Headshot of NISO Managing Director, Todd Carpenter

October 2012

Every organization needs to operate on two levels simultaneously. One level is the strategic and mission orientation. This is where the organization works to craft its value proposition and vision to the communities it serves. The second level is the operational level where it executes on specific tasks that allow it to achieve the mission and strategic objectives that are set forward by its activities at the first level. Ideally, the two levels work in tandem to inform each other and support the activities of each other. Balancing the organizational needs of the two levels is important for an organization to operate effectively. If an organization were to focus too heavily on one level at the expense of the other, the environment may shift in a way that could put the entire organization at risk. This could occur at the strategic level, where too much emphasis is put on assessing the landscape but not enough focus is put on executing on critical tasks. At the opposite level, too much focus on day-to-day tasks leaves the organization at risk of missing trends that could sideswipe it.

Not only does NISO have to mix these two factors internally, we also help other organizations do the same. We aim to inform the community at a strategic level where technology related to information distribution is headed and what trends are impacting creators, distributors, and recipients of information. Similarly, NISO's mission is to develop and hone the implementation details for optimum operational efficiency by bridging the strategic goals of our community with the actual implementation of those goals. This occurs in many areas. As one example, NISO is the organization that takes the community needs of improving assessment and translates that goal into the operational minutia of how to most efficiently collect the data from various sources (e.g., using SUSHI) or by establishing definitions of metrics (such as with the Z39.7 Data Dictionary). Another example is the strategic need to improve discovery services to expose content to patrons, in which NISO is engaging the community via the Open Discovery Initiative or via work on bibliographic information exchange structure. Or a third example is the need to preserve content for the long term, which translates into content structure development such as the recently published Journal Article Tag Suite (JATS). Through community involvement, NISO puts the overarching goals of the community into practice.

Last month at its semi-annual meeting, the NISO Board approved several initiatives, both strategic and operational. On the operational level, NISO members are reviewing proposed revised versions of our procedures and intellectual property rights policy. If you're a member, please provide feedback on these drafts. At a strategic level, the Architecture Committee and the Topic Committees are drafting a roadmap of technology trends in information distribution and determining what NISO's involvement in those trends might be. To support this strategic work, NISO plans to survey both members and non-members about priorities in our community that we should be focused on. We also will be convening a Thought Leader meeting to explore this issue in early 2013. The results of this data gathering will be shared with the community in mid-to-late 2013.

Also at the operational level, NISO continues to roll out completed best practices projects. The latest project to come to completion is the COUNTER-SUSHI Implementation Profile Recommended Practice. This recommended practice provides a practical implementation structure for creating reports and services for harvesting usage data using the SUSHI standard. SUSHI has been one of NISO's greater successes over the past few years and this new Implementation Profile will improve the standard's implementation and interoperability within the library and publishing communities. I'd like to extend many thanks to the members of the Standing Committee for their diligent work on this project and I encourage you all to look at the recommendations.

Also touching on the theme of mixing the practical and theoretical, NISO will be hosting our second E-Books Renaissance Forum in Boston in a few weeks. The agenda is packed with thoughtful speakers including Nick Montfort, Brian O'Leary, Robert Darnton, Sue Polanka, Skott Klebe, and Larry Goldberg. We will be exploring the impact the advent of e-books has had on publishers, libraries, device manufacturers, distributors, startups, and user communities. We will also be live streaming the event if you can't make it in person to Boston. You can register now from the event webpage.

I hope to see many of you in Boston later this month!

Todd Carpenter’s Signature

Todd Carpenter

Managing Director

NISO Reports

Themed Issue of Information Standards Quarterly on Linked Data for Libraries, Archives, and Museums

The Spring/Summer 2012 issue of the Information Standards Quarterly (ISQ) magazine is a special themed, double issue on Linked Data for Libraries, Archives, and Museums. ISQ Guest Content Editor, Corey Harper, Metadata Services Librarian, New York University has pulled together a broad range of perspectives on what is happening today with linked data in cultural institutions. He states in his introductory letter, "As the Linked Data Web continues to expand, significant challenges remain around integrating such diverse data sources. As the variance of the data becomes increasingly clear, there is an emerging need for an infrastructure to manage the diverse vocabularies used throughout the Web-wide network of distributed metadata. Development and change in this area has been rapidly increasing; this is particularly exciting, as it gives a broad overview on the scope and breadth of developments happening in the world of Linked Open Data for Libraries, Archives, and Museums."

The feature article by Gordon Dunsire, Corey Harper, Diane Hillmann, and Jon Phipps on Linked Data Vocabulary Management describes the shift in popular approaches to large-scale metadata management and interoperability to the increasing use of the Resource Description Framework to link bibliographic data into the larger web community. The authors also identify areas where best practices and standards are needed to ensure a common and effective linked data vocabulary infrastructure.

