Headshot of NISO Eexecutive Director, Todd Carpenter

July 2015

People so often move through life as a series of activities or discrete projects, which culminate or reach an end-stage where they are completed. Personally, I view things more as a continuum of constant improvement and adaptation. Life is a journey, with many waypoints and achievements, but everything flows onward. Few things are so concrete as to be done, placed on a shelf and completed, never to be addressed again. This is true of publications, of standards development, and even of seemingly concrete events, like meetings or jobs.

One example of this outlook was highlighted this week when someone asked if NISO was attempting to "'solve' everything" regarding privacy with the meeting we held last week in San Francisco as part of the NISO initiative on patron privacy in information systems (Recordings of the meeting are available here). Our aim was never to "solve" privacy–not as if that goal could ever possibly be achieved in a series of meetings! There isn't a single solution to privacy; it is an ongoing process that evolves over time as technologies and approaches, community norms and expectations change over time. By this, I don't mean that our principles or expectations change (although they may over longer time horizons), but rather how the application of those principles changes as our implementations of those principles change. Much like preservation, privacy is something that needs constant attention, care and feeding to function adequately.

The privacy initiative will continue after the two-day meeting, which was just completed. In addition to ongoing community development time necessary to hone the draft principles over the summer, NISO plans to conduct training and other educational programs related to the principles in the fall and beyond. Based on the early drafts, further conversations about the principles, and guidelines for their implementation need to be developed. And then we will build on those ideas and foster new areas of effort. In this way, even the discrete work of the principles document will not be an end, but a beginning.

Similarly, I am especially pleased that the book which we have been working on for several years has now been published. The process of producing and distributing content has been one I have been involved in professionally for more than 20 years. While I have been around the production of content and have been surrounded by people involved with the creation, distribution, supply of published content, and have worked with both authors, editors and book production teams, I had never engaged as a book author or editor until this project. And though the manuscript was finished and out of my hands some time ago, I found that the work of publication does not stop when the manuscript is delivered&emdash;It continues with promotion and applying the ideas put forward in the publication. Hopefully, the book will spur others to engage more deeply in the process of standards creation. You can read more about the book below.

Just as a new standard is published, the work related to implementation of that standard is only just beginning. Getting a working group to reach consensus, and then getting the project through its approval set for publication is also not the end of the process once the document is distributed. This is the case with our latest best practice document, Protocol for Exchanging Serial Content (PESC) which was just published. The adoption of the approach still requires implementation, maintenance, education and potentially even application development around the standard to make it a success. Any standard that ends with publication, but not implementation and further development can't be viewed as a success. Again, more information about that recommended practice is below.

The The Future of Library Resource Discovery white paper commissioned by NISO Discovery to Delivery Topic Committee on the future of indexed discovery services, which was published earlier this year, is yet another project that has spawned subsequent developments and efforts. On October 5th and 6th, NISO will be hosting a joint educational and thought leader in-person meeting in Baltimore to build on this white paper through a process of discussions of potential future work on this topic. More information about how you can participate is here.

Finally, I would be remiss if I did not mention the upcoming transition of leadership at the Library of Congress. Dr. James Billington has been a steadfast figure in the world of libraries, serving at the helm of the Library of Congress for nearly three decades. His impact has been immeasurable in the world of libraries and beyond. The list of successful initiatives launched and implemented during his tenure is amazing in its breadth and depth. While the high-profile digitization and cultural heritage projects have received tremendous attention, the leadership provided by Library of Congress under Dr. Billington's leadership from a standards perspective has been equally impressive. We thank Dr. Billington for his support of technology and standards and for his leadership of one of NISO's core community members. As with all things noted above, Dr. Billington's transition is part of the continuum of the history of the Library of Congress.

I hope you all have a moment to relax on this journey now that summer has arrived. We have a lot of work before us.

Todd Carpenter’s Signature

Todd Carpenter

Executive Director

NISO Reports

Protocol for Exchanging Serial Content published

NISO announces the publication of a new recommended practice, Protocol for Exchanging Serial Content (PESC) (NISO RP-23-2015), which provides guidance on the best way to manage the elements of digital serial content packaging in a manner that aids both the content provider and the content recipient in understanding what has been delivered and received.

