Headshot of NISO Managing Director, Todd Carpenter

July 2010

Summer in the Mid-Atlantic region brings many things: stifling heat and humidity, lounging in the community pools, summer vacations, boating on the Chesapeake, and—unfortunately—another disappointing Orioles baseball season. This summer has brought with it some wonderful things for NISO and the information community. The first of these was the American Library Association Conference in Washington, DC. Standards and best practice development projects were frequently highlighted in a variety of programs hosted by NISO and many other sessions throughout the conference. Despite the challenging economic environment, ALA drew more than 26,000 attendees this year, which is on par with previous years in Washington, although slightly down from 2009 in Chicago.

The programs I attended were first rate, beginning with the fourth year of a successful NISO and Book Industry Study Group (BISG) partnership for The Changing Standards Landscape Forum. This year the focus was on how content creators, aggregators, systems suppliers, and libraries deal with items or sub-items, as opposed to packages such as journals or collections. The presentations were fantastic and for those of you who couldn't join us, or those who would like to refresh their memories, the presentations from that session are available from the NISO/BISG forum webpage. Also available are the slides from the NISO Update, a special program on the Three S's of Managing Electronic Resources, and several other standards-related programs that took place during ALA. Some additional presentations are forthcoming, so check back next week. We were also able to video or audio record some of the NISO programs and presentations and these will be available on the NISO website later this summer.

The second big event for NISO this summer was receiving word from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation that a grant proposal, Developing a Generalized and Sustainable Framework for a Public, Open, Scholarly Assessment Service Based on Aggregated Large-scale Usage Data, that we helped draft has been approved for funding. Many of you may be familiar with the MESUR (MEtrics from Scholarly Usage of Resources) Project led by Johan Bollen, Associate Professor in the School of Informatics and Computing at Indiana University. Johan will be the lead investigator on the project, supported in a variety of ways by NISO. The project will build on the initial work of MESUR, which created a database of nearly 10 billion semantic statements relating bibliographic, citation, and usage data for scholarly content, and will create the foundation for the evolution of the MESUR project to a community-supported, sustainable scholarly assessment framework. Work will begin on the project later this summer after all the details are worked out with Mellon and IU. We are extremely pleased to be participating in this project.

We announced the launch of a variety of new projects this spring prior to ALA, and that NISO currently has more development work underway than at any time in its history. So we are pleased that NISO will once again have a full complement of four full time staff members with the return of Anna Martin as Program Assistant in July. The extra hands will allow NISO to continue to build on our development momentum, offer our popular educational programs, and keep our projects on a timely schedule.

Finally, this has been an especially busy time in my own life. My wife and I welcomed a baby daughter to our family at the end of May. Both she and my wife are doing well and we enjoyed our first full night of sleep just after ALA. It will be a busy summer, indeed!


Todd Carpenter’s Signature

Todd Carpenter

Managing Director

NISO Reports

NISO August Webinar: Show Me the Data: Managing Data Sets for Scholarly Content

NISO's August webinar—August 11 from 1:00 - 2:30 p.m. (Eastern)—will feature: Show Me the Data: Managing Data Sets for Scholarly Content. This webinar examines the state of the art in linking published scholarly information—think journal articles—to the data that supports the publication. DataCite and OAI-ORE are just two of the newest models and standards that are under development and being incorporated into the newest generations of production and experimental publishing and data curation repositories.

The webinar will address such questions as: How are commercial and non-profit publishers responding to the demand to link publications directly to data? What are the important technical developments aimed at providing seamless linkages between publications and data? What are the implications for publishers, research libraries, faculty, and researchers and their established cultures?

Speakers and topics for the webinar are:

  • New Models for Publications and Datasets: Dryad – Dr. Jane Greenberg, Professor, School of Information and Library Science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
    Dryad is a repository for the data that underlies scholarly publications and is an experimental partnership with professional association publishers in evolution and ecology.

  • Providing Access to Citable Data: DataCite – Joan Starr, Strategic & Project Planning Manager & John Kunze, Associate Director, UC Curation Center, California Digital Library
    DataCite is a new international organization that works to improve the scholarly infrastructure around datasets, including establishment of best practices for citing well-preserved datasets.

  • The Commercial Publisher Perspective on Journal-to-Data Linkage – Speaker TBA

Registration is per site (defined as access for one computer). NISO and NASIG members may register at a discounted rate. A student discount is also available. Can't make it on the scheduled date or time? Registrants receive access to the recorded version for one year, which can be viewed at your convenience. For more information or to register, visit the event webpage.

