NISO 2013 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

Information about the oversight committees is available at:

Architecture Committee

Current Chair: Gerry Grenier (IEEE)
Chair through June 30, 2013:
Heather Reid (Copyright Clearance Center)

In Q1/2013, the Architecture Committee issued a Strategic Directions Survey to the members to identify the important technologies and trends that face our community. The Committee is using this input to prioritize work that NISO should undertake over the next two to three years.

Business Information Topic Committee

Co-Chairs: Denise Davis (Sacramento Public Library) and Karla Strieb (Ohio State University Library)

Content & Collection Management Topic Committee

Co-chairs: Marti Heyman (Cengage Learning) and Betty Landesman (University of Baltimore)
Co-chair through September, 2013: Julia Blixrud (Association of Research Libraries (ARL))

Discovery to Delivery Topic Committee

Co-chairs: Pascal Calarco (University of Waterloo) and Lucy Harrison (Florida Virtual Campus)

Shared E-Resource Understanding (SERU)

Oversight: Business Information Topic Committee Co-chairs: Adam Chesler (Business Expert Press), and Anne McKee (Greater Western Library Alliance)

NISO RP-7-2012,
SERU: A Shared Electronic Resource Understanding
The SERU Recommended Practice was updated in 2012 to enable it to be used with electronic products beyond e-journals (around which it was originally created in 2008). At the same time, the SERU public workroom pages were substantially revised to better support publishers and libraries in understanding and use of the SERU material.

The SERU Registry continues to be updated with new supporters of SERU and is intended to enable publishers and librarians to more easily identify each other. In 2013, 25 new library or consortia and 21 new publishers or content providers were added to the Registry.

In 2013, the SERU Standing Committee worked on further publicizing the RP and educating libraries and publishers via direct contacts and public presentations at industry conferences. One project underway is a short video of testimonials on how SERU has aided the licensing process.

Adam Chesler, Co-chair for the Standing Committee, discussed SERU at the January 2013 NISO Open Teleconference for which a recording is available.

Bibliographic Roadmap Project

In November 2012, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation generously provided NISO with a grant to support an initiative to develop a community roadmap that will help support movement toward a future bibliographic information exchange ecosystem. The goal of this project is to collectively 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.

On April 15-16, 2013, NISO held an in-person meeting in Baltimore, also broadcast via livestream, to begin the process of eliciting themes for greater discussion and prioritization. Potential action items were transferred to IdeaScale, an online idea management tool, to solicit comments and allow the community to vote on the ideas that should be pursued further. This input was used to fuel a webinar and discussion held on December 5, 2013, with further voting and comments on IdeaScale encouraged.

Some additional follow-up interviews with experts will be held, followed by the issuance of a final report summarizing the recommended actions.

Digital Bookmarking and Annotation Sharing

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

Following discussion meetings funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation held in October 2011 in Frankfurt, Germany, and San Francisco, CA, a working group was formed to address the system requirements and syntax specification for online citation and annotation sharing. There is a need in digital environments (especially in the realm of e-books) to locate reference points and share citations and annotations for the same text across a variety of hardware platforms, likely across various editions.

A scope of work was finalized, including definitions for the project’s relationship with the work of the Open Annotation Collaboration. The Working Group is currently in hiatus as appropriate next steps are determined.

Knowledge Bases And Related Tools (KBART) Phase 2

Joint project with UKSG

APPROVED: March 17, 2010
Discovery to Delivery Topic Committee

Current Co-chairs: Magaly Bascones (JISC Collections) and Chad Hutchens (University of Wyoming Libraries)

Co-chairs through March 2013: Andreas Biedenbach (Independent Consultant) 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 both providing support for the Phase I Recommended Practice,
NISO RP-9-2010,
KBART: Knowledge Bases and Related Tools, and developing a revision that specifically addresses 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 this metadata might be published and shared in knowledgebases.

A draft revision of a revised Recommended Practice, covering the areas listed above, was released for public comment from September 4 to October 4, 2013. Several dozen comments of various types were received, and the Working Group spent the last part of the year reviewing them, determining appropriate responses, and making corresponding changes to the draft document. A revised Recommended Practice is expected to be published in Q1/2014.

The KBART Registry also continues to be maintained with details of contacts, URLs, and instructions relating to the transfer of e-resource metadata between content providers and link resolvers. Registration of contact details does not require endorsement, which is a separate process that all content providers, from major databases to small publishers, are encouraged to follow by submitting a sample file to the KBART Working Group that complies with the Recommended Practice. Once the file’s format and content has been reviewed and approved, and the provider has made it publicly available (in line with the recommendations), the provider will be added to a public list of endorsing providers.

