NISO moved
Headshot of NISO Managing Director, Todd Carpenter

August 2012

Moving is a mixed bag of opportunities and hassles. Just last week, NISO moved into new offices a bit north of downtown Baltimore. While having new and improved space with modern amenities will be a welcome change, the cleaning out process that comes along with moving can be simultaneously a pleasant refresh as well as a trial of culling old materials. It had been five years since NISO moved out of Bethesda and to Baltimore. Fortunately only four boxes hadn't been touched in that time, which I expect will be moved soon to our archives at the University of Maryland. However, many old files and project reports remain, much of which is kept for project history, learning from previous processes, and ANSI audits. Knowing what will be needed ten to twenty years (or more) in the future, is always an imperfect science—something those in the curatorial and archival segments of our community know well. We've also run into the expected preservation issues of several boxes full of 3½" floppy disks for which we no longer have computers with drives to read them, VHS tapes without a VCR to play them, and even some zip disks from the 1990s. We also found in the move some unexpected treasures, such as camera-ready paste-up boards of ISQ and old logos and graphics, which are more historically interesting than valuable. I sometimes wonder what artifacts the staff are now creating that will be of interest and use decades hence.

Among the things we found were materials from the series of e-book meetings that NISO co-hosted with NIST back in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Interestingly some dozen years later, NISO is continuing to lead these discussions and are putting the final touches on October's E-books Renaissance Forum. If you haven't already seen the program, we have added some terrific new speakers, such as Robert Darnton (Harvard University Libraries), Brian O'Leary (Magellan Media) and Nick Montfort (MIT). Be sure to register soon, as we expect the session to sell out. We are also planning to offer a streaming attendance option for those who can't make it in person. More details about that will be available later in August.

Despite the summer doldrums, the NISO working groups have been very active and we're pleased to announce major milestones for two projects. The first is the approval of the standard jointly developed with the DAISY Consortium: Authoring and Interchange Framework for Adaptive XML Publishing Specification (ANSI/NISO Z39.98-2012). This new standard, which will be published shortly, defines how to represent digital information using XML to produce documents suitable for transformation into different universally accessible formats. The standard is a revision, extension, and enhancement of Specifications for the Digital Talking Book (DTB) (ANSI/NISO Z39.86-2005(R2012)), commonly referred to as the DAISY standard. The second project that reached a milestone this past month is the NISO/NFAIS project on Supplemental Journal Article Materials, which released a draft for public comment of Part B of their recommendations. This part of the project focuses on the technical issues related to distributing supplemental materials with journals. The public comment period ends September 15, 2012, so get out your editing pens for some enjoyable summer reading!

We at NISO are having a productive summer, and we're looking forward to an even busier fall with two in-person events and several more projects reaching completion in the months ahead. While we've been busy, I hope that you all are enjoying a peaceful summer!

Todd Carpenter’s Signature

Todd Carpenter

Managing Director

NISO Reports

NISO and NFAIS Issue Draft for Public Comment of Second Part of Recommended Practice on Supplemental Materials for Journal Articles

NISO and NFAIS have issued a new Recommended Practice on Online Supplemental Journal Article Materials, Part B: Technical Recommendations (NISO RP-15-201x) for public comment until September 15, 2012. The Supplemental Materials project has two groups working in tandem: one to address business practices and one to focus on technical issues. The draft currently available for comment includes the recommendations from the Technical Working Group; the Business Group draft recommendations were issued earlier this year. Following the current public comment period, the two parts will be finalized and combined into the final Recommended Practice.

"The Technical Recommendations are consistent with the distinction made in Part A between Integral Content, which is essential for the full understanding of the journal article, and Additional Content, which provides relevant and useful expansion of the article's content," stated David Martinsen, Senior Scientist, Digital Publishing Strategy, American Chemical Society, and Co-chair of the NISO/NFAIS Supplemental Journal Article Materials Technical Working Group. "Integral Supplemental Materials essential for understanding the article constitute part of the scholarly record and should be preserved at the same level as the article. The recommendations provide guidance to ensure such materials will be available in conjunction with, and as long, as the relevant journal article."