Package discount available: Buy four webinars and get two free. This will allow you to attend all six remaining NISO 2010 webinars. A complete list and a link to the package registration are available on this webpage. [Note: The joint DCMI webinar is not available for the package discount.]

Joint NISO/DCMI Webinar: Dublin Core: The Road from Metadata Formats to Linked Data

NISO and the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative (DCMI) have announced a new educational partnership, starting with an educational webinar on Dublin Core: The Road from Metadata Formats to Linked Data to be held Wednesday, August 25th, from 1:00 - 2:30 p.m. (eastern time).

Created in 1995, the Dublin Core was a result of the early phase of the web revolution. While most saw the Dublin Core as a simple metadata format, or as a set of descriptive headers embedded in web pages, a few of its founders saw it as a cornerstone of a fundamentally new approach to metadata. In the shadow of search engines, a Semantic Web approach developed in the early 2000s, reaching maturity in 2006 with the Linked Data movement, which uses Dublin Core as one of its key vocabularies.

This webinar will discuss the difference between traditional approaches based on record formats and the Linked Data approach, based on metadata "statements" designed to be merged across data silo boundaries. Focusing on the dual role of Dublin Core as a format and as a Semantic Web vocabulary, this webinar will discuss new technologies for bridging the gap between traditional and Linked Data approaches, highlighting how old ideas such as embedded metadata have been reinvented with new web technologies and tools to solve practical problems of resource discovery and navigation.

Speakers and topics are:

  • Dublin Core in the Early Web Revolution – Makx Dekkers, Managing Director and CEO, Dublin Core Metadata Initiative Ltd. (DCMI)
    Makx will describe how the early history of the Dublin Core illustrates an emerging split between two quite different paradigms for metadata -- one based on closed systems and record formats and the other based on recombinational metadata with an "open-world" assumption.

  • What Makes the Linked Data Approach Different – Thomas Baker, Chief Information Officer, DCMI Ltd.
    Tom will demonstrate how metadata can be designed for merging across the boundaries of repositories and data silos.

  • Designing Interoperable Metadata on Linked Data Principles – Thomas Baker, Chief Information Officer, DCMI Ltd.
    Tom will show how good metadata design is rooted in well-articulated requirements and how the interoperability of metadata depends on shared underlying vocabularies in the context of a shared "grammar" for metadata.

  • Bridging the Gap to the Linked Data Cloud – Makx Dekkers, Managing Director and CEO, Dublin Core Metadata Initiative Ltd. (DCMI)
    Makx will describe how existing metadata applications can participate in the Linked Data cloud with emphasis on the role of simple, generic vocabularies such as the Dublin Core in providing a common denominator for interoperability.

Registration is per site (defined as access for one computer). NISO and NASIG members may register at a discounted rate. A student discount is also available. Can't make it on the scheduled date or time? Registrants receive access to the recorded version for one year, which can be viewed at your convenience. For more information or to register, visit the event webpage.

Forum: E-Resource Management: From Start to Finish (and Back Again)

NISO will be holding an in-person forum on October 7, 2010, in Chicago, IL on E-Resource Management: From Start to Finish (and Back Again). The "start to finish and back again" of this event will take attendees through the various stages of working with an active ERM in your library:

  • The Start: The basics of a successful ERM implementation/use

  • The Finish: At a higher-level, the more advanced and downstream uses made capable by ERMs (e.g., decision making)

  • Back Again: Those things that still aren't in place, that we will need to implement anew in order to answer outstanding needs.

This event will benefit anyone who is interested in learning more about how to effectively use an ERM for managing content, for interpreting data and making decisions based on that data, and to learn about what to expect in the near future for ERM use.

Speakers and topics for the forum are:

  • Keynote Presentation: What Value Do ERM Systems Bring to Libraries? – Norm Medeiros, Associate Librarian of the College & Coordinator for Bibliographic and Digital Services, Haverford College

  • Integrating the ERM with Print Holdings – Martha Rice-Sanders, Knowledge Management Librarian, HELIN Consortium

  • Using the ERM for Managing Content, Budgeting, and Reporting – Nisa Bakkalbasi, Head, Electronic Collections, Yale University

  • Using the ERM to Interpret Data – Nancy Beals, Electronic Resources Librarian, Wayne State University Libraries & John Rutherford, Systems Librarian, Wayne State University Libraries

  • Using the ERM to Inform Staffing Decisions, Collection Management – Angela Riggio, Head, Digital Collections Management, UCLA Library

  • What E-books Mean to ERMs – Aaron Wood, Director of Software Product Management, Alexander Street Press

  • Next Steps: The NISO ERM Gap Analysis Working Group – Tim Jewell, Director, Information Resources and Scholarly Communication, University of Washington

Registration is now open; get the early bird discount by registering before September 24. NISO members and students receive a discounted rate. The event hotel, Holiday Inn Chicago Mart Plaza, is offering NISO event attendees a special rate for the night of Wednesday, October 6. For more information and to register, visit the event webpage.