When the Phase II RP is finalized, its guidelines are the ones that providers will need to follow for endorsement. Following publication of the revised RP, the Working Group will be contacting all Phase I endorsers about what they need to do to update their endorsement.

KBART Working Group member Chad Hutchens provided an update on KBART activities at the ER&L Conference in March 2013.

Alternative Assessment Metrics (Altmetrics) Project

In June 2013, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation awarded NISO
a grant to undertake a two-phase initiative to explore, identify, and advance standards and/or best practices related to a new suite of potential metrics in the community. This project is an important step in the development and adoption of new assessment metrics, which include usage-based metrics, social media references, and network behavioral analysis. In addition, this project will explore potential assessment criteria for non-traditional research outputs, such as data sets, visualizations, software, and other applications.

The first phase of the project included three in-person meetings—held October 9, 2013 in San Francisco, December 11, 2013 in Washington, DC, and January 23, 2014 in Philadelphia, PA—to identify altmetrics-related issues for potential standardization and to begin prioritization of proposed work items. The meetings were livestreamed to include even more participants than those who could attend in-person. Archived recordings, documents, and other output from the three meetings are available from the project webpage at:

Next steps in the project include follow-up interviews and final prioritization of identified standardization projects. In Phase 2, one or more working groups will be formed to develop the recommended standards. NISO may also partner with other organizations for projects of interest to both.

Supplemental Journal Article Materials

Joint project with National Federation of Advanced Information Services (NFAIS)

Approved: April 16, 2010; disbanded January 24, 2013

Oversight: 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 Schwarzman (Optical Society of America)

NISO RP-15-2013, Recommended Practices for Online Supplemental Journal Article Materials

This joint NISO/NFAIS Working Group created a Recommended Practice for publisher inclusion, handling, display, and preservation of supplemental journal article materials. Two working groups were established to undertake this work: the Business Working Group addressed semantic and policy issues, and the Technical Working Group, addressed “how-to” aspects of implementation covering linking, packaging, and archiving.

The full set of recommendations, Recommended Practices for Online Supplemental Journal Article Materials (NISO RP-15-2013), consisting of Part A: Business Policies and Practices and Part B: Technical Considerations and Implementation Recommendations, was published in January 2013, following which the Working Groups were disbanded.

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 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 contains a sample
DTD for Supplemental Materials, a tag library, and examples.

Marie McVeigh, Co-chair of the Business Working Group and Sasha Schwarzman, Co-chair of the Technical Working Group, provided a presentation on this new NISO Recommended Practice on the March 2013 Open Teleconference, for which a recording is available.

Journal Article Versions (JAV) Addendum

Approved: August 11, 2012
Content and Collection Management Topic Committee
Chair: Michael Dellert (SAGE Publications) through July 2013; new chair TBD
NISO RP-8-2008,
Journal Article Versions (JAV): Recommendations of the NISO/ALPSP JAV Technical Working Group

The NISO Journal Article Version (JAV) Recommended Practice (NISO RP-8-2008) identified and defined a set of terms to be applied to iterations of an article’s lifecycle at seven stages: Author’s Original (AO), Submitted Manuscript Under Review (SMUR), Accepted Manuscript (AM), Proof (P), Version of Record (VoR), Corrected Version of Record (CVoR), and Enhanced Version of Record (EVoR). As these terms have been implemented, issues were noted with the term “proof” being less specific and precise than practical modern publishing circumstances require. As a result, a proposal was made and approved to update the 2008 recommended practice.

Project goals for this update include an addendum or revision to address the “proof” category of articles and to reconsider the concept of proposing a metadata framework or dictionary in which JAV terms could be incorporated. (The metadata was determined to be out-of-scope of the original group’s work in 2008.)

Although the group began meeting and made good progress, it went on hiatus in the last part of the year due to chair staffing issues. It expects to re-commence its work in Q1/2014. Among the items under consideration is a proposal that would allow different users of JAV to utilize their own local terms without collision, as part of the overall JAV metadata framework.

Nettie Lagace of NISO presented on this Working Group at the ALCTS Continuing Resources Standards Forum at the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago, IL, in June 2013.