Additional articles discuss different aspects of specific implementations of linked data in the cultural sector by the Archives Hub in the UK, OCLC, and Europeana. A case study illustrates the use of interactive data transformation tools to clean and reconcile metadata prior to linking it. Updates are given on the Linked Open Data for Libraries, Archives, and Museums (LODLAM) annual summit and the Linked Ancient World Data Institute, and LC's Bibliographic Framework Initiative.

ISQ is available in open access in electronic format on the NISO website. Both the entire issue and individual articles may be freely downloaded. Print copies are available by subscription and as print on demand. For more information and to access the free electronic version, visit the ISQ webpage.

COUNTER-SUSHI Implementation Profile Published as a Recommended Practice

A new NISO Recommended Practice, the COUNTER-SUSHI Implementation Profile (NISO RP-14-2012), provides a practical implementation structure to be used in the creation of reports and services related to harvesting of COUNTER Release 4 reports using the NISO SUSHI Protocol. The Standardized Usage Statistics Harvesting (SUSHI) Protocol was issued as a standard (ANSI/NISO Z39.93) in 2007 to simplify and automate the harvesting of COUNTER usage reports by libraries from the growing number of information providers they work with. COUNTER (Counting Online Usage of Networked Electronic Resources) is an international initiative that published their first Code of Practice in 2003 and issued Release 4 of the COUNTER Code of Practice for e-Resources in April 2012. XML schemas supporting the Implementation Profile and Release 4 of the Counter Code of Practice have also been published by NISO, which has an agreement with COUNTER to maintain the schemas and keep the SUSHI and COUNTER schemas in synch.

The SUSHI standard and the COUNTER XML schema both have a level of abstraction and flexibility built in to handle future needs, but this can result in decisions by implementers that could cause interoperability issues or require client implementers to customize the service for every different provider. The COUNTER-SUSHI Implementation Profile was developed to provide guidance with Release 4 of COUNTER by setting out detailed expectations for both the server and the client of how the SUSHI protocol and COUNTER XML reports are to be implemented to ensure interoperability.

The COUNTER-SUSHI Implementation Profile (NISO RP-14-2012), the referenced schemas, and additional implementation guidance for SUSHI can be found on the SUSHI webpages. Release 4 of the COUNTER Code of Practice is available on the COUNTER website.

October Webinar: MARC and FRBR: Friends or Foes?

MARC and FRBR are among the best-known acronyms in today's cataloging world. With the implementation of RDA by the US national libraries in the late winter/spring of 2013, and with other libraries already adopting the new cataloging code, a great deal of discussion is taking place about FRBR and whether it is implementable. In addition, the viability of the MARC format has been called into question. What is wrong with MARC, and what alternatives are there?

Join NISO on October 10 (1:00 - 2:30 p.m. Eastern Time) for presentations and Q&A relating to these two cataloging fundamentals.

  • Whither or Wither MARC? The Challenges of 21st Century Data to a 20th Century Communications FormatJohn Myers, Catalog Librarian at Union College's Schaffer Library

  • FRBR at Fourteen: Will Its Time Ever Come?David Lindahl, Chief Technology Officer and Co-Executive Director of the eXtensible Catalog Organization, University of Rochester River Campus Libraries

Discounts are available for NISO and NASIG members and for students. NISO Library Standards Alliance members may attend this webinar free of charge (included in membership); contact your organization's NISO representative for information about participation. For more information and to register, visit the event webpage.

Livestream Option Available for NISO E-book Renaissance Forum October 18-19, 2012

NISO has added a remote livestream option for The E-book Renaissance Forum to be held on October 18-19, 2012 in Boston, MA. If you are unable to livestream during all or part of the live forum, a recorded version will be available following the forum. Both livestream and in-person attendees will receive access to the recorded version.

The E-Book Renaissance, Part II: Challenges and Opportunities is a follow-up on last year's acclaimed forum and will probe the key issues surrounding e-books from a variety of industry, library, scholarly, and consumer viewpoints. Availability, distribution, licensing, discoverability, current and future access, and usage of e-books all require content providers and libraries to change many of their existing processes and develop new ways to do business. Amidst this confusion is a wealth of opportunities for new collaborations and initiatives.

An early bird registration discount for in-person attendees is available through October 5, 2012. There are separate registration links on the webpage for in-person and live streaming registrations. Live streaming registration is per site (access for one computer). Discounts for both in-person and livestream are available to NISO members and students.

Visit the event webpage for more information and to register. Note there are separate registration links for in-person and livestream.

The in-person E-book forum is generously sponsored by Bowker®, a member of the ProQuest family of companies, and Project Muse.

