Headshot of NISO Managing Director, Todd Carpenter

November 2009

Mobility is among the hot topics at meetings this fall, which is hardly surprising, given the phenomenal growth of the iPhone since its release two years ago, the rise of netbook computers, and the expansion and acceleration of Wi-Fi, 3G, and 4G networks. Even airlines, which were seemingly the last bastion of non-connectivity at 30,000 feet, are slowly opening up to ubiquitous net access as seen with the recent announcement of Wi-Fi availability on select Delta and Lufthansa flights. Library users are increasingly demanding the ability to access electronic publications and library services on mobile devices. This topic was discussed at the recent NISO Library Resource Management Forum in Boston, the LITA 200 National Forum, the Internet Librarian meeting, and the NFAIS Humanities Roundtable, among many other places. Joan Lippincott's keynote at the LITA Annual meeting is a good example.

The issue of mobile access brings up several standards-related questions. The first relates to best practices for allowing sharing of content. The next is focused on flexibility of production formats, which in part turns to the issue of accessibility. Finally, mobility tangentially relates to the concerns about identification.

Mobility of content implies not only the ability to receive content on the go, but also to receive it on a variety of devices. The same content might need to be delivered to an e-book-reader, a mobile phone, and a laptop or netbook; plus, the same user might want the content at different times on all of those devices. Moving content from one platform or technology to another should be seamless to the user, but often content protections like DRM or authentication requirements get in the way. Standards or best practices do not currently exist for easily sharing digital files across devices. Libraries are only beginning to provide digital content, such as e-books via mobile devices like the Kindle or iPhone. How this sharing takes place will require significant consensus about business models, protection from illicit distribution, and a host of technical issues.

Content providers need to consider strategically on which platforms they want or need to distribute content. Planning for this cannot be an afterthought, as it currently is in many publishing organizations. Post-production transformation of content for each developing application will only grow as new services develop and new devices are released. The costs for serving all these platforms, devices, and formats could become unbearable if not built into process workflows. Ann Michael, a publishing industry consultant who also spoke at the NFAIS Humanities roundtable with me, emphasized that publishers have to plan thoroughly before they invest in revamping their production processes. The increasing demand for accessible content and the ability to easily transform from one content format into another will become ever more important. See, for example, the article in this issue about Apple's upcoming tablet device and its potential impact on media distribution.

NISO is already engaged in working on these issues. The Standardized Markup for Journal Articles project provides a common format in which publishers and archives can exchange journal content. By using an XML schema, the standard format offers a way that content can be re-used and reformatted in many different ways from the same source file. The DAISY Revision working group is nearing the release of a trial version of their revised schema for the Digital Talking Book standard. Among the goals for the revision are the expansion of the schema to non-book applications and alignment with the mainstream publishing industry workflow. We welcome your suggestions on other areas where NISO should be engaged.

Also of note this month, NISO has announced its 2010 educational program schedule of monthly webinars and three in-person events. We are also announcing two discount programs for the webinars: a full-year at half price and a buy four get two free offer. I hope you'll be able to join us for one or more of these programs.

Todd Carpenter’s Signature

Todd Carpenter

Managing Director

NISO Reports

November Webinar: Data, Data Everywhere: Migration and System Population Practices

The scope and scale of metadata repositories continues to grow, with increasingly heterogeneous data and complexity both on the ingest side (e.g., bibliographic metadata) and in inter- and intra-organizational exchange of usage, patron, purchase, and accounting data. While data format and exchange standards are a given, how do policies, implementations, and standards interact? What are some examples of effective alignment and what challenges remain?

These issues and more will be discussed at NISO's November webinar, Data, Data Everywhere: Migration and System Population Practices, to be held on November 11, 2009 from 1:00 - 2:30 p.m. (Eastern Time).


Data quality, policy, and large-scale data flows
How do regional consortia establish and implement policies to allow them to cope with increasing amounts of data in a widening variety of formats?