Protocol for Exchanging Serial Content (PESC)

Approved: June 12, 2013
Content and Collection Management Topic Committee

Chairs: Leslie Johnston (Library of Congress) and Kimberly Tryka (National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine)

This new project,approved by NISO Voting Members in June 2013, is for the development of a packaging specification to be used for the exchange and archiving of serial publications. As part of their missions, many different organizations—such as libraries, archives, indexing services, content aggregators, publishers, and content creators—need to exchange and work with digital files that make up serial content. These files can be shuttled from organization to organization and within an organization many times during the lifecycle of the content. A standardized package and manifest are needed that describe a group of transmitted digital files related to a serial and ensure the integrity of the file group. The Working Group will also be examining current practices to see what strategies are used in the community and decide whether it is possible to either adopt an existing method wholesale, or to make changes to a current method to better address the specific needs of serial content, rather than creating a new method from scratch.

At the end of 2013, the group was in its information- gathering phase, where members are actively sharing local practices and procedures in order to identify commonalities and best practices. Discussions cover various workflows and metadata used by the stakeholders, moving into the creation of potential exchange scenarios, which could then be used for analysis to determine required elements and possible profile sets.

Leslie Johnston and Kim Tryka, PESC Co-chairs, participated on the NISO Open Teleconference on December 9, for which a recording is available. Leslie Johnston also provided a Working Group update as part of the NISO Update at ALA Midwinter 2014 in Philadelphia.

Demand-Driven Acquisitions

APPROVED: June19,2012
Oversight: Business Information Topic Committee
Co-chairs: Barbara Kawecki (YBP Library Services) and Michael Levine-Clark (University of Denver)

This project was chartered to develop best practices for populating and managing the pool of monographic titles under consideration by libraries for potential purchase, including methods for automated updating and removal of discovery records; development of consistent models for
the three basic aspects of e-book DDA—free discovery to prevent inadvertent transactions, temporary lease, and purchase—that will work for both publishers and libraries; methods for managing DDA of multiple formats; and ways in which print-on-demand (POD) solutions can be linked to DDA.

Three DDA subgroups—technical processes, access methods, and metric modeling—were formed to detail further topics and questions as part of the information-gathering phase of this work. A survey was conducted in August and garnered 180 responses to dozens of questions, which yielded rich data for the Working Group. Surveys for public libraries and consortia have also been organized as well as some follow-up interviews with selected survey respondents.

A draft Recommended Practice is expected to be available for public comment towards the end of Q1/2014.

Co-chairs Michael Levine-Clark and Barbara Kawecki presented on the work of the DDA group at ER&L in March 2013, where an impromptu focus group of stakeholders was also held. They also presented on the group’s work and survey results at the Charleston Conference on November 8.

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

Approved: February 8, 2010
Oversight: Business Information Topic Committee
Standing Committee Co-chairs: Sally Glasser (Hofstra University) and Ed Cilurso (Taylor & Francis) Working Group Co-chairs: Cindy Hepfer (University of Buffalo, SUNY) and Bob Boissy (Springer) NISO RP-16-2013, PIE-J: Presentation & Identification of E-Journals

Following the public comment period in late 2012, the PIE-J Working Group finalized and published in March 2013 its Recommended Practice, PIE-J: Presentation & Identification of E-Journals (NISO RP-16-2013). The RP provides guidance on the presentation of e-journals—particularly in the areas of title presentation, accurate use of ISSN, and citation practices—to publishers and platform providers, as well as solves some long-standing concerns of serials, collections, and electronic resources librarians. In addition to the recommendations, the document includes extensive examples of good practices using screenshots from various publishers’ online journals platforms; a discussion of helpful resources for obtaining title history and ISSN information; an overview of the International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) and key points for using it correctly; an explanation of the Digital Object Identifier (DOI®), the registration agency CrossRef, and tips on using DOIs for journal title management; and a review of related standards and recommended practices.

Following publication, a PIE-J Standing Committee was formed to assist with support and publicity for the RP and manage communications to determine when updates to the recommendations are needed. As part of the materials to help the Standing Committee with its work, the Working Group created two forms of a brochure for PIE-J, both available via the group’s workroom page.

Steve Shadle, PIE-J Working Group member, presented on PIE-J on the April 2013 NISO Open Teleconference, for which a recording is available. Co-chair Ed Cilurso spoke about PIE-J as part of the NISO Update at ALA Midwinter 2014 in Philadelphia. Proposals for PIE-J presentations have been accepted for ER&L in Austin in March 2014 and NASIG in Fort Worth in May 2014.

