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

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

August 2019

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 Working Group Web Page
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 has relied on the Queens Library API Requirements for its initial draft and has been liaising with the BIC LCF to ensure communication in development. 

The tasks undertaken by the Working Group 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 finalizing its draft Recommended Practice, intending that it will be available for a public comment period in the near future. 

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 Web Pages
Knowledge Bases and Related Tools (KBART) Recommended Practice (NISO RP-9-2014)

The current  KBART Recommended Practice was published in 2014 by NISO to build 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 now 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. 

The Standing Committee has been conducting 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. It is also finalizing its determination of a scope for KBART Phase 3, which will be its next major project and discussing this with the Information Discovery & Interchange Topic Committee. There are plans to present and discuss the future directions of KBART at this November’s Charleston Conference. 

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)
KBART Automation Recommended Practice (NISO RP-26-2019)
KBART Automation Working Group Web Page 

Now Published!  The KBART Automation Working Group’s output, the KBART Automation Recommended Practice (NISO RP-26-2019) was published in June!  This work extends 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. 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.

The KBART Automation Working Group will now commence discussion of the next slate of topics affecting automation, planning to develop a second phase.  Overlap in membership between this group and the KBART Standing Committee is ensuring close communication in group discussions.  

Member Jason Price represented the Working Group at the NISO presentation, Achieving Standards Nirvana: Why Industry Interoperability Isn’t Easy, but Is Worth the Effort” at the Society for Scholarly Publishing annual meeting in San Diego in May. Co-chair Stephanie Doellinger presented on KBART Automation at the NISO Update at ALA Annual in Washington, DC in June.

NCIP (NISO Circulation Interchange Protocol) Standing Committee

Chair: Mike Dicus (Ex Libris)
NCIP Web Pages
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. About 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 Web Pages
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 works 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. The Standing Committee conducted surveys in June and July among stakeholder groups to better understand pain points. In addition, NISO recently published a report created by several members of the Standing Committee which analyzed information gathered from Abstracting & Indexing (A&I) providers to summarize their concerns and highlight how discovery services might improve in this area of information delivery.

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. Julie Zhu represented ODI at the NISO presentation, Achieving Standards Nirvana: Why Industry Interoperability Isn’t Easy, but Is Worth the Effort” at the Society for Scholarly Publishing annual meeting in San Diego in May, and penned a guest post on the SSP Scholarly Kitchen blog in July, discussing how scholarly information is shared between publishers discovery services. Laura Morse, ODI Standing Committee co-chair, provided an update on activities as part of the NISO Update at ALA Annual in Washington, DC in June.

ResourceSync Working Group

Co-chairs: Todd Carpenter (NISO), Herbert Van de Sompel (Data Archiving and Networked Services (DANS))
ResourceSync Web Page
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