Headshot of NISO Managing Director, Todd Carpenter

June 2009

June is usually a busy month for meetings and this year is not any different. Perhaps the only benefit (for me at least!) is that many of the meetings are in the Baltimore/DC area, which makes the travel schedule a bit more bearable. My travel actually started in earnest last month, with the BISG Making Information Pay meeting in New York, the ISO TC 46 meeting in Kenya and the Society for Scholarly Publishing (SSP) meeting in Baltimore. And earlier this week, NISO hosted a seminar on Performance Measures & Assessment, part of our ongoing educational programs. A short report of the ISO meeting is in this issue of Newsline. A report on the BISG meeting will be in the spring issue of ISQ and slide presentations from the Performance Measures forum are available on the event webpage.

There are a number of upcoming meetings where NISO projects will be prominent, including the NASIG, ALA, SLA, and AAUP programs. The details are on the NISO events webpage. Also, please join us at a free ALA pre-meeting seminar Friday afternoon, July 10 in Chicago co-hosted by BISG on the Changing Standards Landscape of Ebooks.

During the SSP meeting last week, there was a sense that our community has reached something of a tipping point. With the twin pressures of the economic situation and the impact of digital publishing and Web 2.0 on distribution of scholarly information, our community seems poised for some radical transformations. Few organizations are going to be able to continue in their present form with budget pressures according to Charles Lowry from ARL in an SSP plenary talk. Charles described some survey results they have gathered in which more than a third of ARL members are facing budget cuts of 10% or more. The impact will certainly be felt in the publishing world, because as Mike Poulin at Colgate described during his presentation at the NISO Performance Measures meeting a few days later: "The role [of the library] is not to support the publication of unused material [through subscriptions]."

Publishers also have to contend with the pressures of institutional repositories, author deposit mandates at the institutional and national levels, and with authors simply publishing materials to their own blogs and other Web 2.0 media. How the next generation of scholars and authors choose to build their communities and share the results of their work could radically transform both traditional publishers and libraries from how we have known them.

Several NISO projects have made great strides recently. An important development related to SUSHI is the release by Serials Solutions of open source code for a SUSHI client that has already been tested with SUSHI servers at ProQuest, CSA, and Chadwyck-Healey, and can be adapted for other servers. The KBART group's recommended practice is nearing finalization, as is a white paper on metadata in the book supply chain. For the latest update on NISO's working groups, see the Special Supplement to this issue of Newsline.

For those of you interested in following my thoughts-both about our community and activities, as well as other musings of my own-on a somewhat regular basis, you can follow my twitter feed. I'll be tweeting about NASIG, SLA, and ALA in the coming weeks, as well as whatever interesting happens along the way. I hope to see you in the coming weeks at one of the many events I mentioned.


Todd Carpenter’s Signature

Todd Carpenter

Managing Director

NISO Reports

June Webinar: Library Systems & Interoperability: Breaking Down Silos

In today's information environment, libraries work with a slew of systems from different vendors to manage, develop, distribute, and track their resources, and to provide rich navigational and discovery tools to the end users. Data needs to be re-used in multiple places and continually synchronized. Records from one system must link seamlessly to records in another.

Key to making this work effectively is interoperability. And standards are critical to successful, cost effective, and vendor-neutral interoperability. This webinar will provide a sampling of new work that is taking place to enable information about library resources to be shared between systems.

Topics to be covered include:

  • CORE: Exchanging Cost Information Between Library Systems
    Ted Koppel (Auto-Graphics, Inc.) and Ed Riding (SirsiDynix), co-chairs of the NISO CORE working group, will explain how NISO's CORE (Cost of Resource Exchange) protocol provides a solution to sharing cost information between library systems. The CORE draft standard is currently in trial use.
  • Interoperability via Web-based Services
    Working with multiple libraries, providing networked services to improve the management of various services, is just one way to help address the issue of interoperability in this environment. Andrew Pace (OCLC) will discuss OCLC's new cloud-based, web-scale management services and how interoperability is being addressed in this project.

