Working Group Connection, August 2019: projects via Information Policy & Analysis Topic Committee

Co-chairs of the IPA topic committee are: Athena Hoeppner (University of Central Florida) and Jack Maness (University of Denver).

Altmetrics Working Groups

NISO Altmetrics Initiative web page
Outputs of the NISO Alternative Assessment Metrics Project (NISO RP-25-2016)

The output of the NISO Altmetrics Initiative was published as a Recommended Practice, NISO RP-25-2016, Outputs of the NISO Alternative Assessment Metrics Project. This Recommended Practice covers a range of outputs; as the initiative consisted of three NISO working groups, each contributed specific material in particular areas: A definition of altmetrics and assembled use cases representing potential activity and motivations for several personas (e.g., librarians; research administrators; members of hiring committees); a report and set of recommendations in the area of data metrics, including a landscape analysis and discussion of key metrics and workflows; a compilation of various outputs and indicators that could serve as alternative metrics, to establish the breadth and depth of the non-publication metric space; a comprehensive catalog of persistent identifier players and schema, including a discussion of domain relevance and initiatives; and a Code of Conduct to support data quality, aimed at those providers whose data is used for the calculation and circulation of alternative assessment metrics.

The NISO Altmetrics Initiative was begun in 2013 with funding from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. This development of recommended practices follows on the publication of an industry white paper distilling community discussions on what areas of alternative metrics would benefit most from standards-related development.  

Content Platform Migrations Working Group

Co-chairs: Athena Hoeppner (University of Central Florida); Kimberly Steinle (Duke University Press)
Working Group Web page
Work Item Approved by NISO Voting Members

This is a new working group, formed in March, whose remit is to provide a standard process and recommendations to all parties dealing with online content platforms, which would improve communication between stakeholders before, during, and after migration. With so many publishers making their data available online, the platform 'market' is very active. Librarians have reported over 30 content platform migrations from 2016 to the present. Such migrations are happening more and more often, affecting end-users, librarians, publishers and vendors and a problem-free migration is the exception rather than the norm. It is anticipated that the NISO working group, with all stakeholders represented, will benefit from shared experiences and input from the community.

The working group has just finalized its overall work plan, which will be approved by the Information Policy & Analysis Topic Committee and is starting the information gathering phase of its work.

Nettie Lagace provided a brief update on the group’s work as part of the NISO Update at ALA Annual in Washington, DC in June. The working group will also prepare a presentation as part of the Charleston Conference this coming November.  

SERU (Shared E-Resource Understanding) Standing Committee

Co-chairs: Adam Chesler (American Institute of Physics), Anne McKee (Greater Western Library Alliance)
SERU Workroom
SERU Recommended Practice (NISO RP-7-2012)

The SERU Recommended Practice was updated in 2012 to be more flexible for use with online products beyond e-journals, and is supported by its Standing Committee who works to publicize SERU and educate libraries and publishers via direct contacts and public presentations at industry conferences.  The SERU website pages are available to help publishers and libraries understand and use the SERU material.

The SERU Registry, whose purpose is to enable publishers and librarians to more easily identify each other, recently was overhauled and put into a new interface to incorporate many updates and additions.

SUSHI (Standardized Usage Statistics Harvesting Initiative) Standing Committee

Co-chairs: James Van Mil (University of Cincinnati), Oliver Pesch (EBSCO Information Services) 
SUSHI Workroom
SUSHI standard (ANSI/NISO Z39.93-2014)
COUNTER-SUSHI Implementation Profile (NISO RP-14-2012)

This Standing Committee provides maintenance and support for ANSI/NISO Z39.93, The Standardized Usage Statistics Harvesting Initiative (SUSHI) Protocol, 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). When COUNTER 4 was released it necessitated relevant changes to the SUSHI schema and applicable updates to the SUSHI workroom pages.  More recently, the SUSHI Standing Committee has been discussing the impact of the COUNTER 5 Code of Practice on its material; for example, the possible use of multiple schemas to support various aspects of COUNTER and/or the adoption of SUSHI-Lite as a mechanism for transfer of data. 

Note that the SUSHI Server Registry which was hosted on the NISO SUSHI site has been incorporated into the overall COUNTER Registry of Compliance.   The Standing Committee is also working to ensure that SUSHI support materials are congruent with USUS, the community web site.

