January 2012

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

Architecture Committee

Chair: Barbara Preece (Dean of the Library, California State University, San Marcos, & Vice-Chair, NISO Board of Directors)


E-book Special Interest Group

The E-Book Special Interest Group subgroups, covering the following topic areas:

  • Accessibility Issues
  • Discovery tools & Linking
  • Distribution (EPUB, PDF, Web + others)
  • Metadata General (ONIX, MARC, PREMIS, METS, Dublin Dore, PMH, etc.)

held discussion conference calls in August and October to discuss the current state of affairs in their respective areas and to brainstorm on possible project areas for NISO. Following these, summary notes were provided to all subgroups and a survey was circulated to the Core E-Book SIG members for input into prioritization. NISO is now in the process of reviewing the survey input before next steps with the group. We expect several new work items for 2012 to be created from the E-Book SIG. More information, including webinar recordings, can be found at the E-Book SIG webpage.

Business Information Topic Committee

Chair: Kathleen Folger (University of Michigan Library)


ERM Data Standards & Best Practices Review Working Group

Chair: Tim Jewell (University of Washington)
ERM Review Workroom

The NISO ERM Data Standards and Best Practices Review Working Group has now completed its final report, Making Good on the Promise of ERM: A Standards and Best Practices Discussion Paper. Following publication preparation by NISO staff, it will be available from the NISO website. Working Group members plan to present and lead discussions on their conclusions at upcoming conferences—such as ALA Midwinter and ER&L—and will be talking about the report on the NISO Open Teleconference on February 13.

The NISO ERM Standards and Best Practices Review Working Group is a successor to the Digital Library Federation's Electronic Resources Management Initiative (ERMI), whose data model and dictionary established working standards for E-resource management, and ERMI 2, which provided training for license analysis and led to the development of the SUSHI protocol and NISO CORE recommended practice. The project's primary goals have been to perform a gap analysis of standards and best practices and make recommendations on the future of the ERMI Data Dictionary.

The environmental scan of the ERM standards landscape focused on five categories: Link Resolvers and Knowledge Bases; The Work, Manifestations, and Access Points; Cost and Usage-Related Data; License Terms and Defining Consensus; and Data Exchange Using Institutional Identifiers. Among the conclusions and recommendations reached were that NISO continue to encourage well-focused standards initiatives rather than pursue the goal of a single, comprehensive ERM Data Dictionary; that it facilitate discussions leading to a "simpler and scalable 'third way' of encoding license terms;" and that NISO help establish consensus among libraries regarding e-resource workflow support needs and priorities.

I2 (Institutional Identifiers) Working Group

Co-Chairs: Grace Agnew (Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey), Oliver Pesch (EBSCO Information Services)
I2 Workroom

The I2 Working Group has been actively working with the ISNI International Agency (ISNI-IA)—the organization created to deploy and manage the new International Standard Name Identifier Registration Authority—to ensure that the infrastructure ISNI-IA is creating will effectively handle the identification of institutions within the information supply chain. Formal recommendations made by the I2 Working Group have now been accommodated by ISNI, and ISNI-IA is planning to issue a call for Registration Agencies soon.

The I2 Working Group is now working on a final report, expected in Q1 2012, to summarize its work and the successful conclusion of the implementation of a workable institutional identifier, under ISNI, to make the information supply chain work better.

Janifer Gatenby of OCLC presented on ISNI as part of the January 11 NISO Webinar, Identify This! Identify That! New Identifiers and New Uses; her presentation slides are available online.

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

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

The PIE-J Working Group is developing a Recommended Practice to provide guidance on the presentation and identification of e-journals, particularly in the area of title presentation and bibliographic history, accurate use of the ISSN, and citation practice. This work is intended to assist publishers, platform providers, abstracting and indexing services, knowledgeable providers, aggregators, and other concerned parties in facilitating online discovery, identification, and access for the publications.

