Headshot of NISO Eexecutive Director, Todd Carpenter

August 2015

Working collaboratively is both rewarding and challenging at the same time. There are so many benefits to engaging in group activities. We realize opportunities to learn from experiences of others as they likewise may benefit from our expertise. Participants are able to gain insight and knowledge on trends and issues facing the broader community, which they may then bring back to their own organizations. Working with others forces us to be clearer and more concise in our communication styles in order to be more effective in specifying what we mean and hope to achieve.

Of course, the benefits of collaboration do come with some challenges as well. Sometimes this process takes time—perhaps more time than we all would like—to work through. Invariably, some community members may not feel fully invested in the process or may feel marginalized if they aren't included in the majority viewpoints. Occasionally, the outcome may not be as satisfying as originally desired because compromise reached on some points: There is no perfect solution for everyone. However, working through these issues and finding a way to improve as a group means the end product is ultimately better because of these hard discussions.

These observations come to mind related to the NISO initiative to develop a consensus set of principles related to patron privacy. The project has been ongoing for several months now and we had an extremely productive in-person meeting in San Francisco following the ALA conference. I have been serving as the chair and lead on this project, a role I don't normally fill for most NISO initiatives. We had hoped to wrap up the principles during the face-to-face meeting. Unfortunately, the issues are complex and we were on the whole perhaps too ambitious for a single meeting. However, on further crafting and editing the principle statements, and it has been a good learning process for all involved. We have all learned about the complexity of the exchange of patron information and where it does and does not intersect with privacy concerns, the legal frameworks, the business implications for suppliers and libraries, and the potential implications all of these aspects have on patron privacy. I am hoping that with a bit of further attentiveness, we'll be able to release the output of the group's work before the end of the summer. You can read background on the project here.

We can also look to our standard program for both nearly-completed work on a new technical report on the SUSHI-Lite specification, as well as a newly initiated work project to standardize how standards are produced and formatted. This new project, extending the work on the JATS standard was approved by the NISO membership just last week. You can read more about it below.

As every organization in our community has become more efficient, it seems there is less free time in people's normal work schedules for volunteer projects, such as standards development initiatives. Perhaps it is why the "dog days of summer" have become extremely productive times for NISO's standards program.

I hope you all have the opportunity to relax this summer, as well as spend some time contributing to your favorite community initiatives!


Todd Carpenter’s Signature

Todd Carpenter

Executive Director

NISO Reports

NISO Launches New Initiative: XML Standard for Producing Standards Documents

The NISO voting members have approved a new project to standardize the ISO Standard Tag Set (ISOSTS) in line with JATS (ANSI/NISO Z39.96-2012 JATS/ Journal Article Tag Suite) for application by standards development organizations (SDOs) and use in the standards ecosystem. In the process of formalizing ISO STS—a variant of JATS—as an ANSI/NISO standard, this new NISO initiative will support input from many organizations who have begun to use it in their own publication production processes. Interested participants from digital publishing and standards development and management organizations are encouraged to contact NISO. (Link to full press release)

NISO Releases Draft Technical Report on SUSHI-Lite for Public Trial and Comment

NISO is seeking trial users and comments on the draft technical report, SUSHI-Lite: Deploying SUSHI as a lightweight protocol for exchanging usage via web services, NISO TR-06-201X. This technical report proposes and describes a method of exchanging COUNTER statistics ranging from usage for a single article to a complete COUNTER report, using commonly used approaches to web services. The SUSHI-Lite technical report does not replace the SUSHI standard but rather supplements it with an alternative approach for requesting and exchanging usage.

Agenda Released for NISO In-Person Forum on the Future of Library Resource Discovery

NISO will host a two-day meeting to take place in Baltimore, Maryland on October 5 & 6, 2015 on The Future of Library Discovery. In February 2015, NISO published a white paper commissioned from library consultant Marshall Breeding by NISO's Discovery to Delivery Topic Committee. The in-person meeting will be an extension of the white paper with a series of presenters and panels offering an overview of the current resource discovery environment. Attendees will then participate in several conversations that will examine possibilities regarding how these technologies, methodologies, and products might be able to adapt to changes in the evolving information landscape in scholarly communications. The goal will be to craft a way the community can take advantage of new technologies, metadata models, or linking environments to better accomplish the needs of libraries to provide access to resources.