Open Access Metadata and Indicators

APPROVED: January 21, 2013
Discovery to Delivery Topic Committee

Co-chairs: Cameron Neylon (Public Library of Science, PLoS), Edward Pentz (CrossRef), and Greg Tananbaum (SPARC Scholarly Publishing & Academic Resources Coalition)

NISO RP-22-201x, Open Access Metadata and Indicators

A new project to develop recommended practices for Open Access Metadata and Indicators was approved by NISO voting members in January 2013. Articles are increasingly published in open access form as publishers increase their efforts to optimize the availability of research articles in response to changes in policy by governments and funders and growing demand from researchers themselves. Many offerings are available from publishers under the banner of Open Access (OA), Increased Access, Public Access, or other descriptions; the terms offered vary between publishers and, in some cases, based on the funding organization of the author. Adding to the potential confusion, a number of publishers also offer hybrid options in which some articles are “open” while the rest of the journal’s content is available only by subscription or license. However, no standardized bibliographic metadata currently exist to provide information on whether a specific article is freely readable and what re-use rights might be available to readers. Visual indicators or icons indicating the openness of an article are inconsistent in both design and use across publishers or even across journals from the same publisher.

The new Working Group progressed very quickly and completed a draft recommended practice that was issued for public comment in January 2014. This draft, Open Access Metadata and Indicators (NISO RP-22-201x), proposes the adoption of two core pieces of metadata and associated
tags: <free_to_read> and <license_ref>. The first tag would indicate that the work is freely accessible during the specified timeframe. The second tag would contain a reference to a URI that carries the license terms specifying how a work may be used. Use and re-use rights can be difficult to explain in metadata; by publishing URIs for applicable licenses and including these URIs in the metadata for the content, more
detailed explanations of rights can be made available. The <license_ref> metadata can also be used to express how usage rights change over time or point to different licenses for particular time periods, for example when an embargo applies.

The recommended metadata tags can easily be incorporated into existing metadata distribution channels, encoded in XML, and added to existing schemas and workflows. Publishers and platform providers can use the <free_to_read> tag to automate the display of appropriate status icons to users. The combination of <free_to_read> and <license_ref> metadata provides a mechanism for signaling or determining compliance with most funder and institutional policies that allow compliance through the article publisher’s site. In addition to the recommendations, the Working Group defined the most common use cases and described the extent to which the recommendations will solve the situation.

Following the public comment period, the group will revise the document as needed to address the feedback. A final Recommended Practice is expected in Q2/2014. The group has also identified several issues for further follow-up, such as the incorporation of the recommended metadata into existing formats, such as ONIX.

Nettie Lagace, NISO Associate Director for Programs, provided an overview of the group’s work at the CNI Fall Meeting in Washington, DC, in December. Ed Pentz, Working Group Co-chair, described the group’s effort on the NISO Open Teleconference on January 13, 2014, for which a recording is available. Heather Reid, Working Group member, provided a general update as part of the NISO Update at ALA Midwinter 2014 in Philadelphia.

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 Laboratory)

The ResourceSync project was initiated as a joint NISO and OAI initiative to develop a standard for the large-scale synchronization of web resources. The specification is intended to allow for the synchronization of web-based objects themselves, not just their metadata, and builds on the OAI-PMH strategies. The core group was funded with a grant from the Sloan Foundation and is augmented by other industry and research participants, some of whom are sponsored by JISC.

A beta specification, released for public comment in February 2013, described a synchronization framework for the web consisting of various capabilities that allow third-party systems to remain synchronized with a server’s evolving resources. The capabilities 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 Sitemaps protocol and introduces extensions for them. Test implementations of the specification, including Python and Java code libraries, and a DSpace-specific Java implementation, were conducted to provide further feedback.

Following discussion and evaluation of the comments and tests, the Working Group created several further drafts of the specification. A decision was made that some desired features, such as push notification and archive capabilities, would not be included in the first version of the specification; it is likely that further development for these will proceed in the future through an additional path. Subsequently, a final version of the specification was completed and the approval process initiated in January 2014. Assuming approval by NISO members and ANSI, the standard is expected to be published in early Q2/2014.

The core group members also published an article in D-Lib Magazine in January/February 2013, A Technical Framework for Resource Synchronization. The group was very busy during 2013 making presentations about the forthcoming standard at WWW 2013 (Rio de Janeiro, May); 8th OAI Workshop on Innovations in Scholarly Communication (Geneva, June); NISO Update, ALA Annual (Chicago, June); Open Repositories (Charlottetown, PEI, July); Joint Conference on Digital Libraries (Indianapolis, July) Repository Fringe (Edinburgh, August); Theory and Practice of Digital Libraries (Malta, September); and Semantic Web in Libraries (Hamburg, November).