ISQ Special Issue on Digital Preservation

NISO's Spring 2010 issue of the Information Standards Quarterly (ISQ) magazine is a special issue on the theme of Digital Preservation. ISQ Guest Content Editor, Priscilla Caplan, Assistant Director for Digital Library Services, Florida Center for Library Automation, has compiled a stellar set of articles on the topic-authored by experts in the field from the U.S., U.K, Canada, and New Zealand.

"A vibrant international community of preservation specialists," Priscilla Caplan explains, "is both developing and implementing standards and best practices in the areas of digital curation and preservation to ensure continued access to digital information. This special issue of ISQ describes many of the preservation endeavors underway and provides guidance that others can use in their own preservation efforts."

This content-rich issue has features ranging from digital preservation-related metadata standards to trustworthy repositories, digital preservation planning, and the unified digital formats registry. The "In Practice" section provides practical advice from actual implementations and testing on preservation file formats, audiovisual digitization guidelines, and risk assessment to mitigate format obsolescence.

The opinion piece for this issue takes aim at digital preservation education in the U.S. (and the lack thereof), and the NISO member spotlight is on a major force for preservation in the U.S., the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).

Rounding out the issue is a NISO report on the new OpenURL quality project—IOTA: Improving OpenURLs Through Analytics—and conference reports on the NIST Digital Preservation Interoperability Framework, the NISO E-Resources Preservation webinar, and the Electronic Resources & Libraries 2010 Conference, followed by Noteworthy reports on several preservation-related new publications and project milestones.

For the complete Table of Contents and access to the free articles, visit the issue's webpage. ISQ is available free of charge to all NISO voting and LSA members; a link to download the complete issue is also available on the Table of Contents page and back issues are available from the ISQ Archives page.

Individual issue copies may also be purchased as supplies last (US: $36; international: $45). Visit the ISQ subscribe/order webpage for an order form.

Journal Article Versions (JAV) Survey: July 16 Deadline

Online publishing allows for the release of multiple versions of journal articles—and these growing practices are redefining our concept of "publishing" and the "version of record." How do we determine when a manuscript is considered final? Which version should be cited? How do we best indicate online article versions?

In 2008, NISO published the Recommended Practice, Journal Article Versions (JAV): Recommendations of the NISO/ALPSP JAV Technical Working Group (NISO RP-8-2008). It recommended version classifications that could be incorporated into article metadata for database management, archiving and cataloging, online display, and more.

Now, NISO would like to hear what you think: How do you manage version control of journal articles? Are you amenable to industry standards for online versions? Who is responsible for managing such version metadata? Please take a moment to contribute your perspectives by answering this short survey by July 16, 2010. It should take no more than five minutes to complete. A report of the results will be made available on the NISO website.

New Specs & Standards

NISO I² Working Group Releases Midterm Release Document; Comments Requested

NISO's Institutional Identifiers (I²) Working Group has just released for comment a Midterm Work to Date document. The purpose of the Midterm Request for Comments is to provide the Working Group with valuable guidance to complete development of the I² standard and to undertake midterm course correction, as needed. In addition to describing the purpose and background of the I² identifier, comments and responses to specific questions are sought in four specific topic areas. Feedback is requested by August 2, 2010.

ISO 690:2010, Information and documentation – Guidelines for bibliographic references and citations to information resources

Edition 3 of the standard that gives guidelines for the preparation of bibliographic references. It is applicable to bibliographic references and citations to all kinds of information resources, including but not limited to monographs, serials, contributions, patents, cartographic materials, electronic information resources (including computer software and databases), music, recorded sound, prints, photographs, graphic and audiovisual works, and moving images. It is not applicable to machine-parsable citations. It is also not applicable to legal citations, which have their own standards.

New Task Group: DCMI Metadata Provenance

Based on the premise that metadata provenance information is in itself metadata, this new task group aims to define a Dublin Core application profile that allows for making assertions about description statements or description sets, creating a shared model of the data elements required to describe an aggregation of metadata statements in order to collectively import, access, use and publish facts about the quality, rights, timeliness, data source type, trust situation, etc. of the described statements.

