Headshot of NISO Eexecutive Director, Todd Carpenter

May 2017

"The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page." - Saint Augustine of Hippo

Later this month, a few of the NISO staff will participate in the annual plenary meeting of the ISO Technical Committee on Information & Documentation (TC46) and its five subcommittees. It is always a busy week, drawing together some 150 experts from around the world to discuss progress toward a variety of standards on everything from country codes to transliteration standards, physical item maintenance, records management issues, and identifiers. The United States is an active participant in many of these efforts, which include NISO's role as secretariat of the subcommittee on Identification and Description (TC 46/SC 9), the manager of standards such as ISBN, ISSN, ISRC, DOI and several vocabulary standards.

This year, the plenary meeting will be held in Pretoria, South Africa, at the kind invitation of national standards body the South African Bureau of Standards. The fact that this year we are hosted in Africa is an important reminder of the worldwide nature of the efforts we are engaged in. More importantly, however, it reminds us of the value of our work in supporting dissemination of content to communities that can benefit the most from improved education, improved health outcomes from research, efficient and accessible content dissemination, content discovery, and preservation. For all that first-world people often complain about, there are places where significant structural problems impact a majority of the population. Yet work in those countries continues despite fewer resources, more limited tools, and reduced connectivity.

While we in the United States, Western Europe, and other "developed countries" have plenty that we can share, there is much for us to learn from engaging with developing nations in Africa, South America, and elsewhere. Creativity in solving problems is often a result of resource constraints. Seeing how others approach a problem and deal with the limited resources at their disposal can lead one to consider ways to better utilize the resources that we do have. There is so much learning we can all benefit from.

Each year I look forward to seeing our international standards development colleagues and this year is no different in that respect. However, this year adds the opportunity to learn from colleagues who operate in an environment different from ours. I am looking forward to the opportunity to meet, learn from, and share with colleagues with whom we don't regularly engage. Distance need not be the barrier it once was, but we still need an impetus to encourage connection. We all can do more to bring under-represented groups into our efforts, whether those groups are from our neighboring communities, other organizations, or half a world away. I hope that we will be able to extend our impact, but also that we will bring some of the learning and improved relationships back with us after our trip, and use them to expand the perspectives that make our standards better.

We will report on the outcomes of the plenary meeting during the NISO Open Teleconference on June 12 at 3:00pm Eastern time. In addition to our regular update of ISO activities, I hope to also report on some of the things I've learned during our visit to South Africa.


Todd Carpenter’s Signature

Todd Carpenter

Executive Director

NISO Reports

NISO Releases Draft STS: Standards Tag Suite for Public Comment

The National Information Standards Organization (NISO) announces the release of a draft version of NISO Z39.102-201x, STS: Standards Tag Suite, for public comment. STS provides a common XML format that standards developers, publishers, and distributors can use to publish and exchange full-text content and metadata of standards. It is expected that this "standard for standards" will be published in the fall as an XML document marked up in the STS standard after comments on the draft version are addressed and it is approved by NISO Voting Members and by ANSI, the American National Standards Institute.

NISO Profesional Development Events in May and June

PIE-J, with Sally Glaser, co-chair, PIE-J Standing Committee
NISO Open Teleconference
Monday, May 8, 2017
3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. (Eastern time)

Spotlight on Mobile: Devices, Interface, and Content
NISO Webinar
Wednesday, May 10, 2017
1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. (Eastern time)

This session will look at the ongoing importance of mobile devices and the influence those devices have on access to and usage of various forms of content, whether text or multimedia. As mobile technology is a ubiquitous tool for a global population, its impact on the practices and policies of libraries and content providers should not be underestimated.

Confirmed Speakers: Rebecca Jackson, Social Sciences and Humanities, Department Head and Associate Professor Research and Instruction Services, Iowa State University; Ben Rawlins, Library Director, SUNY-Geneseo; Tracey Paine, Senior Director of Product Management, EBSCO.

For further details on this event, please visit the NISO event page.

Convergence: The Web and Publishing onto the Web
NISO Virtual Conference
Wednesday, May 17, 2017
11:00 - 5:00 p.m. (Eastern time)

The Web, as a publishing medium, is increasingly important. We live in an age when a publication or an app may not be a self-contained object or artifact, but rather a combination of browser functionality and HTML-formatted content. On the one hand, providers may now be able to offer a more interactive and engaging reading experience than was possible with a static page. On the other hand, there are challenges in delivering that experience. Some genres (poetry, mathematical expressions, etc.) have highly specific requirements for placement, expression, and rendering of material. How will content providers deliver that material to the reader? What are the production workflow considerations? For libraries, both those with publishing responsibilities and those with collection or archiving responsibilities, what complexities are introduced for long-term preservation? For support of different devices? This six-hour virtual conference will examine next steps in moving beyond what we think of as the "printed page."

