Headshot of NISO Eexecutive Director, Todd Carpenter

June 2017

Simplification is often a core element of creativity. Having to accomplish more with less demands innovation in figuring out how to do as much, if not more, while using less time, less energy, fewer words, or fewer resources. It takes considerable time, energy, and effort to make things more concise. In part, this is what Blaise Pascal was referring to when he wrote, "I have made this longer than usual because I have not had time to make it shorter."

During its meeting last month, the NISO Board of Directors worked to distill NISO's value proposition for the community. This effort is part of the rethinking that's been underway for the past few months as part of the work to ground a new NISO website. A core element of the redesign is our focus on the three or four core elements of NISO's activities that support both members and non-members. Far too often, we have heard how confusing and complicated NISO can be, how many varied projects we are engaged in, and how our processes seem labyrinthine: the perception persists that standards work is complex. We must endeavor to change this perception as well as the reality behind it.

NISO is very active and we do have complete procedures to ensure consistency and transparency for our working groups and publications. Engineers and other implementers of our specifications also need detailed instructions. But not every person interacting with NISO is a member of a working group or a standards implementer. For these others, we must do a better job of explaining the value and the purpose of our work, and how the pieces are meant to fit together into a coherent whole.

I hope you will join us in Chicago during the ALA conference when we will talk about this revised, simplified vision, which will include not just a new website but also restructured Topic Committees and a new focus for our efforts. We hope that as we roll out this vision this summer you will appreciate the effort and thought that is going into making NISO simpler to explain, clearer to understand, and easier to engage with.


Todd Carpenter’s Signature

Todd Carpenter

Executive Director

NISO Reports

Content Provider Survey on Use of KBART Recommended Practice

The Knowledge Bases and Related Tools (KBART) Recommended Practice aims to solve problems in the information supply chain by improving the exchange of metadata from content providers to knowledge bases.The KBART Standing Committee has been working to increase adoption of the recommended practice and add more content providers to its list of endorsers.

To aid in our efforts, we would like to invite the content provider community to participate in a survey regarding use of KBART, ease of adoption, and opportunities for training and outreach. The survey will be available until June 15. If you are a content provider, please take 10-15 minutes to complete the survey and let us know how we can make KBART more useful and easier to adopt.

The survey can be found at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/niso-kbart

NISO Profesional Development Events in June

Enabling Discovery and Retrieval of Nontraditional and Granular Output
NISO Webinar
Wednesday, June 7, 2017
1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. (Eastern time)

Featured Speakers: Nicole Johnson, Product Manager, Digital Commons, bepress; Ruth Pickering, Co-Founder and Chief Business Development Officer, Yewno; Gerald Benoit, Associate Professor, Simmons School of Library and Information Science, Simmons College.

You can still register and receive access to the full archived recording of this event. Don't miss out on the discussion!

Images: Digitization and Preservation of Special Collections in Libraries, Museums, and Archives
NISO Virtual Conference
Wednesday, June 14, 2017
11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. (Eastern time)

This virtual conference will focus on a variety of practical concerns surrounding digitization efforts and long-term preservation of images in the digital environment. It will spotlight the International Image Interoperability Framework and similar initiatives in the ongoing digitization of special collections (such as maps, manuscripts, etc.) for purposes of scholarship. Are we achieving the goals established 20 years ago? What has been established by the community as appropriate guidelines and/or the best practices for these activities? In addition to images, new digital output (three-dimensional renderings, virtual exhibits, etc.) are becoming more commonplace. Is the institutional repository the right place to house such scholarship, or is there a new kind of space needed for such special collections?

