Working Group Connection, April 2019: projects via Information Creation & Curation Topic Committee

The Chair of the ICC topic committee is: Jody DeRidder (OCLC).

E-Book Bibliographic Metadata Requirements in the Sale, Publication, Discovery, and Preservation Supply Chain (E-Book Metadata Working Group)

Co-chairs: Ravit David (University of Toronto), Alistair Morrison (Johns Hopkins University)
E-Book Metadata Workroom
Work Item Proposal Approved by NISO Voting Members

Working group members for this NISO initiative are working on their draft Recommendation for public comment, which they hope to make available in the next few months. Their work has been underway since 2017; the group's remit has been to collect the minimal metadata requirements necessary to describe e-books in order to support sales, discovery, delivery, deaccessioning, and preservation, and to make recommendations for the most effective and efficient ways for metadata to be moved through the entire supply chain. It's intended that the NISO Recommended Practice to be created by the E-Book Metadata Working Group will help the creators and managers of bibliographic records cooperate to minimize duplication of work and ensure overall quality of metadata, ultimately to the benefit of end users. 

The drafting work that is taking place at the moment is the culmination of a multi-phased project.  The Working Group's first phase formed subgroups to study the metadata areas of authorities, dates, and identifiers in more detail to better understand further requirements and potential areas of interaction between stakeholders. Its second phase charted workflow processes for various stakeholders to identify and prioritize the different metadata elements and map proposed requirements at the element level across workflows. The third phase consisted of close analysis of the previous outputs, again against a stakeholder perspective. 

Co-chair Ravit David presented on the group’s work at the Ontario Library Association’s Super Conference in late January, “The Secret Life of Ebooks: Working Towards E-book Metadata Best Practices Recommendation.” Nettie Lagace of NISO presented at the ER&L conference in Austin, TX in March.

Journal Article Tag Suite (JATS) Standing Committee

Co-chairs: Jeff Beck (National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine), B. Tommie Usdin (Mulberry Technologies, Inc.)
JATS Workroom
JATS: Journal Article Tag Suite (ANSI/NISO Z39.96-2019)

The purpose of JATS is to define a suite of XML elements and attributes that describes the content of metadata and journal articles using a common format that enables the exchange of journal content between publishers and archives. This Tag Suite is intended to preserve intellectual content of journals independent of the form in which the content was originally delivered, and to enable an archive to capture structural and semantic components of existing material. In addition, the JATS standard includes three implementations of the suite, called Tag Sets, which are intended to provide models for archiving, publishing, and authoring journal article content.

Following ANSI approval, NISO published the newest version of the standard, JATS: Journal Article Tag Suite 1.2, ANSI/NISO Z39.96-2019, in early February. This new version addresses issues such as the addition of CReditT roles to contributors; the ability to associate subjects and keywords with external vocabularies; and the ability to record Asian-styles of emphasis such as over-dots, among others. A list of changes between JATS 1.1 and this version is available. The JATS Standing Committee manages its work via Continuous Maintenance procedures, which support incoming comments to be managed in an ongoing process of updates, and is continuing to meet regularly to discuss future changes and strategies for JATS.

JATS co-chair Tommie Usdin of Mulberry Technologies spoke about the standard and the Standing Committee's work on the February 11 Open Teleconference


Chair: Melissa Harrison (eLife) with Steering Committee
JATS4R Website

Work Item Approved by NISO Voting Members

JATS For Reuse is an initiative which develops best practices for tagging content in JATS (ANSI/NISO Z39.96) XML to optimize content reuse and exchange.  Late last year, the JATS4R efforts became a NISO Working Group. JATS4R creates best-practice recommendations for encoding journal article content in JATS XML, to be published as NISO Recommended Practices. Each article object that JATS4R works on has its own separate document of best practice recommendations. Examples of article objects include article permissions, math, and conflicts-of-interest statements.

These recommendations are developed by the community; the areas they potentially cover are prioritized based on user request and emerging standards. It is an ongoing effort and recommendations are revisited and revised when necessary.

Recommendations for Subjects and Keywords recently were available for a public comment period which closes April 22.  Subgroups are now meeting to discuss Ethics Statements and Peer Review Materials.

If you would like to participate in JATS4R efforts, see the "Participate" tab on the JATS4R web site.

Manuscript Exchange Common Approach

Co-chairs: Tony Alves (Aries Systems), Stephen Laverick (Green Fifteen Publishing Consultancy)
MECA Workroom
Approved work item proposal, MECA

This working group, underway since September 2018, is developing a common means to easily transfer manuscripts between and among manuscript systems, such as those in use at publishers and preprint servers. Its forthcoming NISO Recommended Practice is intended to alleviate pain points encountered by researchers as well as service providers operating in the scholarly ecosystem. 

Currently, in workflow processes such as manuscript rejection or alternate recommendations for article submission, there is no easy way for a manuscript to move programmatically from one publisher system to another's. The result is frustration for authors and reviewers who complain of wasted time, duplicative efforts, and delays in enabling access to novel research.  An open protocol available for adoption across the industry would ease this process substantially and better support publishing operations and communication among all stakeholders.