NISO/DCMI Webinar: Embedding Linked Data Invisibly into Web Pages: Strategies and Workflows for Publishing with RDFa

The last event in the NISO/DCMI webinar series for 2012, to be held October 24, describes how RDFa and Drupal 7 can improve how organizations publish information and data on the Web for both internal and external consumption. It will discuss what is required to use these features and how they impact publication workflow. The talk will focus on high-level and accessible demonstrations of what is possible. Technical people should learn how to proceed while non-technical people will learn what is possible.

Speakers are:

  • Brian Sletten (President, Bosatsu Consulting), a liberal arts-educated software engineer with a focus on using and evangelizing forward-leaning technologies and a background as a system architect, a developer, a security consultant, a mentor, a team lead, an author and a trainer and operates in all of those roles as needed.

  • Stéphane Corlosquet (Software Engineer and Drupal Developer at MIND Informatics), a driving force in incorporating Semantic Web capabilities into the core of the Drupal Content Management System whose publications include two chapters in the book, Definitive Guide to Drupal 7.

  • Thomas Baker (Chief Information Officer of the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative) who has recently co-chaired the W3C Semantic Web Deployment Working Group and the W3C Incubator Group on Library Linked Data.

Discounts are available for NISO and DCMI members and for students. For more information and to register, visit the event webpage.

November Webinar: Beyond Publish or Perish: Alternative Metrics for Scholarship

Increasingly, many aspects of scholarly communication-particularly publication, research data, and peer review-undergo scrutiny by researchers and scholars. Many of these practitioners are engaging in a variety of ways with Alternative Metrics (#altmetrics in the Twitterverse). Alternative Metrics take many forms but often focus on efforts to move beyond proprietary bibliometrics and traditional forms of peer referencing in assessing the quality and scholarly impact of published work.

Join NISO for the Beyond Publish or Perish: Alternative Metrics for Scholarship webinar on November 14 (1:00 - 2:30 p.m. Eastern Time) that will present several emerging aspects of alternative metrics.

Speakers and topics are:

  • Article-Level Metrics at PLOSMartin Fenner, Technical Lead, PLOS Article-Level Metrics project
  • Total-Impact and Other Altmetrics InitiativesJason Priem, Ph.D. Student, Co-Principal Investigator, Total Impact
  • Peer Evaluation, a Social Network and Independent Open Access and Open Scholarship InitiativeAalam Wassef, Founder of Peer Evaluation

Discounts are available for NISO and NASIG members and for students. NISO Library Standards Alliance members may attend this webinar free of charge (included in membership); contact your organization's NISO representative for information about participation.

For more information and to register, visit the event webpage.

New Specs & Standards

ARMA TR 20-2012, Mobile Communications and Records and Information Management

This technical report provides advice for using mobile communications technologies, such as smartphones and tablets, in the organizational setting. It focuses at the implementation level, including such topics as policy design, collaborating with information technology professionals, security, and training.

ARMA TR 21-2012, Using Social Media in Organizations

Complementing Implications of Web-based, Collaborative Technologies in Records Management (ANSI/ARMA 18-2011), this new technical report offers advice on implementing social media within the context of accepted RIM best practices. Topics include governance, infrastructure/technology, processes and controls, change management, training, and audit/evaluation.

EDItEUR, Codelists Issue 18 for ONIX for Books Release 2.1 and 3.0

Highlights of this issue include: various new codes for identifiers and classifications used in the Chinese and Japanese book trades (for example, the Chinese OLCC number as a product identifier in List 5 and a Japanese children's audience code in List 29); a new code value for the German National Library's Gemeinsame Normdatei, a combined authority file and identifier scheme that's replacing the separate Schlagwortnormdatei, Gemeinsame Koumlrperschaftsdatei, and the Personennamendatei authority files for subject headings, personal and corporate names (which are deprecated); and an entirely new List 203. The intention of List 203 is to allow publishers to attach a broad content warning to products.

ISO 24616:2012, Language resources management – Multilingual information framework

This new standard provides a generic platform for modeling and managing multilingual information in various domains: localization, translation, multimedia annotation, document management, digital library support, and information or business modeling applications. MLIF (multilingual information framework) provides a metamodel and strategies for the interoperability and/or linking of models including, but not limited to, XLIFF (Localization Interchange File Format), TMX (Transition Memory eXchange), smilText (Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language) and ITS (Internationalization Tag Set).