Additionally, Herbert Van de Sompel provided a half-day tutorial on ResourceSync following the LITA Forum (Louisville, KY, November) and Bernard Haslhofer and Simeon Warner conducted a training webinar in December. Recordings are available for both.

There is a high degree of interest in this standard. The outreach and training resources that have been produced over the course of this initiative have already been viewed or downloaded more than 15,000 times. Many of the repository networks, such as the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA), and Europeana, and developing notification systems, such as the American Association of Publishers CHORUS project and the Association of Research Libraries SHARE initiative, have been closely following the development of ResourceSync. Discussions with these project teams are continuing related
to the adoption of ResourceSync as a solution to their development needs.

Educational Programs

Under the leadership of the Education Committee and Juliana Wood, NISO’s Education Programs Manager, NISO continued its robust education program in 2013 with the seventh annual NISO/ BISG Changing Standards Landscape forum at ALA Annual, thirteen webinars that included two months with two related parts, and four virtual conferences. Virtual conferences were a new type of educational event that NISO began offering in 2013. These 5-6 hour conferences are held online in webinar- like formats; the longer length allows the depth of coverage of a conference coupled with the convenience of a webinar. Over 120 libraries took advantage of the benefit of one free connection to all NISO webinars for Library Standards Alliance (LSA) members.

Over 125 sites attended NISO’s virtual conferences and
an additional 1330 sites participated in the NISO webinars. More than 60% of the sites had multiple viewers for the virtual events, thus an estimated 5200 people benefited from NISO’s education events! With registrants having access for a year to the recorded versions of the events, even more people were able to learn from these events.

The Dublin Core Metadata Initiative continued its partnership with NISO to present six webinars in 2013 that drew some 1460 participants from 400 sites.

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

Slide presentations from all of the events and the webinars and audio recordings of the open teleconferences are publicly available on the NISO website in the 2013 events area.

Past and future event information is available at:

Institutional Identifiers (I²)

APPROVED: January10, 2008; disbanded March 31, 2013
Oversight: Content and Collection Management Topic Committee
Co-chairs: Grace Agnew (Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey) and Oliver Pesch (EBSCO Information Services) NISO RP-17-2013, Institutional Identification: Identifying Organizations in the Information Supply Chain

The Institutional Identifier (I²) project was established to develop a robust, scalable, and interoperable standard for identifying a core entity in any information management or sharing transaction—the institution. The I² Working Group performed extensive community needs assessment with the publishing, library, and repository use sectors and developed various use case scenarios.

Concurrent with these efforts, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) was developing a standard for a “name” identifier for public parties “involved throughout the media content industries in the creation, production, management, and content distribution chains” which resulted in the March 2012 publication of ISO 27729, Information and documentation – International standard name identifier (ISNI).

In early 2011, the I² Working Group initiated discussions with the ISNI International Agency (ISNI-IA) about the potential of using the ISNI standard and the ISNI-IA’s infrastructure for institutional identification, rather than publishing a separate standard for institutions. An agreement to use ISNI for institutional identification resulted from these discussions, and I² contributed further recommendations to the ISNI-IA, particularly regarding needed metadata for institutions, that were incorporated into the ISNI-IA procedures.

The NISO Recommended Practice, Institutional Identification: Identifying Organizations in the Information Supply Chain (NISO RP-17-2013), that was published in March 2013 describes the work done by the I² Working Group, provides background on the collaboration agreement with the International Standard Name Identifier (ISNI) International Agency to use the ISNI-IA’s infrastructure for institutional identification, and explains the requirements for using ISNI for institutions.

The IA has since appointed Ringgold and Bowker as Registration Agencies that can assign ISNIs to institutions and by the end of 2013 over 480,000 institutional ISNIs had been assigned.

The group was disbanded following its RP publication as the ISNI-IA will be responsible for ongoing implementation.

Improving OpenURL Through Analytics (IOTA)

APPROVED: December 8, 2009; disbanded December 2, 2013
Oversight: Discovery to Delivery Topic Committee
Chair: Adam Chandler (Cornell University)
NISO RP-21-2013,
Improving OpenURLs Through Analytics (IOTA): Recommendations for Link Resolver Providers
NISO TR-05-2013, IOTA Working Group Summary of Activities and Outcomes

The IOTA (Improving OpenURLs Through Analytics) Working Group investigated the feasibility of creating industry- wide, transparent and scalable metrics for evaluating and comparing the quality of OpenURL implementations across content providers, so as to provide benchmarks against which improvements to OpenURLs can be made, thereby improving linking for end users. The IOTA reporting system was created with over 23 million OpenURLs from 11 different link resolvers, which were analyzed for the project. A Completeness Index algorithm was developed to measure the completeness of a given provider’s OpenURLs in aggregate.

