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Working Group Connection, April 2024: Projects via Information Creation & Curation Topic Committee

Working Group Connection, April 2024: Projects via Information Creation & Curation Topic Committee

April 2024

The Co-chairs of the ICC Topic Committee are: Sharon Farnel (University of Alberta) and Ken Rawson (Independent).

Content Platform/Linked Document

Co-chairs: Suzanne BeDell (Independent Consultant), Bill Kasdorf (Kasdorf & Associates)
Working Group Website
Publication: ANSI/NISO Z39.105-2023, Content Profile/Linked Document

The CP/LD standard was published in December 2023.  Its purpose is to define a flexible, extensible, standards-based format for combining content, data, and semantics intended as a machine-readable, self-describing markup that can be used to exchange data and content between systems, APIs, and services. By building on the HTML and JSON-LD standards, it allows linking in a much more distributed manner compared to other formats, whether between arbitrarily small chunks or large aggregations of content, while still providing enough structure to exchange content and data across processes, services, and workflows. The Standard includes a set of rules that outline the minimum characteristics of conforming documents (Linked Documents) and definitions of more detailed requirements for specific types of content and use cases (Content Profiles). A Github repository is available which includes examples and a test suite for implementations. 

Adoption of the standard will support the needs of today's content consumers who expect contexualized, targeted content delivered as a natural part of their workflow, whether they access knowledge through a library or institutional system or a publisher's digital offering. Print-centric standards combine structure, presentation, and semantics into a single format and require complicated production workflows to meet print and digital requirements and are not nimble enough to support new use cases.

NISO is now forming a CP/LD Standing Committee to manage outreach and support tasks. Suzanne BeDell, Bill Kasdorf, and Rinke Hoekstra spoke about the work on the January Open Teleconference, and Bill Kasdorf presented at NISO Plus 2024 in February. 

CRediT (Contributor Roles Taxonomy) Standardization

Co-chairs: Liz Allen (F1000), Simon Kerridge (Kerridge Research Consulting).
Project Web Site
Standing Committee Web Page
Publication: ANSI/NISO Z39.104-2022, CRediT, Contributor Roles Taxonomy

This working group's output, ANSI/NISO Z39.104-2022, CRediT, Contributor Roles Taxonomy, was published by ANSI in early 2022. CRediT is a high-level taxonomy--including 14 roles--that can be used to represent the roles typically played by contributors to scientific scholarly output. It is a simple and effective way to help promote greater visibility and recognition for the myriad contributions to scholarly research output. The roles describe each contributor’s specific contribution to the scholarly output.  Adopters of CRediT include many scholarly publishers and systems integrators. 

The NISO CRediT Standing Committee discusses outreach activities and other forms of support for the standard, including the formation of a CRediT Community of Interest which will provide input to the Standing Committee. Other potential areas of work include keeping tabs on adoption of CRediT by publishers and infrastructure providers and determining relationships and potential mapping with related taxonomies. 

The CRediT blog contains updates on publishers and platforms where CRediT has been adopted. Co-chairs Liz Allen and Simon Kerridge spoke about the work on a Scholastica webinar in October.

Criteria for Indexes

Co-chairs: Marti Heyman (Heyman Information Services), Pilar Wyman (Wyman Indexing).
Working Group Web Page
Publication: ANSI/NISO Z39.4-2021, Criteria for Indexes

This working group created a new ANSI/NISO standard to provide guidelines for the content, organization, and presentation of indexes used for the retrieval of documents and parts of documents. Its work used as a starting point NISO TR02-1997, Guidelines for Indexes and Related Information Retrieval Devices (itself based on Z39.4-1984, Basic Criteria for Indexes), a robust and instructive NISO technical report but an old document which lacked the authority and wider industry recognition of a formal standard and did not reflect the significant changes in technology and techniques since its publication.  The ANSI/NISO standard, published in July 2021, includes existing material that was examined and rationalized, and new material added across a range of stakeholders and experiences. 

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)
Working Group Web page
Publication: NISO RP-29-2022, E-Book Bibliographic Metadata Requirements in the Sale, Publication, Discovery, Delivery, and Preservation Supply Chain

NISO published this Recommended Practice in February 2022. The Working Group that created it consisted of representatives of libraries, publishers, aggregators, service providers and others. The development was an immersion of the issues in sharing descriptive metadata for e-books across a varied set of stakeholders, each with their own business requirements. The Recommended Practice is a prescription of the minimal metadata requirements necessary to describe e-books in order to support sales, discovery, delivery, deaccessioning and preservation, supporting effective and efficient ways to move metadata through the entire supply chain. It is intended to help creators and managers of bibliographic records to better communicate and cooperate with each other to minimize duplication of work and ensure overall quality of metadata, ultimately aiding end user tasks.

