Headshot of NISO Managing Director, Todd Carpenter

September 2012

The coming of September has always been about beginnings for me, more so than January. Perhaps it has been my ties to the academic community in my career and personal life. This September has special meaning for me, since my son began elementary school last week. Engaging with a school system has provided me an interesting end-user perspective on information access at the elementary school level. NISO spends much of our time focused on access to information at a higher or more complex level, but we certainly should never lose sight of the broad range of patrons and users of the content we develop, distribute, and preserve. My son's classroom like so many others has computers and connectivity, which means a wealth of content and access. Fortunately, print books abound and there doesn't seem to be a rapid movement to e-books in the classroom (at least at the kindergarten level!), although this is a different case in other states and at higher levels. That isn't to say that one should be opposed to e-books or reading devices, just at an appropriate age. It will be interesting to see how information literacy and electronic content distribution develop as my son progresses through his education.

Speaking of education, the fall is bringing with it a very full schedule of educational events. Apropos of education and continuing our theme of Understanding Critical Elements of E-Books, NISO's next event will be on September 12 on Social Reading and Annotation of E-books. We will follow quickly on the heels of that with an in-person forum in Denver on Managing and Citing Research Data. And again on the topic of e-books, the second NISO E-books Renaissance Forum will be held in Boston in October. More information on all of these events this fall is below.

Finally, it is with some sadness that I share with you the loss of an active member of the NISO community. Lee Dirks, who was Director of Portfolio Strategy at Microsoft Research and the voting representative from Microsoft, perished along with his wife last week in an accident while on holiday in South America. Lee was an active supporter of NISO's work and of improved search and access to information in general. He will certainly be missed. Please join me in expressing our deepest sympathies to Lee's family.


Todd Carpenter’s Signature

Todd Carpenter

Managing Director

NISO Reports

NISO and DAISY Consortium Publish Authoring and Interchange Framework Standard

NISO and the DAISY Consortium have published the new American National Standard Authoring and Interchange Framework (ANSI/NISO Z39.98-2012). The standard 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), commonly referred to as the DAISY standard (ANSI/NISO Z39.86-2005(R2012)). The DAISY Consortium is the Maintenance Agency for both standards.

The A&I Framework is a modular, extensible architecture to permit the creation of any number of content representation models, each custom-tailored for a particular kind of information resource. It also provides support for new output formats, which can be added and implemented as the need arises. The standard does not impose limitations on what distribution formats can be created from it; e-text, Braille, large print, and EPUB are among formats that can be produced in conformance with the standard.

Although the new A&I Framework standard is intended to replace the Digital Talking Book standard, feedback during trial use of the standard indicated that content providers and device manufacturers would need a transition period of several years due to the significance of the changes in the standard. To meet this need, the existing DTB standard (ANSI/NISO Z39.86) was reaffirmed for another five years and the A&I Framework was assigned a new standard number (ANSI/NISO Z39.98).

The A&I Framework standard will be of interest to any organization using an XML authoring workflow, developers and publishers of universally accessible digital publications, and agencies interested in creating profiles for new document types to integrate into distribution formats, such as EPUB.

Both the A&I Framework standard and the Digital Talking Book standard are available for free download from the NISO website (daisy.niso.org) and the DAISY website (www.daisy.org/daisy-standard).

Journal Article Tag Suite (JATS) Approved as an American National Standard

JATS: Journal Article Tag Suite was published in August as an American National Standard (ANSI/NISO Z39.96-2012). JATS provides a common XML format in which publishers and archives can exchange journal content by preserving the intellectual content of journals independent of the form in which that content was originally delivered. In addition to the element and attribute descriptions, three journal article tag sets (the Archiving and Interchange Tag Set, the Journal Publishing Tag Set, and the Article Authoring Tag Set) are part of the standard. While designed to describe the textual and graphical content of journal articles, it can also be used for some other materials, such as letters, editorials, and book and product reviews.

The specification has a long history as the National Library of Medicine (NLM) Journal Archiving and Interchange Tag Suite, commonly referred to as the NLM DTDs. Those DTDs were based on an article model that was used in the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI)/NLM PubMed Central project to archive life science journals. The original PubMed Central article model was expanded in scope with support from Harvard University Libraries and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, in collaboration with Inera, Inc. and Mulberry Technologies, Inc., resulting in 2003 in the full NLM Journal Archiving and Interchange Tag Suite. The Tag Suite had reached version 3.0 prior to initiation of the NISO standardization process.

