October 2010

Working Group Connection is a quarterly supplement to the monthly NISO Newsline e-newsletter, published in January, April, July, and October. Working Group Connection provides the latest news from NISO's working groups and committees. Working Group Connection will keep you up-to-date on the progress of all of the standards and recommended practices in development and maintenance, letting you know both what is new and what is forthcoming.

Architecture Committee

Chair: Bruce Heterick, Vice President, Outreach & Participation Services, JSTOR and Portico (parts of Ithaka), & Vice-Chair, NISO Board of Directors

During its April 2010 meeting, the NISO Board of Directors took the time to review the role of the Architecture Committee. Because most of the significant work regarding NISO's strategic goals has been completed (or near completed), the NISO Board agreed that there was a strong need to restructure this group to focus on issues of Topic Committee scope and coordination, and advising the Board on strategic questions vis-a-vis NISO's standards development program.

To achieve this, in September 2010 the Board reconstituted the membership of the Architecture Committee to include only the Topic Committee co-chairs as members, with the NISO Board Vice-Chair to serve as chair for the Architecture Committee so that a greater connection between the two groups exists. NISO's Managing Director and Standards Program Manager will serve as ex officio members to provide additional support and guidance to this committee.

During its first call in September, the newly restructured Architecture Committee started to specifically identify topics that it would undertake as part of its charge. Just some of these were:

  • Addressing areas of overlap between topic committees.
  • Leveraging shared activities, taking advantage of capabilities.
  • Protocols/processes/procedures—how we do things (e.g., standards review, coordinating with working groups).
  • Looking at how to encourage grass-root efforts to come to NISO.
  • Making sure there is clear understanding about and visibility of NISO's work processes/procedures in the community.

Business Information Topic Committee

CORE (Cost of Resource Exchange) Standing Committee

Chair: Ted Koppel (Auto-Graphics, Inc.)
Vice-Chair: Kathy Klemperer (Harrassowitz)

In August 2010 CORE: Cost of Resource Exchange Protocol (NISO RP-10-2010) was formally published as a NISO Recommended Practice. CORE identifies a compact yet useful structure for query and delivery of relevant acquisitions data. The CORE recommended practice defines an XML schema to facilitate the exchange of financial information related to the acquisition of library resources between systems, such as an ILS and an ERMS. CORE is available freely at: www.niso.org/publications/rp/RP-2010-10.pdf.

Making the CORE protocol available as a Recommended Practice allows ILS and ERM vendors, subscription agents, open-source providers, and other system developers to now implement the XML framework for exchanging cost information between systems. In September 2010, following publication of the CORE document, the CORE Standing Committee was formed to provide maintainance support for the CORE Recommended Practice. The Standing Committee is charged with monitoring the uptake of the Recommended Practice, providing support and outreach on the protocol, and conducting an annual review of the document with the aim of making a future recommendation for re-release as a standard.

ERM Data Standards & Best Practices Review Working Group

Co-Chairs: Ivy Anderson (California Digital Library), Tim Jewell (University of Washington)

This ERM Data Review Working Group is charged to undertake a gap analysis regarding electronic resource management (ERM) related data, standards and best practices. The working group work plan consists of three steps:

  • Perform a gap analysis regarding ERM-related data, standards, and best practices to identify where the existing work meets the needs of ERMI, where related work exists, and what gaps there may be.
  • Begin with review of ERMI data dictionary, mapping elements to other relevant standards projects.
  • Consult with vendors, libraries using ERM systems, and other stakeholders for additional feedback on data requirements and ERM system implementation and management issues.

The group has finished with its work of mapping extant standards and best practices to ERMI terms. In addition, a subgroup has been tasked with reviewing existing surveys of ERM use to identify what additional information—if any—may be needed from vendors, libraries using ERM systems, and other identified stakeholders concerning data requirements and ERM system implementation and management issues.

The group has the following deliverables:

  • Recommend future of ERMI Data Dictionary.
  • Describe typical challenges libraries face in using currently available ERM systems and services.
  • Identify gaps in interoperability and best practices.

Co-chair Tim Jewell recently provided an update on the work of this group at NISO's October forum, E-Resource Management Forum: From Start to Finish (and Back Again). His slides include summary status and recommendations around five key standards and best practice categories. He will also be speaking about the work of this group at LITA's ERM Interest Group session at ALA Midwinter, on Friday, January 7, 2011, from 4:00 - 5:15 p.m. A draft report from the group is expected by the end of 2010/early 2011, with a final report in spring 2011.

