NISO 2012 Year in Review

This report summarizing the previous year’s standards development work appears in the first ISQ issue of the year to keep you informed of the scope and status of NISO’s programs on an annual basis.

Oversight Committees

Architecture Committee
Current Chair: Heather Reid (Copyright Clearance Center)
Chair through June 30, 2012: Barbara Preece (California State University)

Business Information Topic Committee
Current Co-chairs: Denise Davis (Sacramento Public Library) and Karla Strieb (Ohio State University Library)
Chair through June 30, 2012: Kathleen Folger (University of Michigan Library) Co-chair July 1, 2012 – January 31, 2013: Niels Dam (Reed Elsevier)

Content & Collection Management Topic Committee
Current Co-chairs: Julia Blixrud (Association of Research Libraries (ARL) and Betty Landesman (University of Baltimore)
Co-chair through June 28, 2012: Rice Majors (University of Colorado at Boulder)

Discovery to Delivery Topic Committee
Current Co-chairs: Pascal Calarco (University of Waterloo) and Lucy Harrison (Florida Virtual Campus) Co-chair through January 21, 2013:
Robert Walsh (EnvisionWare, Inc.)

Open Discovery Initiative

APPROVED: August 23, 2011
Discovery to Delivery Topic Committee
Co-chairs: Marshall Breeding (independent information consultant) and Jenny Walker (Ex Libris)

The Open Discovery Initiative (ODI) aims at defining standards and/or best practices for the next generation of library discovery services that are based on indexed search. The Working Group is made up of discovery vendors, primary and secondary publishers, and librarians and started its work in January 2012.

Reliance by libraries on indexed search as a primary means for users to discover and access library-licensed content brings with it new requirements for work to be done in the industry in a number of areas, and this new working group intends to improve communications and clarity. Goals for the working group include creating ways for libraries to assess the level of participation by information providers in discovery services; helping to streamline the process by which information providers work with discovery service vendors; defining models for fair linking from discovery services to publisher content; and determining what usage statistics should be collected.

The group has drafted, expanded, and will continue to revise as needed a glossary of definitions of terms and concepts pertinent to the scope of index-based discovery.

This glossary will help the working group use terms consistently as it carries out its activities; it is also expected to be useful beyond the workgroup to facilitate a common vocabulary in the broader discourse surrounding the topic.

In its information gathering phase, the group split into four subgroups covering different areas of discovery: technical formats; communication of library’s rights/level of indexing; definition of fair linking; and usage statistics. Part of the subgroups’ investigation included a general survey that ran in early fall 2012. This survey input was received and analyzed by each subgroup and ODI released a report in January 2013 that summarized that survey information.

Towards the end of 2012, the subgroups began drafting their individual documents, which will be put together into an overall ODI Recommended Practice draft for comment intended to be made available in 2Q/2013.

Demand-Driven Acquisition (DDA) of Monographs

APPROVED: June 19, 2012
Content and Collection Management Topic Committee
Co-chairs: Barbara Kawecki (YBP) and Michael Levine-Clark (University of Denver)

This new project is focusing on the development of recommended practices for populating and managing the demand-driven acquisition (DDA) pool of monograph titles under consideration for a library’s potential purchase. The recommendations are expected to include methods for automated updating and removal of discovery records, methods for managing DDA of multiple formats, and ways in which print-on-demand (POD) solutions can be linked to DDA. Specifically, the working group is developing a flexible model for the three basic aspects of e-book DDA—free discovery to prevent inadvertent transactions, temporary lease, and purchase—that work for publishers, vendors, aggregators, and libraries. This model will allow libraries to develop DDA plans that meet differing local collecting and budgetary needs while also allowing consortial participation and cross- aggregator implementation.

The Working Group has formed three subgroups to discuss technical processes, access methods, and metric modeling and expects that its information-gathering phase will run through June 2013.

NISO continued publishing Information Standards Quarterly in open access in electronic format on its website in 2012. A print version was available by subscription and in print-on-demand.