"Ensuring effective access, use, and long-term preservation of supplemental materials to journal articles requires up-front planning about persistent identifiers, metadata, file formats, and packaging," explained Alexander ("Sasha") Schwarzman, Content Technology Architect with OSA - The Optical Society, and Co-chair of the NISO/NFAIS Supplemental Journal Article Materials Technical Working Group. "These technical recommendations for handling of supplemental materials simplify much of that planning and decision-making, and will also ensure a standardized approach across publishers and publishing platforms."

"In support of the recommendations, the Working Group has also developed a metadata schema, a tag library, and tagged examples," said Nettie Lagace, Associate Director for Programs. "This supporting documentation, which is also available for review during the comment period, should be very helpful to implementers of this Recommended Practice."

Recommended Practice on Online Supplemental Journal Article Materials, Part B: Technical Recommendations, the supporting documentation, and an online commenting form are available from the Supplemental Journal Article Materials Working Group workroom webpage. Publishers, authors, librarians, abstracting and indexing services, and repository administrators are all encouraged to review and comment on this draft.

August Webinar: Content on the Go: Mobile Access to E-Resources

The wide availability of ever-improving mobile hardware, software, and connectivity continues to affect the experience of information seekers, and to place new demands and opportunities on libraries and information providers. How can libraries and publishers provide effective new interfaces for collections to help a user base continually on the move?

Join NISO for the August 8 webinar Content on the Go: Mobile Access to E-Resources where speakers will explore many of the pressing questions about libraries' and publishers' interaction with and promotion of mobile technologies.

Topics and speakers:

  • Challenges to Consider: Developing Mobile Access to Digital CollectionsCarmen Mitchell, Institutional Repository Librarian, California State University San Marcos

  • E-books On the Go: How a University Library Experimented with E-book ReadersEleanor Cook, Assistant Director for Collections &hnical Services, East Carolina University

  • Publisher Perspective: Strategies for Mobile Content DeliveryMarty Picco, Director of Product Management, Atypon Systems

Registration is per site (access for one computer) and closes at 12:00 pm Eastern on August 8, 2012. Discounts are available for NISO and NASIG members and students. Can't make it on the webinar date/time? Register now and gain access to the recorded archive for one year.

Visit the event webpage to register and for more information.

NISO/DCMI August Webinar: Metadata for Managing Scientific Research Data

NISO and DCMI will be holding a joint webinar on August 22 to discuss Metadata for Managing Scientific Research Data. The past few years have seen increased attention to national and international policies for data archiving and sharing. Chief motivators for this trend include the proliferation of digital data and a growing interest in research data and supplemental information as a part of the framework for scholarly communication. Key objectives include not only preservation of scientific research data, but making data accessible to verify research findings and support the reuse and repurposing of data.

Metadata figures prominently in these undertakings, and is critical for the success of any data repositories or archiving initiative, hence increased attention to metadata for scientific data -- specifically for metadata standards development and interoperability, data curation and metadata generation processes, data identifiers, name authority control (for scientists), Linked Data, ontology and vocabulary work, and data citation standards.

This NISO/DCMI webinar will provide a historical perspective and an overview of current metadata practices for managing scientific data, with examples drawn from operational repositories and community-driven data science initiatives. It will discuss challenges and potential solutions for metadata generation, identifiers, name authority control, Linked Data, and data citation.


  • Jane Greenberg, Professor at the School of Information and Library Science (SILS) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and director of the SILS Metadata Research Center

  • Thomas Baker, Chief Information Officer of the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative and recent co-chair of the W3C Semantic Web Deployment Working Group and the W3C Incubator Group on Library Linked Data.

