Working Group Connection, April 2019: projects via Information Discovery & Interchange Topic Committee

Co-chairs of the IDI topic committee are: Peter Murray (Index Data) and Christine Stohn (Ex Libris). 

Flexible API STandard for E-content NISO (FASTEN)

Co-chairs: Josh Weisman (Ex Libris), Christopher Carvey (Queens Library)
FASTEN Workroom
Work Item Proposal

The output of this Working Group will be a NISO Recommended Practice to modernize library-vendor technical interoperability using RESTful Web service APIs and standard mobile application intent calls, solving the problem of multiple vendor methods for integration with discovery platforms, OPACs, patron accounts, etc. Currently, each individual implementation provides a different patron experience which makes it difficult for new users to adopt e-content, and for libraries to support all the variances.  The Working Group is using the Queens Library API Requirements as an initial draft and is liaising with the BIC LCF to ensure communication in development. 

The tasks undertaken by the Working Group have included analysis of user and developer "pain points" and examination of existing library-vendor communication toolsets for potential overlap. The planned group output will include a foundation API set that the library industry can build on to fulfill an array of user and library needs related to authentication, finding and using various types of content and other functional considerations. Implementation of the recommendations would ultimately result in users experiencing quicker response times, more flexible item discovery and delivery options, improved information on resource availability, and seamless integration of electronic and physical resources.  Currently the Working Group is reaching the final stages of drafting its Recommended Practice, intending that it will be available for a public comment period in Summer 2019. 

Knowledge Bases And Related Tools (KBART) Standing Committee

Co-chairs: Dominic Benson (Brunel University London), Noah Levin (Independent)
Contact KBART Chairs for endorsement approval
KBART Workroom
Knowledge Bases and Related Tools (KBART) Recommended Practice (NISO RP-9-2014)

The KBART Recommended Practice, published in 2014 by NISO, builds on the recommendations of the first version of the recommended practice to address areas of metadata for e-books and conference proceedings, packages licensed via consortia deals, and describe how open access metadata might be published and shared in knowledge bases while continuing to supply a format for general transfer of journal data to the knowledge base of a link resolver supplier. The KBART Standing Committee provides support and education activities for KBART and works to streamline publisher approval for inclusion in the KBART Registry, which includes details of contacts, URLs, and instructions relating to the transfer of e-resource metadata between content providers and link resolvers. 

Current activities for the group include a full review of the endorsement process, including communications to providers and clarifications for the KBART Registry and web site, and outreach to librarians including potential language for including KBART in model licenses. The  Standing Committee is also finalizing its determination of a scope for KBART Phase 3, which will be its next major project.  

In March, the KBART Standing Committee presented a free webinar, “KBART 101,” for which the slides and recording are available. To follow the group's activities, subscribe to the KBART interest mailing list

Enhancing KBART for Automated Exchange of Title Lists and Library Holdings

Co-chairs: Stephanie Doellinger (OCLC), Oliver Pesch (EBSCO Information Services)
Work Item Proposal Approved by NISO Voting Members
KBART Automation Workroom

The KBART Automation Working Group is extending the KBART Phase 2 Recommended Practice to provide technical instructions to facilitate the automatic transfer and retrieval of holdings data between content providers and institutional knowledgebases with the goal of automatically and regularly updating institutional activations and settings via an API.

A public draft of the Recommended Practice was available during November, and the Working Group has reviewed the comments received. An updated Recommended Practice is now being prepared for Working Group and Topic Committee approval prior to NISO publication. We expect that the published document will be available next month!  Included in the Recommended Practice are descriptions of data elements and file formats; options a content provider must provide to enable customers to access its holdings reports; expected API support that enables automated retrieval of reports; suggested license language and a discussion of data confidentiality; and description of additional elements and attribute values that can be included in the reports.

Following RP publication, the KBART Automation Working Group will commence discussion of the next slate of topics affecting automation, planning to develop a second phase in late 2019 or early 2020.  Overlap in membership between this group and the KBART Standing Committee is ensuring close communication in group discussions.  

Co-chair Stephanie Doellinger and members Derrik Hiatt and Abigail Wickes presented on KBART Automation at the ER&L meeting in Austin, TX in early March can attend the KBART Automation presentation there.   

NCIP (NISO Circulation Interchange Protocol) Standing Committee

Chair: Mike Dicus (Ex Libris)
NCIP Workroom
NCIP Standing Committee
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 Standing Committee operates via Continuous Maintenance procedures to manage the latest NCIP standard, version 2.02, which was published in 2012. Every other month the committee holds conference calls to review status of implementations and discuss other general business, such as additions to the NCIP website and implementor questions.  The Standing Committee is also responsible for reviewing any ongoing updates to the NCIP protocol per the Standing Committee's continuous maintenance procedure; it's possible that some updates to NCIP will be discussed and implemented during 2019. 

Input from the public is welcome. 

Open Discovery Initiative Standing Committee

Co-chairs: Rachel Kessler (Ex Libris), Laura Morse (Harvard University)
ODI Workroom
ODI Recommended Practice (NISO RP-19-2014)

The Open Discovery Initiative (ODI) Recommended Practice is directed toward library discovery services based on indexed search. It includes background on the discovery landscape, recommendations in the areas of technical formats for data format and data transfer; communication of libraries' rights regarding specific content; descriptors regarding particular levels of indexing for content; definition of fair linking to published content; and determination of appropriate usage statistics to be collected to address stakeholder needs. The ODI Standing Committee supports and publicizes ODI, and monitors the discovery landscape to determine whether and when further recommendations should be studied and written; currently it is collecting potential items for future proposals for these. 

The ODI Standing Committee is working to further publicize and communicate vendor conformance statements and other general ODI issues and metrics and has published a brochure describing these as well as "librarian talking points" to help increase vendor conformance.

The Standing Committee has commenced work on ODI “Phase 2,” which includes the following areas: Library Responsibilities in ODI; Handling of Open Access Content Including Hybrid OA Content; More Meaningful Usage Statistics for Content Providers; Fair Linking; Identifying the Source of the Record in the Discovery Interface; Content Coverage Disclosure (Reporting on Discovery Service Content at a Collection Level); and Identification of Additional Metadata and Content Elements. Subgroups are meeting and starting to analyze the issues in order to create recommendations to address them.

The ODI Standing Committee posts periodic updates on its work to the ODI observer mailing list; any interested observer may join this list. It is also possible to follow @NISO_ODI on Twitter.

ResourceSync Working Group

Co-chairs: Todd Carpenter (NISO), Herbert Van de Sompel (Los Alamos National Laboratory)
ResourceSync Workroom
ANSI/NISO Z39.99-2017, ResourceSync Framework Specification 

ResourceSync, a specification which describes a synchronization framework for the web consisting of various capabilities that allow third party systems to remain synchronized with a server's evolving resources, was first published in 2014 and updated more recently in 2017 as ANSI/NISO Z39.99-2017. The problem that ResourceSync was designed to solve spans the areas of search, discovery, deposit, metadata harvesting, and transfer; there is a need to keep collections of resources in sync so that additions, updates, and deletions of one are reflected in the other. The ResourceSync standard was written in such a way that individual capabilities could be combined to meet local requirements. A server may also describe synchronization capabilities that it supports and means through which third party systems may discover this support. The core functionality of the specification is intended to represent a functional replacement of OAI-PMH. (Other features, such as change notificationframework notification, and archive capabilities are published through separate documents, not currently part of the material part of NISO/ANSI standardization.)

A quick overview of ResourceSync, via YouTube, is available at