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Opening Keynote: Marshall Breeding, Independent Library Consultant,
  • Scott Bernier, Senior Vice President, Marketing, EBSCO
  • Gregg Gordon, President, Social Science Research Network (SSRN)
  • Michael Levine-Clark, Professor / Associate Dean for Scholarly Communication and Collections Services, University of Denver Libraries
  • Neil Grindley, Head of Resource Discovery, Jisc
  • Karen Resch McKeown, Director, Product Discovery, Usage and Analytics, Gale | Cengage Learning
  • Jason S. Price, PhD, Director of Licensing Operations, SCELC Library Consortium
  • Mike Showalter, Executive Director, End-User Services, OCLC
  • Christine Stohn, Product Manager, Ex Libris Group
  • Julie Zhu, Manager, Discovery Service Relations, Marketing, Sales & Design, IEEE
  • Closing Keynote: Peter Murray, Library Technologist and blogger at the Disruptive Library Technology Jester

Thanks to the generous sponsorship commitments from corporations in the community, we are able to hold the registration costs at a modest level. The cost to attend the two-day seminar in-person for NISO Members (Voting or LSA) is only $250.00; Nonmember: $300.00; and for Students: $150.00.

Please visit the event page for the most up-to-date information on the agenda, speakers and registration information. Space is limited, so register soon!

August Webinar: MOOCs and Libraries: A Brewing Collaboration

The development and rising popularity of the massive open online course (MOOC) presents a new opportunity for libraries to be involved in the education of patrons, to highlight the resources libraries provide, and to further demonstrate the value of the library to administrators. There are, of course, a tremendous number of logistics to be considered when deciding to organize or support a MOOC. Diminished library budgets and staffing levels challenge libraries both monetarily and administratively. Marketing the course, mounting it on a site, securing copyright permissions and negotiating licensing for course materials, managing the course while in progress and troubleshooting technical problems add to the issues that have caused some libraries to hesitate in joining the MOOC movement. On the other hand, partnerships such as that between Georgetown University and edX, itself an initiative of Harvard and MIT, allow a pooling of resources thereby easing the burden on any one library. In some cases price breaks for certain course materials used in MOOCs can help draw students to the course, though the course organizer must still negotiate the pricing. A successful MOOC, such as the RootsMOOC, created by the Z. Smith Reynolds Library at Wake Forest University and the State Library of North Carolina, can bring awareness of library resources to a broad audience.

NISO's August webinar, MOOCs and Libraries: A Brewing Collaboration—to be held August 12 from 1:00 - 2:30 p.m. EDT—will explore some of these issues as libraries must ask whether the advantages of participating in a MOOC outweigh the challenges. The speakers for this webinar will consider these issues surrounding MOOCs and libraries and try to answer the question of whether the impact of libraries on MOOCs has been realized or is still brewing.

Confirmed topics and speakers include:

  • MOOCS: Assessing the Landscape and Trends of Open Online Learning — Heather Ruland Staines, Director Publisher and Content Strategy, ProQuest SIPX
  • The RootsMOOC Project or, That Time we threw a Genealogy Party and 4,000 people showed upKyle Denlinger, eLearning Librarian, Wake Forest University Z. Smith Reynolds Library and Rebecca Hyman, Reference and Outreach Librarian, Government and Heritage Library, State Library of North Carolina
  • MOOCS and Me: Georgetown's Experience with MOOC ProductionBarrinton Baynes, Multimedia Projects Manager, Gelardin New Media Center, Georgetown University Library

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

September Two-Part Webinar: The Practicality of Managing "E"

NISO will be holding a two-part webinar in September on the topic of The Practicality of Managing "E". In Part 1 of this two-part webinar, to be held on September 9, speakers will address a variety of licensing issues. A key component to the discussion will be a focus on the critical pieces of a license, including privacy, accessibility, preservation, migration, and the negotiation process between a library and a vendor.