Media Stories

Object Reuse and Exchange (OAI-ORE)
Library Technology Reports, 46 (4), May-June 2010; by Michael Witt

The Open Archives Initiative (OAI) specification on Object Reuse and Exchange (ORE) defines a mechanism for aggregating a set of digital objects, such as those on a website, so they can be delivered and exposed as a new, compound entity. Author Michael Witt, Interdisciplinary Research Librarian and Assistant Professor of Library Science at Purdue University, says ORE "may present the next major disruptive technology for librarians who develop and manage collections of digital information." To understand the ORE architecture, one should become familiar with Web architecture, the Semantic Web's RDF and RDFS specifications, and the concept of linked data. Witt's goal for this report is to make ORE more understandable and usable by non-programmers. An ORE Aggregation is expressed by a Resource Map, which provides the needed information about the Aggregation in a machine-readable format. A Resource Map has a URI that resolves to one or more serializations in formats such as RDF/XML, RDFa, or Atom XML. A crawler-based search engine could use the ORE description to "index information and provide search results sets at the granularity of the aggregations rather than in addition to their individual parts.…Institutional repository applications could use them as the basis of interoperability for exchange and service interaction with other institutional repositories." The full report includes an explanation of the rationale for ORE, a description of the ORE abstract data model, an introduction to RDF, a practical example (the National Digital Newspaper Program at the Library of Congress), an exploration of Resource Map serialization, a review of current ORE implementations and tools especially relevant to libraries, profiles of several projects, and resources for further learning. (Link to Web Source)

Libraries Have a Novel Idea
WSJ.com, June 29, 2010; by Geoffrey A. Fowler

A group of libraries have created a website for users to check-out e-books that includes access to more than a million public domain books scanned and made available by the Internet Archive. Some of the participants, including the Boston Public Library and the Marine Biological Laboratory are contributing their own scans of several hundred books still copyrighted but out-of-print. Borrowers anywhere in the world can download and read the books for free. The book becomes inaccessible when the loan period expires. Most library-loaned e-books in 2009 were of contemporary titles, purchased through services such as OverDrive. The Openlibrary.org project of the Internet Archive plans to catalog some 70,000 of the OverDrive titles and provide links to local library check-outs for them. "We're trying to build an integrated digital lending library of anything that is available anywhere, where you can go and find not just information about books, but also find the books themselves and borrow them," said Brewster Kahle, the founder and digital librarian of the Internet Archive. While the Internet Archive has previously focused on scanning public domain titles, it is expanding its services to scanning a library's in-copyright book, which the library would then loan digitally while simultaneously restricting loan of the print counterpart. The participating libraries feel that such a process would comply with copyright restrictions, although The Author's Guild may yet weigh in differently. (Link to Web Source)

E Is for Explosion: E-Readers, Etextbooks, Econtent, Elearning, E-Everything
MultiMedia & Internet @ Schools, July/August 2010, posted July 1, 2010; by Victor Rivero

By the end of this year, GenY members, 96% of whom have joined some social network, will outnumber Baby Boomers, according to Erik Qualman, social media pundit. According to a U.S. Department of Education study, one in six students of higher education is taking an online course and online students are outperforming those in traditional classrooms. Pew Research Center reported on experts' agreement that student choices will set the pace of learning in the next ten years. U.S. educational technology spending, already at $47.6 billion in 2008, is predicted to increase by 30% in 2013. Publishers are scrambling to keep up with the demand for e-textbooks, which are generally 10-40% less than their print counterparts. A PDF version of the print isn't sufficient; e-textbooks are increasingly multimedia and interactive. Applications such as The Elements for the iPad, which makes chemistry easily understandable, is one of many available and forthcoming "gadgets". 2010 may be the year that people point to as the flashpoint for education technology. Among the many innovative companies in this arena are Discovery Education (interactive digital education resources), Shmoop (e-guides to literature), CengageBrain (e-textbooks and e-chapters), OverDrive (e-books and audiobooks), and Copia (social e-reading). [More examples in the full text article.] Technology in education has the potential to transform learning, but it is "our own cleverness and mindfulness of the ideas we pose and share that lend real meaning to it all." (Link to Web Source)

NISO Note: Cengage is a NISO voting member.