The group is continuing its hard work on the draft Recommended Practice, which it plans to release for a 45-day comment period in Q1 2012. Sections of the document include guidelines, a glossary, many examples of good practice, and appendixes covering resources and ISSN, DOI,and related standards.

Kathy Klemperer and Andrea Twiss-Brooks presented on PIE-J in early November at the Charleston Conference. The presentation slides are available online in two parts: Part 1 and Part 2. Regina Reynolds and Cindy Hepfer discussed PIE-J and answered questions about it during the NISO October Open Teleconference; a recording of the call is available for download.

SERU (Shared E-Resource Understanding) Standing Committee SERU logo

Co-chairs: Judy Luther (Informed Strategies), Selden Lamoureux (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)
SERU Workroom
SERU Recommended Practice (NISO RP--2008)

The SERU Standing Committee's work on a revised SERU is now available for public comment. Following an autumn of intense work by the members of the committee, and circulation of the draft to a small list of expert reviewers, an open "Lively Lunch" was held at the Charleston Conference to discuss the draft with a larger audience. This discussion subsequently led to further revisions to the document during December before finalization.

When SERU was adopted as a NISO Recommended Practice in 2008, its focus was on e-journal transactions, and the parties involved were primarily libraries and publishers. Since then, with the many emerging models for acquisition of e-books, both libraries and e-book providers have requested that other types of electronic resources be incorporated into the SERU framework. This updated version of SERU recognizes both the importance of making SERU more flexible for those who want to expand its use beyond e-journals and the fact that consensus for other types of e-resource transactions are not as well-established as they are for e-journals. 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.

Several members of the SERU Standing Committee participated in the NISO Open Teleconference on January 9, to discuss the updates and answer questions. The recording of this call is available for download.

SUSHI (Standardized Usage Statistics Harvesting Initiative) Standing Committee

Co-chairs: Bob McQuillan (Innovative Interfaces), Oliver Pesch (EBSCO Information Services)
SUSHI Workroom
SUSHI standard (ANSI/NISO Z39.93-2007)

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

The SUSHI Standing Committee has been very busy as the COUNTER Release 4 Code of Practice has been circulating for comments and is due to be released in early Q1 2012 for implementation by vendors in the year following. COUNTER is undergoing extensive updating to accommodate the new types of materials which libraries provide to their patrons and to support more sophisticated evaluation and comparison needs from librarians. Although SUSHI's flexible structure will help to easily accommodate necessary changes, there are a few more details in the standard that need to be looked after.

A COUNTER-SUSHI Implementation Profile (NISO RP-14-201X), which improves interaction between servers and clients by setting out detailed expectations on how SUSHI and COUNTER XML reports should be implemented, is available for public comment through January 31. The SUSHI Server group, a subgroup of the SUSHI Standing Committee, developed a draft Recommended Practice now available for trial use, Providing a Test Mode for SUSHI Servers (NISO RP-13-201X), which defines how to add testing functionality to SUSHI servers to enable clients to be more easily developed and tested.

Z39.7 Data Dictionary Standing Committee

Chair: Martha Kyrillidou, Association of Research Libraries (ARL)
Z39.7 Data Dictionary

The Information Services and Use: Metrics & statistics for libraries and information providers – Data Dictionary (ANSI/NISO Z39.7) is an online standard that is continuously maintained by the Standing Committee. Any user of the data dictionary may submit suggested changes through a comment box, which appears on the webpage for each section of the standard. All comments received on the standard, or any new developments that might warrant changes to the Dictionary, are reviewed by the Standing Committee during regular monthly phone calls.

All changes accepted by the Standing Committee since its last 2004 approval have been added to the online dictionary in preparation for a ballot by NISO voting members on a new revision of the standard. In the latter part of 2011, the Standing Committee has also been discussing additional related topics related to definitions of the library, value of performance indicators, and maintenance of liaisons with related efforts, some international.

