No July webinar
Headshot of NISO Managing Director, Todd Carpenter

July 2009

It has been repeated so many times over the past two decades that it almost goes without saying anymore, but the world of publishing is changing rapidly. Digital distribution of journals became commonplace more than a decade ago and e-journals have in many fields supplanted print almost entirely. This is less true with books, although the landscape there is also beginning to change. Much like journals in the mid-90s, book publishers are beginning to experiment with sales models, new platforms are beginning to take shape, and the ultimate arbiters—the readers—are becoming more accepting of books in electronic format. In part, this is because reading devices are improving (see story below); in part it is because more content is being made available electronically. This was highlighted in June at the BookExpo conference in New York City. Although many industry issues, particularly the economy, were the talk in the halls, digital distribution was also a key topic. Piracy threats, business models, and potential opportunities were also on the agenda.

Standards play an important role in this developing landscape. File formats and identification structures need standards to ensure smooth transactions. Business models, license structures, and DRM need best practices so that people and intermediaries have a sense of how to engage in an efficient way. Next week, at the American Library Association Annual Conference in Chicago, NISO will again co-host with the Book Industry Study Group (BISG) a half-day seminar on the Changing Standards Landscape, on Friday, July 10th from 12:30 - 4:00 p.m. This 3rd annual free event will focus this year on e-books, and all are welcome to join in the discussion of how standards will impact this developing marketplace. More information is in the article below.

NISO is also looking at the related problem of the distribution and reuse of metadata that is used to describe publications. How that information is created and disseminated is the subject of a white paper produced by consultant Judy Luther (Informed Strategies), commissioned by NISO and OCLC. The white paper was released this week and is available online now. You can read about it in this issue of Newsline.

Finally, NISO is taking a break from its monthly series of educational webinars and its monthly open teleconference series in July. These will return in August. See the Newsline articles in this issue about the August webinar and our fall forum in Boston.

I hope you all enjoy your summer.

Todd Carpenter’s Signature

Todd Carpenter

Managing Director

NISO Reports

NISO@ALA: Forum with BISG and NISO Standards Update

NISO and the Book Industry Study Group (BISG) are holding their third annual free forum on The Changing Standards Landscape prior to the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago. This year's forum, scheduled for Friday, July 10 from 12:30 - 4:00 p.m., will focus on standards initiatives and needs in the e-book marketplace.

Scheduled sessions and speakers for the forum are:

  • Identify & Describe
    • The New ISTC Agency: An Emerging Standard - Andy Weissberg, VP of Identifier Services & Corporate Marketing, Bowker
    • ISBN and E-Books: The Use of ISBN for Electronic Texts - Mark Bide, Executive Director, EDItEUR
  • Format, Discover and Retrieve
    • Toward a Common E-Book Format Standard: EPUB - Michael Smith, Executive Director, International Digital Publishing Forum
    • Discovering Online Book Content: BISG's BookDROP - Michael Healy, Executive Director, BISG
  • Purchase and Use
    • DRM Use in E-Books - Suzanne Kemperman, Director, Publisher Relations, OCLC NetLibrary
    • Developing an E-Book Business Model: Too New for Standardization? - John Cox, Managing Director, John Cox Associates
    • Use of E-books in a Library Context - Sue Polanka, Head, Reference and Instruction, Paul Laurence Dunbar Library, Wright State University

For more information, visit the NISO/BISG Forum event webpage. No registration is required for this free forum, but prospective attendees are asked to RSVP online at Thank you to Swets for sponsoring this forum.

NISO will also be holding a Standards Update session at ALA on July 12 from 1:30 - 3:30 p.m. On the agenda are Oliver Pesch, with an update about NISO Board activities, and presentations from the Architecture Committee and the three Topic Committees. These committees set the direction for all of NISO's work and manage the portfolio of standards, recommended practices, and work in development. They will provide a review of work underway and discuss the 2009 goals and future directions.

AVIAC, NISO's Automation Vendors Information Advisory Committee, will be meeting on Friday, July 10 from 4:00 - 5:00 p.m. This is an open meeting and no registration is required.

The NISO Z39.7 Standing Committee will be holding their semi-annual meeting on Monday, July 13 from 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. This is an open meeting for the Standing Committee to review any changes to ANSI/NISO Z39.7-2004, Information Services and Use: Metrics & statistics for libraries and information providers – Data Dictionary. This online, interactive dictionary is continuously maintained to allow for more frequent updates and changes to the resource; feedback and suggestions are encouraged.