  • DLF's ILS Discovery Interfaces Project In 2007-2008, the Digital Library Federation (DLF) convened a Task Group to recommend standard interfaces for integrating the data and services of the Integrated Library System (ILS) with new applications supporting user discovery, and to create a technical proposal for how such integration should be accomplished. John Mark Ockerbloom (University of Pennsylvania) will review the Task Group's official recommendation (revision 1.1) that was released in December 2008.

Due to the ALA conference, no NISO webinar will be held in July. See the Newsline calendar and the NISO events webpage for our webinars for the remainder of the year and join us in Boston for our forum on Library Resource Management Systems.

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 www.niso.org/contact.

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.

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.

ISO TC46 Nairobi Meeting Report

Every year in May, the ISO Technical Committee (TC) 46 on Information and Documentation holds its plenary meeting. In addition to the over-arching TC, the separate subcommittees—SC4 (inter-operability), SC 8 (statistics and performance measures), SC 9 (identifiers) and SC 11(records management)—also have the opportunity to meet. NISO coordinates sending a U.S. delegation to the meetings to participate in the plenary meetings as well as the various working groups that meet throughout the week.

This year's meeting of TC 46 was held in Nairobi, Kenya, hosted by the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS). Because of the difficulties of travel to Kenya and the associated costs in today's tight budget environment, the meeting was relatively small compared to previous years. It was, however, a productive meeting.

This year was the first with new leadership of TC 46, which is managed by AFNOR, the French national standards body. Françoise Pellé has been appointed chairperson of TC 46 and Katell Gueguen was appointed by AFNOR as the new Secretary. Françoise Pellé serves the community as Director of the ISSN International Centre and has long been an active leader in international-standards work in our community. Katell Gueguen is a Standardization Project Manager within AFNOR and has a background in libraries. Both are off to a great start in their new roles leading the work of TC 46.

Among its portfolio of work, TC 46 manages the standards for international country and language identification codes, which are critical to industry and government. One important development relates to overlap between TC 37 (Terminology) and TC 46 on the topic of language codes that are defined in ISO 639. TC37 is planning to transform and/or merge all parts of ISO 639 into a single database standard under its auspices. TC 46 has requested that its member bodies nominate experts to participate in the current working group within TC 37 and to review the work done thus far. TC 46 has also undertaken work to revise ISO 11799, which specifies the characteristics of general-purpose repositories used for the long-term storage of archive and library materials.

Although SC 4 and SC 8 did not meet during the plenary week in Nairobi, SC 9 and SC 11 held both working group and plenary meetings. The SC 11 group was most active, with seven of the working groups meeting in addition to their plenary including: Metadata for records, digital records preservation, records management systems, records digitization, risk assessment, and conversion and migration. The SC 9, which is managed by ANSI/NISO as Secretariat, held two meetings in addition to their plenary, the identifiers interoperability group and the International Standard Name Identifier working group. The interoperability group has launched a new ad hoc project to develop a semantic mapping of the metadata linkages between the SC 9 identifiers (ISBN, ISSN, ISMN, ISTC, DOI, ISNI, etc.) The goal of that work is to provide a seamless framework which content providers, distributors, sellers, and libraries can all use to identify and interlink the various instances and expressions of a work in the marketplace. There are a lot of ISO projects, which are headed for Draft International Standard ballots later this fall, now that a number of legal and policy questions regarding the registration authorities are nearly settled.

The next meeting of TC 46 will be held in Korea at the invitation of KATS, the Korean national standards body the week of May 17-21, 2010. Sam Oh, the Chairman of SC 9 and professor of information sciences Sungkyunkwan University, is arranging the details with the support of his Korean colleagues.

A more detailed report on TC46 meeting week in Nairobi will be published in the Summer 2009 issue of Information Standards Quarterly.

NISO Standards in Development Update: Special Supplement

View the special supplement to this issue for an update on the work in development of NISO's Topic Committees and Working Groups. Upcoming events where a particular project will be presented and discussed are highlighted. See also the mentions of a number of new work items that are under consideration or are expected to be proposed. Contacts for each project are provided along with links to the public workrooms and webpages for further information. There's a lot going on—check out the status of CORE, SUSHI, SERU, I², ONIX-PL, KBART, and more.