Content & Collection Management Topic Committee

Co-chairs: Rice Majors (University of Colorado at Boulder), Julia Blixrud (Association of Research Libraries (ARL))


DAISY Standard Revision Working Group

Co-chairs: George Kerscher (DAISY), Markus Gylling (DAISY)
DAISY Revision Workroom
ANSI/NISO Z39.86-2005, Specifications for the Digital Talking Book
Draft Standard for Trial Use: NISO Z39.86-201x, Authoring and Interchange Framework Specification

The trial use for Part A of the DAISY Revision, the Authoring and Interchange Framework, ended on September 28, 2011. The Working Group reviewed comments and made changes based on feedback from trial implementors and reviewers, including the DAISY Pipeline 2 working group, representatives working on the "DIAGRAM" project funded by the U.S. Department of Education, and the Board of the National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard (NIMAS).

The Z39.86 revision was originally planned to be in two parts: Part A is manifested in the Authoring and Interchange Framework for Adaptive XML Publishing, which is intended to be published as the revised standard. Work on Part B, Distribution, was suspended because the requirements for distribution, including XHTML for processing and rendering, provision of audio and text synchronization, and integration of text-to-speech markup, are met by the new EPUB 3 specification, now an approved standard. It is anticipated that the Authoring and Interchange Framework for Adaptive XML Publishing will be used to represent content in a wide variety of genres, e.g. textbooks, newspapers, and trade books.

The final version of the revised standard is now in the process of approval by the CCM Topic Committee, after which a 45-day ballot will be presented to the NISO Members Voting Pool and, if approved, final certification of the revised standard will need to be made by ANSI prior to publication.

RFID in Libraries Revision Working Group

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

The Working Group is in the final stages of preparing the revised Recommended Practice for publication in early Q1 2012, following a public comment period which ended in late June 2011. The revisions have entailed ensuring that the NISO Recommended Practice is in sync with the three-part RFID in Libraries ISO standard, ISO 25860, published in 2011. The RP will be used by RFID hardware manufacturers, solution providers (software and integration), library RFID users, book jobbers and processors, and related organizations in the United States.

Standardized Markup for Journal Articles Working Group (JATS: Journal Article Tag Suite)

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

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) created the Journal Archiving and Interchange Tag Suite with the intent of providing a common format in which publishers and archives can exchange journal content. The goal of the work of the NISO JATS Working Group is to take the NLM Journal Archiving and Interchange Tag Suite, three journal article schemas (Journal Archiving and Interchange Tag Set, Journal Publishing Tag Set, and Article Authoring Tag Set) and associated documentation, update it per current industry requirements, and shepherd it through the NISO standardization process.

A draft standard for trial use, NISO Z39.96-201x, JATS: Journal Article Tag Suite, ended its trial availability on September 30, 2011, and since that time the Working Group has spent considerable time discussing and responding to the many content- and schema-related comments and suggestions.

It is planned that the final standard, after approval by the JATS Working Group and the CCM Topic Committee, will be balloted as version 1.0 of NISO Z39.96. Approval by NISO Voting Members and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) will be required before the final standard is published. The standard will then be continuously maintained by a JATS Standing Committee.

NISO/NFAIS Supplemental Journal Article Materials Project

Business Working Group
Co-chairs: Linda Beebe (American Psychological Association), Marie McVeigh (Thomson Reuters)
Technical Working Group
Co-chairs: Dave Martinsen (American Chemical Society), Sasha Schwarzman (American Geophysical Union)
Supplemental Journal Article Materials Workroom
Roundtable on Best Practices for Supplemental Journal Article Materials (January 2010)

This joint NISO-NFAIS Working Group has been developing a set of recommended practices to help publishers and editors in selection, delivery, aid of discovery, and preservation of supplemental materials released with journal articles. The Working Group consists of two subgroups, the Business Working Group and the Technical Working Group, which have been working separately but in tandem, each dealing with different, more specific areas.

The Business Working Group is covering policies and practices, and the Technical Working Group is addressing technical recommendations and documents covering "how-to" aspects of implementation. Subgroups for linking, packaging, and archiving have been working to finalize specific considerations in each of these areas. Areas of the draft recommendations include: Selecting Content; Editing Content; Managing and Hosting; Assuring Discoverability; Referencing Materials; Maintaining Links; Providing Context; Preserving Material; Rights Management; and Appendices.