In Part 2, to be held on September 16, speakers will focus on staffing issues at different types of libraries and how staff manages integration of e-resources into workflows, as well as a discussion about whether or not to execute a reorganization.

You may register for one or both parts; registrants to both parts receive a 25% discount. For more information and to register, visit the event webpages:

September Virtual Conference: Scholarly Communication Models: Evolution or Revolution?

Scholarly communication deals with the systems and processes involved in the creation and dissemination of knowledge. Scholars can't help but have to navigate the complex issues around author rights, access, costs, new models of publishing, peer-review, and compliance with research funder policies. These scholarly communication components are continually evolving along with changes in technical infrastructure, the economics of publishing, knowledge preservation, and social practice.

In NISO's September 23 virtual conference, Scholarly Communication Models: Evolution or Revolution? to be held from 11:00 am - 5:00 pm EDT you will learn how scholarly communication models are evolving from the authors', publishers', and libraries' perspectives. The presenters will share and discuss their approach in adapting and navigating the issues surrounding this topic.

Confirmed speakers to date include:

  • Keynote Speaker: Philip E. Bourne, Ph.D., FACMI, Associate Director for Data Science, Founding Editor in Chief PLOS Computational Biology, National Institutes of Health
  • Gregg Gordon, President, Social Science Research Network (SSRN)
  • Melinda Kenneway, Executive Director & Co-Founder, Kudos
  • Charles Watkinson, Associate University Librarian, Publishing; Director, University of Michigan Press, University of Michigan Library
  • Dan Whaley, Founder,

NEW! All registrants to this virtual conference will receive a login to the associated Training Thursday on Using Alerting Systems to Ensure OA Policy Compliance to be held on October 1 at 1:00 pm EDT. Separate registration to the training event only is also available. If you are unable to attend the Training Thursday in person, you can view the recording of the session.

For more information about the Virtual Conference, the Training Thursday, and to register, visit the respective event webpage.

New Specs & Standards

ISO/IEC 26300:2015, Information technology -- Open Document Format for Office Applications (OpenDocument) v1.2 -- Part 1: OpenDocument Schema

ODF defines a technical schema for office documents including text documents, spreadsheets, charts and graphical documents like drawings or presentations. ODF 1.2, the native file format of LibreOffice from The Document Foundation, is supported by all the leading office suites, and by a large number of other applications. It has been adopted by the UK Cabinet Office as the reference for all documents exchanged with the UK Government, and is currently proposed as the reference standard by the Référentiel Général d’Interopérabilité 1.9.9 of the French Government. In addition, ODF 1.2 has been adopted by many European public administrations.

The Library of Congress, 2015-2016 Recommended Formats Statement

The Library of Congress Recommended Formats Statement identifies hierarchies of the physical and technical characteristics of creative formats, both analog and digital, which will best meet the needs of all concerned, maximizing the chances for survival and continued accessibility of creative content well into the future. The purposes of the Statement are two-fold: to provide internal guidance within the Library to help inform acquisitions of collections materials (other than materials received through the Copyright Office); and to inform the creative and library communities on best practices for ensuring the preservation of, and long-term access to, the creative output of the nation and the world. Several NISO standards are referenced in this Formats Statement.

Book Industry Study Group (BISG), Best Practices for Product Metadata: Guide for North American Data Senders and Receivers

Developed in cooperation with BookNet Canada, the Product Metadata Best Practices provides detailed instructions on improving the accuracy of product data throughout the supply chain in order to increase efficiency between trading partners, and to make content more discoverable. This update completely restructures the previous document to emphasize ONIX 3.0 and adds new ONIX 3.0 best practices and examples.