More information on these meetings and other standards-related sessions at ALA can be found on the NISO@ALA Annual 2009 webpage.

Be sure to stop in and visit NISO at Booth #931.

August Webinar: E-Books: A Rapidly Evolving Marketplace

NISO's next 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 has seen greatly expanded interest and use of e-books. New models and applications are growing exponentially. This webinar will explore several key aspects of the e-book community: sales and licensing models for libraries, and developments with e-book file formats. Building on the free NISO/BISG forum at the American Library Association Annual Meeting in Chicago, this meeting will focus on 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)

  • Library Purchasing and Use of E-books (Speaker TBA)

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 now and gain access to the archive for one year.

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

NISO will be holding a two-day educational forum on Library Resource Management Systems: New Challenges, New Opportunities at the Metro Meeting Center in Boston on October 8-9, 2009.

Libraries have a dizzying array of options for acquiring, implementing, and modifying library resource management systems. The ballooning number of choices reflects the changing character of this marketplace. Commercial vendors now compete not only with each other, but also with widely-publicized open source offerings. When evaluating new and existing systems, libraries attempt to balance sometimes conflicting needs. This two-day forum will consider these issues from various perspectives: customers, users, vendors, and developers.

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.

In addition to keynotes on both days, speakers will be addressing the following topics:

  • What Do Libraries Want to Achieve with Their Library Systems?
  • User Perspectives: How Do Our Patrons Interact with Our Services?
  • Build It Yourself or Buy It?
  • Two Library Case Studies
  • Panel Discussion on Open Source Systems
  • Modifying Your Existing System through Plug-Ins and Interactions
  • Library Management Systems Business Models Roundtable
  • ERMI Gap Analysis Project
  • Interoperability with Other Systems
  • Cloud versus Local
  • Large Consortium Systems: Making Your Library Work with Other Libraries

Day two will conclude with small group brainstorming sessions on opportunities for the NISO community to improve library resource systems.

Early bird registration discounts are available through September 23. To register or for more information, visit the event webpage.

Streamlining Book Metadata Workflow White Paper Published

NISO and OCLC have announced the publication of a white paper on Streamlining Book Metadata Workflow by Judy Luther (Informed Strategies) that analyzes the current state of metadata creation, exchange, and use throughout the book supply chain. With the number of book formats multiplying and the amount of digital content growing rapidly, the metadata required to support the discovery, sale, and use of content by a global audience is increasing exponentially. At the same time economic pressures on all stakeholders in the supply chain from publishers, wholesalers, booksellers, metadata vendors, and librarians present greater challenges to providing quality and comprehensive metadata at every point in the cycle. Through interviews with over 30 industry representatives, Luther has created a book metadata exchange map illustrating the process and has identified opportunities for eliminating redundancies and making the entire process more efficient.

"The white paper illustrates how effectively both publishers and libraries have implemented their respective standards of ONIX for Books and MARC, but also shows how silos have grown up around the two standards," states Todd Carpenter, NISO Managing Director. "There are definite opportunities for breaking down these silos and both communities are eager to find better methods for interoperability and streamlining their operations."

"Efficiently and effectively re-using metadata from publishers supports the continued relevance and success of library bibliographic control going forward," said Karen Calhoun, Vice President, OCLC WorldCat and Metadata Services. "It is important that libraries, publishers and vendors collaborate in the ongoing development and evolution of best practices and standards in support of web scale services."

NISO and OCLC plan to hold ongoing events to continue the dialog among publishers, librarians, and metadata vendors. Specific actions identified in the report will be pursued with the establishment of working groups to develop recommended practices or standards as needed.

Streamlining Book Metadata Workflow is available on the NISO website. Information about the Symposium for Publishers and Librarians is available on the OCLC website.

New Working Group to Undertake Gap Analysis of ERM-Related Data and Standards

A new work item to focus on Electronic Resource Management (ERM) Data Standards Review has been approved by NISO's Business Information Topic Committee, which will now create a working group to undertake a review and gap analysis of ERM-related data and standards. Following the analysis, the working group will make recommendations regarding the future of the ERMI data dictionary within the context of the broader electronic resource management landscape, to be delivered in a report to the Business Information Topic Committee and made publicly available.