  • Hilary Newman, Vice President of Implementation Services, Innovative Interfaces, Inc.

Academic library perspective
Individual research libraries provide local, customized services for their audiences that are based upon large quantities of data—hopefully of high quality and supported by easy-to-use tools and processes provided by vendors and consortia. What are the successes, stress points, and failures from the perspective of the academic library?

  • Maribeth Manoff, Coordinator for Networked Service Integration, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
  • Robert McDonald, Associate Dean for Library Technologies, Indiana 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 11th? Register and gain access to the recorded archive for one year.

This webinar is sponsored by Ex Libris.

December Webinar: ONIX for Publication Licenses: Adding Structure to Legalese

Once license terms for e-resources have been negotiated, they have to be communicated to both library staff and end users. ONIX for Publications Licenses (ONIX-PL), developed by EDItEUR, is an XML format that both publishers and libraries can use to add machine-readable structure to license terms. NISO and EDItEUR's joint ONIX-PL Working Group, created in 2008, is charged with the continued development of the ONIX-PL standard for license expression to ensure it is fit for use by all types of stakeholders. They are also doing outreach, such as this webinar, to educate the community about ONIX-PL.

NISO's webinar ONIX for Publication Licenses: Adding Structure to Legalese, to be held December 9, 2009 from 1:00 - 2:30 EST, will update participants on the ONIX-PL specification and how it can be used to simplify and communicate license information.

Speakers for the webinar are:

  • Rick Burke, Executive Director, SCELC - Statewide California Electronic Library Consortium
  • Wilma Mossink, Juridisch Adviseur/Legal Adviser, SURF Foundation
  • Mark Bide, Executive Director, EDItEUR

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 for one year. NISO and NASIG members receive a discounted member rate. A student discount is also available.

This webinar is sponsored by EBSCO and Swets.

2010 Education Schedule and Discount Program

Building on the success of its 2009 educational programs, NISO will be hosting 16 educational events throughout the coming year—13 webinars and three in-person events—focusing on a range of technology- and standards-related topics affecting the library and publishing communities. Among the important topics that will be addressed are: assessment, interoperability, preservation, identification, RFID, metadata, and accessibility.

NISO is also pleased to announce a discount program for organizations interested in having staff participate in multiple events. The entire 12-part series of webinars can be purchased for the price of six events. There is also a "buy 4 and get 2 free" discount. This is an excellent opportunity for professional development without the expense of travel.

NISO's web seminars are held on the second Wednesday of each month, except July, from 1:00 - 2:30 p.m. (Eastern time). There are two 2-part seminars planned for March and September, which will take place on consecutive Wednesdays.

NISO will hold three in-person forums in 2010: Discovery to Delivery: Creating a First-Class User Experience (March 23rd in Atlanta, GA); The 4th Annual NISO/BISG Changing Standards Landscape Forum (free, open event at ALA Annual, June 25th, Washington, DC); and E-Resource Management: From Start to Finish (and Back Again) (October 7th, Chicago, IL). NISO educational forums are routinely praised for their excellent selection of speakers representing a diversity of viewpoints across the scholarly information community and the small size that provides opportunities to network with speakers and other attendees.

Free teleconferences are also held on the second Monday of every month (except July) to discuss projects underway in NISO and to provide the community with an opportunity to provide feedback and input on areas where NISO is or ought to be engaged.

The complete list of 2010 NISO educational events is available on the NISO website. Registration is now open for all events.

Sponsorship and speaking opportunities are also available. If you would like to share your expertise with the community, suggest speakers or related topics, or would like to sponsor an event, please contact Todd Carpenter.

New Specs & Standards

IEEE 1484.13.2-201x, Recommended Practice for Learning Technology – Metadata Encoding and Transmission Standard (METS) Mapping to the Conceptual Model for Resource Aggregation

New project to develop a standard to specify how the elements and attributes defined in the Metadata Encoding and Transmission Standard (METS) relate to the components of the conceptual model for resource aggregation defined in IEEE 1484.13.1. For more information, contact working group chair Kerry Blinco.