Featured speakers include:

  • Edward M. Corrado (participating in his personal capacity), Associate University Librarian, Dudley Knox Library, Naval Post Graduate School
  • Tom Cramer, Chief Technology Strategist, Stanford University Libraries, and Stuart Snydman, Associate Director for Digital Strategies, Stanford University Libraries
  • Chad Hutchens, Head, Digital Collections, University of Wyoming
  • Julia Corrin, University Archivist, Carnegie Mellon University
  • Chris Strasbaugh, Digital Resource Archivist and Curator, The Ohio State University
  • Scott Eldredge, Digital Initiatives Program Manager, Brigham Young University
  • Grace L. Barth, MLIS, Head of Digital Collections, Libraries & Educational Technologies and Kate Morris, Head of Special Collections, Libraries & Educational Technologies, James Madison University
  • Barbara Laufersweiler, Coordinator, Digitization Lab and Project Manager, Knowledge Services, The University of Oklahoma Libraries
  • Jennifer Diffin, Head, Library Technology Services Section, and Doron Shalvi, Principal Applications Architect at CSC, National Library of Medicine (NLM)

To register online, use this form.

NISO-BISG 11th Annual Forum, ALA
Delivering the Integrated Information Experience

12:00 Noon - 4:00 p.m. (Central)
Location: McCormick Place West
Room: W183b

Metadata: How can the information community function effectively without it? High-quality metadata drives publishers' marketing efforts and enables libraries' support for discovery. Whether one is operating in the publisher's supply chain or in the library's tech services, distribution and ingestion of complete, accurate and explicit metadata is key to success. It fuels every patron's information activity and subsequent assessment of satisfaction and usage.

But, best practices for creating and delivering metadata across the varied spectrum of those who use it are not always followed. And it's not just about books. Metadata must be applied to the full range of content formats: research data, recordings, and more. In a variety of settings and systems, it sustains the information needs of an increasingly mobile population!

During the NISO-BISG Changing Standards Landscape Forum, which is sponsored by Bowker, attendees will hear from industry professionals working elbow-deep in identifiers, subject classification, rights and other metadata that drive an integrated user experience. What steps are content providers taking to ensure that:

  • They provide high-quality metadata?
  • Feeds are appropriately ingested when transferred between systems?
  • Usage will be maximized and licensed rights observed?

Only through the development, adoption, and use of community standards can we be assured that the information flow to the user is all that it should be. For committed speaker details, see the NISO event page. The NISO-BISG Forum is free to registered attendees of the ALA Annual Meeting; however, we would like to get a sense of who will be in the audience. Please RSVP your intention to be with us on-site through this brief form.

Also at ALA:

NISO Annual Meeting and Standards Update
1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. (Central)
Location: McCormick Place West
Room: W474b

Join us for our Annual Meeting to learn about the status of the organization, all the work that has taken place in 2016 and what's happening now in 2017. The meeting is open to the public and all are welcome to participate. The NISO Update provides the latest news about NISO's current efforts, including standards, recommended practices and community meetings covering many areas of interest to the library community. Working group members will provide updates on projects newly underway or recently completed.

Resource Access for the 21st Century: Toward A Modern Access Architecture
Sunday, June 25
10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. (Central)
Location: Hyatt Regency McCormick
Room: Clark/CC 22AB

The library electronic subscription/access environment remains primarily based on IP-address authentication despite its numerous problems and limitations. Sponsored by the National Information Standards Organization (NISO) and the STM Association, Resource Access for the 21st Century (RA21) is an initiative which will improve the user experience and provide a more seamless access experience to patrons, while also providing greater control and analytics over network activity. Community conversations and consensus building are necessary to explore potential alternatives to IP-authentication and to build momentum toward testing and adopting alternatives among publisher, system vendors, and library partners. This session will include a landscape overview and a description of the exploratory work and project elements now in progress. This will be followed by an interactive audience discussion of the opportunity, necessary requirements, pitfalls to avoid, as well as potential next steps.

July 2017

NISO's Educational Programming takes a brief respite during the month of July. Enjoy your summertime activities!

New on the NISO Website

Slides from May 10 Webinar, Spotlight on Mobile: Devices, Interfaces, and Content

Slides from May 17 Virtual Conference Convergence: The Web and Publishing onto the Web

Media Stories

Peer Review 2030: New Report Looks to the Future of Peer Review
Digital Science, May 2, 2017

A new report by Digital Science and BioMed Central recommends sweeping changes by all who participate in the peer review process, including diversification of the reviewer pool and the use of AI. On a related note, see Nell Gluckman's Chronicle of Higher Education article on the pros and cons of using grad students as peer reviewers, and from The Journal of Electronic Publishing, "Peer Reviewing: A Private Affair Between the Individual Researcher and the Publishing Houses, or a Responsibility of the University?"