I2 (Institutional Identifiers) Working Group

Co-Chairs: Grace Agnew (Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey), Oliver Pesch (EBSCO Information Services)

In August 2010, a Midterm Request for Comments (available at www.niso.org/workrooms/i2/midtermreport) was issued in order to provide the NISO I2 Working Group with valuable guidance to complete development of the I2 standard and to undertake midterm course correction, as needed. The feedback from that report has been gathered, and the group is now looking at next steps, including how to coordinate with related identifiers that are in development. The feedback has been supportive of the I2 work, and some changes—primarily in the development of more use cases to show how the I2 might be inteegrated and used—are being made. In addition, the group is currently looking at potential collaboration opportunities between I2 and ISNI—the International Standard Name Identifier standard. The NISO I2 initiative and the ISO ISNI standard share a lot of common goals and, as such, there is the possibility of great synergies between these two efforts. The NISO I2 Working Group has developed a metadata schema of 16 elements that can robustly identify the institution associated with the I2 identifier. The group is therefore initiating discussions with ISNI to explore how ISNI can be extended to support the mission and scenarios of use for the I2, as identified and documented by the NISO I2 Working Group.

For more information, a recording of the October 18, 2010 NISO Open Teleconference call featuring an update from co-chair Grace Agnew on the I2 project is available at www.niso.org/news/events/2010/telecon/.

IOTA Working Group

IOTA: Small changes, Big Improvements

Chair: Adam Chandler (Cornell University)

The IOTA (Improving OpenURLs Through Analytics—formerly called OpenURL Quality Metrics—Working Group is a two-year project to investigate the feasibility of creating industry-wide, transparent and scalable metrics for evaluating and comparing the quality of OpenURL implementations across content providers. At the end of two years an evaluation process will be conducted and decision made on whether or not to continue the initiative, to be provided in a published NISO Technical Report. This qualitative report is intended to help OpenURL providers compare their OpenURL quality to that of their peers, include recommendations for source vendors and possibly link resolver vendors, and ultimately improve OpenURLs across the industry—equaling more success for users.

At this time, over 9 million OpenURLs have been analyzed from log files supplied by:

  • American Institute of Physics
  • The Claremont Colleges
  • Cornell University
  • EBSCO Information Services
  • Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Kansas State University
  • Serials Solutions
  • Thomson Reuters
  • WorldCat Link Manager

Visit openurlquality.niso.org to view the data and metrics. Reports available show elements that are showing up in OpenURLs, patterns of elements that are showing up in OpenURLs, and frequency with which OpenURL elements show up in OpenURLs from source databases and source vendors. The working group is currently looking at developing a "Vendor Completeness Index" that tests the assumption that more information makes for a better OpenURL, and on element weighting (e.g., if a particular element is considered "more important" than others). If you are willing to share your data to help with this project, please contact Adam Chandler, chair, at alc28@cornell.edu. In addition, the group is working on terminology, user interface & documentation, and outreach about this project.

For more information:

  • View working group member Elizabeth Winter's (Georgia Tech Library) presentation, IOTA: Improving OpenURLs Through Analytics, from the October 13th NISO Webinar It's Only as Good as the Metadata: Improving OpenURL and Knowledge Base Quality."
  • Listen to the recording of NISO's September 13th Open Teleconference on IOTA, featuring Elizabeth Winter (Georgia Tech Library) and Adam Chandler (Cornell University).
  • Join IOTA Working Group members Rafal Kasprowski (Rice University) and Susan Marcin (Columbia University) at the Charleston Conference on Friday, November 5th from 2:00 - 2:50 p.m. to hear their presentation, NISO's IOTA Working Group: Creating an Index for Measuring the Quality of OpenURL Links (Location: Francis Marion, Parkview Room - Charleston, SC).

PIE-J (Presentation and Identification of E-Journals) Working Group PIE-J: Presentation and Identification of E-Journals

Co-chairs: Cindy Hepfer (University of Buffalo, SUNY), Bob Boissy (Springer)

Unless journal websites accurately and uniformly list all the titles under which content was published, user access to desired content is considerably diminished. No one wins: not the library, the publishers, the vendor, or the researcher.

The goal of the PIE-J Working Group is to review the problem and develop a Recommended Practice that will provide much-needed guidance on the presentation of e-journals—particularly in the areas of title presentation, accurate use of the ISSN, and citation practices—to publishers and platform providers as well as to solve some long-standing concerns of serials librarians. The working group's first conference call was held in October 2010, focusing on confirming the charge, scope, and timeline for development. The group hopes to have a draft for comment available late spring 2011, with a final publication late summer/early autumn 2011.