Information Standards Quarterly

Themed issues published in 2012 were:

Winter 2012: 2011 Year in Review and State of the Standards

Spring/Summer 2012: Linked Data in Libraries, Archives, and Museums, with Guest Content Editor Corey Harper

Fall 2012: Future of Library Systems, with Guest Content Editor Marshall Breeding

Back issues through 2010 are now also available in open access. Earlier issues will be added until the entire archive is available.

E-book Special Interest Group

APPROVED: May 4, 2011
Architecture Committee
Co-chairs: Todd Carpenter (NISO) and Nettie Lagace (NISO)

The E-Book Special Interest Group created subgroups, covering the following topic areas:

  • Accessibility Issues
  • Discovery Tools and Linking
  • Distribution (EPUB, PDF, Web, and others)
  • Metadata (ONIX, MARC, PREMIS, METS, Dublin Dore, PMH, etc.)

The subgroups brainstormed in their respective areas on possible project areas for NISO and then surveyed the Core E-Book SIG members for input into prioritization on the proposed topics. Survey results are under discussion by the NISO Architecture Committee and the three Topic Committees to determine which items should be pursued by NISO as new work initiatives in 2013.

Journal Article Versions Addendum

APPROVED: August 11, 2012 Oversight: Content and Collection

Management Topic Committee Chair: Michael Dellert

(SAGE Publications)
NISO RP-8-2008,
Journal Article Versions (JAV)

In 2008, the NISO Journal Article Version (JAV) Working Group developed a set of recommended terms to be applied to iterations of an article’s lifecycle. The terms were assigned scope and definition that allow for actionable, unambiguous, and reliable tools for publishers, librarians, aggregators, indexers, and end users. Since the time of publication of JAV, issues have been found with the term “proof” where it is less specific and precise than practical modern publishing circumstances require, and an update of the recommended practice was proposed.

Project goals for this update of JAV include the creation of an addendum to the existing recommended practice regarding the “proof” category of articles. The group will also reconsider the concept of proposing a metadata framework or dictionary in which JAV terms could be incorporated (which had been rejected in the course of the original group’s work in 2008).

Standard Interchange Protocol (SIP)

APPROVED: April 13, 2012
Discovery to Delivery Topic Committee
Co-chairs: Ted Koppel (Auto-Graphics, Inc.) and John Bodfish (OCLC Online Computer Library Center)

The 3MTM Standard Interchange Protocol (SIP) was introduced in 1993 to provide a standard communication mechanism to allow Integrated Library Systems (ILS) applications and self- service devices to communicate seamlessly to perform self- service transactions. This protocol quickly became the de facto standard around the world, and remains the primary protocol to integrate ILSs and self-service devices.

Since the protocol’s inception in 1993, 3M has continued to produce updated versions, most recently version 3.0, which was published at the end of 2011. While 3M has always sought input from the library community of developers and interested parties in enhancing the protocol, they felt the time was right for further maintenance and upgrades to SIP to be done in a more independent, community environment and NISO agreed to take on that role.

The Working Group is taking the currently existing SIP version 3.0 specification and shepherding it through the NISO standardization process to become an American National Standard.

Currently the SIP working group is examining various issues with SIP to determine how best to address these in a published standard. Other general discussion items include creation of profiles and other materials to assist with implementation.


Joint project with UKSG

APPROVED: March17, 2010
Discovery to Delivery Topic Committee
Co-chairs: Andreas Biedenbach (independent information professional) and Sarah Price (University of Birmingham) NISO RP-9-2010, KBART: Knowledge Bases and Related Tools

The NISO/UKSG KBART Phase II Working Group is working to provide support for the Phase I Recommended Practice, NISO RP-9-2010, KBART: Knowledge Bases and Related Tools, and is also developing a second Recommended Practice to build on these recommendations—specifically addressing the areas of metadata for e-books and conference proceedings and packages licensed via consortia deals. In addition, the Working Group is exploring the area of open access materials and how their metadata might be published and shared in knowledgebases.

