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White Papers 

NISO White Papers are contributed or solicited papers whose purpose is a call for action, a position paper, or an educational treatise on a specific issue. White Papers are often developed as a pre-standardization activity to define and explore some of the questions that come into play before formal standardization work is started. Or a NISO White Paper might identify areas that are opportunities for standards development and suggest possible approaches.

The Future of Library Resource Discovery
by Marshall Breeding

Abstract: Libraries have a strategic interest in the tools and technologies that facilitate the discovery of and access to the resources for the communities that they serve. These tools have seen steady advancement over recent decades, making great strides in the scope and depth of materials addressed and in providing library users ever more convenient ways to access these materials. The progress seen in the successive generations of technology beginning from online catalogs, to metasearch tools, to the current generation of index-based discovery services represents an incredible improvement. Yet many gaps remain relative to the potential of more universal access to the universe of content of interest to libraries and their users and obstacles remain that impede progress that NISO or other organizations can address. This paper provides an overview of the current resource discovery environment and discusses some of the 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. It include recommendations that can be addressed in the short term through a possible extension of the NISO Open Discovery Initiative as well as longer-term efforts that investigate how evolving technologies such as open linked data can be operationalized.

February 2015            ISBN: 978-1-937522-41-4

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Making Good on the Promise of ERM: A Standards and Best Practices Discussion Paper
by the ERM Data Standards and Best Practices Review Steering Committee

Abstract: This publication is the outcome of the NISO Electronic Resource Management (ERM) Data Standards and Best Practices Project, a successor to the Digital Library Federation’s Electronic Resources Management Initiative (ERMI). The project’s primary goals were to perform a “gap analysis” of standards and best practices and make recommendations on the future of the ERMI Data Dictionary. The standards review and findings focused on five categories: link resolvers and knowledge bases; the work, manifestations, and access points; cost and usage-related data; license terms; and data exchange using institutional identifiers.A more extensive review of fourteen of the most relevant standards was done and the data elements for each were mapped to the elements defined in the ERMI report. Also included is an evaluation of how ERM systems could improve their workflow support—a shortcoming in most existing systems—and a detailed workflow best practices bibliography along with a list of illustrative workflow diagrams.

January 2012            ISBN: 978-1-9357522-00-1

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Streamlining Book Metadata Workflow
by Judy Luther (Informed Strategies)

Abstract: The white paper was commissioned by NISO and OCLC as a follow-up to the Symposium for Publishers and Librarians held by OCLC on March 18-19, 2009 to discuss book metadata. This paper analyzes the current state of metadata creation, exchange, and use throughout the book supply chain. With the number of book formats multiplying and the amount of digital content growing rapidly, the metadata required to support the discovery, sale, and use of content by a global audience is increasing exponentially. At the same time economic pressures on all stakeholders in the supply chain from publishers, wholesalers, booksellers, metadata vendors, and librarians present greater challenges to providing quality and comprehensive metadata at every point in the cycle. Through interviews with over 30 industry representatives, Luther has created a book metadata exchange map illustrating the process and has identified opportunities for eliminating redundancies and making the entire process more efficient.

June 30, 2009            ISBN: 978-1-880124-82-6

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The Case for New Economic Models to Support Standardization
by Clifford Lynch

Abstract: This revised and expanded version of Clifford Lynch's prize winning paper in the 1998 Standards Engineering Society/World Standards Day paper contest presents a new model for supporting national standards development.

ISBN: 978-1-880124-90-1 Clifford A. Lynch, “The Case for New Economic Models to Support Standardization Efforts,” Information Standards Quarterly, Vol. 11, No. 2 (April 1999), pp. 5-10.

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The Exchange of Serials Subscription Information
by Ed Jones

Abstract: This 2002 study was undertaken: (1) to identify current and potential applications in which serials subscription data are exchanged, (2) to identify the formats currently in use for such exchange, and (3) to ascertain the perceived utility of standards to support such exchange, including standard identifiers for subscribers and services. A large number of interested individuals and organizations were contacted in the effort to accomplish these tasks. Current and potential applications were identified and described in some detail.

ISBN: 978-1-880124-91-8

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Internet, Interoperability and Standards — Filling the Gaps
by Janifer Gatenby

Abstract: With major changes in electronic communications, the main focus of standardisation in the library arena has moved from that of supporting efficiency to allowing library users to access external resources and allowing remote access to library resources. There is a new emphasis on interoperability at a deeper level among library systems and on a grander scale within the environment of electronic commerce. The potential of full inter-operability is examined along with its likely impact. Some of the gaps in current standards are examined, with a focus on information retrieval, together with the process for filling those gaps, the interoperation of standards and overlapping standards.

ISBN: 978-1-880124-92-5

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Issues in Crosswalking Content Metadata Standards
by Margaret St. Pierre and William P. LaPlant

Abstract: This paper delineates the general issues involved in the harmonization of metadata standards and in the development of crosswalks between related metadata standards. It begins by enumerating a set of simple procedures for harmonizing metadata standards. Next it describes the set of criteria needed to develop a fully specified crosswalk. Finally, this paper proposes future steps for simplifying crosswalk implementation through the use of formal specifications and automation.

ISBN: 978-1-880124-93-2

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The Myth of Free Standards: Giving Away the Farm
by Andrew N. Bank

Abstract: The paper topic was intended to make a case for whether U.S., regional, and/or international standards should be fee-based (as most are now) or provided free of charge to all interested parties. Some standards users and standards publishers believe that the standards and specifications which necessarily allow companies to compete in the global market should be free of charge. But other users and publishers believe that standards development and implementation is an expensive undertaking and holds a pricetag to be shared by all. This year's first place winner in the 1998 World Standards Day Paper Competition sponsored by the World Standards Day Planning Committee and the Standards Engineering Society details the many reasons why standards should not be free.

ISBN: 978-1-880124-94-9

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Patents and Open Standards
by Priscilla Caplan

Abstract: Reviews some patent basics and then considers the following questions: What is an "open standard?" What are the policies of other standards setting organizations governing patented contributions to standards? And what light does this shed on the OpenURL situation and future actions by NISO? Originally published in Information Standards Quarterly, vol. 14, no. 4, October 2003.

ISBN: 978-1-880124-95-6

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