Registration is per site (access for one computer) and closes at 12:00 pm Eastern on August 22, 2012. Discounts are available for NISO and DCMI members and students. Can't make it on the webinar date/time? Register now and gain access to the recorded archive for one year.

Visit the event webpage to register and for more information.

NISO Fall Forums Feature Data Citation and E-books

NISO will be holding two in-person forums this fall. First up is Tracking It Back to the Source: Managing and Citing Research Data, to be held on September 24 in Denver. Speakers will discuss several new initiatives to improve community practice on data citation and data discovery, including DataCite and EZID, ResourceSync, and DataONE as well as sessions on data equivalence and on data attribution and citation practices. The Opening Keynote will be given by Allen Renear, Professor and Interim Dean, Graduate School of Library and Information Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, whose current research is focused on issues in the development of formal ontologies for scientific and cultural objects, and the exploitation of those ontologies in data curation, scientific publishing and information system design. Early bird registration discounts are available through September 10, 2012. For more information and to register, visit the event webpage.

On October 18-19, join NISO in Boston for The E-Book Renaissance, Part II: Challenges and Opportunities, the follow-up to last year's successful e-book forum. Following a keynote by Nick Montfort, Associate Professor of Digital Media, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, presenters will include panel discussions on primary and trade publishers' e-book initiatives and on aggregators and platform providers; three library perspectives on providing e-books to patrons; discussions of end user tools, accessibility, and e-book devices; reviews of a patron profiles survey and the current state of DRM; and an update on the Digital Public Library of America. Early bird registration discounts are available through October 5, 2012. For more information and to register, visit the event webpage.

New SUSHI Client Available

Paul Needham, the liaison to the SUSHI Standing Committee from JISC, recently contributed a new SUSHI client, named SUSHIStarters. It is a free, "beginners," open source program with a web-based user interface to support the downloading/retrieval of COUNTER-compliant SUSHI reports, and consists of a series of webforms and guidance notes that "walk" users through the steps and parameters needed to connect successfully to the SUSHI servers and download the reports of a number of major vendors.

The client is configurable to make it possible to extend the range of included vendors over time. Installation and usage procedures for the client have been kept simple and documented to ensure its widest possible use. The SUSHIStarters code is available from

September Webinar: Understanding Critical Elements of E-books: The Social Reading Experience of Sharing Bookmarks and Annotations

The NISO Digital Bookmarking and Annotation Sharing Working Group was formed following discussion meetings funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation held in October 2011 in Frankfurt, Germany, and San Francisco, CA. The group's goal is to develop a standard syntax for how bookmarks and notes should be located in a digital text, especially in online environments that might be continually updated or mutable. NISO's September 12 webinar, The Social Reading Experience of Sharing Bookmarks and Annotations, will present perspectives on this initiative, with speakers covering its background, one approach to annotations serving as a high-level framework, and the need for standardized bookmarking mechanisms in practice.

Topics and speakers are:

  • Annotation Sharing and Social Reading LandscapeTodd Carpenter, NISO Executive Director

  • The Open Annotation Collaboration: Leveraging Annotations Across BoundariesRob Sanderson, Scientist, Los Alamos National Laboratory Research Library

  • Open Source Peer Review for the WebDan Whaley, Founder/Product Manager,

Registration is per site (access for one computer) and closes at 12:00 pm Eastern on September 12, 2012. Discounts are available for NISO and NASIG members and students. Can't make it on the webinar date/time? Register now and gain access to the recorded archive for one year.

Visit the event webpage to register and for more information.

New Specs & Standards

ISO 14289-1:2012, Document management applications – Electronic document file format enhancement for accessibility – Part 1: Use of ISO 32000-1 (PDF/UA-1)

The primary purpose of ISO 14289, known as PDF/UA, is to define an implementation of ISO 32000-1:2008 (Portable document format – Part 1: PDF 1.7) that provides a mechanism for representing electronic documents rendered in the PDF format in a manner that allows the file to be universally accessible.