Several publishers and content providers are continuing to work with the group in testing and endorsement of the Phase I Recommendations. The group has created an internal tool to make it easier for the endorsing link resolver vendors to communicate the results of their tests of vendor files. Contact information for all KBART endorsers can be found on the KBART Registry. Registration of contact details does not require endorsement, though all content providers, from major databases to small publishers, are encouraged to publicly endorse the KBART Recommended Practice by submitting a sample file to the KBART working group. At the end of 2012, over 75 organizations were listed as endorsers.

In January-February 2012, the Working Group published a survey to gather information from the library community in the areas of metadata for open access, e-books, conference proceedings, and consortial subscriptions. This material informed the group’s discussions on requirements for the Phase II recommendations.

The Working Group is finalizing a draft-for-comment version, which is intended to be released by the end of May 2013.

DAISY Standard Revision

APPROVED: August 29, 2008; disbanded August 7, 2012
Content and Collection Management Topic Committee
Co-chairs: George Kerscher (DAISY) and Markus Gylling (DAISY)
ANSI/NISO Z39.86-2005 (R2012),
Specifications for the Digital Talking Book [DAISY 3]
ANSI/NISO Z39.98-2012, Authoring and Interchange Framework for Adaptive XML Publishing Specification

This group began its project as a revision of ANSI/NISO Z39.86-2005, Specifications for the Digital Talking Book. Following a trial use of the draft update in 2011, which received the new title of Authoring and Interchange Framework for Adaptive XML Publishing Specification, the group recommended that the revision be issued as a new standard and the existing standard be reaffirmed. Commenters on the trial had indicated that the revision’s changes, while needed, were so substantial as to require a transition period of several years for both content makers and e-reader manufacturers to comply with the new standard. The CCM Topic Committee approved this approach and the existing standard was approved for reaffirmation by NISO and ANSI in March and April 2012, respectively.

The revision (given the new designation of Z39.98) was originally planned to be in two parts: Part A is manifested in the Authoring and Interchange Framework for Adaptive XML Publishing. Work on Part B, Distribution, was suspended because the requirements for distribution, including XHTML for processing and rendering, provision of audio and text synchronization, and integration of text-to-speech markup, were met by the new EPUB 3 specification (, published by the International Digital Publishing Forum.

The new A&I Framework is a modular, extensible architecture to permit the creation of any number of content representation models, each custom-tailored for a particular kind of information resource. It also provides support for new output formats, which can be added and implemented as the need arises. The standard does not impose limitations on what distribution formats can be created from it; e-text, Braille, large print, and EPUB are among formats that can be produced in conformance with the specification. The standard not only expands the possibility of what can be produced for the existing community of users of DAISY books, it also enlarges the potential audience of both developers and users of resources that conform to this standard. New applications using this standard could include electronic magazines as well as digital books, text to speech rendering for e-readers, and multimedia publications.

This Working Group has disbanded following the publication of the new standard. The DAISY Consortium as the maintenance agency for both the DTB and the A&I Framework standard is responsible for ongoing promotion and implementation assistance for the standards.

IOTA (Improving OpenURLs Through Analytics)

The group is in the process of finalizing a technical report describing its findings and conclusions from the investigation. It is also preparing a recommended practice for link resolver providers on using the Completeness Index with its constituent Completeness Scores. Use of the recommendations will provide a quantitative mechanism for evaluating link quality from different providers and provide benchmarks against which improvements to OpenURLs can be made, thereby bettering linking for end users.

The IOTA reporting system is available at

APPROVED: December 8, 2009
Discovery to Delivery Topic Committee Chair: Adam Chandler (Cornell University)

The IOTA (Improving OpenURLs Through Analytics) Working Group was a three-year effort to investigate the feasibility of creating industry-wide, transparent and scalable metrics for evaluating and comparing the quality of OpenURL implementations across content providers.

The group created a reporting system that has analyzed over 23 million OpenURLs, using log files from various institutions and vendors to determine element frequency and patterns contained within OpenURL strings. The group has developed and tested a “Completeness Index” as a means of quantifying OpenURL quality and for predicting the success of OpenURLs from a given provider by examining the data elements that provider includes in the OpenURLs from its site.