Taking JATS through the NISO standardization process will bring awareness of the Tag Suite to a larger and more varied audience, potentially finding uses for the Tag Suite in new applications, beyond its traditional uses in journal publishing and archiving. NISO will be forming a standing committee to continuously update the standard and NLM will continue to host the user documentation and schemas that support the standard.

The JATS standard is available as both an online XML document and a freely downloadable PDF from the NISO website (www.niso.org/workrooms/journalmarkup). Supporting documentation and schemas in DTD, RELAX NG, and W3C Schema formats are available at: jats.nlm.nih.gov/.

New Version Published of NCIP - NISO Circulation Interchange Protocol

A new edition of the two-part American National Standard on the NISO Circulation Interchange Protocol (NCIP) (ANSI/NISO Z39.83), version 2.02, incorporates implementers' feedback and experience into the standard with changes that improve the usefulness and practicality of the various services.

NCIP addresses the need for interoperability among disparate circulation, interlibrary loan, consortial borrowing, and self-service applications by standardizing the exchange of messages between and among computer-based applications. Part 1 of the standard defines the Protocol and Part 2: Implementation Profile provides a practical implementation structure. The NCIP protocol is widely supported in integrated library systems (ILS) and resource sharing software.

In addition to the standard, the NCIP Standing Committee has made available supporting tools and documentation to aid in implementation, including an XML schema that matches the implementation profile defined in Part 2 of the standard. A separate document, Introduction to NCIP, provides librarians and other implementers with a basic introduction to NCIP and links to sources of additional information about the standard. The NCIP Core Message Set defines a minimal set of nine messages (out of the full set of 45) that supports the majority of the current functionality for resource sharing and self-service applications and provides a simpler starting point for new implementers. And an NCIP Implementer Registry collects information about vendors' implementations-specifically which versions and which messages are supported.

The NCIP standard and the supporting tools and documentation are freely available from the NCIP Workroom on the NISO website: www.niso.org/workrooms/ncip/.

September 12 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 and 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

  • hypothes.is: Open Source Peer Review for the WebDan Whaley, Founder/Product Manager, hypothes.is

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.

September 26 Webinar: Discovery and Delivery: Innovations and Challenges

NISO's second September webinar, to be held on September 26 from 1:00 to 2:30 p.m. EDT, will focus on Discovery and Delivery, the Innovations and Challenges of operating a centralized index-based discovery system.

These discovery services are primarily based upon indexes derived from journals, e-books and other electronic information of a scholarly nature. The content comes from a range of information providers and products-commercial, open access, institutional, etc. By indexing the content in advance, discovery services have the ability to deliver more sophisticated services with instant performance, compared to the federated search techniques used previously. Libraries increasingly rely on index-based discovery services as their strategic interfaces through which their patrons gain access to the rapidly growing breadth of information that may be available to them.

Topics and speakers are:

  • NISO ODI: Promoting Transparency in DiscoveryLucy Harrison, Interim Chief Operating Officer, Florida Virtual Campus

  • A Provider's Viewpoint: ProQuest DiscoveryTimothy Babbitt, Senior Vice President, Platform Management, ProQuest

  • Discovery Tools in an Academic Library: A Library's ViewpointDavid Bietila, Web Program Director, University of Chicago Library

Registration is per site (access for one computer) and closes at 12:00 pm Eastern on September 26, 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 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 will be discussed 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 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 Specs & Standards

ALCTS/LITA Metadata Standards Committee Formed

The Library and Information Technology Association and the Association for Library Collections & Technical Services (ALCTS), with the support of Reference and User Services Association (RUSA)—all divisions of the American Library Association—have formed the ALCTS/LITA Metadata Standards Committee to develop metadata standards for bibliographic information.

ISO 14721:2012, Space data and information transfer systems – Open archival information system (OAIS) – Reference model

Edition 2 of the standard that defines the reference model for an open archival information system (OAIS). An OAIS is an archive, consisting of an organization, which may be part of a larger organization, of people and systems that has accepted the responsibility to preserve information and make it available for a designated community. The term "open" in OAIS is used to imply that the standard was developed in open forums, and it does not imply that access to the archive is unrestricted. Matching text to the ISO standard is freely available as a recommended practice of The Consultative Committee for Space Data Systems. See also the blog entry from Barbara Sierman (National Library of the Netherlands) about what's changed in the new edition.

