NASIG 2012: Everyone’s a Player — Creation of Standards in a Fast-Paced Shared World

Speaker: Nettie Lagace, NISO – National Information Standards Organization

NISO is responsible for a lot of the things we work with all the time, by making the systems work more seamlessly and getting everyone on the same page. More than you may think. They operate on a staff of five: one who is the public face and cheerleader, one who travels to anywhere needed, one who makes sure that the documents are properly edited, and two who handle the technical aspects of the organization/site/commitees/etc.

Topic committees identify needs that become the working groups that tackle the details. Where there is an issue, there’s a working group, with many people involved in each.

New NISO work items consider:
What is not working and how it impacts stakeholders.
How it relates to existing efforts.
Beneficiaries of the deliverables and how.
Scope of the initiative.
Encouragement for implementation.

Librarians aren’t competitive in the ways that other industries might be, so this kind of work is more natural for them. The makeup of the working group tries to keep a balance so that no single interest category makes up the majority of the membership. Consensus is a must. They are also trying to make the open process aspect be more visible/accessible to the general public.

Speaker: Marshall Breeding

Library search has evolved quite a bit, from catalog searches that essentially replicated the card catalog process to federated searching to discovery interfaces to consolidated indexes. Libraries are increasingly moving towards these consolidated indexes to cover all aspects of their collections.

There is a need to bring some order to the market chaos this has created. Discovery brings value to library collections, but it brings some uncertainty to publishers. More importantly, uneven participation diminishes the impact, and right now the ecosystem is dominated by private agreements.

What is the right level of investment in tools that provide access to the millions of dollars of content libraries purchase every year? To be effective, these tools need to be comprehensive, so what do we need to do to encourage all of the players to participate and make the playing field fair to all. How do libraries figure out which discovery service is best for them?

The NISO Open Discovery Initiative hopes to bring some order to that chaos, and they plan to have a final draft by May 2013.

Speaker: Regina Reynolds, Library of Congress

From the beginning, ejournals have had many pain points. What brought this to a head was the problem with missing previous titles in online collections. Getting from a citation to the content doesn’t work when the name is different.

There were issues with missing or incorrect numbering, publishing statements, and dates. And then there are the publishers that used print ISSN for the electronic version. As publishers began digitizing back content, these issues grew exponentially. Guidelines were needed.

After many, many conversations, The Presentation & Identification of E-Journals (PIE-J) was produced and is available for comment until July 5th. The most important part is the three pages of recommended practices.

See also: In Search of Best Practices for Presentation of E-Journals by Regina Romano Reynolds and Cindy Hepfer

ER&L 2012: Working For You — NISO Standards and Best Practices

wood, water, and stone
courtyard of the conference hotel

Speaker: Nettie Legace

NISO is more than just the people at the office — it’s the community that comes together to address the problems that we have, and they’re alway soliciting new work items. What are your pain points? Who needs to be involved? How does it relate to existing efforts?

A NISO standard is more formal and goes through a rigorous process to be adopted. A NISO recommended practice is more edgy and discretionary. There are a lot of standards and best practices that have not been adopted, and it depends on the feasibility of implementation.

Get involved if you care about standards and best practices!

Speakers: Jamene Brooks-Kieffer & John Law

They’re talking about the Open Discovery Initiative. Discovery systems have exploded, and there are now opportunities to come together to create some efficiencies through standards. The working group includes librarians, publishers, and discovery service providers.

The project has three main goals: identify stakeholder needs & requirements, create recommendations and tools to streamline process, and provide effective means of assessment. Deliverables include a standard vocabulary, which the group has found they need just to communicate, and a NISO recommended practice. They plan to have the initial draft by January 2013 and finish the final draft by May 2013.

There will be an open teleconference on Monday.

Speaker: Oliver Pesch

SUSHI was one of the first standards initiatives to use the more agile development process which allows for review and revision in 5-7 years. The down side to a fixed standard is that you have to think of every possible outcome in the standard because you may not get a chance to address it again, and with electronic standards, you have to be able to move quickly. So, they focused on the core problem and allowed the standard to evolve through ongoing maintenance.

SUSHI support is now a requirement for COUNTER compliance, and it has been adopted by approximately 40 content providers. MISO client is a free tool you can download and use it to harvest SUSHI reports.

Part of SUSHI’s success comes from being a part of NISO and the integration with COUNTER, but they’re not done. They’re doing a lot of work to promote interoperability, and they have published the SUSHI Server Test Mode recommended practice. They’re also preparing for release 4 of COUNTER, and making adjustments as needed. They’re also publishing a COUNTER SUSHI Implementation Profile to standardize the interpretation of implementation across providers.

Major concern about content providers who also have web-scale discovery solutions that don’t share content with each other — will that ever change? Not in the scope of the work of the ODI. More about how players work together in better ways, not about whether or not content providers participate.

Why is SUSHI not more commonly available? Some really big players aren’t there yet. How fast is this going to happen? A lot of work is in development but not live yet. What drives development is us. [Except we keep asking for it, and nothing happens.] If you allow it to be okay for it to not be there, then it won’t.

JISC created a template letter for member libraries to send to publishers, and that is making a difference.

ER&L 2012: Lightening Talks

Shellharbour; Lightening
photo by Steven

Due to a phone meeting, I spent the first 10 min snarfing down my lunch, so I missed the first presenters.

Jason Price: Libraries spend a lot of time trying to get accurate lists of the things we’re supposed to have access to. Publisher lists are marketing lists, and they don’t always include former titles. Do we even need these lists anymore? Should we be pushing harder to get them? Can we capture the loss from inaccurate access information and use that to make our case? Question: Isn’t it up to the link resolver vendors? No, they rely on the publishers/sources like we do. Question: Don’t you think something is wrong with the market when the publisher is so sure of sales that they don’t have to provide the information we want? Question: Haven’t we already done most of this work in OCLC, shouldn’t we use that?