NCIP (NISO Circulation Interchange Protocol)

Oversight: Discovery to Delivery Topic Committee
Chair: Mike Dicus (Ex Libris)
Maintenance Agency:
EnvisionWare (contact: Rob Walsh)
ANSI/NISO Z39.83-1-2012,
NISO Circulation Interchange Part 1: Protocol (NCIP)
ANSI/NISO Z39.83-2-2012, NISO Circulation Interchange Protocol (NCIP) Part 2: Implementation Profile 1

The NCIP Standing Committee reviews status of NCIP implementations and other related business on monthly calls. Twice a year, in-person meetings are held in order to review ongoing update requests for the NCIP protocol.

After reviewing all defect and change requests submitted through 2011, the committee prepared version 2.02 of the standard, which was approved and published in August 2012. Changes include the addition of repeatable, optional elements Bibliographic Id to Loaned Item and Requested Item; addition of optional Date Due to Item Optional Fields; addition of “UPC” and “GTIN” to the Bibliographic Item Identifier Code scheme; addition of

“DVD” and “Blu-Ray” to the Medium Type scheme; and the addition of Lookup Item Service.

In-person meetings in 2012 took place April 25–26, 2012 in Winchester, Virginia, and October 9-10 in Tallahassee, Florida. Discussion topics in April included implementer updates, new change requests for NCIP, and the NCIP Implementers’ Registry. During the October meeting, discussion focused on implementer updates, Version 2 defects and change requests, support for the Implementers’ Registry, cooperation and communication with the NISO SIP initiative, and activity planning for 2013. The spring 2013 meeting will take place April 22-23 and will be hosted by OCLC in Dublin, Ohio.

Supplemental Journal Article Materials

A Joint NISO/NFAIS Initiative

APPROVED: April 16, 2010
Content & Collection Management Topic Committee
Business Working Group Co-chairs: Linda Beebe (American Psychological Association) and Marie McVeigh (Thomson Reuters)
Technical Working Group Co-chairs: Dave Martinsen (American Chemical Society) and Sasha Schwartzman (OSA – The Optical Society of America)
NISO RP-15-2013, Recommended Practices for Online Supplemental Journal Article Materials

Supplemental materials are increasingly being added to journal articles,
but until now there has been no recognized set of practices to guide in
the selection, delivery, discovery, and preservation of these materials. To address this gap, NISO and NFAIS jointly sponsored an initiative to establish best practices that would provide guidance to publishers and authors for management of supplemental materials and would address related problems for librarians, abstracting and indexing services, and repository administrators.

The Supplemental Materials project involved two teams working in tandem: one to address business practices and one to focus on technical issues. Following separate public comment periods in 2012 for the two parts of the draft recommendations, each group finalized their sections and the two parts were combined into the final Recommended Practice, which was approved and published in January 2013.

A key aspect of these recommendations is the distinction between what is defined as Integral Content, which is content that is essential for the full understanding of the journal article, and what is designated Additional Content, which provides relevant and useful expansion of the article’s content. The Recommended Practice makes clear that Integral Content and Additional Content are likely to be treated differently throughout the entire lifecycle of a scientific article.

Part A begins with terms and definitions and includes the recommendations of the Business Working Group for such business practices as selecting materials, editing them, managing and hosting them, and ensuring discoverability. It also discusses referencing Supplemental Materials, maintaining links, providing good metadata, providing context, and preserving the materials. The roles and responsibilities of various parties as related to Supplemental Materials are outlined and there are recommendations for rights management.

Part B offers recommendations on providing metadata for Supplemental Materials, assigning persistent identifiers to them, and ensuring their preservation. It concludes with packaging and exchange considerations. Non-normative supporting documentation to Part B, available on a dedicated website (, includes a DTD for Supplemental Materials, a tag library, and examples to aid in implementing the recommendations.