Search: It's More Than Finding; It's Doing
EContent, June 2010 Issue, posted Jun 02, 2010; by Nancy Davis Kho

Search has become more about doing, i.e. integrating search into workflow and decision making. For example, consumers depend on search to make buying decisions—searching for the right combinations of features, price, and availability. comScore reported a 46% increase in search in December 2009 over the previous year. But search efficiency still has room for improvement. Recommind found that employees still took 38 minutes on average to search and find a single document. Gartner Research has identified a huge enterprise search market—as much as $1.9 billion by 2013. Microsoft's Bing.com launch was promoted as a decision engine rather than a search engine. Alta Plana analytics strategist Seth Grimes sees "basic semantic analysis creeping into mainstream search." Search solutions have extended way beyond keywords to autocategorization, visualization, analytics, and taxonomy support. Dow Jones' Wall Street Journal Professional Edition delivers clusters of keywords, business executives profiles, and news sources—with drill-down capability—as its search results. NetBase is applying semantic technology to interpret full sentences for medical information searches. HealthBase uses linguistic patterns to determine relationships. Healthline is using visual navigation like 3D body maps to provide a different search experience. kCura's Relativity product uses conceptual similarity and clustering to aid in the legal discovery process. Dow Jones is integrating workflow into search to let users of its Media Relations Manager platform link stories to potential journalists and bloggers. Harris Corp. engineers use Endeca's search product to sift through the 70 million parts in the database for those needed for a new design. University of Virginia Press has implemented "behind-the-scenes curatorial expertise" built into the search tool to assist researchers in navigating through their digital American Founding Era collection where the full-text may use abbreviations, different names for the same place, or archaic terminology. Integration of geospatial data offers some of the greatest potential for delivering actionable contextual search directly to mobile devices. (Link to Web Source)

Scholarly Digital Use and Information-Seeking Behaviour in Business and Economics: An Evidence-Based Study
CIBER report for JISC, June 30, 2010; by David Nicholas, Ian Rowlands, David Clark, Thomas Nicholas, Hamid R. Jamali, CIBER

Using previously unpublished data from CIBER's Virtual Scholar research programme and from current CIBER studies, such as the JISC national E-book Observatory project and the RIN-funded E-journals study, this report analyzed "the digital usage and information seeking behaviour of tens of thousands of business/economics/management students, researchers and academic staff." The dataset covered a period over five years and represented over 5,000 users. Common with users in other fields, the Business/Economics users made short visits, viewed only a few documents or pages, liked simple searching as with Google and GoogleScholar, and want to be able to search off-site from their institutions and outside the 9-5 working day. Multiple e-book browsing is more common than extended reading. Students, while more numerous in user volume, are lighter in the amount of content used. Economic/business users differ from their colleagues in other fields in that they are heavier users of e-books and e-textbooks, they search off-campus and off-hours more frequently, their search time is more abbreviated, they are even more Google-preferential, and they markedly prefer current material. [The full report provides details specific to particular studies, particular types of materials (e-books, e-textbooks, e-journals), and includes numerous graphs and tables.] (Link to Web Source)

Building a Location-aware Mobile Search Application with Z39.50 and HTML5
Code4Lib Journal, Issue 10, 2010-06-22 ; by M.J. Suhonos

Toronto Public Library with its 11 million items spread out among 100 branches needed a better way to help users determine where the nearest copy of a particular item was located. The author's solution was the creation of MyTPL, a mobile web application that uses a Z39.50 interface to query the library's SirsiDynix Symphony ILS. If the search device is GPS-enabled, the results are linked to a map displaying the locations with the selected item. The trend to date for library-related mobile solutions has been for iPhone-specific applications such as WorldCat Mobile from OCLC and Local Books from LibraryThing. Platform independent mobile applications tend to have a lowest common denominator approach, reducing the available capabilities. The author, who developed MyTPL, deliberately chose to restrict the solution to known-item searches, the WebKit browser engine used in Mobile Safari, and to use open-source tools and standards wherever possible. MyTPL has a classic three-tier client-server architecture with the Z39.50 query into the ILS used as the data tier. A webserver provides the server application tier and a mobile device is the client. The MARC21 data is converted to MARCXML and the encoding is changed from MARC-8 to UTF-8. Branch holdings are extracted from MARC field 926 and converted to MODS XML. When the MyTPL page initially loads on the mobile device, users can optionally provide their latitude and longitude. If they've done so, Google Maps is used to display the branch location and obtain directions. User feedback has identified some room for improvement including greater availability of cover art and retrieval of additional metadata for movies and music albums from web database services. Further investigation is warranted in using the Z39.50 OPAC record format and in expanding the client side to a greater variety of mobile devices as well as desktop platforms. The complete source code is available under a GNU GPLv3 license for others who wish to adapt it to their multi-branch library. (Link to Web Source)