Letter from the Executive Director, January 2023
Each new year brings a variety of new beginnings, and this is particularly true of NISO this year. The past year has been full of transitions, big plans, and growth. We welcomed seven new voting members and dozens of new LSA members through an agreement with PALCI. We were also able to significantly advance standards activities through grants from both the Sloan Foundation and the Institute for Museum and Library Services. We expect this pace will continue, with several additional initiatives in the works that we hope to announce early in 2023.
This fall also brought with it several staffing changes at NISO, with the retirement of Jill O’Neill from the NISO staff and the departure of Alice Meadows. To start off the new year, we welcome Lisa Jackson as NISO’s office manager and Mary Beth Barilla as NISO’s new director of business development and communications. Along with Kimberly Gladfelter Graham, who moved into her new role of educational programs manager, and Keondra Bailey, who joined NISO in the fall, NISO is well positioned to serve the community in the new year with a full complement of team members. This added capacity will allow us to meet the growing demands for standards and best practices to make the community more efficient and effective.
One of the things the NISO team has put into place to start off the new year with is the exciting lineup for the NISO Plus Conference, taking place in February. With an amazing lineup of keynote speakers including David Weinberger, Caleb Kibet, and Yuko Harayama, along with Safiya Noble presenting her 2023 Miles Conrad Lecture, this year’s conference will be something you won’t want to miss. In addition, the event will include a range of fascinating discussion sessions, particularly a thread on the topic of metadata, that are coming out of the first NISO Plus Forum that was hosted in Washington, DC, in October. The early bird deadline for registration ends later this week, so get your registration in soon!
In the world of new standards, just as the year ended, ISO published the Research Activity Identifier (RAiD). This important new standard seeks to tie together the variety of elements of a research project into a single metadata package and assign a unique resolvable identifier. In this way, the researcher, grant funding, institutions, outputs such papers and data sets, and other items that can be uniquely identified can all be grouped together and cited and linked. RAiD is part of the family of persistent identifiers created and managed by the ISO Technical Subcommittee on Information and Documentation (ISO TC46/SC 9), which is managed by NISO on behalf of ANSI. The Australian Research Data Commons (ARDC) will serve as the registration authority for this standard. A strong technical team and an advisory group has formed to help organize the system and build it out. The service is expected to launch worldwide sometime in 2023.
New beginnings are also happening at the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) this January, when it is set to become an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit. This news was announced last June and is slated to take place this January. Since the 1990s, the W3C has been a critical organization in supporting the development and maintenance of a variety of standards that support the internet as most experience it. From HTML and layout standards to accessibility and publishing, the W3C plays a crucial role not only in the basic design of the internet, but also a growing role in online content style and distribution through its management of the EPUB standard. I hope that its transition from its fiscal host in the US, MIT, will go smoothly.
There is so much to look forward to in the coming year. We have high expectations, and the trends of success look set to continue for NISO and our community. Hopefully, similar positive outlooks are shared by you all at your respective organizations. May the new year bring you much prosperity and success!
Executive Director, NISO