Todd Carpenter: NISO recently launched the Open Discovery Initiative, which is trying to address the problems with indexed discovery services. How do you know what is being indexed in a discovery service? What do things like relevance ranking mean? What about the relationships between organizations that may impact ranking? The project is ongoing and expect to hear more in the fall (LITA, ALA Midwinter, and beyond).

Title change problem — uses xISSN service from OCLC to identify title changes through a Python script. If the data in OCLC isn’t good enough, and librarians are creating it, then how can we expect publishers to do better.

Dani Roach: Anyone seeing an unusual spike in use for 2011? Have you worked with them about it? Do you expect a resolution? They believe our users are doing group searches across the databases, even though we are sending them to specific databases, so they would need to actively choose to search more than one. Caution everyone to check their stats. And how is their explanation still COUNTER compliant.

Angel Black: Was given a mission at ER&L to find out what everyone is doing with OA journals, particularly those that come with traditional paid packages. They are manually adding links to MARC records, and use series fields (830) to keep track of them. But, not sure how to handle the OA stuff, particularly when you’re using a single record. Audience suggestion to use 856 subfield x. “Artesian, handcrafted serials cataloging”

Todd Carpenter part 2: How many of you think your patrons are having trouble finding the OA in a mixed access journal that is not exposed/labeled? KBs are at the journal or volume/issue level. About 1/3 of the room thinks it is a problem.

Has anyone developed their own local mobile app? Yes, there is a great way to do that, but more important to create a mobile-friendly website. PhoneGap will write an app for mobile OS that will wrap your web app in an app, and include some location services. Maybe look to include library in a university-wide app?

Adam Traub: Really into PPV/demand-driven. Some do an advance purchase model with tokens, and some of them will expire. Really wants to make it an unmediated process, but it opens up the library to increasing and spiraling costs. They went unmediated for a quarter, and the use skyrocketed. What’s a good way to do this without spending a ton of money? CCC’s Get It Now drives PPV usage through the link resolver. Another uses a note to indicate that the journal is being purchased by the library.

Kristin Martin: Temporarily had two discovery services, and they don’t know how to display this to users. Prime for some usability testing. Have results from both display side by side and let users “grade” them.

Michael Edwards: Part of a NE consortia, and thinks they should be able to come up with consortial pressure on vendors, and they’re basically telling them to take a leap. Are any of the smaller groups in pressuring vendors in making concessions to consortial acquisitions. Orbis-Cascade and Connect NY have both been doing good things for ebook pricing and reducing the multiplier for SU. Do some collection analysis on the joint borrowing/purchasing policies? The selectors will buy what they buy.

guest post on ACRLog

I see a strong need for the creation, support, and implementation of data standards and tools to provide libraries with the means to effectively evaluate their resources.

A few months ago, Maura Smale contacted me about writing a guest post for ACRLog. I happily obliged, and it has now been published.

When it came time to finally sit down and write about something (anything) that interested me in academic librarianship, I found myself at a loss for words. Last month, I spent some time visiting friends here and there on my way out to California for the Internet Librarian conference, and many of those friends also happened to be academic librarians. It was through those conversations that I found a common thread for the issues that are pushing some of my professional buttons.

Specifically, I see a strong need for the creation, support, and implementation of data standards and tools to provide libraries with the means to effectively evaluate their resources. If that interests you as well, please take a moment to go read the full essay, and leave a comment if you’d like.

NASIG 2009: Moving Mountains of Cost Data

Standards for ILS to ERMS to Vendors and Back

Presenter: Dani Roach

Acronyms you need to know for this presentation: National Information Standards Organization (NISO), Cost of Resource Exchange (CORE), and Draft Standard For Trial Use (DSFTU).

CORE was started by Ed Riding from SirsiDynix, Jeff Aipperspach from Serials Solutions, and Ted Koppel from Ex Libris (and now Auto-Graphics). The saw a need to be able to transfer acquisitions data between systems, so they began working on it. After talking with various related parties, they approached NISO in 2008. Once they realized the scope, it went from being just an ILS to ERMS transfer to also including data from your vendors, agents, consortia, etc, but without duplicating existing standards.

Library input is critical in defining the use cases and the data exchange scenarios. There was also a need for a data dictionary and XML schema in order to make sure everyone involved understood each other. The end result is the NISO CORE DSFTU Z39.95-200x.

CORE could be awesome, but in the mean time, we need a solution. Roach has a few suggestions for what we can do.

Your ILS has a pile of data fields. Your ERMS has a pile of data fields. They don’t exactly overlap. Roach focused on only eight of the elements: title, match point (code), record order number, vendor, fund, what paid for, amount paid, and something else she can’t remember right now.

She developed Access tables with output from her ILS and templates from her ERMS. She then ran a query to match them up and then upload the acquisitions data to her ERMS.

For the database record match, she chose the Serials Solutions three letter database code, which was then put into an unused variable MARC field. For the journals, she used the SSID from the MARC records Serials Solutions supplies to them.

Things that you need to decide in advance: How do you handle multiple payments in a single fiscal year (What are you doing currently? Do you need to continue doing it?)? What about resources that share costs? How will you handle one-time vs. ongoing purchase? How will you maintain the integrity of the match point you’ve chosen?

The main thing to keep in mind is that you need to document your decisions and processes, particularly for when systems change and CORE or some other standard becomes a reality.