Book Industry Study Group, EPUB 3.0 Support Grid New Updates

BISG posted a new version of its EPUB 3.0 Support Grid on July 13, 2012. Updates include new information from Infogrid Pacific's AZARDI reading system, as well as update to Google E-Books. Designed to be a handy reference to what enhancements and features of the IDPF's recently released EPUB 3.0 are usable on which device, app, and reading system, The Grid will be updated frequently to keep up with the rapid changes to e-reader and reading system technologies and capabilities.

California Digital Library, Unified Digital Format Registry (UDFR)

The University of California Curation Center (UC3) at the California Digital Library (CDL) has announced the availability of the Unified Digital Format Registry (UDFR), a new semantically-enabled, community-supported open source platform for the collection, long-term management, and dissemination of the significant properties of formats of interest to the preservation community. A deep understanding of digital formats is necessary to support the long-term preservation of digital assets, as it facilitates the preservation of the information content of those assets, rather than just their bit stream representations. A format is the set of syntactic and semantic rules that govern the mapping between information and the bits that represent that information. The UDFR is expected to become a key piece of preservation infrastructure of use to the international preservation, curation, and repository communities.

W3C Working Draft, Applying WCAG 2.0 to Non-Web Information and Communications Technologies

Describes how the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 and its principles, guidelines, success criteria and conformance model can be applied to non-Web Information and Communications Technologies (ICT), specifically non-web documents and software aspects of products.

W3C RDF Working Group, Two JSON-Linked Data First Drafts Published

The W3C RDF Working Group has published two First Public Working Drafts related to JSON-LD, which harmonizes the representation of Linked Data in JSON and allows the mixing both Linked Data and non-Linked Data in a single document. JSON-LD API 1.0 outlines an API and a set of algorithms for transforming JSON-LD documents in order to make them easier to work with in programming environments like JavaScript, Python, and Ruby. JSON-LD Syntax 1.0 outlines a common JSON representation format for expressing directed graphs, mixing both Linked Data and non-Linked Data in a single document.

Media Stories

Library Websites Adapt to Smartphone Growth
Library Journal, July 26, 2012; by Matt Enis

When a website isn't optimized for use on a smartphone, the small display of text and links can be very difficult to read and use. Readers have to enlarge fonts and do a lot of scrolling and encounter difficulty in selecting the desired hyperlink. Luke Wroblewski using data from blogged about the drop-off in web browsing correlated to the size of the device; a 58% difference in pageviews between a 10" tablet and a 5" device. Jakob Nielsen's focus group test of the Kindle Fire (a 7" tablet) confirmed problems with trying to tap on small links. With mobile devices becoming the growing preferred method of Internet access, it is critical that websites become optimized for such use. Libraries can solve this by purchasing a commercial library app, creating a separate mobile website, or using Responsive Web Design (RWD) to produce a single website that will automatically optimize for both mobile and desktop. The Canton Public Library in Michigan red-designed their website using RWD and their Digital Resources Developer Brad Czerniak feels that "Responsive Design is the future of the web." With RWD, users have the same experience if they switch back and forth between their desktop and their mobile device, rather than seeing two different websites. Czerniak recommends designing for "mobile first" and then scaling up for the desktop view. Mobile First and Responsive Web Design were two of the top trends cited by Nina McHale of the Arapahoe Library District, who was named as a 2012 LJ Mover & Shaker. The Free Library of Philadelphia has set up wireless "hot spots" in the community and launched a Techmobile to take Internet access to neighborhoods without it. Their separate mobile website receives 16% of external library site visits. They plan to upgrade their site to HTML5, use an "app-like" design, and create a mobile-friendly version of their VuFind catalog discovery feature. (Link to Web Source)

NISO Note: To learn more about how libraries are going mobile, attend NISO's August 8 webinar, Content on the Go: Mobile Access to E-Resources.