Educational Programs

Under the leadership of the Education Committee, NISO continued its robust education program in 2012 with three in-person forums—including the sixth annual NISO/ BISG Changing Standards Landscape forum at ALA Annual—as well as fourteen webinars that included two months with two related webinar parts. Beginning in 2012, NISO included one free connection to all NISO webinars as a benefit to Library Standards Alliance (LSA) members.

Over 100 people attended NISO’s forums and an additional 1400 sites participated in the NISO webinars. With an average of four people viewing the live webinars at each site, that’s at least 5600 people benefiting from NISO’s education events! With registrants having access for a year to the recorded versions of the webinars, even more people were able to learn from these events.

The Dublin Core Metadata Initiative expanded its partnership with NISO to present four webinars in 2012 that drew some 1100 participants from 420 sites. This partnership will continue into 2013 with six joint webinars.

NISO also held ten free open teleconferences to keep the community apprised of activities and provide an opportunity for feedback.

Slide presentations from all of the forums and webinars and audio recordings of the open teleconferences are available on the NISO website in the 2012 events area.

Digital Bookmarking and Annotation Sharing

APPROVED: October 2, 2011
Oversight: Content and Collection Management Topic Committee
Co-chairs: Kenneth Haase (beingmeta, inc) and Dan Whaley (
Final Grant Report: Standards Development Workshops on E-Book Annotation Sharing and Social Reading

The Digital Bookmarking and Annotation Sharing Working Group, formed following October 2011 discussion meetings funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, will address the system requirements and syntax specification for online citation and annotation sharing for digital texts.

In digital environments, particularly those supporting use of e-books, it has become apparent that there is a need to locate reference points and share citations and annotations for the same text across a variety of hardware platforms, likely across various editions. As reading is considered a social activity, sharing of observations and other material in the realm of e-books is a very human requirement.

The Working Group is now finalizing its scope of work, including definitions for its relationship with the work of the Open Annotation Collaboration, and is discussing next steps toward creation of a draft standard for trial use in 2013.

ERM (Electronic Resource Management) Data Review

APPROVED: June 30, 2009; disbanded February 1, 2012
Business Information Topic Committee
Co-chairs: Ivy Anderson (California Digital Library) [through July 2011] and Tim Jewell (University of Washington) Making Good on the Promise of ERM: A Standards and Best Practices Discussion Paper

The NISO Electronic Resource Management (ERM) Data Standards and Best Practices Review Working Group was a successor to the Digital Library Federation’s Electronic Resources Management Initiative (ERMI)—whose data model and dictionary established working standards for E-resource management—and ERMI 2, which provided training for license analysis and led to the development of NISO’s SUSHI protocol and CORE recommended practice. The project’s primary goal was to perform a gap analysis of standards and best practices related to ERM and make recommendations on the future of the ERMI Data Dictionary.

The Working Group completed its final report, Making Good on the Promise of ERM: A Standards and Best Practices Discussion Paper, in January 2012. The document details the gap analysis that the group performed in five areas—Link Resolvers and Knowledge Bases; The Work, Manifestations, and Access Points; Cost and Usage Related Data; License Terms; and Data Exchange Using Institutional Identifiers—and explains its recommendations for further action in these areas. In addition, the paper includes a discussion of perceived shortcomings in workflow support within current-generation Electronic Resources Management Systems (ERMS) and of related emerging work by vendors and libraries, supplemented by a bibliography and list of illustrative workflow diagrams.

Among the conclusions and recommendations reached were that NISO continue to encourage well-focused standards initiatives rather than pursue the goal of a single, comprehensive ERM Data Dictionary; that it facilitate discussions leading to a “simpler and scalable ‘third way’ of encoding license terms;” and that NISO help establish consensus among libraries regarding e-resource workflow support needs and priorities.