NISO is now forming a Standing Committee to provide support. If you are interested in joining or have any questions, contact Nettie Lagace, NISO Associate Executive Director. 

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.)
Standing Committee Web Page
Publication: JATS: Journal Article Tag Suite (ANSI/NISO Z39.96-2021)

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. 

The latest formal version of JATS, JATS 1.3, was published as ANSI/NISO Z39.96-2021 in July 2021.  JATS 1.3 non-normative materials (DTDs, XSDs, RNGs, Tag Libraries) are available from the National Library of Medicine JATS website. The JATS Standing Committee manages its work via Continuous Maintenance procedures, which support incoming comments to be managed in an ongoing process of updates.

Since the publication of JATS 1.3, the JATS SC has been meeting regularly to review incoming comments, reconcile JATS with its "sister" standards STS and BITS, and determine strategies for the next iteration, JATS 1.4, which was released in draft form as 1.4d1 in early March.  Assuming there are no major issues with the draft form, NISO and the JATS SC are preparing to formalize JATS 1.4 in the near future. There is also discussion on a non-backwards compatible JATS 2.0 with no timeframe for finalization.

Jeff Beck and Tommie Usdin spoke about JATS on the December Open Teleconference and Jeff Beck presented on current activities at NISO Plus 2024 in Baltimore in February. 


Chair: Melissa Harrison (EMBL-EBI) with Steering Committee
JATS4R Website
Work Item Approved by NISO Voting Members
NISO Publications listed on JATS4R web page

JATS For Reuse is an initiative is dedicated to creating best practices for tagging content in JATS (ANSI/NISO Z39.96) XML to optimize reuse and communication in particular discrete areas of work. JATS4R became a NISO-sponsored effort in 2018; all documents created since then by JATS4R subgroups are individual NISO Recommended Practices. JATS4R work areas are prioritized by the community based on user request and emerging standards, and recommendations are revisited and revised as necessary. A Steering Committee oversees all the work and makes decisions.

The JATS4R Accessibility Recommended Practice was recently finalized, approved, and published. The Authors and Affiliations draft finished its period of public comment late last year, and the subgroup is now finalizing it. 

The JATS4R website recently moved to a NISO-hosted platform and is a good place to find more information, including a validator tool, a proposed roadmap incorporating community input, a list of all recommendations, and benefits of becoming involved. Participation in JATS4R efforts is always welcome. 

Journal Article Versions Revision

Co-chairs: Clay Burgett (American Chemical Society), Patrick Hargitt (Atypon), Mike Nason (University of New Brunswick/PKP)
Working Group Web Page
Work Item Approved by NISO Voting Members

NISO RP-8-2008, Journal Article Versions (JAV): Recommendations of the NISO/ALPSP JAV Technical Working Group was published in 2008. Publication practices have changed rapidly since then and the recommendations need updating. For example, preprint output has accelerated in scholarly publication workflows and practice, as they are made publicly available through pre-publication repositories, and various publishers are experimenting with different ways to publish, update, and keep research alive. Versions are important and cite-able, and for many publishers the concept of a 'version of record' no longer applies or can apply to more than one instance at a time.

This group, which started its work in late 2021, is working to define a set of terms for each of the different versions of content that are published and describe how these are related to each other and how they may best be identified. There have been deep dives into how the current terms have been applied (or not); a general definition of an "article"; investigation on how preprints are used across the industry and discussions on how publisher and repository perspectives might be reconciled.  The working group is now finalizing its draft recommended practice and preparing it for a period of public comment, expected to take place in the near future.  

Manuscript Exchange Common Approach

Co-chairs: Tony Alves (HighWire Press), Stephen Laverick (Green Fifteen Publishing Consultancy)
Standing Committee Web Page
Publication: NISO RP-30-2023, Manuscript Exchange Common Approach (MECA), version 2.0.1

The MECA Recommended Practice was published by NISO in June 2020 and updated in 2023. It supports researchers and service providers operating in the scholarly ecosystem in transfer of manuscripts between and among manuscript systems, such as those in use at publishers and preprint servers. Publishing operations and communications are improved when workflow processes such as manuscript rejection or alternate article submission recommendations can be supported across systems--using MECA.