New on the NISO Website

New Specs & Standards

DCMI Recommended Resource, Guidelines for Dublin Core Application Profiles

The guideline, which revises the original November 2003 version, "explains the key components of a Dublin Core Application Profile and walks through the process of developing a profile." Application profiles specify the use of metadata in a particular application.

IDEA Alliance, PRISM 2.1 Specification

This minor revision to the Publishing Requirements for Industry Standard Metadata (PRISM) specification adds a new namespace for usage rights and a Rights Guide that provides an XML Rights Model, which can be used as a starting point for the implementation of a Digital Rights Management system.

ISO 8459:2009, Information and documentation – Bibliographic data element directory for use in data exchange and enquiry

This standard revises and merges the five separate parts of this standard previously issued between 1988 and 2002. The consolidated standard "specifies and describes data elements required in the interchange of data between bibliographic systems" to serve as a foundation for enabling interoperability.

ISO 28500:2009, Information and documentation – WARC file format

First edition of the standard that describes a format for concatenating multiple date objects, such as the multiple resources in a website, into one long file. Although designed for web archiving, the format is also usable for more general applications.

Media Stories

Fedora Commons and DSpace Foundation Join Together to Create DuraSpace™ Organization
HatCheck Newsletter (May 12, 2009); Morris, Carol Minton

A new organization, DuraSpace™, was created when the two major repository software vendors, Fedora Commons and the DSpace Foundation merged. Together the two organizations serve some 700 organizations worldwide. Both platforms will continue to be available and new technologies and services will also be offered. The new management team will be Sandy Payette (Chief Executive Officer), Michele Kimpton (Chief Business Officer), and Brad McLean (Chief Technology Officer). Reactions from Clifford Lynch, Executive Director of the Coalition for Networked Information (CNI) and James Hilton, CIO of the University of Virginia were positive, emphasizing the common mission of the two organizations and the benefits to the user community. A new technology, DuraCloud, a web-based hosted service that utilizes distributed cloud computing, will be piloted in the fall of 2009. DuraCloud will, like the existing products, be available as open source software. Also planned are services to increase the interoperability of the Fedora and DSpace platforms and support for Mulgara, a scalable RDF database. The new organization will reach out to new communities who manage and preserve digital content. (Link to Web Source)

Securing Your Digital Future
Information Today (v. 26, no. 5, May 2009); Greenwood, Bill

In the 1970s, electronic information was typically stored in one of three file formats: Dialog, VRS, or ITSC: Orbit, but backfiles were not converted and are inaccessible today. According to Marjorie Hlava, president of Access Innovations, Inc. and chair of the NFAIS standards committee, there's a "big black void" of backfiles available before the mid-70s. Additional data has been lost through obsolescence of proprietary software formats and degradation of storage media. For data encoding, companies are now migrating away from 8-bit ASCII to Unicode, which supports 8-,16-, and 32-bit data. Some libraries are also transitioning from MARC to XML. Bill Trippe, Gilbane Group, Inc., says "XML has not peaked yet" and that it will be around for "quite some time," so is a good choice for library data. Hlava recommends standards such as TEI (Text Encoding Initiative) or EAD (Encoded Archival Description) for archiving purposes. She recommends that files be exported to a standard format at least every two years and backed up to an offsite facility. Trippe recommends PDF/A as a low cost archiving format. Among its benefits is that it is searchable and preserves the display format. The European KEEP (Keeping Emulation Environments Portable) project is working on an approach that keeps files in their original form and uses emulation to replicate old hardware/software. To address media degradation, rewriting of files on a regular schedule is recommended, ahead of the media's life expectancy. Emulation can also be used with migrated media files. For active data, Hlava recommends live mirror and backup servers. (Link to Web Source)

NISO Note: NISO voting members mentioned in this article: AIIM, Library of Congress, NFAIS.