ISO 26162:2012, Systems to manage terminology, knowledge and content – Design, implementation and maintenance of terminology management systems

First edition of the standard to specify criteria for designing, implementing, and maintaining terminology management systems (TMS). It provides information about the rationale for using a TMS, types of users and users' needs, steps in designing and implementing a TMS as well as the tasks of organizing and managing a terminological data collection (TDC). It also provides guidelines for selecting and using data categories for managing terminology in various environments. It is intended for terminologists, software developers and others who are involved in the process of developing or acquiring a TMS.

re3data.org, Vocabulary for the Registration and Description of Research Data Repositories, version 1.0

"The first draft of the re3data.org vocabulary to describe research data repositories and its documentation is online (version 1.0). The vocabulary will be used to index research data repositories gathering issues such as: general information (e.g. subject), information on the provider (e.g. responsible institutions), information on legal aspects (e.g. licenses), and information on technical, metadata and quality standards (e.g. software, API, and certificates). The existing vocabulary was developed out of 20 randomly chosen repositories of a survey of 400 research data repositories."

Media Stories

Creating NISO's Library Physical Delivery Recommended Practices
Collaborative Librarianship, 2012, 4(2): 67-75; by Gregory Pronevitz and Valerie Horton

In July 2009, NISO formed a working group to develop a recommended practice on the physical delivery of library materials. Increased demand from library users for consortium and interlibrary loans has created corresponding costs for libraries to provide the services. Where libraries used outsourced courier services, their contractors were also impacted, often overwhelmed by the unplanned growth. Libraries also had difficulty in supplying the space and staff needed to process the materials. Two library systems in Washington State purchased automated materials handling systems. The South Central Library System in Wisconsin developed a "Tote Master," a device to allow movement of the totes to be done more easily and safely, without lifting. The Massachusetts Library System utilized a "sort-to-light" system that eliminates the need for shipping labels and lights up totes automatically to aid in sorting. NISO's working group consisted of 11 members representing academic, public, and consortia libraries in the U.S. and Europe, and was co-chaired by Valerie Horton and Diana Sachs-Silveria. The diversity of libraries to be addressed by the recommended practice presented a challenge to the group but they established common principles to guide their work. These principles included: choose the easiest, quickest, and least resource-intensive options; go green; and respect local circumstances. The resulting recommended practice addressed management recommendations regarding governance, statistics, contracting, policies, international delivery, and direct delivery to patrons. One recommendation was to consider the use of a floating collection where borrowed items are shelved in the borrowing library until requested again. A Physical Move section addressed issues related to labels, packaging, shipping containers, transportation, tracking, and reports. A table (reproduced in this article) described the continuum of affixing labels from the most to least recommended method. The growth in e-content raises the question of when and to what extent it will impact physical delivery needs. There is some speculation as to whether physical delivery has peaked. While libraries that instituted the capability for patron-placed holds continued to see some growth in delivery in recent years, the authors feel that the tipping point to declined physical delivery has begun, although the decline is forecast to be very slow. (Link to Web Source)

NISO Note: Download NISO RP-12-2012, Physical Delivery of Library Resources. NISO members mentioned in this article are: OCLC, Minitex, Ohio State University Libraries, and the University of Florida.

Leading Global Standards Organizations Endorse 'OpenStand' Principles that Drive Innovation and Borderless Commerce
OpenStand press release, August 29, 2012

Five leading global organizations-IEEE, Internet Architecture Board (IAB), Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), Internet Society and World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)-announced that they have signed a statement affirming the importance of a jointly developed set of principles establishing a modern paradigm for global, open standards. The shared "OpenStand" principles-based on the effective and efficient standardization processes that have made the Internet and Web the premiere platforms for innovation and borderless commerce-are proven in their ability to foster competition and cooperation, support innovation and interoperability and drive market success. The OpenStand principles demand:

  • cooperation among standards organizations;

  • adherence to due process, broad consensus, transparency, balance and openness in standards development;

  • commitment to technical merit, interoperability, competition, innovation and benefit to humanity;

  • availability of standards to all, and

  • voluntary adoption.