The group has now determined that the Business Working Group's Recommended Practice will be published for open comment in early Q1 2012 while the Technical Working Group finishes up its work. After a period of review, the groups will respond to comments and adjust the draft Recommendations as appropriate, and submit the final document for approval by NISO and NFAIS.

Sasha Schwarzman, co-chair of the Technical Working Group, presented on the work of the groups at JATS-Con 2011 in late September and at the CrossRef workshops in November. Linda Beebe, co-chair of the Business Working Group, presented in October at the NISO Webinar, Managing Data for Scholarly Communications, Part 1: Supplemental Materials and at the Charleston Conference in November.

Discovery to Delivery Topic Committee

Co-chairs: Robert Walsh (EnvisionWare, Inc.), Tim Shearer (University of North Carolina Chapel Hill Library)


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

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

NISO RP-11-2011, ESPReSSO: Establishing Suggested Practices Regarding Single Sign-On was published in November 2011, following a 30-day public comment period and approval by the D2D Topic Committee.

The ESPReSSO Recommended Practice provides practical solutions for improving the success of existing single sign-on (SSO) authentication technologies to provide a seamless experience for the user. It aims to create bridges to address today's hybrid environment—with the growing complexity of licensing situations and network design, along with the increased usage from mobile devices—and move all parties towards a longer-term effective SSO solution. Specifically, ESPReSSO recommends best practices related to selection of authentication method and transparent flow between the service provider (SP) site and the identity provider (IdP) site during authentication. The ESPReSSO Working Group was primarily concerned with the situation where an organization (a company, a campus, a public library, etc.) acquires a license to access specific content that is delivered via the web, and where the browser user is a member of the group authorized to access that content.

The ESPReSSO Working Group is now in the process of forming a Standing Committee, to help with promotion and uptake of the Recommended Practice.

Improving OpenURL Through Analytics (IOTA) Working Group IOTA: Small changes, Big Improvements

Chair: Adam Chandler (Cornell University)
IOTA Workroom
IOTA Website including blog and analytic log files
Follow on Twitter: @nisoiota

The IOTA (Improving OpenURLs Through Analytics) Working Group is investigating the feasibility of creating industry-wide, transparent and scalable metrics for evaluating and comparing the quality of OpenURL implementations across content providers. This initiative is intended to be two years in duration.

Most recently, the group has been working on significant improvements to the user interface of the IOTA reporting system, and conducting a technical experiment to empirically correlate its completeness rating, which it has been working on for the duration of the project, to real link resolution in EBSCO and Serials Solution resolvers. The effort attempts to measure the correlation between 'success' and 'completeness' in hopes that this method can inform the metric weightings that comprise the completeness score.

Public outreach efforts continue with presentations submitted to the American Library Association Annual and the Special Libraries Association programs. Also expected is an article in the 2011 NASIG conference proceedings.

The IOTA reporting system continues to welcome data from participating libraries to help with analysis.

NISO/UKSG Knowledge Bases And Related Tools (KBART) Phase 2 Working Group KBART logo

Co-chairs: Andreas Biedenbach (Independent Information Professional), Sarah Pearson (University of Birmingham)
Contact KBART Chairs for endorsement approval
KBART Workroom (NISO)
KBART Website (UKSG)

The NISO/UKSG KBART Phase II Working Group is working to provide support for the Phase I Recommended Practice, NISO RP-9-2010, KBART: Knowledge Bases and Related Tools, and is also developing a second Recommended Practice to build on these recommendations, specifically addressing the areas of metadata for e-books and conference proceedings and packages licensed via consortia deals. In addition, the Working Group is exploring the area of open access materials and how this metadata might be published and shared in knowledgebases.