A MECA Standing Committee, which includes some members of the MECA Working Group and some newer stakeholder representatives, provides education and support for the Recommended Practice. Standing Committee members meet monthly to examine additional use cases for MECA, report on liaisons with JATS4R, build programmatic support for peer review processes and an API for technical transfer, and consider general approaches to further socialize MECA into the scholarly technology landscape. 

Tony Alves and Stephen Laverick discussed MECA on the November 2023 Open Teleconference, and Tony Alves presented on MECA at NISO Plus 2024 in Baltimore in February. 

Peer Review Terminology

Chair: Joris van Rossum (STM)
Standing Committee Web Page
Publication: ANSI/NISO Z39.106-2023, Standard Terminology for Peer Review

Peer review is the process used to assess the validity, quality, and often the originality of articles for publication. Its ultimate purpose is to maintain the integrity of science by filtering out invalid or poor quality articles, as well as make sure research outcomes are exposed to relevant audiences through publication in subject-specific journals. As such, it is a crucial process in scholarly communication and a pillar of the scientific method. 

NISO published the Peer Review Terminology standard in July 2023 after the NISO Working Group, formed in 2021, managed publisher trials of definitions and recommendations for their application originally developed by an STM working group.  This effort was a recognition that the scholarly communications industry needs support to ensure greater transparency and openness in peer review, which is an essential element of Open Science. The NISO standard centers on harmonizing and better communicating definitions of discrete elements of these processes, so that members of the community—whether they be authors, reviewers, editors or readers—can quickly and easily recognize how to more productively participate in the creation and qualification of scholarly content.  

The Standing Committee has recently begun meeting and has been brainstorming on strategies and actions in support of the standard.  Standing Committee chair Joris van Rossum and members Anna Jester and Kim Eggleton spoke on an STM webinar in September 2023Science Editor published an article in February about the standard's publication. 

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

Chair: Sarah (Sally) Glasser (Hofstra University) 
Standing Committee Web Page 
Publication: 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 periodically to discuss implementation, feedback regarding specific publishers, and marketing efforts. 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 Committee has discussed the feasibility of organizing some future revisions to PIE-J, based on the revision of the ISSN standard (ISO 3297) and updates to ISO 8.

Reproducibility Badging and Definitions Standing Committee

Co-chairs: Gerry Grenier (Code Ocean) 
Standing Committee Web page
Publication: NISO RP-31-2021, Reproducibility Badging and Definitions

Reproducibility, the practice of validating prior research through the sharing of data and methods, is a topic that has been discussed within the scholarly research community for more than twenty years. Recently, funding agencies and publishers have accelerated efforts to stimulate reproducibility. Critical to the issue are the definitions used to define the various levels of reproducibility, and agreement on a standardized badging scheme that can be applied in the publishing process (and perhaps used as a currency in the academic rewards culture). As publishers and researchers begin to implement reproducibility practices, recognition and reward schemes and the related taxonomies are developing on an ad hoc basis, creating a need for some standardization. NISO published the recommended practice in January 2021. It is an effort to develop common recognition practices, vocabulary, and iconography used to facilitate the sharing of data and methods.

The NISO Working Group based its efforts on a landmark report, Reproducibility and Replicability in Science, published in 2019 by the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM). This report provided recommendations to researchers, academic institutions, publishers, and funders on steps that could be taken to improve reproducibility and replicability in science. The NISO Recommended Practice includes a set of four badge definitions, a list of badge characteristics, and an appendix including examples of currently used badges and badge hierarchies. 

The NISO Standing Committee provides support and education for the effort, including exploring further recommendations on badge design, metadata, and validation. 

Standards-Specific Ontology Standard

Co-chairs: Robert Wheeler (ASME), Cord Wischhöfer (DIN Software GmbH)
Working Group Web Page

The SSOS is a high-level ontology which describes a limited set of core concepts and relationships in standards life cycles. Any expert working in standardization activities in more than one standards-developing organization (SDO) is aware that most consensus-based standards development and publishing processes share many common features and development stages. However, each SDO follows its own processes and rules, and ultimately, no standards development process in one organization is 100% identical to the process in another organization. This presents a challenge as standards users often need to understand the life cycle stage, be it a development stage or maintenance cycle information, from more than one organization in their daily practice.