IEEE 1484.13.6-201x, Recommended Practice for Learning Technology – Open Archives Initiative Object Reuse and Exchange Abstract Model (OAI-ORE) – Mapping to the Conceptual Model for Resource Aggregation

New project to develop a standard to specify how the elements and attributes defined in the Open Archives Initiative Object Reuse and Exchange (OAI-ORE) Abstract Model and expressed in the OAI-ORE Resource Map Implementation in RDF/XML relate to the components of the conceptual model for resource aggregation defined in IEEE 1484.13.1. For more information, contact working group chair Kerry Blinco.

ISO 15511:2009, Information and documentation – International standard identifier for libraries and related organizations (ISIL)

Second edition of the standard that specifies the International Standard Identifier for Libraries and related organizations (ISIL). It is comprised of a set of standard identifiers used for the unique identification of libraries, archives, museums, and related organizations with a minimum impact on already existing systems.

ISO/TR 15801:2009, Document management – Information stored electronically – Recommendations for trustworthiness and reliability

Second edition of the standard that describes the implementation and operation of document management systems that can be considered to store electronic information in a trustworthy and reliable manner.

W3C Working Draft, SPARQL 1.1 Query

The SPARQL query language for RDF can be used to express queries across diverse data sources. This is the first public working draft of the changes for a proposed revision that adds support for aggregates, subqueries, projected expressions, and negation to the SPARQL query language.

BSR/ARMA 5-20xx, Vital Records Programs: Identifying, Managing, and Recovering Business-Critical Records

In this new edition draft, content has been updated and expanded to more accurately reflect, among other considerations, business continuity-related planning needs. And, reflecting the vital records realities made apparent as a result of Hurricane Katrina, new contents include a section on developing, implementing, and monitoring a records loss prevention plan, new information around protecting electronic data, and an appendix comparing drying techniques for water-damaged books and records. Guidance from the National Archives and Records Administration is also referenced in this latest edition. Provide comment by 11/30/09 to Nancy Barnes.

DAISY Consortium, Draft Specification for the DAISY Online Delivery Protocol

The DAISY Online Delivery protocol is a web service API that facilitates the delivery of digital resources from service providers to end users. The protocol features a core set of operations that can be configured to enable a variety of different download models, making it a flexible and lightweight solution to the growing need for online delivery of published content. Please provide comments and implementation reports to the Working Group through the public feedback form available on the DAISY site.

Media Stories

Untangling the Library Systems Environment
Lorcan Dempsey's Weblog, October 25, 2009; Lorcan Dempsey

Library systems have traditionally managed front-end and back-end services in a tightly coupled vertical manner. Physical materials are handled through the ILS and discovered through the ILS catalog interface. Licensed e-resources are managed with an ERM or similar system using resolvers or metasearch for discovery. Digital repository materials do not yet have a standard approach for management. Interest is growing in integrating workflows across material formats, such as with OCLC's Cooperative Webscale Management Systems initiative, Ex Libris's URM, and the open source OLE project. On the discovery side, file consolidation and metasearch are the primary approaches to integration. Libraries are faced with the challenges of integrating legacy and new systems and providing services to multiple user environments. Also needed is greater participation by libraries in the social aspects of the Internet. NISO's recent library resource management meeting had a number of presentations relevant to these issues. Among the trends highlighted at the forum were: the need "to move from content-based verticals to service-based horizontals"; the impact from open source ILS software; usage data as a basis for ranking and recommendations; cooperation and scaling beyond the institutional level; cloud library implementations; and integration with other systems within the enterprise. (Link to Web Source)

NISO Note: Presentation slides from the NISO Library Resource Management System forum are available on the event agenda webpage. For another take on the forum's themes and trends, see Abigail Bordeaux's blog. CLIR, Ex Libris, and OCLC are NISO voting members.