Physical Delivery of Library Resources

APPROVED: September 1, 2009; disbanded January 19, 2012 Oversight: Discovery to Delivery Topic Committee
Co-chairs: Valerie Horton (Colorado Library Consortium) and Diana Sachs-Silveira (Tampa Bay Library Consortium)
NISO RP-12-2012, Physical Delivery of Library Resources

Following a draft for public comment in 2011, the NISO Physical Delivery of Library Resources Working Group completed their final recommended practice in late 2011. The document was approved and published in January 2012.

The purpose of the Recommended Practice is to identify methods for improved physical movement of items: the delivery of the items to the requesting library and their return to the lending library. The Recommended Practice focuses on three key areas: the physical move, automation, and the management of physical delivery. It also includes some suggestions about other steps in the patron request process that can help to ensure the delivery piece works optimally. The Recommended Practice’s scope is limited to the external delivery of items between separately administered libraries, although many of the recommendations could apply to delivery between branches of a single library system, as well.

Resource Synchronization (ResourceSync)

Joint project with the Open Archives Initiative (OAI)
APPROVED: December 14, 2011
Discovery to Delivery Topic Committee
Co-chairs: Todd Carpenter (NISO) and Herbert Van de Sompel (Los Alamos National Library)

With funding support from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and JISC, the ResourceSync Working Group is researching, developing, prototyping, and testing mechanisms for the large-scale synchronization of web resources. Building on the OAI-PMH strategies for synchronizing metadata, this project will enhance that specification using modern Web technologies, but will allow for the synchronization of the objects themselves, not just their metadata. The end product of the work will be a specification, vetted by experts and test implementations, which details an approach to synchronize Web resources at scale in an interoperable manner.

The core ResourceSync team held an in-person kickoff meeting in early February 2012 and the Working Group was enlarged in March with the addition of several parties with extensive practical experience in this area. Supplementing the group’s regular web-based discussions, additional in-person meetings were held in Washington, DC, in June and in Denver in September.

By year-end, the group had completed a beta version for the ResourceSync Framework Specification, which was released in January 2013 for review and testing by interested parties.

The specification describes a synchronization framework for the Web consisting of various capabilities that can be combined in a modular manner to meet local or community requirements. The specification also describes how a server can advertise the synchronization capabilities it supports and how third-party systems can discover this information. The specification repurposes the document formats defined by the Sitemap protocol and introduces extensions for them.

Following the end of the public-comment period in March 2013, the group will determine necessary changes to the specification before final approval and publication.

JATS: Journal Article Tag Suite

APPROVED: September 2, 2009
Content & Collection Management Topic Committee
Jeff Beck (National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine) and B. Tommie Usdin (Mulberry Technologies, Inc.)
ANSI/NISO Z39.96-2012, JATS: Journal Article Tag Suite

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) created the Journal Archiving and Interchange Tag Suite with the intent of providing a common format in which publishers and archives can exchange journal content. The NISO JATS Working Group was charged with shepherding the NLM Tag Suite, its three journal article schemas (Journal Archiving and Interchange Tag Set, Journal Publishing Tag Set, and Article Authoring Tag Set), and associated documentation through the NISO standardization process.

The group updated the Suite and schemas, issued a draft for trial use, and made further changes to address the comments received from the trial. The final standard was approved and published in August 2012 as ANSI/NISO Z39.96:2012, JATS: Journal Article Tag Suite (version 1.0)—in both HTML and PDF versions. In addition to the element and attribute descriptions, three journal article tag sets (the

Archiving and Interchange Tag Set, the Journal Publishing Tag Set, and the Article Authoring Tag Set) have been provided as part of NISO JATS 1.0, available at a dedicated site,

Key improvements in JATS 1.0 are:

  • Support for multi-script metadata (e.g., Japanese and Roman script author names)
  • Wider support for some attributes such as specific-use
  • Many other minor improvements to cover less common situations found in journal articles

Work is now under way to provide ANSI-compliant continuous maintenance procedures for a JATS Standing Committee, which will allow this group to evaluate ongoing user-suggested changes and decide on appropriate actions. Continuous maintenance will support a more rapid updating and change environment for this new standard.

