Headshot of NISO Managing Director, Todd Carpenter

June 2012

Each year, during the late spring conference series, some things stand out as the "buzzwords" of the season. Last year it was tablets, mobile devices, and e-books that were all the rage. In previous years, things like Web 2.0, social media, and cloud computing have all vied for the position of the most-used words during the conference series. While different areas of the information distribution community have different perspectives, of course, it's interesting to see how the topics that impact on one part of the community converge on the others. This spring I've noticed some splintering of focus among the variety of meetings that I have attended so far. While the library community is highlighting assessment, attribution, and scientific data, the publishing community seems focused on discoverability, digital rights management (DRM), and impact measures.

Alternative metrics (altmetrics) appeared to be the topic of the moment last week at the Society for Scholarly Publishing meeting. This emerging movement is developing new approaches of assessing the quality and impact of the scholarly literature. There is an upcoming workshop in Chicago on altmetrics, just prior to the start of the ACM Web Science 2012 Conference in late June.

During the BookExpo America meeting in New York this week, discoverability was the stand-out issue. The topic also came up repeatedly during IDPF's Digital Book 2012 prior to the start of BookExpo. Since discoverability is so core to the library community—and a topic of regular discussion over many years at library and scholarly meetings—it could hardly qualify as a new buzzword, but it is certainly "buzzing" in the publishing community. Indeed, the focus on metadata for discovery by publishers is a welcome topic, since it has been a frequent subject of conversation in the library community for years.

Perhaps this is keeping in line with the recently released ACRL Top Ten Trends in Academic Libraries. The majority of these trends deal with the declining resources in libraries and the need for greater efficiency and accountability. This is particularly true in "Communicating Value," "Patron driven e-book acquisition," "Staffing," and "[Managing] User Behavior and Expectations."

There are still a number of meetings left in the spring "conference series," culminating at the ALA Annual Conference in June. So I expect there will be more buzzwords that make the list before the summer doldrums set in. I'm happy to say that NISO is working on a variety of these "buzzing" fronts. Perhaps, we will even introduce a few new buzzwords of our own during the NISO/BISG Changing Standards Landscape Forum on the Friday before the start of ALA this year. It is a terrific free program that will cut across a variety of important topics to publishers and libraries—with a particular focus this year on e-books. If you plan to attend, please RSVP to the NISO office and let us know you'll join us.

It is also an important month for projects that are before the NISO membership for ballot, including the revised DAISY standard, the JATS standard, and soon the Technical portion of the Supplemental Journal Article Materials Project. I also commend to you the revised SERU Recommended Practice, which was published last week, and encourage you to review the draft PIE-J Recommended Practice that was issued for comments.

I do hope to see you all at ALA in Anaheim, or elsewhere on the road. If you can't be there in person, I am active on twitter on @TAC_NISO, where I report on a variety of things that people are talking about at meetings and online.

Todd Carpenter’s Signature

Todd Carpenter

Managing Director

NISO Reports

June Webinar: Making Better Decisions with Usage Statistics

As libraries move to become centers of digital collections, maintaining information on the usage of these collections is ever more critical. It's also essential to maintain common measures across heterogeneous collections to be able to effectively analyze how the library's collection dollars are being spent. The Project COUNTER Code of Practice and the SUSHI protocol aid in this work.

NISO's June webinar, Making Better Decisions with Usage Statistics—June 13 from 1:00- 2:30 p.m. EDT—will explore the newly-published Release 4 of the COUNTER Code of Practice for e-resources and highlight its use in conjunction with the SUSHI (Standardized Usage Statistics Harvesting Initiative) protocol in an active library environment.

Topics and Speakers

  • Release 4 of the COUNTER Code of Practice for e-ResourcesPeter Shepherd, Project Director, Project COUNTER, will discuss the recently published Release 4 of the COUNTER Code of Practice for e-Resources, that provides a single, integrated Code of Practice for the recording and reporting of usage of journals, databases, books, reference works, and multimedia content—as well as a number of new features.