Standards developed and adopted via the OpenStand principles include IEEE standards for the Internet's physical connectivity, IETF standards for end-to-end global Internet interoperability and the W3C standards for the World Wide Web. Other technologies that would be applicable to the open standards model are design-automation standards and the global smart-grid effort. The group invites technologists, inventors, developers, professionals, scientists, engineers, architects, members of academia, students, civic and governmental leaders, developers and other professionals and organizations to affirm the principles. The complete OpenStand principles are available online.
(Link to Web Source)

NISO Note: IEEE is a NISO Voting Member.

An Interview with Todd Carpenter, Executive Director of the National Information Standards Organization (NISO)
Wiley-Blackwell Publishing News, August 28, 2012; Interview conducted by David Nicholson and Alice Meadows

David Nicholson, Journals Publishing Director, Life Sciences, and Alice Meadows, Director, Society Relations, at Wiley-Blackwell interviewed NISO Executive Director Todd Carpenter about NISO and hot topics in standards. NISO's diverse community of libraries, publishers, and technology providers presents more opportunities than challenges. Offering a neutral environment for interaction can open up avenues for non-competitive and trustful discussions. NISO itself is collaborating with other organizations such as ALPSP on journal article versions, USKG on knowledgebases (KBART), EDItEUR and the Publishing Licensing Society on license expression, to mention a few. NISO is also active in other forums and initiatives such as IFLA and CODATA. And NISO is the U.S. administrator for the ISO TC46 committee and the Secretariat for the subcommittee that is responsible for identification and description standards. Since joining NISO in 2006, Carpenter has shepherded the organization through the implementation of a new technology infrastructure to support its working groups' collaboration, tripled the number of projects in process, shortened the project lifecycle, and increased the educational programs to aid in adoption of standards and recommended practices. Standards are a key means of improving the efficiency of information dissemination and delivery. Standards address formats, metadata, discovery services, licensing, and usage data, to mention a few areas. Libraries and publishers need to be more aware than ever of how each of their processes around electronic content affect the other and how standardization crosses over the parties in this supply chain. NISO hasn't as yet been very involved in open access as this is more about a business model, an area NISO doesn't engage in. However, NISO has begun discussions about opportunities for standards in this arena around metadata issues and indicators regarding which articles are open access and which aren't. Data is an area that NISO has long engaged in, at least indirectly, with both the Dublin Core and DOI standards now being used with datasets. NISO's current ResourceSync project is developing a protocol for the real-time replication of content and data between web repositories, and Todd has served on a CODATA-ISCI committee about data citation. That group has already compiled a bibliography on the topic and will have a final report in late 2012 or early 2013. The NISO/NFAIS Supplemental Journal Article Materials project has a draft for comments on Part B out now and expects to have the final recommended practice published by year-end. NISO has a number of projects underway around e-books, including the just published DAISY Authoring and Interchange standard. Another project under consideration is alternative metrics for assessment. NISO is always open to ideas from the community for areas where standards can provide solutions to problems. (Link to Web Source)

NISO Note: John Wiley & Sons and NFAIS are NISO Voting Members.

Library catalog metadata: Open licensing or public domain? Creative Commons blog, August 14, 2012; Timothy Vollmer

OCLC is encouraging its member libraries to share their catalog data through an Open Data Commons Attribution (ODC-BY) license. While a positive step in some ways, it also raises the question of why licensing instead of public domain. Harvard Library is making its data available through a CC0 public domain option, relinquishing all rights to any reuse, with attribution requested but not required. Such dependence on community norms for attribution is better suited to an environment where linked data will likely be coming from a wide array of sources, where determining a myriad of license restrictions will be challenging. Also in question is how one would attribute small pieces of data, such as a single field or a triple. When that data is combined with a library's own data into a new dataset, it's not clear how an ODC-BY license attribution requirement could be implemented to ensure compliance. Except for the European Union, most countries do not protect non-creative databases with copyright and the ODC-BY license may not apply if data is not obtained from the original provider. From a technical perspective, a library that has both OCLC-sourced and non-OCLC bibliographic records may have difficulty differentiating which should have the license attribution. "A truly normative approach for the library community would be a public domain dedication such as CC0, coupled with requests to provide attribution to the source (e.g. OCLC) to the extent possible."
(Link to Web Source)

NISO Note: NISO members mentioned in this article are: The British Library, Harvard University Library, OCLC, and University of Michigan Library.