ISO/IEC 23000-6:2012, Information technology – Multimedia application format (MPEG-A) – Part 6: Professional archival application format

This is the 2nd edition of the Professional archival application format (PA-AF) standardized packaging format for digital files. This packaging format can also serve as an implementation of the information package specified by the Reference Model of Open Archival Information System (OAIS) for long-term digital information preservation. In addition, PA-AF can also be used as an intermediate or exchange packaging format for any kind of multimedia content. In the second edition, the maximum number of files that can be packed in a PA-AF file is extended to more than 65535; the latest reference software and conformance bitstreams are also included.

SPARC, PLOS, and OASPA. How Open Is It? Review Draft

To move beyond the seemingly simple question of "Is it Open Access?" PLOS, SPARC and OASPA have collaborated to develop a resource called How Open Is It? This resource identifies the core components of open access (OA) and how they are implemented across the spectrum between "Open Access" and "Closed Access." The authoring organizations are seeking input on the accuracy and completeness of how OA is defined in this guide. The guide and an online comment form are available at: www.arl.org/sparc/media/HowOpenIsIt.shtml

W3C Technical Architecture Group, Publishing and Linking on the Web Draft Published

This first Public Working Draft of Publishing and Linking on the Web is intended to inform future social and legal discussions of the Web by clarifying the ways in which the Web's technical facilities operate to store, publish, and retrieve information, and by providing definitions for terminology as used within the Web's technical community. This document also describes the technical and operational impact that does or could result from legal constraints on publishing, linking, and transformation on the Web.

Media Stories

W3C Announces Plan to Make HTML5 Standard By 2014
Tom's Guide: Tech for Real Life, September 24, 2012; by Kevin Parrish

The World Wide Web Consortium has announced a plan, which the HTML Working Group has not yet approved, to advance the HTML5 specification to a Recommendation by 2014. [Note: This article incorrectly says "Candidate Recommendation."] This will required that less stable recommendations in the current draft be delayed until version 5.1, planned in the same proposal for 2016. A critical aspect of the plan is the modularization of the spec along with the use of extensions. Some of these modules/extensions may be published separately while others will be included in the main HTML5 standard. To implement the plan, the HTML Working Group needs to identify which features are stable and remain, and which are less stable. The proposed workflow streamlines the existing process and allows each version of the specification to become a final Recommendation faster. If this plan is followed, a Candidate Recommendation of HTML5 may be issued by the end of 2012. (Link to Web Source)

The RFID Opportunity
American Libraries, 09/17/2012; by Lori Bowen Ayre

NISO issued a recommended practice in March (RFID in U.S. Libraries) that adopted the data encoding in ISO 28560-2 for RFID tags used in libraries, which will aid in RFID tag interoperability. Also recommended is installing the tag in books early in the acquisition process so that all parties in the supply chain—including publishers, booksellers, libraries, and secondary sellers—can all use the tag. Adoption of the standard would also allow the tags to be used across libraries and offer libraries vendor independence in purchasing components. Such adoption is expected to encourage ILS vendors to add functions that support the use of RFID tags. Three additional steps are needed, though. Libraries must not accept vendor-specific enhancements that weaken interoperability. Libraries must verify that the tags are compliant with the standard's encoding, most likely by using a third-party service. Libraries can also be more open now to encode more information on the tags than an item number and use RFID tags in new ways, such as improving processes and delivering new services. New capabilities will require the ILS to use new protocols, an initiative that BIC is pursuing with the BIC Library Communications Framework. (Link to Web Source)

NISO Note: The NISO recommended practice, RFID in U.S. Libraries is available for free download from the NISO website.

Are Open Access Initiatives "Catastrophic" for Commercial Publishers? The Scholarly Kitchen, September 14, 2012; by Kent Anderson

While one financial analyst has predicted that open access is a significant threat to publishers such as Elsevier, the author identifies several reasons to disagree. Even if the impact is as great as the analyst states, journal profit margins would reduce from 33% to 14%, but still be profitable. This is a prediction by a single analyst on a topic that is not well understood and is rapidly changing. Even where there are mandates for open access deposit, e.g. by NIH, compliance is still low and will likely be even lower in a model where the author has to pay to publish. Elsevier has already launched some 25 OA journals and is using a hybrid type of model for some 1200 other titles. Other for-profit publishers are making similar moves and there is no reason to doubt that successful publishers will find a way to continue their success in an OA/hybrid environment. It's possible that the success of some OA journals could be more from the ease of getting published than from low pricing. PLoS has reported 18-22% profit margins over the last two years and such profitability is very attractive to commercial publishers. So the analyst who predicted doom for Elsevier "may be exactly wrong - OA initiatives may make commercial publishers even more profitable." (Link to Web Source)

NISO Note: Reed Elsevier, Wiley, and SAGE, all mentioned in this article, are NISO voting members.

Other Stories of Interest

The following are some additional stories that have appeared in the last month that we can't cover in detail, but which may be of interest to Newsline readers.