  • SUSHI: More Relevant than EverOliver Pesch, Chief Strategist, E-Resource Access and Management Services, EBSCO Information Services will discuss changes to the SUSHI protocol related to Release 4 of the COUNTER Code of Practice and will provide an overview of some key initiatives of the SUSHI Standing Committee that will accelerate SUSHI adoption and interoperability.

  • Usage Statistics Workflow in an Academic LibraryAmy Lynn Fry, Electronic Resources Coordinator, Bowling Green State University will talk about how academic libraries are dealing with the realities of gathering, collating, reporting, and interpreting usage data in an increasingly complex and high-stakes environment.

Registration is per site (access for one computer) and closes at 12:00 pm Eastern on June 13, 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/BISG 6th Annual Changing Standards Landscape Forum (Free to Attend)

For the sixth consecutive year, NISO and BISG will co-host The Changing Standards Landscape during the 2012 American Library Association Annual Conference in Anaheim, California, Friday, June 22 from 12:30 to 4:00 p.m. at the Anaheim Convention Center, Room 213D. The forum is free to attend; however, for logistics purposes, we ask that you e-mail nisohq@niso.org if you plan to attend.

This year's forum will focus on E-Books: Describe and Identify, Search and Discover, Comply and Use by exploring how the publishing and library communities are facing the new digital marketplace, with a special focus on the standards that underlie the e-book supply chain. Rather than concentrate on differences and divergent needs, this forum will highlight the commonalities between publishers and libraries and what each group can learn from the other. In this way, we hope to draw out where common approaches can solve communal problems.

Speakers for the event are:

  • Todd Carpenter, Executive Director, NISO

  • Nadine Vassallo, Project Coordinator, BISG

  • Laura Dawson, Senior Product Manager, Bowker Discovery Services

  • Sally McCallum, Chief, Network Development and Standards Office, Library of Congress

  • Kathy Klemperer, Consultant, EDItEUR; Project Manager, HARRASSOWITZ

  • Jenny Walker, Director of Strategic Initiatives, Ex Libris and co-chair NISO Open Discovery Initiative

  • Skott Klebe, Manager of Special Initiatives, Copyright Clearance Center

For more information, visit the event webpage.

NISO Update at ALA Annual

NISO will be holding its annual Standards Update session during the ALA Conference on Sunday, June 24, 2012, from 1:30 - 3:30 p.m. in the Anaheim Convention Center, Room 206B. Although library software is now undergoing many major shifts, almost all of NISO's current work still affects, and is affected by, what's going on in the software that libraries and their patrons utilize. Come hear about the challenges in the current landscape, the new requirements which are now apparent, and how NISO participants are responding to the need for new standards and best practices.

Speakers and topics are:

  • Welcome & Introduction – Todd Carpenter, Executive Director, NISO

  • How and Why Librarians Must Participate in Shaping the Future of Library Management Systems – Carl Grant, Educator, Librarian & Independent Library Consultant with CARE Affiliates, Inc.

  • ERM Data Review: Gap Analysis Project – Tim Jewell, Director, Information Resources, Collections and Scholarly Communication, University of Washington; Chair, ERM Data Review Working Group

  • NCIP and SIP – Mike Dicus, Product Manager, Ex Libris, and Chair, NCIP Standing Committee & Rob Walsh, Maintenance Agency Representative for EnvisionWare

  • Open Discovery Initiative – Marshall Breeding, Independent Consultant and Founder of Library Technology Guides; Co-Chair, ODI Working Group

  • New NISO Work Item: Recommended Practices for Demand-Driven Acquisition (DDA) of Monographs – Michael Levine-Clarke, Collections Librarian and Professor, Penrose Library, University of Denver

  • Additional NISO Initiatives – Todd Carpenter, Executive Director, NISO

This session is free and open to the public. No registration is required. Visit the event webpage for more information on this session.

NISO projects are also reported on in other sessions; visit the NISO@ALA 2012 webpage for a listing of these and other standards-related programs at ALA.