The opening keynote for this event will be provided by Bill Kasdorf, Vice President and Principal Consultant for Apex Content and Media Solutions. A past president of the Society for Scholarly Publishing (SSP), Kasdorf is a recipient of SSP's Distinguished Service Award, the IDEAlliance/DEER Luminaire Award, and the BISG Industry Champion Award. Kasdorf serves on the Steering Committee of the W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) Publishing Business Group and W3C's EPUB 3 Community Group and Digital Publishing Interest Group and on the the International Press Telecommunications Council.

Other confirmed speakers include: Thomas Beyer, Director of Platform Services, O'Reilly Media; Todd Toler, Vice President, Digital Product Management, John Wiley & Sons; and Charles LaPierre, Technical Lead of DIAGRAM and Born Accessible, Benetech.

For further details about this event, please visit the NISO event page.

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)

This session will address the use of quality metadata and unique identifiers in traditional information environments, but could also include discussion of one or more of the following:

  • Scholarly nontraditional output that may currently be hosted in institutional repositories or on proprietary platforms, such as YouTube
  • Enabling identifiers for increasingly granular portions of a work (such as paragraphs) in the interests of citation

ISO TC 46 Update, with Todd Carpenter, NISO Executive Director
NISO Open Teleconference
Monday, June 12, 2017
3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. (Eastern time)

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 such initiatives as the International Image Interoperability Framework and similar initiatives in the on-going digitization of special collections (such as maps, manuscripts, etc.) for purposes of scholarship.

NISO-BISG 11th Annual Forum, ALA
Delivering the Integrated Information Experience
Friday, June 23, 2017
12:00 Noon - 4:00pm (Central time)

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.

Have questions? Call NISO at 301.654.2512 or email nisohq@niso.org.

Media Stories

What Constitutes Peer Review of Data? A Survey of Peer Review Guidelines
The Scholarly Kitchen, April 11, 2017; by Todd Carpenter

At the turn of the decade, a movement began to advance publication of research data sets as first class research objects. This has led to a variety of successful initiatives that aim to increase awareness and improve practice regarding the publication of datasets. Part of the data publication process is the peer review of those research data sets, a process examined in this paper by NISO Executive Director, Todd Carpenter.

Indoor GPS Apps Closer to Reality With New NIST Challenge
NIST News, April 7, 2017

GPS would be very helpful in large, unfamiliar buildings such as museums and shopping malls, but it doesn't currently work well indoors. NIST has launched a competition to change that, and aims to have the resulting app help not only regular consumers but also first responders who are trying find victims or each other.

Open Data Projects Win Wellcome Trust, NIH and HHMI Open Science Prize
PLOS Blog, April 18, 2017; by Sheryl P. Denker

In this interview, computational biologist Trevor Bedford of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, discusses "open data, attribution, licensing and his experience in using preprints to support a publication strategy that releases data quickly while providing peer-reviewed citations for himself, his international collaborators and his postdocs and students."

Torching the Modern-Day Library of Alexandria
The Atlantic, April 20, 2017; by James Somers

What happened to Google's plan to digitize every book and create a library of all human knowledge?

The Canadian Linked Data Summit: Developing Canada's Linked Data Future through Cooperative Alliances
Collaborative Librarianship Vol. 9 (2017), Issue 1; by Jennifer J. Browning, Robin Elizabeth Desmeules, Sharon Farnel, and Andrew Senior

"Motivated by the realization that Canada may be behind the curve in linked data development, the Canadian Linked Data Initiative (CLDI) was collectively constituted by its members with the aim to develop a communal approach for linked data development in Canada. By joining together individual library departments and cultural institutions across Canada, CLDI seeks to nurture and sustain a culture of open metadata creation and the application of machine-linkable technologies through collaboration."

New and Proposed Specs and Standards

W3C Publishes XSL Transformations (XSLT) Version 3.0 Proposed Recommendation

"The XSLT Working Group has published a Proposed Recommendation of XSL Transformations (XSLT) Version 3.0. This specification defines the syntax and semantics of XSLT 3.0, a language designed primarily for transforming XML documents into other XML documents. XSLT 3.0 is a revised version of the XSLT 2.0 Recommendation published on 23 January 2007."

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 ballots are 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 ballots linked there.

  • Systematic Review of ISO TC46 SC9 ISO 832 Second Edition, Information and documentation - Bibliographic description and references - Rules for the abbreviation of bibliographic terms

    This International Standard specifies rules for the abbreviation of words and word combinations that commonly appear in bibliographic descriptions and references in languages using the Latin, Cyrillic and Greek alphabets.

    Abbreviations of titles and title words are excluded from the scope of this International Standard and are covered by the provisions of ISO 4.

    This ballot closes on May 29, 2017.

  • Systematic Review of ISO 27729:2012, Information and Documentation - International standard name identifier (ISNI)

    This International Standard specifies the International Standard name identifier (ISNI) for the identification of public identities of parties, i.e. the identities used publicly by parties involved throughout the media content industries in the creation, production, management and content distribution chains.

    The ISNI system uniquely identifies public identities across multiple fields of creative activity and provides a tool for disambiguating public identities that might otherwise be confused.

    This ballot closes on May 29, 2017.