PESC offers "guidance to members of the scholarly communication community on preferred practices for the packaging and exchange of serial content that will enable the automation of processes to receive and manage serial content at scale. By following these practices, organizations can make it clear what content has been transmitted, how it is organized, and what processing is required when a new package is received."

The PESC standard is available for free download from the NISO PESC workroom page. In the coming months, the Content and Collection Management Topic Committee will likely form a maintenance group to provide support and ongoing revisions to the standard.

NISO membership elects new Vice Chair and Board Directors

The membership of NISO has elected new leadership for the 2015-2016 term that began on July 1, 2015. Mike Teets, Executive Director, Strategy, Governance & Architecture at OCLC, who was elected last year and has served as Vice Chair during the current term, will become Chair of NISO for the 2015-16 term. B. Tommie Usdin, President of Mulberry Technologies, Inc., has been elected to serve as Vice Chair of the NISO Board of Directors.

The following three new directors have been elected to serve the NISO Community:

  • Sayeed Choudhury, Associate Dean for Research Data Management and Hodson Director of the Digital Research and Curation Center, the Johns Hopkins University Libraries
  • Chris Shillum, Vice President, Product Management Platform and Content, Reed Elsevier
  • Charles Thomas, Executive Director, USMAI Library Consortium
  • In addition to these elections, Mike Teets, in his first act as Chair, has appointed Keith Webster, Dean of University Libraries at Carnegie Mellon University, to the position of Treasurer of the NISO Board. Keith has served on the NISO Board of Directors for the past three years. He fills the position formerly held by Janice Fleming, Director of Business and Planning at the American Psychological Association, whose term expired in June. The NISO Board thanks Jan for her service to the community.

    NISO Leadership Edits New Book on Standards in Information

    The Association of Library Collections and Technical Services (ALCTS) division of the American Library Association has published a new book edited by Todd A. Carpenter, the Executive Director of the National Information Standards Organization (NISO). The Critical Component: Standards in the Information Exchange Environment explores the process of developing information standards, the value of standards for libraries, publishing and the intermediaries that serve both communities. Todd Carpenter, Nettie Lagace, NISO's Associate Director for Programs, and Cynthia Hodgson, recently retired NISO Editor, all contributed chapters to this publication.

    The book includes chapters on: the overall need for standards in content distribution; the formality of standards; the process and players involved in standards development; the description of information objects, digital preservation, identifiers, marketing standards, getting involved in the process as well as the future needs for information standards. Following each chapter is a case study describing real-world implications of these themes.

    NISO Announces 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 Resource 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 and to 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,
    • Scott Bernier, EBSCO
    • Closing Keynote: Peter Murray

    Thanks to the generous sponsorship commitmentsf from corporations in the community, we are able to hold the registration costs in check. 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.

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

    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.

    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, to be held on September 9, speakers will address a variety of licensing issues including privacy, accessibility, preservation, migration, and the negotiation process. 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.

    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: Part 1; Part 2.

    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 to 5:00 pm EDT—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.

    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. (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 and to register, visit the event webpage.

    New Specs & Standards

    W3C MathML 3.0 Approved as ISO/IEC International Standard

    The Joint Technical Committee JTC 1, Information Technology of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), announced approval of the MathML Version 3.0 2nd Edition as an ISO/IEC International Standard (ISO/IEC 40314:2015). MathML is the mark-up language used in software and development tools for statistical, engineering, scientific, computational and academic expressions of math on the Web.

    ISO/IEC 24760-2:2015, Information technology -- Security techniques -- A framework for identity management -- Part 2: Reference architecture and requirements

    Applicable to any information system where information relating to identity is processed or stored, ISO/IEC 24760-2:2015 provides guidelines for the implementation of systems for the management of identity information and specifies requirements for the implementation and operation of a framework for identity management.

    PREMIS Data Dictionary for Preservation Metadata, Version 3.0

    The PREMIS Editorial Committee has announced the availability of PREMIS Data Dictionary for Preservation Metadata, Version 3.0. This major new version includes a revised data model, which enhances the ability to express information about software and hardware environments and intellectual entities. Specific changes in this version include: making Intellectual Entity another category of PREMIS Object; revision of the data model so that software and hardware environments can be described and preserved reusing the Object entity; ability of Physical Objects to be described as Representations and related to digital Objects; and others. There is extensive discussion of the revised data model and the expanded description of environments in the Introduction and Special Topics sections of the Data Dictionary.