Stop in and visit us at booth #627!

Updated Recommended Practice on SERU: A Shared Electronic Resource Understanding

A new edition of the recommended practice SERU: A Shared Electronic Resource Understanding (NISO RP-7-2012) is now available. The SERU Recommended Practice offers a mechanism that can be used as an alternative to a license agreement by expressing commonly shared understandings between content providers and libraries. These understandings include such things as the definition of authorized users, expectations for privacy and confidentiality, and online performance and service provisions. The 2012 updated version of SERU recognizes both the importance of making SERU more flexible for those who want to expand its use beyond e-journals, while acknowledging the fact that consensus for other types of e-resource transactions are not as well-established as they are for e-journals.

"The 2008 version of SERU was eagerly adopted by a number of libraries and publishers to streamline the acquisition of e-journals," states Selden Lamoureux, E-Resources Librarian with SDLinforms and Co-chair of the NISO SERU Standing Committee. "Since then, with the many emerging models for acquiring e-books, both libraries and e-book providers have requested that other types of electronic resources be incorporated into the SERU framework. This new version uses language that can be applied to a wide variety of e-resources while retaining the same shared understandings that made the previous version so useful."

"SERU offers publishers and libraries the opportunity to save both the time and the costs associated with a negotiated and signed license agreement by agreeing to operate within a framework of shared understanding and good faith," explains Judy Luther, President of Informed Strategies and Co-chair of the NISO SERU Standing Committee. "SERU reflects some well-established and widely accepted common expectations concerning e-resources acquisitions. In those instances where there is as yet no standard expectation, a shared understanding may still be achieved if expectations are clearly articulated in the purchase order that accompanies SERU."

"Widespread adoption of the SERU model for electronic resource transactions offers substantial benefits to both publishers and libraries by removing the overhead of license negotiation," asserts Todd Carpenter, NISO Executive Director. "The SERU Registry of those interested in using the SERU approach already contains over 70 publishers and content providers and185 libraries and consortia. The expansion of the recommendations to address additional types of e-resources should interest more organizations in joining the SERU registry."

The SERU Recommended Practice, the SERU Registry, and additional helpful resources are available from the SERU workroom webpage on the NISO website.

Draft Recommended Practice on Presentation and Identification of E-Journals Released for Public Comment

The draft Recommended Practice PIE-J: Presentation & Identification of E-Journals (NISO RP-16-201x) has been released for public review and comment through July 5, 2012. This Recommended Practice was developed to provide guidance on the presentation of e-journals—particularly in the areas of title presentation, accurate use of ISSN, and citation practices—to publishers and platform providers, as well as to solve some long-standing concerns of serials librarians. In addition to the recommendations, the document includes extensive examples of good practices using screenshots from various publishers' online journals platforms; a discussion of helpful resources for obtaining title history and ISSN information; an overview of the International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) and key points for using it correctly; an explanation of the Digital Object Identifier (DOI®), the registration agency CrossRef, and tips on using DOIs for journal title management; and a review of related standards and recommended practices.

"Citations form the basis for much scholarly research. Unless journal websites accurately and uniformly list all the titles under which content was published, user access to desired content is considerably diminished," explains Cindy Hepfer, Head, Electronic Periodicals Management & Continuing Resources at the State University of New York at Buffalo and co-chair of the NISO PIE-J Working Group. "For example, many e-journal publishers and aggregators now place digitized content originally published under an earlier title on the website for the current title, using the current ISSN, thus seriously impeding the researcher's ability to find or identify the content being sought. The PIE-J project was initiated to address these issues."

"The publishers and providers of e-journals take great pride in the diverse designs of their websites," states Bob Boissy, Manager, Account Development & Strategic Alliances at Springer and co-chair of the NISO PIE-J Working Group. "Yet how these websites present, identify, and link together the publications that they display can make the end users' task of discovering articles and accessing them easy, frustrating, or completely fruitless. Application of the PIE-J recommended practice guidelines will result in improved discovery and access that will benefit researchers, authors, librarians, online providers, and publishers."