The Working Group's meetings in the last half of 2011 concentrated on hammering out details from the drafts for e-book metadata transfer and working on surveys in the areas of metadata for open access, e-books and conference proceedings, and consortial subscriptions, in order to help frame requirements. These surveys are expected to be sent to the community via mailing lists in early Q1 2012.

Several publishers and content providers are continuing to work with the group in testing and endorsement of the Phase I Recommendations. The group has created an internal tool to make it easier for the link resolver vendors who are participating on the Working Group to communicate the results of their tests of these vendor files. Contact information for all KBART endorsers can be found on the KBART Registry. You don't have to be an endorser to register your contact details, but it helps!

NCIP (NISO Circulation Interchange Protocol) Standing Committee

Chair: Mike Dicus (Ex Libris)
Maintenance Agency: EnvisionWare (contact: Rob Walsh)
NCIP Workroom
NCIP Maintenance Agency

The NCIP Standing Committee reviews status of implementations and other general business on monthly calls. Twice a year, in-person meetings are held in order to review ongoing updates to the NCIP protocol. The fall NCIP Standing Committee meeting was held on October 12-13 at the offices of Envisionware in suburban Atlanta; the meeting was successful as all defect and change requests were discussed and addressed.

Accepted changes include: the addition of repeatable, optional Bibliographic Id to Loaned Item and Requested Item; addition of optional Date Due to Item Optional Fields; addition of UPC and GTIN to Bibliographic Item Identifier Code scheme; addition of DVD and Blu-Ray to Medium Type scheme; and addition of Lookup Item Service.

The updated material is now in the process of final edits by NISO staff and is expected to be put to the Voting Members for approval as a revision to the Z39.83 standard, after approval by the D2D Topic Committee.

The next in-person meeting will be April 25-26, 2012 in Winchester, Virginia, hosted by TLC. The closing date for updates to be submitted for discussion at this meeting is March 1, 2012.

An Introduction to NCIP, which provides librarians and other implementers with a basic introduction to NCIP and links to sources of additional information about the standard, has been published at the NCIP website. The NCIP Implementers Registry continues to grow and is available to libraries as an assessment tool for evaluation of a system's use of NCIP for interoperability with other applications.

New members of the Standing Committee include Ranny Lacanienta and Brent Thompson of SirsiDynix. The Standing Committee also bade farewell and good wishes to Susan Campbell of the College Center for Library Automation (CCLA) on the occasion of her retirement, and welcomed her colleague John Sandstrum to the committee.

Open Discovery Initiative Working Group

Co-chairs: Marshall Breeding (Vanderbilt University), Jenny Walker (Ex Libris)

The new ODI working group is starting its work in January 2012 to define best practices for the new generation of library discovery services that are based on indexed search. Reliance by libraries on indexed search as a primary means for users to discover and access library-licensed content brings with it new requirements for work to be done in the industry in a number of areas, and this new working group, though its work plan isn't set yet, intends to improve communications and clarity. Goals for the working group include creating ways for libraries to assess the level of participation by information providers in discovery services; help streamline the process by which information providers work with discovery service vendors; define models for fair linking from discovery services to publisher content; and determine what usage statistics should be collected.

Those interested in following the work of this effort can join the ODI interest group mailing list by sending an e-mail to: opendiscoveryinfo-subscribe@list.niso.org.

Physical Delivery of Library Resources Working Group

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

The NISO Physical Delivery of Library Resources Working Group completed review of comments submitted during the public review period for its draft Recommended Practice. Following some edits to the document and approval by the Working Group, it is now in its final approval stage by the D2D Topic Committee and is expected to become available around the time of the American Library Association Midwinter meeting.

The purpose of the Recommended Practice is to identify methods for improved physical movement of items: the delivery of the items to the requesting library and their return to the lending library. The Recommended Practice focuses on three key areas: the physical move, automation, and the management of physical delivery. It also includes some suggestions about other steps in the patron request process that can help to ensure the delivery piece works optimally. The Recommended Practice's scope is limited to the external delivery of items between separately administered libraries, although many of the recommendations could apply to delivery between branches of a single library system, as well.