The working group meets regularly to discuss technical aspects of the initial MECA draft that will need to be adjusted, and additional use cases and requirements that will need to be accommodated in the NISO publication. It anticipates wrapping up its work by early summer.

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

Chair: Sarah (Sally) Glasser (Hofstra University) 
PIE-J Workroom 
PIE-J Recommended Practice (NISO RP-16-2013)

The PIE-J Recommended Practice, PIE-J: Presentation & Identification of E-Journals (NISO RP-16-2013) was published in 2013. It provides guidance to publishers and platform providers on the presentation of e-journals--a critical component of the global scholarly infrastructure--particularly in the areas of title presentation, accurate use of ISSN, and citation practices. The PIE-J Recommended Practice is intended to alleviate the problems encountered by end users who attempt to access article-based materials online using citation elements. Two forms of a brochure describing PIE-J are also available via the PIE-J web page

Members of the PIE-J Standing Committee meet regularly to discuss implementation, feedback regarding specific publishers, and marketing efforts. As part of this work, the Standing Committee has made available a 
template on the PIE-J website for librarians who would like to contact publishers and providers to describe concerns about the presentation of e-journals on their websites.

The Standing Committee distributed a "conformance survey" to publishers to help it better understand where PIE-J is gaining and not gaining traction. It’s currently analyzing the survey information to determine ideas for further action and communications.

 PIE-J Standing Committee member Steve Shadle presented at the ER&L conference in Austin, TX in early March.   Chair Sally Glasser plans to present at the upcoming NASIG conference in Pittsburgh in June.

STS: Standards Tag Suite

Co-chairs: Bruce Rosenblum (Inera), Robert Wheeler (American Society of Mechanical Engineers)
NISO STS Workroom
ANSI/NISO Z39.102, STS: Standards Tag Suite

The purpose of ANSI/NISO Z39.102, STS: Standards Tag Suite, a standard published by NISO in October 2017, is to define a suite of XML elements and attributes that describes the full-text content and metadata of standards--including co-produced standards and standards bodies' adoptions of existing standards--with the intent of providing a common format in which standards organizations, publishers, disseminators, archives, and any lawful user can publish and exchange standards content.  The intent of the Tag Suite is to preserve the intellectual content of standards independent of the form in which that content was originally delivered. The Tag Suite enables the capture of structural and semantic components of material without modeling any particular sequence or textual format. 

STS is an update and modification of ISO STS, a specific tag set used for standards publishing, and is now officially linked it to JATS (ANSI/NISO Z39.96-2015 JATS: Journal Article Tag Suite), a widely used specification which defines a set of XML elements and attributes for tagging journal articles and describes several article models. Supporting non-normative materials, including a tag library and DTD, XSD, and RNG schemas for each of the tag sets, are available at; an email discussion list provides community support for STS topics. 

The STS Standing Committee is responsible for the work of reviewing and responding to comments on the standard under a NISO continuous maintenance procedure, which will allow it to more easily publish updates to the standard. An STS Engagement Committee, to further market the standard and provide educational support, is in the process of being formed.

STS will be discussed as part of a standards publishing workshop at the Typefi User Conference in Baltimore in early May.

Taxonomy, Definitions, and Recognition Badging Scheme

Co-chairs: Lorena Barba (George Washington University); Wayne Graves (ACM); Gerry Grenier (IEEE)
Working Group Web page
Work Item Approved by NISO Voting Members

Late last year, NISO Voting Members approved this project, to develop a recommended practices pertaining to reproducibility in the computational and computing sciences. This work will examine existing taxonomies and badging schemes to define various levels of reproducibility and communicate these in the publishing process.  Publishers and researchers are placing greater emphasis on the practice of reproducibility as an essential ingredient of the scientific research process. As reproducibility is spreading in the scholarly publishing landscape, badging schemes and taxonomies are developing on an ad-hoc basis. This NISO effort is focusing on the computational and computing sciences, but it may also help to encourage support for a standardized approach for such indicators spanning a variety of disciplines.

The working group was formed in March and has started its regular meetings.

NISO Vocabularies

Working Group
NISO TR-06-17, Issues in Vocabulary Management

NISO published this technical report, Issues in Vocabulary Management, in September 2017. The project grew out of the 2013 NISO Bibliographic Roadmap Initiative, work which intended to identify areas where agreement on standard or recommended practices would support better bibliographic data exchange.  Several different areas were examined and described:  "Vocabulary Use and Reuse," "Vocabulary Documentation," and "Vocabulary Preservation."

It is hoped that this technical report will provide a background on the vocabulary management landscape and aid community members working in the current "transitional" environment, where experience with policies, social constructs, and practical aspects of moving forward in a common infrastructure might be scattered or missing. These sets of people may include individuals and groups building and sharing bibliographic and other descriptive data, as well as knowledge managers within a variety of organizations using vocabularies to solve problems.