"The PIE-J Recommended Practice provides a clear and succinct list of guidelines that publishers can easily implement to facilitate long-term access to their e-journal content," declares Todd Carpenter, NISO Executive Director. "This constructive advice will aid publishers with the presentation of born-digital content as well as supporting the continued digitization of content from journals originally published only in print."

The PIE-J draft Recommended Practice and an online commenting form are available from the NISO PIE-J workroom webpage.

New Specs & Standards

ISO/IEC 19788-5:2012, Information technology – Learning, education and training – Metadata for learning resources – Part 5: Educational elements

ISO/IEC 19788 specifies, in a rule-based manner, metadata elements and their attributes for the description of learning resources. This includes the rules governing the identification of metadata elements and the specification of metadata attributes. These metadata elements are used to form the description of a learning resource, i.e., as a metadata learning resource (MLR) record.

IEC 62665:2012, Multimedia systems and equipment – Multimedia e-publishing and e-books technologies – Texture map for auditory presentation of printed texts

IEC 62665:2012 specifies a text encoding scheme to enable the interchange of documents and publications between visually impaired and non-impaired people. It includes how to generate a texture map, a physical shape and dimension of the texture map for printing, additional features for texture map printing, texture map decoding, and an auditory presentation of decoded texts.

ISO/IEC 10646:2012, Information technology – Universal Coded Character Set

ISO/IEC 10646:2012 specifies the Universal Character Set (UCS) that enables the exchange of data internationally. It is applicable to the representation, transmission, interchange, processing, storage, input, and presentation of the written form of the languages of the world as well as additional symbols. It covers 110,181 characters from the world's scripts. The charts of the ideographic characters are now in multi-column format. Note1: This standard is usually made available for free download. Currently only the 2011 version is listed on the Publicly Available Standards downloads page, but the 2012 version will likely be added soon. Note 2: The Unicode Standard, Version 6.1 is aligned with this third edition of the International Standard: ISOIEC 10646:2012.

ISO 18913:2012, Imaging materials – Permanence – Vocabulary

ISO 18913:2012 establishes a vocabulary of terms and definitions used in relation to the permanence of imaging materials, related storage materials, and digital storage media.

PREMIS Editorial Committee, PREMIS Data Dictionary for Preservation Metadata Version 2.2

Changes in this version are a result of requests to amplify rights information and include the addition of elements to allow for: linking to documentation supporting rights information for copyright, license, or statute; rights statements that have a different basis than copyright, license, or statute; and expressing restrictions. Several schema-only changes were also made.

W3C Launches Linked Data Platform Working Group

W3C has launched a Linked Data Platform (LDP) Working Group to promote the use of linked data on the Web. The group will explain how to use a core set of services and technologies to build powerful applications capable of integrating public data, secured enterprise data, and personal data. The platform will be based on proven Web technologies including HTTP for transport, and RDF and other Semantic Web standards for data integration and reuse. The group will produce supporting materials, such as a description of uses cases, a list of requirements, and a test suite and/or validation tools to help ensure interoperability and correct implementation.

W3C RDF Web Applications Working Group, Three RDFa Proposed Recommendations

The RDF Web Applications Working Group has published three Proposed Recommendations for RDFa Core 1.1, RDFa Lite 1.1, and XHTML+RDFa 1.1. Together, these documents outline the vision for RDFa in a variety of XML and HTML-based Web markup languages. RDFa Core 1.1 specifies the core syntax and processing rules for RDFa 1.1 and how the language is intended to be used in XML documents. RDFa Lite 1.1 provides a simple subset of RDFa for novice web authors. XHTML+RDFa 1.1 specifies the usage of RDFa in the XHTML markup language.