This project is an outgrowth of the Digital Library Federation's Electronic Resource Management Initiative (ERMI), first begun in 2002. A second phase of the Initiative was completed in late 2008. In follow-up discussions between Todd Carpenter, NISO's Managing Director, and Peter Brantley, then-Executive Director of DLF, regarding the future of ERMI, NISO agreed to perform a needs assessment with respect to ERMI and broader ERM-related data needs and standards, and to assume any appropriate maintenance responsibilities. A subgroup of NISO's Business Information Topic Committee, comprised of committee members Tim Jewell (Director, Information Resources and Scholarly Communication, University of Washington Libraries) and Ivy Anderson (Director of Collections, California Digital Library), was tasked with surveying this landscape to determine what, if any, further steps should be undertaken by NISO. This new project is an outcome of the ERMI landscape review and proposes next steps in this area.

"This is the perfect time for an ERM data standards review—not only will it provide a much-needed assessment of the current state, but it will allow a formal mechanism for hearing from the different communities on where clarification, improvement, or further investigation is needed," commented Topic Committee co-chair Helen Szigeti (Business Development Manager, HighWire Press, Stanford University). Added co-chair Kathleen Folger (Senior Associate Librarian, University of Michigan Library), "This is key if we are going to accurately identify how NISO can best assist with next steps in this area of business information development work."

The deliverable will be a report for the Business Information Topic Committee highlighting current work that provides solutions for specific areas of ERM use, identifies gaps where work has not been done, and recommends appropriate further work. The report is expected to be completed by April 2010. NISO encourages those who would like to be a part of this new working group or to join the affiliated interest group to contact the NISO office.

NISO Elects New Vice Chair and Directors to Serve Community

NISO's membership has elected new leadership for the 2009-2010 term that begins on July 1, 2009. Janice Fleming has been elected to serve as Vice Chair of the NISO Board of Directors. She will transition into the chairmanship in the 2010-11 term. Currently, Fleming serves as Director of Business and Planning, PsycINFO at the American Psychological Association. Fleming has been active in publishing and the indexing and abstracting communities for many years and currently serves as a member of NISO's Board of Directors."I am very excited about the opportunity to serve the community as part of NISO's leadership," said Fleming. "NISO has been invigorated over the past years and working with the other Directors and staff, I hope to continue to raise the organization's profile and extend its reach."

Chuck Koscher, Director of Technology at CrossRef, who was elected last year and has served as Vice Chair during the current term, will become Chair of NISO for the 2009-10 term. "NISO has a great deal of opportunity before us," said Koscher, the incoming Chair. "With recent successes on the Standardized Usage Statistics Harvesting Initiative (SUSHI) and Shared Electronic Resources Understanding (SERU), new work on single sign-on authentication and Cost of Resource Exchange (CORE), as well as potential projects on XML structures, physical delivery, and e-resource management, NISO is at the forefront of technology issues facing the information community. Helping to lead the organization in this exciting time will be a great honor."

The following industry leaders were also elected to seats on the NISO Board of Directors. They will join other currently serving Directors in managing and setting strategic direction for the organization.

  • Nancy Barnes, Standards Development Specialist, Standards & Records Management, ARMA International
  • John Harwood, Professor, Pennsylvania State University
  • Charles Lowry, Executive Director, Association of Research Libraries
  • Heather Reid, Director of Data Systems, Copyright Clearance Center
  • Winston Tabb, Dean of University Libraries, Johns Hopkins University

Other members of the NISO Board who will continue their terms through 2009-10 are: Nancy Davenport (President, Nancy Davenport & Associates), Bruce Heterick (Director, Library Relations, JSTOR), Barbara Preece (Executive Director, Boston Library Consortium), Bruce Rosenblum (CEO, INERA, Inc.), and Mike Teets (Vice President Enterprise Architecture, OCLC).

Oliver Pesch, Chief Strategist for Information Technologies at EBSCO Publishing, who is currently serving as NISO's Chair, will replace James Neal, Vice President for IS & University Librarian at Columbia University, in the role as Past Chair.

"NISO is extremely lucky to have such an esteemed group of industry leaders able to serve on its Board and provide guidance to the organization," said Todd Carpenter, Managing Director of NISO. "The diversity of NISO's community is well represented by the new group of Directors and under their leadership the organization will continue to advance its mission."

New Specs & Standards

NARA Bulletin 2009-02, Guidance Concerning Managing Records in Multi-Agency Environments

This bulletin provides guidance on managing records produced when Federal agencies collaborate in multi-agency environments. When doing so, collaborating agencies create Federal records which must be managed according to the Federal Records Act, associated regulations, and instructions.

