. 35-38; by David Stern

Federated simultaneous searching of multiple databases has not turned out to be the "Holy Grail of one-stop searching" due to scalability issues and the differences in complex database structures. Many powerful search features are lost through metasearch and limits are often placed on number of databases and results sets to ensure adequate response times. The new approach for searching across heterogeneous databases will be the harvesting of metadata from multiple databases into a single clearinghouse and then preprocessing the information for end user searches. Harvested data must be standardized into a single data structure, which can reduce some granularity, but will allow better keyword searching. More importantly, this standardization allows for semantic analysis to create relationships. CiteSeer presents such associations. The Web of Knowledge and SCOPUS offer navigation tools based on harvested and preprocessed information. Serials Solutions has created the Summon service that creates associations across many domains for searching. EBSCOHost has announced Integrated Search, a tool that has associated preindexing. The real benefits of this new approach go beyond these initial commercial offerings to the expansion of "concept navigation." Computers can also incorporate dynamic social tagging for even more relationships or use of the latest buzzwords and slang. These new technologies would still result in the loss of the native search functionality, as with metasearch, and there would, in addition, be a further time delay in availability of the information as it was harvested and further processed. Scalability of a large central database is an issue, especially when it is continually expanded with user-supplied tags and mash-ups. This new approach to multiple database searching and the opportunities it offers to enhance searching and navigation are just beginning to be explored. (Link to Web Source)

NISO Note: Serials Solutions and EBSCO are NISO voting members. Web of Knowledge is a product of Thomson Reuters; SCOPUS is a product of Elsevier. Both companies are also NISO voting members.


Semantic Integration of Collection Description
D-Lib Magazine, v. 15 no. 7/8, July/August 2009; by Irene Lourdi, Christos Papatheodorou, and Martin Doerr

As more cultural heritage information becomes electronically available, integration of collection-level metadata has become more important to assist users in locating relevant resources. Collection-level descriptions provide the user with the first level of filters to aid in deciding whether an entire collection is of interest. A number of standards exist including the Research Support Libraries Program (RSLP), the draft NISO standard, Z39.91, the Encoded Archival Description (EAD), and the Dublin Core Collections Application Profile (DCAAP). The CIDOC Conceptual Reference Model (CRM)—defined in ISO 21127:2006—enables the explicit definition of cultural event and object attributes, as well as of their relationships. CIDOC/CRM can be used as the mediator for integrating access to various collections, with each collection's description schema mapped to it as the single core ontology. DCCAP can be mapped to CIDOC/CRM using a path-oriented methodology. Not all paths could be mapped as DCCAP doesn't have full equivalents, such as for dates and times of activities and events related to a collection. Validation of the mapping was assessed using symmetry and unambiguity. Mappings of other metadata schemas to CIDOC/CRM are planned for future work. (Link to Web Source)

NISO Note: The draft standard NISO Z39.91, Collection Description Specification, is available for free download.


Will Metadata Help Solve Publishers' Woes?
EContent, July 21, 2009; by Theresa Cramer

The Hamburg Declaration Regarding Intellectual Property Rights is the latest effort from publishers to advocate for regulation or legislation to protect their content from being used without permission or remuneration. Susanne Bjorner, a provider of services to publishers, authors, researchers, and librarians stated that publishers were trying to "get legal approval of a regulation system they have developed themselves, ACAP (Automated Content Access Protocol)." She refers to ACAP as a Web 1.0 solution in a Web 3.0 world. The U.S. Associated Press and U.K. Media Standards Trust have drafted another format called hNews that provides basic information about a news article, changing the way that harvested search engine information would be presented to users. It is seen as a compromise between ACAP and no change to the current situation. Bjorner feels that hNews needs support from the Germans, who make up the majority of publishers who signed the Hamburg Declaration. Google and Yahoo have supported other microformats for some time and thus may be amenable to hNews. (Link to Web Source)