Measuring Digital Library Usage Using Network Traffic Analysis
ERCIM News, Online Edition (No. 77, April 2009); Šmerda, Jiří and Findeisová, Radka

Libraries that subscribe to costly digital subscription services need to be able to evaluate usage data to optimize their electronic portfolio. This data is usually obtained from the content providers in separate reports that can be difficult to compare. Additionally, the provider reports do not offer a breakdown of data by departments or units, which can be important in larger institutions. A group at Masaryk University (Brno, Czech Republic) has developed a method utilizing network traffic data of all computers on the institution's local network. For each digital library collection, data is collected on number of connections made, unique IP addresses that connect, and the amount of data transferred. The application, called MyLibScope, consists of a server, network probe, and desktop application built on INVEA-TEACH a.s. and Mycroft Mind a.s. software. The desktop software has advanced visualization processes that create a kind of dynamic "mind map" of the data in the form of graphic charts, tables, and statistical graphs. Data can be restricted to time periods set by the user. Aggregated graphic data can be drilled down to show detailed usage information. Further work is planned for trending and anomaly identification and incorporation of content provider reports and other data from the IT system. MyLibScope is part of a larger project to enhance the use of digital libraries for end users and library administrators.
(Link to Web Source)

NISO Note: For more on measuring library services and performance, view the slide presentations from NISO's June 1 forum, Performance Measures and Assessment: Critical Tools During Challenging Times.

Ebooks Hit Critical Mass: Where Do Libraries Fit With Oprah?
Online (v.33, no. 3 May/June 2009, p. 14-18); Bedord, Jean

After 10 years of ebook predictions that have failed to materialize, the technology may finally be hitting the mainstream, if Oprah's endorsement of the Amazon Kindle is any indication. Reader hardware has improved but proprietary formats are still an issue. Adapting their processes to accommodate ebook production has been slow and painful for publishers but conversion to XML formats and updated software now allows most publishers to produce multiple formats at the same time. Fears of market erosion of the print version have been somewhat allayed; instead electronic formats can broaden the market. For example, the reader device can offer immediate large print by increasing font size and on-demand conversion to audio. Standards such as PDF and EPub allow increased interoperability between platforms and devices. Pricing is still based on a per book one reader model. Libraries that have multiple readers and buy through aggregators use service providers such as OverDrive and NetLibrary with check-in/check-out functions or online book databases similar to journal databases. Ebooks and book databases appeal to younger users, those who prefer to use libraries remotely, and those who want 24x7 access. Ebook collections offer libraries benefits in that titles can't be lost or stolen, circulation processes can be made self-service, and no extra space is required to expand the collection. Ebook success will depend on growth in availability of titles, especially textbooks, inclusion of titles without segregation in the library's catalog, and more adoption of format standards. Mobile phones will increasingly be the format of choice as a reading device. Libraries will need to address how to add ebooks to their ever-shrinking materials budgets. (Link to Web Source)

NISO Note: For more on changes in the ebook marketplace, attend the free NISO/BISG forum, Changing Standards Landscape of Ebooks, on July 10, 2009 from 12:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. before the ALA Conference.

Author-Rights Language in Library Content Licenses
Research Library Issues (no. 263, April 2009, pp. 33-37); Duranceau, Ellen and Anderson, Ivy

Many authors tend to accept the publisher's copyright agreements and do not retain copies of them, a significant barrier to libraries and institutions seeking to develop repositories of the works and share documents across repositories. One approach to the problem is to develop standard author-rights language and negotiate for their inclusion in licenses. An annual or multi-year agreement with publishers covering multiple journal titles can eliminate thousands of individual annual transactions with authors and include terms that prevent institutions from having to buy-back rights to their researchers' writings. The first major example of this approach was the agreement between Springer and the Max Planck Society in Germany. California Digital Library negotiated an agreement with Springer where authors retain copyright and a Creative Commons-type license transfers rights to Springer. MIT's agreement with Springer provides re-use rights in the institutional repository, other open-access repositories, and anywhere on the web. The agreement was written to allow MIT to retain the rights, rather than the authors, although MIT has the option to extend rights to the authors. The Max Planck and CDL agreements are for two years; the MIT contact is for three years. The different license agreements suggest some common principles such as ensuring the right to make articles available under Creative Commons licensing, and securing rights for institutional repository deposit. Springer is leading the way with innovative licensing that balances the needs of universities, publishers, and authors.
(Link to Web Source)

NISO Note: California Digital Library is a NISO voting member.