    Library of Congress' BIBFRAME Initiative, Two new Vocabulary Change Proposals

    The Library of Congress distributed two proposals for changes to the BIBFRAME vocabulary: the BIBFRAME Title Proposal and the BIBFRAME Item Proposal, based on suggestions made on the BIBFRAME listserv. These changes may be made to the vocabulary following the conclusion of the pilot project. Further discussion is continuing to take shape on the listserv. Publication of additional papers for items, authorities, and events are planned.

    First Public Working Draft: Web Annotation Protocol Published by W3C

    The W3C Web Annotation Working Group has published a Working Draft of Web Annotation Protocol. Annotations are typically used to convey information about a resource or associations between resources on the web. Simple examples include a comment or tag on a single web page or image, or a blog post about a news article. This draft specification describes the transport mechanisms for creating and managing annotations in a method that is consistent with the Web Architecture and REST best practices.

    Media Stories

    Open Discovery Initiative Conformance Checklists announced

    Several content providers and discovery providers have recently published their checklists indicating conformance with the NISO Open Discovery Initiative, a Recommended Practice published in June 2014 and now supported by a NISO Standing Committee. Content providers Credo, Gale, IEEE, and Sage Publications issued a joint press release, and ProQuest, EBSCO, and Ex Libris also issued press releases or statements linking to their hosted checklists. All checklists are also linked from the ODI Web pages.

    NISO Note: Cengage Learning (Gale), EBSCO Information Services, Ex Libris, Inc., IEEE, ProQuest, and SAGE Publications are NISO Voting Members.

    Deni Auclair Discusses Outsell’s Open Access Report

    Rick Anderson of the Scholarly Kitchen conducts an email interview with Deni Auclair, author of the recently released Outsell, Inc. report, Open Access 2015: Market Size, Share, Forecast, and Trends. This report seeks to define the size of the open access (OA) market, suggest what is driving it and what trends are in place, identify potential disruptors and competition dynamics, and suggest “essential actions for vendors and imperatives for information managers.” Auclair comments on the customer shifts for publishers, the role of the impact factor, changes for scholarly societies, and other topics, as well as the role of standards. (Read the full story)

    Linked Data URIs and Libraries: The Story So Far published in: D-Lib, May-June 2015, by Ioannis Papadakis, et al.

    "The linked data movement is a relatively new trend on the web that, among other things, enables diverse data providers to publish their content in an interoperable, machine-understandable way. Libraries around the world appear to be embracing linked data technologies that render their content more accessible to both humans and computers. This paper focuses on linked data URIs that refer to authority data. We attempt to identify the specific MARC fields that are capable of hosting linked data information. Additionally, seven major national libraries are examined to determine to what degree they have adopted the fundamental linked data principles." (Read the full story)

    ALA appoints Jenny Levine next LITA Executive Director

    The American Library Association announced the appointment of Jenny Levine as the Executive Director of the Library and Information Technology Association, a division of the ALA, effective August 3, 2015. Prior to joining the ALA staff, Jenny Levine held positions as Internet Development Specialist and Strategy Guide at the Metropolitan Library System in Burr Ridge (IL) and several other positions in public libraries. Ms. Levine is an active member of the community, frequent presenter and writer, blogging at The Shifted Librarian. Ms. Levine becomes executive director of LITA on the retirement of Mary Taylor, LITA executive director since 2001. (Read the full story)

    NISO Note:The American Library Association is a NISO Voting Member.

    Many Choices for Obama in Replacing Billington at Library of Congress

    Following the announcement of the retirement of Dr. James Billington from his position as Librarian of Congress, there has been much speculation about who might be nominated to serve as the 11th head of the Library of Congress. Names of potential replacements include a range of people from diverse backgrounds, and this story has been covered in many major media outlets. Any selection made by President Obama will require confirmation by the United States Senate. (Read the full story)

    NISO Note: The Library of Congress is a NISO Voting Member.