New Initiative: Vocabulary Mapping Framework

Work is under way to create an extensive and authoritative mapping of vocabularies from major content metadata standards, creating a downloadable tool to support interoperability across communities. The work is an expansion of the existing RDA/ONIX Framework.

W3C Working Draft, Ontology for Media Resource 1.0

This specification defines an ontology for cross-community data integration of information related to media resources, with a particular focus on media resources on the Web. The ontology is supposed to foster interoperability and counter the current proliferation of video metadata formats by providing full or partial translation and mapping towards existing formats.

W3C Proposed Recommendation, SKOS Simple Knowledge Organization System Reference

This document defines a common data model for sharing and linking knowledge organization systems via the Web. SKOS is a vocabulary for expressing the basic structure and content of concept schemes such as thesauri, classification schemes, subject heading schemes, taxonomies, folksonomies, and other similar types of controlled vocabulary. Comments on the Proposed Recommendation are welcome through July 15.

Media Stories

Journals and Repositories: An Evolving Relationship?
Learned Publishing, v.22, no.3, July 2009, pp. 165-175; Stephen Pinfield

Two routes for open access (OA)—OA repositories and OA journals—are not either-or distinct alternatives, but instead can be complementary. If repositories and journals can set up an ongoing interaction, there is the potential of forming a coherent OA scholarly communication system. Three possible models of such interaction are: 1) Repository to Journal; 2) Journal to Repository; and 3) Repository to Overlay Journal. The first model where the author's preprint or accepted manuscript of a journal article is deposited in a repository is already in operation; for example with arXiv. In the second model, the journal's "version of record" is deposited in the repository—following agreement with (and probable payments to) the publisher to make the content OA. UK PubMed Central is an example of using this model. In model 3, the author writes an article independent of any publication acceptance and deposits it in the repository. Afterwards, the author may decide to submit the article to a journal or an overlay journal identifies the paper independently and wishes to publish it. The journal would link to the paper from its site but not hold the content. This is the least mature model, although several pilot projects are testing it. The three models all have varying issues around the repository infrastructure; the concepts of "journal", "article", and "publication"; version identification and management; quality control/assurance, business and funding models; developing value-added features; long term preservation; policy frameworks; responsibilities of the involved agents; and cultural change. All three models offer an improved future for OA scholarly communication. More study should be done and performance data gathered as additional examples of these models are implemented. (Link to Web Source)

NISO Note: The NISO versions terminology referred to in this article is from the recommended practice NISO RP-8-2008, Journal Article Versions (JAV).

Licenses and Legalities
American Libraries, v. 40, issue 6 & 7, June/July 2009, p.58-60; Lesley Ellen Harris

When providing access to licensed electronic resources, what are the obligations for informing end users about the terms and conditions? The first source for the answer is in the license. A summary of the allowable use, written in plain English with specific examples, is a suggested approach, but expect users to have questions that require further explanation. Additional education in copyright law may be useful as well as information on how licensed electronic content use differs from using print copies. Periodic educational seminars or online courses could be held. Copyright notices should be posted on terminals used to access the e-resources and for remote users before they access the content. Digital rights management technology could also be considered for controlling access and use, although some find this burdensome. Most important is a contact person who is knowledgeable about the details of the license agreement from a practical standpoint. A copyright librarian, rather than a lawyer, is preferable. Many different approaches will need to be implemented to ensure end users comply with the license agreement. (Link to Web Source [enter page 58] ).

NISO Note: NISO's recommended practice, NISO RP-7-2008, SERU: A Shared Electronic Resource Understanding, provides an alternative to licensing of electronic content.

Creating Catalogues: Bibliographic Records in a Networked World
Research Information Network, June 9, 2009; Ken Chad Consulting

This report commissioned by the UK Research Information Network (RIN) "examines how bibliographic records for content held by UK academic and research libraries are created, distributed and used, and how these processes could be improved for the benefit of publishers, libraries and researchers." The growth of the web means that library catalogues are increasingly only one source of access to bibliographic information. Additionally, end users are less concerned about a single library's holdings than accessing information at a network level. The key findings and recommendations are: 1) All participants in the process need to work together to find solutions to improve efficiency, remove duplication, and exploit opportunities for new services; 2) The more than 160 UK university libraries should seriously consider having a single shared catalogue; 3) E-books will be increasingly important and processes for creating comprehensive and consistent catalogue records need to be addressed in this early stage of e-book market development; 4) Each version of electronic publications should have a unique ISBN and the work of the International ISBN Agency should be supported; and 5) New standards need to be developed for article-level metadata and publishers need to make such metadata widely available to third parties. The RIN intends to work with the academic library community and other key stakeholders to raise awareness and understanding of the issues raised in this report and the benefits to be gained by moving to new models. (Link to Web Source)

NISO Note: See also the article in this issue of Newsline about the related white paper on Streamlining Book Metadata Workflow.