W3C Provenance Working Group, Five Provenance Drafts Published

The Provenance Working Group published five Working Drafts related to the PROV data model used to represent provenance records, which contain descriptions of the entities and activities involved in producing and delivering or otherwise influencing a given object. PROV-DM: The PROV Data Model introduces the provenance concepts found in PROV and defines PROV-DM types and relations. Constraints of the Provenance Data Model introduces a further set of concepts useful for understanding the PROV data model and defines inferences that are allowed on provenance statements and validity constraints that PROV instances should follow. PROV-N: The Provenance Notation allows serializations of PROV instances to be created in a compact manner. PPROV-O: The ROV Ontology expresses the PROV Data Model using the OWL2 Web Ontology Language (OWL2). PROV Model Primer provides an intuitive introduction and guide to the PROV specification for provenance on the Web.

Media Stories

Individual Title Requests in PDA Collections: A Small University Library's Experience
College & Research Libraries News, 73(5): 249-255, May 2012; by Debbi Dinkins

Librarians have been using patron suggestions and interlibrary loan requests to drive print acquisitions for years. Patron driven acquisition (PDA) for e-books is a new variation that Stetson University in Florida began using in 2010 through ebrary. Between October 2010 and October 2011, 84 books were purchased through PDA at a cost of $5,624. Price per purchased title averaged out at $66.16. (Many of the purchased items were university press publications that tend to be higher priced.) During the same time period, 178 books were accessed but did not meet the threshold for a purchase. The library estimated a savings of $12,741.56. The PDA e-book collection titles were added to the Sirsi library catalog by unflagging the "permanent addition" tag and using a statistical field to mark the record as temporary. Once purchased, the e-book's record flag was changed. Faculty recommendations for acquisition were also added to the PDA collection since such recommendations were historically not always used and this way they were purchased "just-in-time" when actually needed. Challenges that were encountered during the PDA trial included ebrary loss of rights to a title, requiring the library to decide whether to purchase the title outright, possibly in print; and distinguishing PDA from subscribed e-book collections when using vendor-supplied MARC catalog information. Future study issues include further analysis on whether faculty-recommended titles actually get used and if not, why; impact of availability of e-books to mobile devices on PDA purchases; and short-term loan options in lieu of or before a PDA purchase. (Link to Web Source)

NISO Note: ebrary is owned by ProQuest, a NISO voting member. For more on patron-driven acquisitions, view the presentations from the NISO May 2012 webinar on Can I Access the World? Involving Users in E-book Acquisition and Sharing. NISO members are currently voting on a new work item proposal to develop recommended practices for demand-driven acquisition (DDA) of monographs. This project is expected to be approved shortly; watch for an announcement and call for participation.

Implementing DOIs for Research Data
D-Lib, 18(5/6), May/June 2012; by Natasha Simons

The extreme growth in digital scientific data is presenting challenges to research organizations that need to manage it. Making data more discoverable and accessible requires a common method for citation that includes a persistent identifier. Organizations such as DataCite are using the Digital Object Identifier (DOI®) system for this purpose. The DOI system is supported by an infrastructure maintained by the International DOI Foundation and its appointed registration agencies. DataCite has registered in just one year over a million DOIs for data. The Australian National Data Service (ANDS)—a DataCite member—launched a Cite My Data service to create an Australian Research Data Commons. Griffiths University, with funding from ANDS, is working to create the Griffith Hub, a repository to improve the discovery and re-use of its research data. Part of the project included evaluating the use of DOIs for their data. While the technical solution of using DOIs was straightforward, a number of governance- and process-related issues had to be addressed. One issue is how to handle collaborative research projects between two organizations where, even if the data is stored at both institutions, only one DOI should exist for the same data. Datasets that change over time will require some type of versioning, with a new DOI assigned to a new version; however, the metadata element that would link versions is not currently a required element. DOIs are not the only type of persistent identifier; ANDS produced a "Persistent Identifiers Decision Tree" to aid in deciding when it is appropriate to use a DOI. Because DOIs can be assigned at any level of granularity, one could be assigned to an entire data collection and others assigned to the individual items within the collection. Griffiths made the decision to have DOIs point to landing pages within the Griffith Hub repository, rather than directly to a dataset, allowing additional information about the dataset to be included on the landing page. Two process workflows for DOI data assignment have emerged; one allows the researcher to make a mediated request for a DOI while the other is for a data administrator to obtain DOIs for collections that have already been curated. DataCite is allowing Thomson Reuters to access their repository to include metadata in the Web of Science. CrossRef is working with DataCite to possibly allow publishers to find links between articles and datasets.
(Link to Web Source)