For a full roster of PIE-J Working Group members, visit www.niso.org/workrooms/piej/roster.

SERU (Shared E-Resource Understanding) Standing Committee

Co-chairs: Judy Luther (Informed Strategies), Selden Lamoureux (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)

This standing committee provides maintenance and support for NISO RP-7-2008, SERU: A Shared Electronic Resource Understanding. The group was reactivated this autumn in order to focus on the following needs:

  • A need to update the SERU website to ensure that support is available to those interested in SERU
  • A need for continued promotion and outreach about SERU, particularly to smaller publishers
  • A need to address questions that have arisen about the use of SERU internationally
  • A need to discuss and consider issues and questions that have arisen around how SERU might be applied to e-book licensing

In September 2010, SERU FAQs were updated and made available on the SERU site in HTML and as a PDF download. These FAQs include questions ranging from when to use SERU to how to implement it, about guidelines on perpetual access and on use of materials, on next steps, and more. In addition, a SERU logo has been developed to help SERU implementers identify themselves on their websites and to help identify those products that are available for use with SERU. Visit the NISO site for a release of this soon!

SUSHI (Standardized Usage Statistics Harvesting Initiative) Standing Committee

Co-chairs: Hana Levay (University of Washington), Oliver Pesch (EBSCO Information Services)

This standing committee provides maintenance and support for ANSI/NISO Z39.93-2007, The Standardized Usage Statistics Harvesting Initiative (SUSHI) Protocol. It further acts as maintenance group for COUNTER schema by providing recommendations to COUNTER and making changes to the COUNTER schemas (as approved by COUNTER).

The SUSHI Standing Committee has recently updated a wide variety of resources to help support those who are interested in implementing and using SUSHI to help ease the delivery of COUNTER e-resource usage data reports. Visit the website for:

  • SUSHI FAQs: General, Librarian, Content Provider, and COUNTER questions
  • Getting Started Pages: For librarians, SUSHI server developers, and SUSHI client developers
  • SUSHI Tools & Other Aids (updated October 2010)
  • SUSHI Reports Registry: XML and Excel sample COUNTER payload files for each report for use in SUSHI testing (new reports added October 2010)
  • SUSHI Server Registry: a registry of available SUSHI servers
  • SUSHI Schemas
  • SUSHI Developers e-mail list

In addition, in August 2010, the Standing Committee released a progress report of its work for 2010. Visit here for more information.

Z39.7 Data Dictionary Standing Committee

Co-chairs: Denise Davis (Sacramento Public Library), Elizabeth Aversa (University of Alabama, School of Library & Information Studies)

The Z39.7 Data Dictionary Standing Committee provides maintenance support for the continuously maintained ANSI/NISO Z39.7-2004: Information Services and Use: Metrics & statistics for libraries and information providers – Data Dictionary.

The committee is currently reviewing the standard to integrate the content in the existing appendices, "Methods of Measurement" and "Measuring the Use of Electronic Library Services," into the main body of the standard and will confirm the changes at the next scheduled continuous maintenance cycle.

Content & Collection Management Topic Committee

DAISY Standard Revision Working Group

Co-chairs: George Kerscher (DAISY), Markus Gylling (DAISY)

The DAISY Standard, officially ANSI/NISO Z39.86-2005, Specifications for the Digital Talking Book, is undergoing revision. The specification will be divided into two parts: Part A, Authoring and Interchange, and Part B, Distribution. Both parts will be released as draft standards for trial use and will remain in these phases until both are ready for submission to NISO for formal approval. Part A (the ZedAI Framework) was released in May 2010 for public review. Updated working drafts will be made available during the 2010 review phase, as a result of community input.

Journal Article Versions Recommended Practice Survey

Survey Lead: Lettie Conrad (SAGE Publications, Inc.)

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." A survey released in July 2010 aimed to find out if metadata identifying journal article versions is needed, how such metadata—including the recommended metadata terms in the NISO Recommended Practice, NISO RP-8-2008, Journal Article Versions (JAV): Recommendations of the NISO/ALPSP JAV Technical Working Group—is currently being used, and what the future might look like.