The E-Reader Market of the Future
E-Content, June 10, 2009; Kinley Levack

While e-readers have been around for decades, new devices such as Amazon's Kindle are creating growing interest by readers and a consequent related momentum from publishers to provide content. Kindle has or will soon get competition from Sony Reader Digital Books, STAReBOOK, Bookeen Cybook Gen3, Fujitsu FLEPia, Readius, and Onyx Boox, among others. Plastic Logic has announced a new device to "replicate the magazine and newspaper reading experience" and Amazon has announced the Kindle DX, a larger version of the current e-reader. Hearst Communications is working on a Linux-based device geared towards magazines and advertisements. Rupert Murdoch has stated that his company will be helping publishers with ways to earn profits from digital content delivery. According to John Horrigan at the Pew Internet & American Live Project, it will be some time before there is an all-in-one digital device that combines the e-reader, cell phone, and iPod. Stanza, a free reader app for iPhone, comes closest to making an all-in-one device. It has close to 1.7 million users in 60 countries. Amazon has acquired the company that developed Stanza. E-readers are not expected to replace books, newspapers, or magazines in the near future, but digital content does represent a growth area in publishing right now. (Link to Web Source)

NISO Note: For more on e-books, stop by the free NISO / BISG forum featuring The Changing Standards Landscape for Ebooks – a pre-ALA event in Chicago on July 10. Or register for NISO's August 12 webinar on E-Books: A Rapidly Evolving Marketplace.

Collaboration 2.0
Library Technology Reports, v.45, no.4, May-June 2009; Robin Hastings

Author Robin Hastings, the Information Technology Manager for the Missouri River Regional Library in Jefferson City, Missouri, defines collaboration 2.0 as "the use of free, easy-to-use web 2.0 tools (think Flickr, Facebook, Twitter, Google Docs, etc.) to make teams who may not be in the same city, state or country work together seamlessly." Descriptions of cloud computing and various web 2.0 tools that are useful in a library environment are enhanced with specific examples from academic, public, and special libraries. Among the examples are: the Library Learning 2.1 project in Maryland where collaborative tools were used both to create and conduct training, a library building wiki project at the University of Tennessee in Chattanooga, and the Library Society of the World (LSW). Hastings makes the case that social networking tools should not be feared or perceived by library managers as a distraction from work, but instead can be used effectively as a way to get work done. (Link to Web Source)

Resource Description and Access (RDA) and New Research Potentials
Bulletin of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, v.35, no.5, June/July 2009; Shawne D. Miksa

The forthcoming Resource Description and Access (RDA) descriptive cataloging rules, developed to replace AACR2, have the goal of facilitating resource discovery through library catalogs more consistently and powerfully. An understanding of the concepts in two IFLA publications—Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (FRBR) and Functional Requirements for Authority Data (FRAD)—are critical to understanding RDA. Especially necessary is an understanding of the FRBR entity-relationship model of Works, Expressions, Manifestations, and Items (WEMI). AACR2 is based on the concept of a resource as a unit record for a physical item and is weak on the concept of access points. A single RDA record no longer has to represent a single resource, but can describe several resources or a group of single-item records. New opportunities for research could result from RDA. LC, NLM, and NAL are jointly testing RDA prior to a decision of whether to implement. The tests could generate useful data for analysis. Research could also address the usefulness of FRBR's four use tasks with respect to a library catalog. A variety of RDA case studies involving catalogers, reference librarians, and/or end users could be devised. One of the most impacted areas will be the re-conceptualization of bibliographic control. Education in library and information science programs will need to be reengineered to address this major change. However, first a decision is needed on "when to stop teaching AACR2 and when to start teaching RDA." (Link to Web Source)

NISO Note: The Library of Congress, National Library of Medicine, and the National Agricultural Library are NISO voting members.