The IOTA working group completed its project and in April NISO published a new recommended practice, Improving OpenURLs Through Analytics (IOTA): Recommendations for Link Resolver Providers (NISO RP-21-2013), as well as a technical report, IOTA Working Group Summary of Activities and Outcomes (NISO TR-05-2013).

The group continued with education and promotion activities following the issuance of the two publications. Oliver Pesch of EBSCO Information Services spoke about IOTA as part of the LITA/ALCTS Electronic Resources Management Interest Group meeting at ALA Midwinter in Seattle, WA, on January 27, 2013, and Aron Wolf provided a verbal description and update of the group’s work as part of the NISO update session at ALA Midwinter, also held on January 27. Rafal Kaprowski, Working Group member, presented on behalf of IOTA at the NISO update at the ALA Annual meeting in Chicago, IL in June 2013. Adam Chandler and Aron Wolf presented on IOTA’s work at the Charleston Conference on November 7. Following this presentation, the group’s work was considered completed and it was officially disbanded.

Journal Article Tag Suite (JATS)

Approved: September2,2009
Oversight: Content and Collection Management Topic Committee

Co-chairs: 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

Following publication of the JATS: Journal Article Tag Suite standard (ANSI/NISO Z39.96-2012)—the intellectual successor to the NLM Journal Archiving and Interchange Tag Suite—the standard was placed on the continuous maintenance track and a Standing Committee was formed. Continuous maintenance will support a more rapid updating and change environment for the standard and allow implementers to provide ongoing feedback and comments.

Comments received through Q3/2013 have been reviewed and evaluated by the JATS Standing Committee and a draft revision of the standard incorporating the approved changes has been developed. Additional input received through Q2/2014 will also be evaluated and added, with the intent of issuing a revised edition of the standard for approval in Summer 2014. Information on how to submit comments on the standard is available from the JATS workroom webpage.

The annual JATS-Con 2013 conference was originally scheduled for October 2013; however, due to the U.S. government shutdown, the conference was rescheduled to April 1-2, 2014. All of the presentations at the conference will deal with the standard, its implementation, its relationship to other standards, and future plans and proposals.

NCIP (NISO Circulation Interchange Protocol)

Oversight: Discovery to Delivery Topic Committee

Chair: Mike Dicus (Ex Libris)

ANSI/NISO Z39.83-1-2012 (version 2.02), NISO Circulation Interchange Part 1: Protocol (NCIP)

ANSI/NISO Z39.83-2-2012 (version 2.02), NISO Circulation Interchange Protocol (NCIP) Part 2: Implementation Profile 1

The NCIP standard is managed under continuous maintenance and the NCIP Standing Committee holds monthly conference calls to review status of implementations and other general business.

Two in-person meetings were held on April 23-24, hosted by OCLC in Dublin, Ohio, and October 8-9 in Denver, Colorado, hosted by TLC. At the in-person meetings, all comments submitted by the meeting deadline were reviewed and evaluated as possible updates to the protocol.

EnvisionWare, which had been serving as the NCIP Maintenance Agency for many years, stepped down from this post. The Standing Committee determined that the maintenance tasks could be taken over by its members, and recommended that the position of Maintenance Agency be dissolved. This recommendation was approved by the NISO Discovery to Delivery Topic Committee. It should be stressed that this administrative change translates into no functional change to NCIP or loss of any support.

Other activities undertaken by the group in 2013 included discussion of the best ways to collate and publicize vendor support, general updating of the NCIP workroom pages and website (formerly a maintenance agency task), and monitoring of related projects, including the forthcoming ISO ILL Transactions standard (ISO 18626), the Library Communications Framework (LCF), and the NISO Standard Interchange Protocol (SIP) work.

The Standing Committee’s Spring 2014 meeting will be held on April 23-24 in Petaluma, CA, hosted by The Galecia Group.

ONIX-PL Encodings

Project Lead: Selden Lamoureux

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation awarded NISO a grant to support the encoding of a collection of template licenses for e-resources into the ONIX for Publications Licenses (ONIX-PL) format for deposit into the GOKb and KB+ knowledgebases for free distribution to the library, publishing, and library systems community. The deposited encodings—to be made available under a Creative Commons Public Domain (CC-0) license—will allow libraries that license electronic content to import the template licenses into their own electronic resource management systems for further local customization and implementation. The project will also fund some publicly available training resources that will inform community members on how to use those encodings for their own purposes.

