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NISO Leadership Committees


NISO’s strategic standards work is overseen by our four leadership committees — an overarching Architecture Committee and three Topic Committees:

The work of all four committees is aligned with NISO’s strategic planning process, which is led by our Board. The committees, supported by NISO staff, are responsible for identifying, creating, and promoting standards and recommended practices that meet the needs of the global information community. The Board, Architecture Committee, and Topic Committees work together collaboratively, as shown in this graphic.

Architecture Committee 

NISO’s Architecture Committee is composed of co-chairs of each of the topic committees, Board liaisons, the Vice Chair of the NISO Board, and NISO staff, and is responsible for providing strategic direction on standards development for our organization overall, including in areas that are new to NISO.  Meeting monthly to share reports on work and strategy approaches, it provides leadership, oversight, and guidance to the three Topic Committees.

Topic Committees

Our Topic Committees bring together leaders in specific areas to provide strategic direction to NISO for standards development in those areas.

Each Topic Committee is charged with:

  • Tracking standards development related to its topics at NISO and other standards organizations

  • Identifying areas for new standards development

  • Incubating new standards activities through thought leadership meetings and other input

  • Providing guidance and oversight to the standards working groups for its areas of work, including creating new groups as needed

  • Managing the five-year reaffirmation process for approved standards

Standards Development

Topic Committees may establish Working Groups (WG) to develop a NISO standard or to accomplish some other piece of work. They monitor the progress of their Working Groups through quarterly progress reports and updates from WG liaisons. Topic Committees may also convene meetings to advance understanding of their areas or to explore the need for further standards development.

Topic Committee Work/Approval Process

Topic Committee approval and/or input occurs throughout the standards development process:

  • Phase 1: Idea to Proposed Work Item
    TC approval is required for all new proposals, before the work item description can be sent to NISO voting members for their approval as a new NISO project.

  • Phase 2: Approved Work Item
    Once a work item is approved, the TC  assists with creation of the WG roster as needed, and formally approves the final roster.

  • Phase 3: Creating Work Plan
    Once established, Working Groups must establish a work plan, which is then approved by the TC. 

  • Phase 4: Work Plan to Draft Standard/Recommended Practice/Etc
    During the project development, the TC receives quarterly progress reports from the WG and typically establishes a TC liaison to the WG to assist in communication.

  • Phase 5: Working Draft to Draft Standard for Trial Use/Final Publication
    The TC reviews and approves the Draft Standard for Trial Use or final publication document before it is released (either to be voted on as a formal standard by NISO Voting Members, or directly to publication for other documents).

  • Phase 6: Approval
    The TC helps promote the final document.

  • Phase 7: Maintenance
    TC identifies and recommends the selection of Maintenance Agencies or Standing Committees and monitors their work, including conducting regular standards reviews and making recommendations on reaffirmation ballots.

When appropriate, a Topic Committee may also approve the publication of a Working Group's deliverable as another type of NISO document, such as the publication of a recommended practice instead of an ANSI/NISO standard, or a technical report instead of a recommended practice.

Topic Committee Members

Roles and responsibilities include:

  • Attending meetings on a regular basis and contributing to the work of the committee. Committee members who miss more than three consecutive meetings, who don’t accept or complete assignments, or who are disruptive may be dismissed from the TC.

  • Contributing to TC awareness of ongoing work in the topic area

  • Staying informed about the TC work portfolio and voting on committee approval ballots in a timely fashion

Topic Committee Chairs

Roles and responsibilities include:

  • Encouraging a collegial approach to committee discussions and work

  • Coordinating with relevant NISO staff to establish meeting agendas and ensure that committee work goals are met

  • Ensuring that minutes for committee meetings and calls are kept and distributed to TC members

  • In coordination with committee members, identifying specific TC outcomes and working to meet them, including setting priorities and timelines, and ensuring that members report back on their designated projects 

  • With TC member input, monitoring developments—within and without NISO—that might have an impact in their topic area and identifying potential areas of engagement and partnerships

  • Working with committee members to identify topics for thought leadership meetings

  • Providing TC input on related NISO educational events

  • Updating (directly or via a designated TC representative) the NISO community and Board on committee work, including at virtual and in-person events

  • Serving on NISO’s Architecture Committee

  • Working with committee members to correct any problems, including potentially asking the Board of Directors to dismiss a member (per Section 2.3.3. of the NISO Procedures)

  • Coordinating with the NISO office to make sure that TC approval ballots are cast in a timely fashion

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