International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF), Call for Review: EDUPUB Profile for EPUB, Open Annotations in EPUB, EPUB Distributable Objects, EPUB Scriptable Components

Five specifications of modular extensions to EPUB, developed by the EPUB Working Group, have been elevated to draft status and public review is now sought through August 28, 2015. The five specifications include: EDUPUB Profile for EPUB 1.0, a semantically-enhanced profile of EPUB 3 for e-textbooks and other learning content; Open Annotations in EPUB 1.0, which defines an interoperable content model for annotations in EPUB based on W3C Open Annotations; EPUB Distributable Objects 1.0, which defines a general model for creating, transporting, and integrating sub-elements of EPUB publications; and EPUB Scriptable Components 1.0 and EPUB Scriptable Components Packaging and Integration 1.0 which define an interoperable model for creating, transporting, and securely supporting interactive content in EPUB publications.

ARMA International, Call for Participation for Revision of ARMA 19-201x, Policy Design for Managing Electronic Messages

ARMA is currently recruiting consensus group members to create a publication serving as a revised edition of ANSI/ARMA 19-2012, Policy Design for Managing Electronic Messages. This publication will include guidance regarding policy design for management of electronic messages or communications, including email (and related attachments/metadata), instant messaging (IM), text messaging (SMS), and voicemail. This publication does not include electronic messaging platforms within the context of social media.

Media Stories

NISO: Striving for a Consensus Framework for Patron Privacy

Computers in Libraries, June 2015, by Todd A. Carpenter

This article describes the work NISO has been doing to develop a consensus framework on Patron Privacy with the generous support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Based on the library community’s long-standing advocacy for the rights of patrons to be secure in their use of library resources, this project aims to expand the recognition of those rights among the publishing and library system supplier communities. The article describes the NISO initiative and its next steps. (Read the full story)

NISO Note: More information about this NISO initiative is available here.

The DOI — Twenty Years On

D-Lib, July-August 2015, by Mark Bide

This article is a transcript of a talk given by Mark Bide, Chairman of the Publishers Licensing Society and Co-Chair of the Copyright Licensing Agency, at a recently held International DOI Foundation (IDF) meeting which celebrated the 20th anniversary of The Armati Report, a document instrumental in the creation of the Digital Object Identifier. In his talk, Bide provides his views on how applications of identification and identifier standards and their provision of an infrastructure for intellectual property assets may not yet have achieved the vision set forth in the report. He discusses the importance of governance, consensus, and trust, and remains optimistic about continued opportunities. (Read the full story)

NISO Note: International DOI Foundation (IDF) is a NISO Voting Member

Yet Another Metadata Zoo

The Digital Shift, July 23, 2015, by Roy Tennant

Tennant describes the Yet Another Metadata Zoo (or YAMZ) project, a "proof-of-concept web-based software service acting as an open registry of metadata terms from all domains and from all parts of metadata speech." The creators "aim for the metadictionary to become a high-quality cross-domain metadata vocabulary that is directly connected to evolving user needs" and hope that the project will simplify the work of creators of linked data applications, who must today choose from a large number of ontologies. Anyone with a Google ID may participate in editing and voting terms up or down. (Read the full story)

Exploring Information Security and Shared Encrypted Spaces in Libraries

code4lib Journal, Issue 29, July 15, 2015, by Keith Engwall

In this article Engwall describes the efforts put forward by the Medical Library at Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine to identify gaps in information security and improve protections of patron information following the adoption of a new patron privacy policy. The Library also decided to take a broader approach to its task, including the securing of research data and internal information. This article provides brief basics to information security, including certificates, authentication and encryption and covers the Library's findings on its chat and email transmissions and secure information storage. Encryption services, cloud services and password management products are also mentioned. (Read the full story)

A Novel Open Source Approach to Monitor EZproxy Users' Activities

code4lib Journal, Issue 29, July 15, 2015, by Qing Zou

"This article describes using Elasticsearch/Logstash/Kibana (ELK) to monitor and visualize EZproxy logs in real time. Although EZproxy provides many mechanisms (e.g. auditing, intrusion detection, server sessions status, and usage limit functions) to ensure secure accesses, malicious system intrusions and illegal downloading have been experienced by many libraries. These activities may cause temporary blockage of access to certain electronic resources by content providers. Due to the high amount of usage and limited existing functionality of EZproxy for monitoring users' activities, it is challenging for libraries to be more proactive in detecting users' illegal activities." (Read the full story)