Z39.7 Data Dictionary

Oversight: Business Information Topic Committee
Chair: Martha Kyrillidou (Association of Research Libraries)
ANSI/NISO Z39.7-2004,
Information Services and Use: Metrics & statistics for libraries and information providers — Data Dictionary

The Information Services and Use: Metrics & statistics for libraries and information providers – Data Dictionary (ANSI/ NISO Z39.7) is an online standard to assist the information community by indicating and defining useful quantifiable information to measure the resources and performance of libraries and to provide a body of valid and comparable data on American libraries. As a continuously maintained standard, all comments received on the standard, or any new developments that might warrant changes to the Dictionary, are reviewed by the Z39.7 Standing Committee during regular monthly phone calls.

All changes accepted by the Standing Committee since the standard’s last 2004 revision have been added to a new revision of the standard to be balloted in early 2013. Assuming approval, the revised standard is expected to be published in early 2Q/2013. The revised edition contains updates to all the referenced survey information, adds some new measures related to electronic documents and their related services, and incorporates text from an appendix on Methods of Measurement into the body of the standard in each relevant section.

The Committee also regularly discusses and liaises with related standards work, such as ISO 2789, International Library Statistics and ISO 16439, Methods and procedures for assessing the impact of libraries.

SUSHI (Standardized Usage Statistics Harvesting Initiative)

Oversight: Business Information Topic Committee Co-chairs: Bob McQuillan (Innovative Interfaces) and Oliver Pesch (EBSCO Information Services)
ANSI/NISO Z39.93-2007,
The Standardized Usage Statistics Harvesting Initiative (SUSHI) Protocol
NISO RP-14-2012, COUNTER-SUSHI Implementation Profile

The SUSHI Standing Committee provides maintenance and support for The Standardized Usage Statistics Harvesting Initiative (SUSHI) Protocol and also maintains the SUSHI schemas and the COUNTER XML schemas (the latter, as approved by COUNTER) to ensure the schemas stay in synch. The Committee has been providing ongoing assistance in both client and server implementations of SUSHI, which have grown substantially in number since the mandatory requirement for SUSHI in Release 3 of the Counter Code of Practice.

Release 4 of the COUNTER Code of Practice was published in April 2012, combining the two previous Codes for Journals and Databases and Books and Reference Works, and specifying a deadline date of December 31, 2013 for implementation. This necessitated updates by the Standing Committee of the counter_sushi, counter, and counter_elements schemas.

To further support this COUNTER update, the Standing Committee published in August 2012 a Recommended Practice, COUNTER-SUSHI Implementation Profile (NISO RP-14-2012), which sets out detailed expectations on how SUSHI and COUNTER XML reports should be implemented. Because both SUSHI and COUNTER offer a level of abstraction and flexibility to accommodate future growth, decisions by implementers can cause interoperability issues or require client implementers to customize the service for every different provider. The new Recommended Practice 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 Standing Committee also formed a SUSHI Server subgroup to develop recommendations on how to add testing functionality to SUSHI servers to enable clients to be more easily developed and tested. Providing a Test Mode for SUSHI Servers (NISO RP-13-201x), was issued as a draft for trial use. Feedback on the trial is being reviewed to finalize this Recommended Practice, which is expected in early 2013.

A minor maintenance revision of the SUSHI Protocol standard was prepared to include an additional error code and to update the informative appendix on best practices for SUSHI implementation security. Final approval and publication of the revision is expected in 1Q/2013.

Along with some general updates to the public SUSHI Workroom pages, in order that SUSHI might be more easily applied by its audience of librarians and developers, a new open-source SUSHI client, named SUSHIStarters, was contributed by JISC. It consists of a series of web forms and guidance notes that “walk” users through the steps and parameters needed to connect successfully to SUSHI servers and download the reports of a number of major vendors. Longer term projects planned by the Committee include implementation of a continuous maintenance procedure, enabling better development of SUSHI servers and clients—including the study and potential development of improved tools for SUSHI transmission—and more holistic changes to the SUSHI workroom pages to better support SUSHI users.

