Newsline January 2018

Most people recognize that the name of the month of January derives from that of the Roman god Janus. What fewer people realize is that Janus is not the god of the new year, but rather of all beginnings, entrances, and particularly transitions, such as harvests and adulthood. The theme of beginnings is an important one in many regards for 2018.

On a related note, NISO has launched a new website for our community. The process of transforming our website and moving it to a new platform has taken some time, as these things often do. Our old site, launched back in 2007 with the support of the Mellon Foundation, took us from our initial mid-1990s design and a bespoke association and balloting system to the onset of cloud-based management for our committee and organizational support systems. With this new system, we are shifting again in many ways both large and small. Of course, the design is updated, making content more accessible and visible as well as interlinked in a more rational way. 

More importantly, we will extend and invigorate the information that is provided via our new site. We've moved away from print distribution of both standards and ISQ. Now we will truly begin to leverage the opportunities of a web-based publication platform. In the coming year, we plan to expand the content types available on the platform, including more audio and video, as well as bring more voices of community members into the process. Our aim is to create a single source for a wide range of content focused on information technology, publications, library services, and standards and best practices that relate to our diverse community. In the coming months, it will even impact how you receive and consume Newsline. We welcome your feedback as we roll out this new system.

Related to our work at NISO, another important new beginning will be the April launch in Europe of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). This will be a significant change for any organization that provides digital services or collects and manages the personal data of Europeans. The regulation impacts nearly every publisher and digital service provider to some extent. Each business will have to adapt its systems and data protection guidelines in some fashion to tighten its control of personal data. NISO has done a lot of privacy-related work over the past few years, and we have been exploring the impact of these increased privacy rules on the sharing of research data as well as on authentication systems as part of the RA21 effort. Later this year, we will unveil the outputs of both the joint project with the Research Data Alliance on privacy and research data and the effort with the International STM Association on Resource Access. Both projects will continue after the initial output documents are made available, as we build out and move to implement the initial work.

I hope that your plans for the New Year are robust and full of grand ideas. With luck and hard work, both your plans and NISO's will see successful implementation.


Todd Carpenter
Executive Director, NISO