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NISO and E-books: Current Areas of Engagement

NISO's new E-book SIG will help to coordinate and support NISO's current activities in the e-book realm as well as exploring new areas of opportunity and facilitating collaborative ventures. Some areas where NISO has already engaged in the topic of e-books include:

  • DAISY – The NISO DAISY Revision Working Group has drafted an update to ANSI/NISO Z39.86, Specifications for the Digital Talking Book, into a broader standard on an Authoring and Interchange Framework that provides a modular, extensible architecture for the creation of any number of content representation models, still supporting accessibility but also useful for a general audience of e-book users. The revision has been issued as a Draft Standard for Trial Use through September 28, 2011. The DAISY Working Group is also holding discussions with IDPF regarding whether the EPUB standard (see below) could provide the needed delivery functionality for the envisioned Part B of the DAISY standard. For more information on DAISY, visit: www.niso.org/workrooms/daisy

  • SERU – The SERU Standing Committee has begun work on a revision to its recommended practice, (NISO RP-7-2008, SERU: A Shared Electronic Resource Understanding) to better allow the use of SERU with e-books. Although the original SERU guidelines deliberately focused on subscriptions, in the two years since SERU was published, several libraries and publishers have successfully used SERU for back-file purchases and e-books. The revision will broaden the subscription-centric language of SERU and update it for use with other types of electronic resources. For more information on SERU, visit: www.niso.org/workrooms/seru

  • KBART – The joint NISO/UKSG Knowledge Base and Related Tools (KBART) Working Group is exploring the use of OpenURLs for e-books as part of their second phase recommendations. The knowledge base, which consists of data supplied by content providers including publishers, is central to the efficient operation of OpenURLs. Phase I report provided minimum recommendations to effect smoother interaction between members of the knowledge base supply chain. With increased use of OpenURLs to point to e-books or link from citations within e-books, KBART will specifically be reviewing metadata transfer for e-books as part of Phase II. For more information on KBART, visit: www.niso.org/workrooms/kbart

  • Open Annotation & Social Reading – In partnership with the Internet Archive, NISO will co-host two fall meetings on annotating of e-books and the necessary standards to support open sharing of e-book annotations among different devices and communities. These meetings will take place in conjunction with the Frankfurt Book Fair and the Books in Browsers conference, both in October 2011. More information will be posted to the NISO 2011 Events webpage as it becomes available.

  • Identifiers – NISO, on behalf of ANSI, serves as the Secretariat for the ISO Technical Committee 46, Information & Documentation, Subcommittee 9 on Identification & Description (TC 46 / SC 9), where the core identifiers and metadata structures are created and managed for the supply change of media content, including ISBN, DOI, and ISTC. This is also where new identifier structures would be launched internationally to support the distribution of content. NISO is also engaged in discussions with organizations such as the International ISBN Agency and the Book Industry Study Group (BISG)regarding the assignment of ISBNs to e-books. (BISG has released a research report on the identification of e-books conducted by Michael Cairns. The International ISBN Agency has issued Guidelines for the Assignment of ISBNs to E-books.) For more information on TC46/SC9 visit: www.niso.org/international/sc9/

  • EPUB – NISO has been holding discussions with the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF) regarding formal standardization of EPUB 3.0 either through NISO or ISO TC46. NISO has also been engaged in an ad hoc working group led by the ISO & IEC Joint Technical Committee (Information Technology), Subcommittee 34 (Document description and processing languages) that is discussing international standardization of EPUB. The DAISY Consortium is the maintenance agency for both NISO's Digital Talking Book standard and EPUB and has been working with IDPF to incorporate needed provisions into EPUB for it to be used as the delivery mechanism for DAISY content (see above).

  • Book Metadata – In partnership with OCLC and with their generous support, NISO retained Judy Luther (President, Informed Strategies) to investigate how publishers and libraries could work together to improve the flow of metadata throughout the book publication and delivery cycle. Following the release of Luther's white paper, Streamlining Book Metadata Workflow, NISO participated in the Symposium for Publishers and Librarians held March 18-19, 2009 at the OCLC Conference Center to discuss issues surrounding the metadata needs for libraries and the publisher supply chain.

  • ISQ – The Spring 2011 issue of NISO's Information Standards Quarterly (ISQ) magazine will focus on e-books and be available in open access in mid-June. Guest content editor for the issue October Ivins (Consultant, Ivins eContent Solutions) has lined up an excellent selection of articles covering EPUB 3.0, the DAISY revision, e-book acquisition in libraries, and e-book publishing by academic presses. A number of articles related to e-book topics have also been published in past issues of ISQ, all of which will shortly be available in open access.

  • Education Programs – NISO is currently planning several education events that address e-books and has held several past events.

    • Future Events:

      • The E-Book Renaissance: Exploring the Possibilities Exposed by Digital Books a two-day forum on October 24-25, 2011, in Baltimore, MD Visit the event webpage.

    • Past Events:

      • The Changing Standards Landscape of E-books: This half-day free NISO/BISG Forum on June 24, 2011, in New Orleans before the ALA Annual Conference will focus on on common synergies between publishers and libraries in the critical areas of e-book content identification, discovery and format. Visit the event webpage.
      • Patrons, ILL, and Acquisitions: A 2011 webinar focused on patron-driven acquisitions (PDA) of e-books. View presentation slides.

      • Unprecedented Access: A 2010 webinar that addressed how to make content, in particular e-books, universally accessible. View presentation slides.

      • E-Books: A Rapidly Evolving Marketplace: A 2009 webinar that explored Creation, Formatting, and Distribution Options for e-books as well as business issues and trends in the digital book landscape. View presentation slides.

      • The Changing Standards Landscape for E-books: A 2009 NISO/BISG forum on important standards initiatives and needs in the e-book marketplace. View presentation slides.

      • Digital Resources: Working with Formats Beyond Serials: A 2008 two-day forum on e-book issues such as formats, metadata, pricing models, and licensing. View presentation slides.

      • For three years in the late 90s to early 2000s, NISO co-hosted with NIST an annual e-books conference, which drew upwards of 200 people.