A Year to Get Your Act Together: How Universities and Colleges Should Be Preparing for New Data Regulations
Jisc Blog, May 24, 2017; by Andrew Cormack

The EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will come into effect in May 2018. Brexit or no, the UK government says that the new rules will still apply there, and even if that were not the case, they would apply to the UK's handling of EU members personal data. Cormack's look at how UK colleges and universities can prepare for the changes ahead also provides solid advice for data stewards outside the UK and in nonacademic environments.

Public Libraries as Publishers: Critical Opportunity
The Journal of Electronic Publishing 20(1), 2017; by Kathryn M. Conrad

Libraries acting as micropublishers is nothing new, says Conrad, who points out that Oxford's Bodleian Library published its first catalog in 1604; on these shores, New York Public Library began publishing in the late 1800s and Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore in 1930. Things have obviously picked up in recent years, though, and Conrad takes an in-depth look at trends in digital publishing in libraries today.

Articulating Scholarly Research with Audio-Visual Writing
EDUCAUSE Review, May 22, 2017; by Jordan Tynes

Newer technology has freed us from PowerPoint as students can now use video, photos, graphics, sound, and multimedia with text to communicate their research findings. How it all works and what it means for pedagogy is the focus of this paper by Tynes, Manager of Scholarly Innovations at Wellesley College.

New and Proposed Specs and Standards

Blockchain Technology Set to Grow Further with International Standards in Pipeline

A new ISO technical committee, ISO TC 307--Blockchain and electronic distributed ledger technologies, recently met in Sydney, Australia, to begin developing standards for the use of blockchain technology. ISO explains that blockchain is "a digital platform that records and verifies transactions in a transparent and secure way, removing the need for middlemen and increasing trust through its highly transparent nature." The relatively new technology holds promise in enabling more secure financial transactions of all kinds, including in publishing and libraries.

COUNTER Publishes New Draft of Code of Practice Release 5

After a public comment period on the first draft of Relase 5 of the COUNTER Code of Practice, the organization has released a second draft that it says will "help content providers implement the new release, but also help users of the reports to collect and analyse the information they need more easily." See here for COUNTER's explanation of what is new in this draft.

CASRAI 2017 Standards Open Review

CASRAI, an international nonprofit that aims to adapt open standards and data governance practices to the research environment, has made an international call for review of its Working Groups' 2017 outputs. Until June 30, the organization invites interested parties to review standards in five tracks:

Track 1: IRIDIUM (Research Data Management) Standard Glossary
Track 2: Open Access Standard Glossary
Track 3: Academic Research Career Levels Standard Taxonomy
Track 4: Impacts Data Collection Standard Template
Track 5: Proposed new terms to a Common, cross-cutting Glossary

Micropub is a W3C Recommendation

"The Social Web Working Group has published a W3C Recommendation of Micropub...a client-to-server protocol used to create, update and delete social networking content. Web and native apps can use Micropub to post notes, photos, events, and many others to servers that support the protocol. Users can choose to create content in a variety of client posting interfaces, while maintaining control of where the data is stored."

Current ISO Ballots

NISO Voting Members participate in the development, revision, and evaluation of standards. Voting Members are able to influence the standards process and mold the future of the industry. The following ballot is open and will close before the next newsletter is distributed. If you are a NISO Voting Member, log into your NISO page and you'll see the ballot linked there.

  • TC 46/SC 9 ISO/DIS 20247, Information and documentation -- International library item identifier (ILII)

    This international standard specifies the International Library Item Identifier (ILII) which is used for the unique identification of items held by libraries and related organizations. "Library and related organization" here refers to an organization within the scope of ISO 15511, Information and documentation - International standard identifier for libraries and related organizations (ISIL). "Items" here refer to materials identified and managed by a concerned organization. Digital objects to which the organization holds only access rights (e.g., electronic journals) are excluded from the definition of "items" in this context. The purpose of ILII is to facilitate unique identification of library items when information about them is shared among library applications. Examples of such system(s) include interlibrary loan and shared print agreements.