RFID in Libraries Revision

APPROVED: February 12, 2010; disbanded April 3, 2012
Content & Collection Management Topic Committee
Co-chairs: Vinod Chachra (VTLS, Inc.) and Paul Sevcik (3M Library Systems)
NISO RP-6-2012, RFID in U.S. Libraries

After the publication of the original RFID in U.S. Libraries Recommended Practice in 2008, the International Organization for Standardization published their own three-part international standard on RFID in Libraries (ISO 25860) in 2011. To ensure that the U.S. recommendations were aligned with the new ISO standard, a review and revision of the NISO Recommended Practice was begun in 2010, concurrent with the final development of the ISO publication.

The revision of RFID in U.S. Libraries, published in April 2012, serves as a U.S. profile for ISO 28560. It supports United States implementers of RFID tags in libraries with the information they need to conform to the ISO standard by recommending a common subset of the data elements to be placed on library tags in the U.S. and specifying the preferred encoding and formatting of that data. Adoption of this Recommended Practice by RFID hardware manufacturers, solution providers (software and integration), library RFID users, and book jobbers and processors will ensure that U.S. libraries can procure tags and equipment from different vendors, merge collections containing different manufacturers’ tags, and, for the purposes of interlibrary loan, read the tags on items belonging to other libraries.

The workroom webpages for each of the initiatives discussed are available at:

The free monthly Newsline and the quarterly Working Group Connection e-newsletters also provide regular updates on NISO activities. To sign up send an e-mail to

Most initiatives have an interest group e-mail list that you can sign up for to receive periodic updates; visit:

SERU (Shared E-Resource Understanding)

Oversight: Business Information Topic Committee
Current Co-chairs: Adam Chesler (Business Expert Press) and Anne McKee (Greater Western Library Alliance)
Co-chairs through August 27, 2012:
Judy Luther (Informed Strategies) and Selden Lamoureux (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill) NISO RP-7-2012, SERU: A Shared Electronic Resource Understanding

Following the 2006 publication of the SERU Recommended Practice, a Standing Committee was formed to promote its use, provide implementation assistance, and maintain the SERU Registry of publishers and libraries willing to use SERU with some or all of their e-serials. Use of SERU allows publishers and libraries to enter into a business agreement without negotiating a formal license.

The original SERU Recommended Practice focused on e-journal transactions, and the parties involved were primarily libraries and publishers. Since then, with the many emerging models for acquisition of e-books, both libraries and e-book providers have requested that other types of electronic resources be incorporated into the SERU framework.

Following a public comment period, the updated version of SERU was published in May 2012, along with substantial revisions to the SERU public workroom pages, which are intended to better support publishers and libraries in understanding and use of the SERU material. The revision recognizes both the importance of making SERU more flexible for those who want to expand its use beyond e-journals and the fact that consensus for other types of e-resource transactions are not as well established as they are for e-journals. In those instances where there is as yet no standard expectation, a shared understanding may still be achieved if expectations are clearly articulated in the purchase order that accompanies SERU.

The SERU Standing Committee is now engaged on its next phases to further publicize SERU and educate libraries and publishers via direct contacts and public presentations at industry conferences.

PIE-J (Presentation & Identification of E-Journals)

APPROVED: February 8, 2010
Business Information Topic Committee
Co-chairs: Cindy Hepfer (University of Buffalo, SUNY) and Bob Boissy (Springer)

The PIE-J Working Group is developing a Recommended Practice to provide guidance on the presentation and identification of e-journals, particularly in the area of title presentation and bibliographic history, accurate use of the ISSN, and citation practice. This work is intended to assist publishers, platform providers, abstracting and indexing services, knowledgeable providers, aggregators, and other concerned parties in facilitating online discovery, identification, and access for the publications.

A draft for public comment was issued in May 2012. Following the completion of the public comment period, the group has been editing the document to incorporate feedback on the draft. The final Recommended Practice is expected to be published in 1Q/2013.

Following publication, a PIE-J Standing Committee will be formed to help with support and publicity for the Recommended Practice.