NISO Note: Syntax for the Digital Object Identifier (ANSI/NISO Z39.84) is a NISO standard. The Digital Object Identifier System was recently approved as an ISO standard (ISO 26324). To learn more about data citation, register for NISO's September forum in Denver: Tracking it Back to the Source: Managing and Citing Research Data.

Navigating the Ebook Revolution
American Libraries, 5/23/2012; by James LaRue

Libraries, publishers, booksellers, authors, and readers are all impacted by the increasing shift from print to digital resources. The author interviewed one of each of these stakeholders to understand their issues. Reader Frank Morris, a lifelong library user, just bought a Kindle and fears for the future of the public library. The author emphasized to him the adaptability of the library and that with each new type of information media, the library saw increased use. Sometime later Morris bought an iPad and canceled his paper magazine subscriptions. But he continued to come to the library and was unhappy that he couldn't donate his electronic books (read or un-read) to the library. Science fiction writer Connie Willis sees advantages to the self-publishing trend for many authors, but also sees it adding a lot of poorly written and unedited material to the supply stream. She is concerned about the amount of time authors could be spending on book design and marketing rather than writing. She also worries about leased access replacing ownership of a book, Joyce Meskis, an independent bookseller, has been negatively impacted by the big chain bookstores, the economic recession, and now e-books. She currently gets a percentage of e-book sales she makes from Google Books, but Google will be eliminating this option for independent bookstores at year-end. Brian Schwartz, an independent, mid-list publisher, has, like many smaller publishers, had difficulty competing with the "Big 6" publishers for distribution, especially to libraries. Electronic distribution offers more attractive opportunities to sell content directly to libraries. But e-publishing presents other challenges such as converting material to digital formats and ensuring their readability on a variety of devices. The EPUB 3 format offers support for a wide variety of features and, potentially, cross-platform access. But many e-readers, e.g., the Amazon Kindle, do not yet support native EPUB format. Creating multiple formats adds to the difficulty and expense of producing an e-book. And the infrastructure needed to distribute electronic files, e.g. secure servers, accompanying metadata records, etc., also adds complexity. Librarians, such as the author, have to deal with entirely new processes and systems with digital content, as well as new restrictions on that content. Some recommendations for librarians to pursue are: a less complex legal framework that avoids contracts with each publisher and vendor; better Association support in dealing with publishers and distributors; new content evaluation resources; new acquisition models; outreach to independent booksellers to form cooperative ventures; and different relationships with distributors.
(Link to Web Source)

NISO Note: Although NISO encourages the use of standards such as EPUB for the creation of e-books, it has not officially endorsed EPUB as the only or preferred e-book format. NISO's SERU Recommended Practice offers a possible alternative to the complex contractual process mentioned in this article as one drawback to electronic resources for libraries. Learn more about the latest in e-books from both library and publisher perspectives at the NISO October forum in Boston: The E-Book Renaissance, Part II: Challenges and Opportunities.

ANSI Submits Final Input on OMB Circular A-119 Federal Register Notice
ANSI Press Release, June 4, 2012

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) has submitted an input document on whether and how to supplement Circular A-119, "Federal Participation in the Development and Use of Voluntary Consensus Standards and in Conformity Assessment Activities." In a March 30 Federal Register notice, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) stated that issues in the standards and conformity assessment areas may have emerged or evolved since the Circular was last updated in 1998, and sought input on how additional or more specific guidance on standards and conformity assessment will assist agencies engaged in rulemaking, procurement, and other activities. The ANSI input document affirms that standards and conformity assessment activities are inextricably linked to all facets of our national economy and are vital to the continued global competitiveness of U.S. industry. (Link to Web Source)