SUSHI-Lite Working Group

Co-chairs: James Van Mil (University of Cincinnati), Oliver Pesch (EBSCO Information Services)
SUSHI-Lite Workroom

This working group is exploring the potential adaptation of the SUSHI Standard to accommodate present day development tools and usage needs related to retrieving 'snippets' of usage through web services. Three objectives of the technical report (described in the original SUSHI Lite Work Item) are to: 

  • Allow smaller units of usage ("snippets") to be retrieved with SUSHI to enable SUSHI to become the standard for implementing real-time retrieval of usage for single journals or articles, as is becoming the practice within e-resource workflows and systems offering alternative metric displays.
  • Allow for an optional implementation of SUSHI with the web services that would be accessing SUSHI snippets--specifically, a RESTful HTTP interface with COUNTER usage data returned in JSON format.
  • Introduce a generalized filter specification that can be used with the new RESTful/JSON approach. These filters would allow the client to refine the request to a single book, journal, or article, or to specify extended data like account or customer details that are currently not available in the current standard.

The Technical Report is expected to be published in the near future.

Tracking Link Origins in Networked Information Environments

Chair: Ken Varnum (University of Michigan)
Tracking Link Origins Workroom

This working group studied scenarios of tracking the sites/platforms from which incoming links originate when they pass through a link resolver. Where content hosts utilize HTTP analysis to determine where users started research, links coming from link resolvers will represent the domain of the link resolver and not that of the platform where the user originated his/her search. The objective of any recommendations would be to better credit the originating platform. It is likely that the output of this group, expected to be made available in the near future, will be a technical report which details the multiple possible scenarios and limitations of the current landscape, which will help stakeholder members better determine where they may place their own efforts for improvements. 

Transfer Standing Committee

Co-chairs: James Phillpotts (Oxford University Press), Jennifer Bazeley (Yale University Libraries) 
Transfer Workroom 
Transfer Recommended Practice (NISO RP-24-2019)

The newest edition of the Transfer Code of Practice, Version 4, was published by NISO as a Recommended Practice earlier this year.  The aim of the Transfer initiative is to support smooth and uninterrupted access to content by librarians and readers when a journal changes ownership and online content is transferred from a transferring publisher to a receiving publisher. The most recent updates to the Code of Practice clarify and address categories of paid customers beyond subscribers, open access considerations, perpetual access responsibilities, licensing information, and further revisions to handling journal URLs and redirects. Further support, education, and potential future revisions to Transfer are managed by the NISO Standing Committee which discusses promotion and communication strategies for all audience on regular conference calls. Subgroups focusing on society and commercial publishers and librarians discuss specific issues which can then be raised for discussion and decision by the full Standing Committee, which is settling now on a regular schedule for updates to the Code.  

The Code contains best practice guidelines for both the Transferring Publisher and the Receiving Publisher. Publishers are asked to endorse the Code, and to abide by its principles wherever it is commercially reasonable to do so. Transfer-compliant publishers are listed on the Publisher Endorsement web page. An alerting service is also available at the Transfer Alerting Service; this tool gives advance notification to libraries and third parties, such as subscription agents, regarding journals that are moving. Publishers are not required to sign up to the Code, and there is no sanction if a publisher does not; but it is hoped that as the Code of Practice delineates an industry-standard best practice, statements of Transfer compliance provide a common understanding between publishers on the tasks associated with journal transfer and thus support an efficient handover, clearly beneficial to any business transaction.

Heather Staines, Transfer Standing Committee member, 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. Linda Wobbe, Standing Committee member, presented on Transfer as part of the NISO Update at ALA Annual in Washington, DC in June. Linda and James Phillpotts, Transfer Standing Committee co-chair, also discussed recent efforts as part of the June NISO Open Teleconference.  

Z39.7 Data Dictionary Standing Committee

Chair: Martha Kyrillidou, QualityMetrics
Z39.7 Data Dictionary Standing Committee

The purpose of ANSI/NISO Z39.7-2013 Information Services and Use: Metrics & Statistics for Libraries and Information Providers - 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. Any user of the online standard may submit suggested changes. The Standing Committee then reviews these suggestions during its scheduled monthly phone calls.  As part of its work, the Standing Committee scans and reviews the statistical survey landscape and examines other assessment efforts--including use of particular vocabularies--in the community for effects on the Data Dictionary. 

The Z39.7 Standing Committee is currently finalizing a new draft of the standard. It is expected that this updated draft will be made available to NISO Voting Members in the coming months for their approval. After subsequent ANSI approval, it is hoped that updated standard will be published by fall 2019. In the meantime, the Standing Committee is working on a separate appendix to the standard which will capture ongoing work (projects and tools) related to assessment, and has been discussing recent meetings of interest and updates to various industry surveys.

For notifications about approved future revisions to the standard, subscribe to the Z39.7 notification mailing list