A report of the survey results will be available shortly. Some key findings include:

  • When asked if standard terms should be applied to journal article versions, the answer was a clear "Yes": (92.1%) agreed there should be, and only seven (3.7%) disagreed.
  • When asked who should ultimately be responsible for providing this metadata, results were a bit more mixed. A majority of respondents (51.9%) felt that it is the duty of the journal publishers; 11.1% thought the duty should be assigned to repository managers; 10.1% thought it was up to journal editors; and only 2.1% assigned that task to librarians. There were a large number of "Other" responses (24.9%); many indicated there is no single group that should hold this responsibility. In looking at the written responses in this category, it was clear that the survey omitted one important player as potentially responsible: the author.
  • When asked about current practices, and whether "your journal, repository, or publishing program distinguish[es] among multiple versions of a single article," only 25.7% indicated that they do not distinguish multiple article versions. For those that do, 28.3% use version terms, 26.7% use publication dates, and 8.0% use numerical number identifiers other than DOIs. In addition, 60 write-in responses were given under "Other."
  • When it comes to adoption, lack of prioritization was the most commonly cited obstacle, followed by challenges with current version policy, resistance to changes in current production workflows, and challenges with current collections policy.

For more information, please join us during the December 13th NISO Open Teleconference call to hear from Lettie Conrad about this survey, its results, and what next steps should be taken.

RFID in Libraries Revision Working Group

Co-chairs: Vinod Chachra (VTLS, Inc.), Paul Sevcik (3M Library Systems)

In order to ensure that the NISO Recommended Practice on RFID in U.S. Libraries is up to date and provides United States implementers of RFID tags in libraries with sufficient guidance to conform with the ISO standard on RFID in libraries (expected publication: late 2010), a revision of the NISO Recommended Practice is necessary. The RFID Revision Working Group met for the first time in April 2010, and since then have been reviewing the original recommended practice to identify areas where revision is necessary, reviewing the ISO work to determine a US position on the adoption of part 2 or part 3 of the ISO standard, discussing what potential position the group might recommend regarding encoding and UHF, and other issues.

At this time, a first draft of the revised document is near completion, with a draft for comment expected late 2010. For more information, listen to the recording of the August 9th NISO Open Teleconference, when co-chair Paul Sevcik provided an update on the work of this group.

Standardized Markup for Journal Articles Working Group

Co-chairs: Jeff Beck (National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine), B. Tommie Usdin (Mulberry Technologies, Inc.

This working group aims to take the currently existing National Library of Medicine (NLM) Journal Archiving and Interchange Tag Suite, version 3.0, the three journal article schemas, and the documentation and shepherd it through the NISO standardization process. The working group first revised the version 3.0 document in order to handle outstanding requests, and decisions have been made as to how the standard will be formatted and made available, as well as how to make supporting documentation available. The draft standard is currently being prepared and is expected shortly.

As an outreach activity, NLM's National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) will be hosting the Journal Article Tag Suite Conference (JATS-Con) on November 1-2, 2010 at the NIH campus in Bethesda, Maryland.

NISO/NFAIS Supplemental Journal Article Materials Project

Business Working Group
Co-chairs: Linda Beebe (American Psychological Association), Marie McVeigh (Thomson Reuters)
Technical Working Group
Co-chairs: Dave Martinsen (American Chemical Society), Sasha Schwarzman (American Geophysical Union)

This joint project with NFAIS was launched following the January 22, 2010 meeting on this topic to act on the recommendations of that roundtable (as noted in the report from that meeting). The goal of the project is to create a Recommended Practice for publisher inclusion, handling, display, and preservation of supplemental journal article materials.

Two working groups were created in order to undertake the work of this project: a Business Working Group that will address the semantic and policy issues related to delivering materials that are supplemental to scholarly journal articles, and a Technical Working Group to address the technical issues. These groups first met in September 2010. In addition, a coordinating group consisting of the co-chairs of the two working groups and NISO and NFAIS representatives meets monthly in order to ensure coordinated work.

Both working groups have drafted charges for their work that help to define their duties and scope. In addition, the business working group is developing definitions for "article" and "supplemental material" to help guide their work and provide context for the technical working group.

Discovery to Delivery Topic Committee

ESPReSSO (Establishing Suggested Practices Regarding Single Sign-On) Working Group

Co-chairs: Harry Kaplanian (Serials Solutions), Steven Carmody (Brown University)

ESPReSSO explores practical solutions for improving the success of Single Sign-On (SSO) authentication technologies for providing a seamless experience for the user and makes recommendations for promoting the adoption of one or more of these solutions to make the access improvements a reality. This working group did not invent any new technology or protocols. Rather, it has developed a set of recommendations surrounding the use of existing technologies.

