NISO Reports

Interchange Protocol

A new edition of the two-part American national standard on the NISO Circulation Interchange Protocol (NCIP) (Ansi/nisO Z39.83), version 2.02, incorporates implementers’ feedback about and experience with the standard into changes that improve the usefulness and practicality of the various services.

NCIP addresses the need for interoperability among disparate circulation, interlibrary loan, consortial borrowing, and self-service applications by standardizing the exchange of messages between and among computer-based applications. Part 1 of the standard defines the Protocol and Part 2: Implementation Profile provides a practical implementation structure. the NCIP protocol is widely supported in integrated library systems (ILS) and resource sharing software.

In addition to the revised standard, the NCIP standing Committee has made available supporting tools and documentation to aid in implementation, including an XML schema that matches the implementation profile defined in Part 2 of the standard. A separate document, Introduction to NCIP, provides librarians and other implementers with a basic introduction to NCiP and links to sources of additional information about the standard. the NCIP Core Message Set defines a minimal set of nine messages (out of the full set of 45) that supports the majority of the current functionality for resource sharing and self-service applications and provides a simpler starting point for new implementers.

The NCIP standard and the supporting tools and documentation are freely available from the nCIP Workroom on the NISO website:

COUNTER-SUSHI Implementation Profile Published as a Recommended Practice

A new NISO recommended Practice, the COUNTER-SUSHI Implementation Profile (NISO RP-14-2012), provides a practical implementation structure to be used in the creation of reports and services related to harvesting of COUNTER Release 4 reports using the NISO sushi Protocol. the Standardized Usage Statistics Harvesting (SUSHI) Protocol was issued as a standard (ANSI/NISO Z39.93) in 2007 to simplify and automate the harvesting of COUNTER usage reports by libraries from the growing number of information providers they work with. COUNTER (Counting Online Usage of Networked Electronic Resources) is an international initiative that published its first Code of Practice in 2003 and issued release 4 of the COUNTER Code of Practice for e-Resources in April 2012. XML schemas supporting the implementation Profile and Release 4 of the COUNTER Code of Practice have also been published by NISO, which has an agreement with COUNTER to maintain the schemas and keep the SUSHI and COUNTER schemas in synch.

The SUSHI standard and the COUNTER XML schema both have a level of abstraction and flexibility built in to handle future needs, but this can result in decisions by implementers that could cause interoperability issues or require client implementers to customize the service for every different provider. The COUNTER-SUSHI Implementation Profile was developed to provide guidance with Release 4 of COUNTER by setting out detailed expectations for both the server and the client of how the SUSHI protocol and COUNTER XML reports are to be implemented to ensure interoperability.

The COUNTER-SUSHI Implementation Profile (NISO RP-14- 2012), the referenced schemas, and additional implementation guidance for SUSHI can be found on the SUSHI webpages ( Release 4 of the COUNTER Code of Practice is available on the Counter website (

NISO Receives Mellon Foundation Grant to Assess the Current State and Future Needs of a New Bibliographic Framework

The National Information Standards Organization (NISO) has been awarded a $48,516 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to fund a study to determine the needs and requirements of the library, higher education, and non-profit networked information communities to ensure they are able to use and exchange bibliographic data in an increasingly networked, linked data environment. The funds will be used to hold one face-to-face meeting in the United States and four global webinars, accompanied by workgroup efforts during the periods between webinars. These meetings will be conducted to coordinate the needs and requirements of key communities, including libraries, technologists, and library system providers, as well as other international standards development organizations.

“The bibliographic exchange environment in which the majority of the world’s libraries operate has been based on the machine readable Cataloging (MARC) standard since it was developed in the late 1960s,” explains todd Carpenter, NISO’s executive director. “The Library of Congress has been working intensively on the future of bibliographic control since 2006 when it formed the Working group on the Future of Bibliographic Control and recently announced it had contracted with Zepheira to help accelerate the launch of the Bibliographic Framework Initiative. The resource description and Access (RDA) standard, published in 2008 to replace the Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules, already provides a model for mapping some MARC data into Web resources, but there are significant challenges left in making sure that one can express concepts in a new data format. Many organizations are moving forward with their own initiatives to expose bibliographic data, without organized coordination or consensus about community priorities, leading to duplicated work, delays, and inefficiencies. given the diverse community that is impacted by bibliographic exchange and citation, as well as the tremendous investments made in existing MARC-based library systems and records, there is a need for high-level coordination of activities to help avoid duplication and fragmentation of the bibliographic exchange community.”

The goal of this project will be to engage a group of key stakeholders—from the communities of libraries, system suppliers, and higher education/research institutions, as well as nontraditional users of bibliographic information—to develop consensus around a community roadmap of needed activities related to a new bibliographic framework based on linked data, identify exchange points where standards development is needed, and document areas where functionality testing should be performed so that feedback can be provided to all participants in linked-data bibliographic exchange.