Jisc Collections, a division of the UK’s Joint Information Systems Committee that manages electronic content acquisitions for member institutions of higher learning in the UK, has already encoded all of the licenses for Jisc Collections-subscribed content and deposited them in its KnowledgeBase Plus (KB+) database. While KB+ has proven a useful tool for institutions in the UK, it has not moved beyond this venue because the encodings produced by Jisc Collections are restricted to Jisc members’ usage. To encourage ONIX-PL adoption, Jisc Collections provided additional funding support for the project to provide training in the encoding format and the ONIX-PL Editing software.

Ten sample licenses have been encoded through this project from providers that include Nature, Elsevier, Duke, DeGruyter, JSTOR, Springer, and Oxford. Completed encodings that were reviewed by the publishers have been provided to GOKb. The GOKb repository, which was in prototyping in 2013, is scheduled to be go live with partners in Q1/2014 and have a general public release mid-year 2014.

Open Discovery Initiative

Approved: August 23, 2011
Discovery to Delivery Topic Committee

Co-chairs: Marshall Breeding (Independent Information Consultant) and Jenny Walker (Independent Consultant)

NISO RP-19-201x, Open Discovery Initiative: Promoting Transparency in Discovery

The Open Discovery Initiative (ODI) was launched to develop recommended practices for the new generation of library discovery services that are based on indexed search. The Working Group—made up of discovery vendors, primary and secondary publishers, and librarians—has focused its efforts on technical formats; communication of libraries’ rights/level of indexing; definition of fair linking; and usage statistics.

A report published in January 2013 summarized the results of a survey of librarians, content providers, and discovery service providers conducted from September 11 through October 4, 2012 to learn more about the current state of satisfaction with these new research tools and to measure the value of various requirements in cross-sector practice. The survey addressed current levels of scholarly metadata delivery and indexing, technical successes and opportunities in these data exchanges, and potential benefits of greater development and distribution of discovery tool usage data. A total of 871 completed survey responses were logged: 782 identified as librarians; 74 identified as publishers; and 15 identified as discovery service providers.

A draft Recommended Practice, Open Discovery Initiative: Promoting Transparency in Discovery (NISO RP-19-201x), was issued in October for public comment. The document included background on the discovery landscape, specific recommendations in each of the four areas listed above, and recommendations for next steps after the ODI Recommended Practice is published.

The Working Group is wrapping up the final version of the recommendations, incorporating accepted comments from the public review. Final publication is expected in Q1/2014.

Marshall Breeding, ODI Co-chair, and John Law, ODI Working Group member, presented on ODI together with Doralyn Rossmann of Montana State University at the ALA Midwinter Conference on January 27, 2013. Roger Schonfeld of Ithaka and Dave Lindahl of University of Missouri – Kansas City presented with Nettie Lagace of NISO at the April 2013 CNI Spring Members meeting. Marshall Breeding discussed the group’s work on the November 18 NISO Open Teleconference and provided an update as part of the NISO Update program at ALA Midwinter 2014 in Philadelphia.

Information Standards Quarterly

NISO continued publishing Information Standards Quarterly in open access in electronic form on its website in 2013. A print version was available by subscription and in print-on-demand.

Themed issues published in 2013 were:

» Spring 2013: 2012 Year in Review and State of the Standards

» Summer 2013: Altmetrics, with Guest Content Editor Martin Fenner

» Fall 2013: Research Data Curation, with Guest Content Editor Sarah Callaghan

» Winter 2013: Evolution of Bibliographic Data Exchange, with Guest Content Editor Ted Fons

ISQ is available at:

Z39.7 Data Dictionary

Oversight: Business Information Topic Committee
Chair: Martha Kyrillidou (Association of Research Libraries (ARL))

ANSI/NISO Z39.7-2013, Information Services and Use: Metrics & statistics for libraries and information providers – Data Dictionary

On July 30, 2013, NISO announced the publication of the fifth edition of the Information Services and Use: Metrics & statistics for libraries and information providers – Data Dictionary (ANSI/NISO Z39.7) standard. The purpose of the Data Dictionary is 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. It identifies standard definitions, methods, and practices relevant to library statistics activities in the United States. The new edition included all the accepted changes since the previous edition was published in 2004. In addition to reformatting and better organization, e-metrics that were introduced in the 2004 edition as a separate section were updated and integrated into the body of the standard to make them easier to use. Additional data gathering tools were added and all survey references were updated.