Drafting of the recommended practice document is in its final stages. A draft is expected to be made public for comment by late 2010/early 2011.

NISO/UKSG KBART Phase 2 Working Group

KBART logo

Co-chairs: Andreas Biedenbach (Springer Science+Business Media), Sarah Pearson (University of Birmingham)

The NISO/UKSG KBART Phase II Working Group was formed in March 2010, and is tasked with providing support for the Phase I Recommended Practice, NISO RP-9-2010, KBART: Knowledge Bases and Related Tools, as well as to develop a second recommended practice to focus on the more advanced, complex issues that cause problems in this area, including e-books, conference proceedings, hosting services, open access content, and more.

The working group has worked on promotion via presentations and articles, and has added content to their website explaining the benefits of KBART. A KBART adoption process is in final review. In addition, a KBART Registry of knowledge base supply chain contacts is available, including those organizations that have officially endorsed KBART. All content providers, from major databases to small publishers, are encouraged to publicly endorse the KBART Recommended Practice by submitting a sample file to the KBART working group, at kbart@niso.org. Endorsement is finalized once the file's format and content has been reviewed and approved, and the provider has made it publicly available (in line with the recommendations). The following organizations are KBART endorsers:

  • Alexander Street Press
  • American Institute of Physics
  • Annual Reviews
  • EBSCO Information Services
  • Ex Libris
  • Innovative Interfaces, Inc.
  • OCLC
  • Royal Society Publishing
  • Serials Solutions

For more information, join KBART Working Group members Sherrard Ewing (Serials Solutions) and Chad Hutchens (University of Wyoming Libraries) at the Charleston Conference on Friday, November 5th from 3:10 - 4:00 p.m. to hear their presentation on Link Resolvers, Knowledge Bases and the KBART Working Group (Location: Francis Marion, Pinckney Room, Charleston, SC).

NCIP (NISO Circulation Interchange Protocol) Standing Committee

Chair: TBD
Maintenance Agency: EnvisionWare (contact: Rob Walsh)

This standing committee provides guidance to the continuously maintained standard, ANSI/NISO Z39.83-2008, NISO Circulation Interchange Protocol (NCIP).

The standing committee has been reviewing update issues in order to implement the needed changes to the standard and accompanying schema at the next maintenance cycle. In addition, the group is developing support documentation, including: Is NCIP Restful?, NCIP Statement Regarding Versions, NCIP for Dummies: Or Getting Started with NCIP, and Core Messages Explained. An NCIP Implementer Registry for initiators and responders is expected to be released in the next month. This registry will help libraries to learn about NCIP implementers and the messages they have implemented.

John Bodfish (NCIP committee member) has also been working with Randall Cook (Project Manager, eXtensible Catalog) to develop a new service, currently being called "Lookup Bibliographic Item," that will be a request that can accept multiple IDs, and a response that can contain multiple items per bibliographic identifier, to be a part of the XC NCIP Toolkit.

Gail Wanner, former chair of the committee, stepped down from that role in October 2010. At this time, the group is looking to fill the chair vacancy.

Physical Delivery of Library Resources Working Group

Co-chairs: Valerie Horton (Colorado Library Consortium), Diane Sachs-Silveira (Tampa Bay Library Consortium)

The NISO Physical Delivery of Library Resources Working Group's interest lies in identifying methods for improving performance and reducing the cost of moving materials between a library that owns an item and another library whose patron wants to use the item. The scope of their document is limited to the external delivery of items between separately administered libraries, though many recommendations could apply to delivery between branches of a single library system, as well. External delivery can include consortial delivery within a shared system, a region, a state, or a country. It can also be described as items moving through a standard interlibrary loan request. The group's recommendations focus on ensuring that the physical delivery of library materials happens in the most cost-effective and time-sensitive manner possible. All aspects of the physical move are covered: labeling, packaging, automation, and receiving the item.

Draft content for the final report is in the editing stage, prior to a final review by the working group before an expected January 2011 public release for comment. A final publication is expected mid-2011. For more information, view the group's September Progress Report.

Potential New Work

Describing and Identifying Subject Repositories

Work is underway to develop a new work item proposal for a working group to develop a recommended practice that defines and maps common terminology for describing and identifying subject repositories, with recommended terms for use across tools for repository development. The impetus for this work is the belief that, for subject repositories to become the subject of effective, comprehensive research or, perhaps more fundamentally, to be differentiated from institutional, funder, and other repository types, a standard terminology for their description and identification is required.