Altmetrics – Trying to Fill the Gap
the scholarly kitchen, July 25, 2012; by Judy Luther

Current citation and impact metrics are too slow given the pace of research and technology. A new field of altmetrics is developing that uses social data such as tweets, download data, and bookmarking. Jason Priem a graduate student at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill coined a new term in Altmetrics: a Manifesto, where he proposed the use of altmetrics combined with recommendation and filtering systems. Jason and Heather Piwowar are developing, with a Sloan Grant, the Total-impact altmetrics aggregator service. PLoS has been developing article-level metrics that includes usage data, citations, social networks, blog coverage, and discussion activity. Not all cites or tweets carry the same meaning, though, and additional work is being done to add some type of weighting to the raw, for example, analyzes and scores the tweets and posts made about an article. Tools, such as Mendeley and that promote collaboration through mutual posting and sharing of work could be good data sources for altmetrics. Plum Analytics is creating a "researcher reputation graph" by aggregating data from the web and a researcher's institution. Altmetrics aren't seen so much as a replacement for as they are a complement to existing citation type of analysis services like Thomson's Research in View and Elsevier's SciVal. (Link to Web Source)

NISO Note: To learn more about altmetrics, save the date for NISO's November 14 webinar Beyond Publish or Perish: Alternative Metrics for Scholarship. NISO members (or products of members) mentioned in this article include: CrossRef, National Library of Medicine, Reed Elsevier, and Thomson Reuters.

Repositories: Not Just About Publications Any More
The Signal: Digital Preservation [blog], July 20, 2012; by Leslie Johnston

The major theme at the Open Repositories 2012 conference, held July 9-13 at the University of Edinburgh, was not scholarly publications, but data. Libraries, archives, and museums are now holders of "big data" and need to consider whether their IT infrastructure is sufficiently robust for data servicing. Research data management was a prominent topic, with repositories needing to make the supporting data to stored scholarly publications available for the "re-activities: review, reuse, replicability and reproducibility." Discovery tools are less of an issue than are the tools and effort required to capture and transfer the data from its originating equipment to standardized formats in preservable environments. Researcher identification was also a topic of great interest with discussions of the ORCID and ISNI identifiers. Linked open data was another area of emphasis with presentations on the Webtracks and [NISO/OAI] ResourceSync projects. The open repository trend was represented by the Duracloud and Chronopolis projects. Many of the sessions were covered by live-blogging as well as being available on the OR2012 YouTube channel. (Link to Web Source)

NISO Note: To learn more about managing research data, attend the August 22 NISO/DCMI webinar Metadata for Managing Scientific Research Data and NISO's September 24 Denver forum Tracking it Back to the Source: Managing and Citing Research Data.For more information on the NISO/OAI ResourceSync project, visit their workroom webpage. NISO members (or projects/products of members) mentioned in this article include: the Library of Congress and the International DOI Foundation.

ANSI Releases Workshop Report on Efforts to Improve Access to Standards Data through an Enhanced National Standards Search Engine
ANSI Press Release, July 25, 2012

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) has released a workshop report on the status of the redevelopment of NSSN, their search engine for standards. The report focuses on efforts to rework NSSN to make it easier for stakeholders and standards developing organizations (SDOs) to have access to information that may help to avoid the creation of conflicting or duplicative standards. The Institute is undertaking this work with support from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The report details the purpose, scope, recommendations, and next steps identified during the ANSI Database Design Verification Workshop, held March 21, 2012, in Arlington, VA. Interested stakeholders participating in person and via webinar discussed possible enhancements to NSSN that would increase awareness of standards in various stages of development, including approved American National Standards (ANS) and others. Suggestions included providing a key word search option and initiating a marketing outreach to SDOs and consortia intended to bolster their data contributions to NSSN. When completed, the new version of NSSN is expected to make it easier for stakeholders and SDOs to effectively obtain information about standards in similar stages of development as well as existing standards, potentially cutting down on new standards that unintentionally duplicate aspects of previously existing standards. (Link to Web Source)