Z39.7 is managed under continuous maintenance, which enables users to submit comments and suggestions for improvements and have them evaluated by the Z39.7 Standing Committee biannually for possible inclusion in the standard. When a sufficient number of changes have been accepted, a revision of the standard is presented for approval by the NISO Voting Members.

The Standing Committee continues to scan and review the statistical survey landscape, examining other assessment efforts in the community, including conferences and papers, such as the upcoming 2014 Library Assessment Conference, the ACRL Webcast Series, and the Library Edge initiative. Discussions include the effects of these on the Data Dictionary, including use of particular vocabularies across the various efforts. The Standing Committee is also closely following ISO’s TC46/SC8 group, which is responsible for International Library Statistics (ISO 2789), Methods and procedures for assessing the impact of libraries (ISO 16439) and several related projects.

Standard Interchange Protocol (SIP)

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

The Standard Interchange Protocol (SIP), introduced by 3M in 1993, provides a standard communication mechanism to allow Integrated Library System (ILS) applications and self-service devices to communicate seamlessly to perform self-service transactions. It has become the de facto standard around the world to integrate ILSs and self-service devices. In 2012, 3M asked NISO to take over further development of SIP in the more independent, community environment that NISO provides, and to shepherd the specification through the formal standardization process.

The SIP Working Group started its effort with a review of the existing SIP version 3.0 and identified four important high-level areas to be considered as relevant to the SIP3 work product. These are: the SIP3 documents themselves, including revisions/corrections/additions, resolving ambiguities, etc.; the Maintenance Agency; SIP3’s relation to privacy standards and security; and the relation to the NCIP standard. The group met approximately bi-weekly throughout 2013 to work through these areas. A draft standard for trial use is in the final stages of preparation and is anticipated for release in Q2/2014.

When the draft standard is completed, the Working Group will address questions of compliance, certification, and assured interoperability. Updated materials in conjunction with the group’s work will be added to its workroom page as they are finalized.

Ted Koppel, Working Group Co-chair, presented an update on the group at the NISO Update at the ALA 2013 Annual meeting in Chicago, IL in June. John Bodfish, Working Group Co-chair, participated on the October 2013 NISO Open Teleconference, for which a recording is available.

SUSHI (Standardized Usage Statistics Harvesting Initiative)

Oversight: Business Information Topic Committee
Co-chairs: Bob McQuillan (Innovative Interfaces) through July 2013 and Oliver Pesch (EBSCO Information Services);

Marie Kennedy (Loyola Marymount University) became Co-chair in January 2014
ANSI/NISO Z39.93-2013,
The Standardized Usage Statistics Harvesting Initiative (SUSHI) Protocol
NISO RP-14-2012, COUNTER-SUSHI Implementation Profile

This Standing Committee provides maintenance and support for The Standardized Usage Statistics Harvesting Initiative (SUSHI) Protocol (ANSI/NISO Z39.93) and acts as the maintenance group for the COUNTER schema by providing recommendations to COUNTER and making changes to the COUNTER XML schemas (as approved by COUNTER).

In 2013, the SUSHI Standing Committee produced a minor version update of the Z39.93 standard containing an additional error code and an updated appendix of best practices for security, which was approved in February.

The Standing Committee continued its work of pursuing relevant changes to the SUSHI schema in light of the release of COUNTER 4 and making applicable updates to the SUSHI workroom pages, including page reorganization and the addition of an FAQ covering COUNTER 4. The group also developed a new logo (seen above) to aid in branding and communicating the standard. In addition, the group is soliciting other additions such as sample COUNTER Release 4 files. Members have also reviewed the SUSHI server registry to better enable support for COUNTER Release 4, and have reviewed sample client code from interested parties.

The group is now implementing a continuous maintenance procedure, which will enable it to more smoothly shuttle through further updates to the standard including the addition of filter values to SUSHI, and is forming a working group to create a technical report supporting various lighter-weight SUSHI implementations.

Oliver Pesch, Co-chair of the SUSHI Standing Committee, included an update on SUSHI as part of his presentation at the LITA/ALCTS Electronic Resources Management Interest Group meeting at ALA Midwinter in Seattle, WA, in January 2013.

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

The free monthly e-newsletter Newsline and the quarterly Working Group Connection reports 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:

Nettie Lagace ( is NISO’s Associate Director for Programs and provides oversight and direction to the committees and working groups.