Social Media Metrics
Online, 33 (6), Nov/Dec 2009; David Stuart

Use of social media in libraries has become widespread from blogs, wikis, and social networking sites to virtual worlds. But missing are methods to quantitatively measure the effectiveness and usage of these technologies. Blogs can have code added to each page to track visits but additional metrics are needed regarding the number of comments per entry, amount of linking through trackbacks, link listings in blogrolls, and RSS feed subscriptions. Wiki measures could include pages created, number of edits, and the number of editors. Network sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, or Flickr, have their own metrics, which vary from site to site and by type of account. The one common metric of number of users/members/subscribers is not a useful metric since many members may be relatively inactive; a better metric is the number of comments posted. Microblogs, such as Twitter tweets, have more in common with social networks than blogs, with the focus on the network of friends. Again, the number of followers is not as useful a metric as how much the microblog is shared further. To get useful metrics from social media, libraries need to specify the explicit reason for using different social media, identify the metrics that will measure the stated goals, set realistic benchmarks on what constitutes success, and re-evaluate at regular intervals. (Link to Web Source)

A Compound Object Authoring and Publishing Tool for Literary Scholars based on the IFLA-FRBR
The International Journal of Digital Curation, 4 (2), 2009; Anna Gerber and Jane Hunter

The LORE (Literary Object Reuse and Exchange) project was designed to provide a tool to enable the relating of disparate digital objects of literature for re-use, visualization, or encapsulation. The project builds on IFLA's FRBR and OAI's Object Reuse and Exchange (OAI-ORE). A case study was conducted using AustLit, a collaboration between the National Library of Australia and twelve universities, whose data model is based on FRBR and augmented with additional metadata. AustLit requires researchers to go through an administrator to add objects or metadata. LORE's goal was to enable authors to directly enter descriptive metadata, publish objects to open access repositories, and document lineage of derived products. The LORE tool uses a Firefox extension or a webserver-installed version, both using AJAX. An OWL ontology based on FRBR defines the metadata types and terms. Relationship types can be displayed in a visual map and in a context menu. User feedback from researchers was very positive Some issues identified during the case study were: the need to be able to add resources that are not URI-resolvable web resources; researchers may not understand the data model terminology and could use more semantic checks; visualizations could use more distinction in color and type to highlight relationships; and some usability issues with the interface. Continued LORE development will be done as part of the Aus-e-Lit Project, which is addressing e-research needs of literature scholars. (Link to Web Source)

Apple's Next Revolution – And What You Can Learn From It
Harvardbusiness.org Voices, October 1, 2009; Umair Haque

Amid numerous rumors about the Apple tablet computer projected for release in early 2010, Umair Haque, Director of the Havas Media Lab, speculates that the new Apple technology could be as disruptive as iPod was to music and iPhone was to mobile. This time the revolution could be in news media, TV programs, movies, and books through resources sold for the tablet through a media store much like the iTunes store. Future media and content strategies need to be rooted in markets, networks, and communities (common to both Apple and Google's mastery). Context, which Amazon commoditized with its open source book reviews, will continue to shape consumer decisions. Viral acceleration can result in positive upsurges or negative implosions. With their new tablet and media store, Apple will need to effectively address pricing, add-on applications, and unbundling. Thick, i.e. sustainable, value will ultimately determine whether an innovation will reach a state of world-changing awesomeness. (Link to Web Source)

DOD Open-Source Memo Could Change Software Landscape
Government computing News, Oct 28, 2009; Joab Jackson

The Department of Defense released in October new guidelines on the use of open source software. The document, which has been underway since mid-2008, finally puts in writing that open source is a viable option. An earlier study authored by Mitre had reported on the existing widespread use of open source software in the government. The Navy had previously approved open source in 2007. The new guidelines categorize open source as a type of "commercial software," which current law requires to be considered in procurements. (Link to Web Source)

NISO Note: See the actual DOD guidance memorandum here. Such an endorsement by the DOD will undoubtedly give more traction to open source software support in non-military applications. The DOD Defense Technical Information Center is a NISO voting member.