The SSOS aims at a generic, non-SDO-specific description of the standards life cycles to which the stages and deliverables of standards from different SDOs can be mapped. If applied by SDOs, the use of NISO SSOS allows for better information systems and better automated retrieval of life cycle information across a wide range of standardization activities and standards products in many organizations.

The SSOS Working Group made its draft standard (and an OWL version of the ontology) available for public comment last year. Since that time, responses to the comments have been sent and an updated version of the standard was approved by the ICC Topic Committee. A NISO Voting Pool consisting of NISO members also approved the draft standard, but supplied more comments which have necessitated some editorial changes to the standard and non-normative ontologies.  It is likely that NISO will organize a recirculation ballot for the standard during the first half of 2024, after which it will submit the standard to ANSI for its approval and NISO publication. 

STS: Standards Tag Suite

Co-chairs: Antti Saari (Finnish Standards Association-SFS), Robert Wheeler (American Society of Mechanical Engineers)
Standing Committee Web Page
Publication: ANSI/NISO Z39.102-2022, STS: Standards Tag Suite (v1.2)

This Standard's purpose is to define a set of XML elements and attributes that describe 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 to JATS (ANSI/NISO Z39.96-2021 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.  ANSI/NISO STS v1.2, published in November 2022, includes comments received since the original publication in 2017.

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. Activity for the Standing Committee has been quiet this year as its audience takes up the newly published standard. 

Video & Audio Metadata Guidelines

Co-chairs: Bill Kasdorf (Kasdorf & Associates), Barbara Chen (retired, MLA), Violaine Iglesias (Cadmore Media).
Working Group Web Page
NISO RP-41-2023, Video & Audio Metadata Guidelines

NISO published this Recommended Practice in February 2023.  Audio and Video assets are not new additions to library collections, though even before the worldwide pandemic, use of streaming media was growing at a very steep curve. More publishers and other vendors are increasing support for media assets in their products and systems. It is difficult to communicate metadata for academic media assets due to a wide variety of models in use. Different parties in the ecosystem often employ different and potentially incompatible metadata models, causing challenges for collaboration and interoperability, and impeding the dissemination, discoverability, and indexability of video and audio content. 

The Recommended Practice is intended to meet these challenges by providing a vocabulary that enables connectivity between existing standards covering key metadata elements: administrative (e.g., dates, versions, and identifiers); semantic (e.g., subject classifications and keywords); technical (e.g., media type, encoding, and bitrate); rights (e.g., rights owner, licensor, and embargo information); and accessibility (e.g., accessibility features and access). The properties included are intended to provide a common, non-technical vocabulary to express what information elements need to be included in an exchange of a media asset between a sender and a recipient, or to make a media asset discoverable by a user who doesn't know the metadata model that the holder of the asset might use to characterize it. 

Efforts are now under way to create a Standing Committee to help support this work. Please send an email to if you are interested in joining. 

New Project: Update Author Name Changes After Publication

Work Item Approved by NISO Voting Members

One aspect of formally-published research reports or publications, in addition to the wide dissemination of scholarly work, is to register and recognize the author's ownership and involvement in the work. It is important that an author is identified accurately and correctly in their outputs for many reasons: accountability, funding, precedence, promotion, tenure. This new project is to develop a NISO Recommended Practice for ensuring the widest possible notification and implementation of changes to author names post-publication. It will include recommendations for handling requests to update author names in published outputs and by which secondary and tertiary parties can be informed of the changes and update their own records to reflect changes. For more information or to volunteer for the working group, contact Nettie Lagace.

New Project: Integrating Publisher and Repository Workflows to Improve Research Data-Article Links

Work Item Approved by NISO Voting Members

The practice of research data deposition, publication, and citation has increased in recent years, as government entities, publishers, funders, and other stakeholders have built policies and requirements to support open data. Yet gaps remain. While some limitations to the practice of data citation could be attributed to cultural barriers, technical barriers should be lowered to make it easier to link data and other research objects with literature in a consistent way, by specifying how publisher and repository systems should interoperate so that link creation happens as a matter of course.

This new project is to develop a NISO Recommended Practice that will define information to be transmitted at each end of a bidirectional link between datasets and other research works, including what notifications are needed, focusing on automated data exchange. For more information or to volunteer for the working group, contact Nettie Lagace.