LITA Standards Interest Group Program

LITA Standards Interest Group Program
ALA Midwinter 2006
January 21, 2006 4:00PM – 5:40PM
Henry B. Gonzales Convention Center Room 008B
San Antonio, Texas

Table of Contents

Yan Han, Systems Librarian at The University of Arizona Libraries, Tucson, AZ and current chair of the LITA Standards IG introduced the program and the first speaker.

Note: LITA will post all presenter PowerPoint files on the LITA website, if they provide them for this purpose. Not all presenters used ppt, however.

Part 1: New Standards Update

NISO’s Strategic Direction

Patricia Stevens, Interim director of NISO, spoke first. She reported that the NISO Board has been involved in strategic planning over the past 18 months or so. As a part of this process, the NISO mission statement was revised as follows: “NISO fosters the development and maintenance of standards that facilitate the creation, persistent management, and effective interchange of information so that it can be trusted for use in research and learning.“

NISO works with intersecting communities of interest. The Mellon Foundation funded a blue-ribbon panel which said that NISO should work strategically rather than reactively. As a result, NISO has developed a strategic map.

Report of the NISO “Blue Ribbon” Strategic Planning Panel Presented to the NISO Board of Directors May 3, 2005

NISO Strategic Direction approved by the NISO Board of Directors, June 30, 2005

NISO works across the full life cycle of a standard from pre-standard activities right through until a standard becomes obsolete. Roy Tennant was commissioned by NISO as an independent agent to review the standards process. His report, released on Dec. 15, 2005, listed key recommendations to the NISO Board: NISO should

  • register members in their various areas of interest, and have members only vote on standards that come within the purview of those areas, rather than having all members vote on all standards as they do now, even if they individually aren’t knowledgeable in some areas.
  • create a standards path that anyone can follow.
  • hold a substantial annual meeting.
  • hire a standards coordinator (where will the funding come from?).
  • expand its patent policy.

The audience was encouraged to contribute to the NISO strategic planning process by communicating with the Board. Some of Tennant’s recommendations will be voted on by the entire NISO membership.

Pat encouraged interested parties to attend a program from 4-6 on Sunday which will provide an update on other standards.

SUSHI: the Standardized Usage Statistics Harvesting Initiative

Tim Jewell, Head of Collection Management Services, the University of Washington, spoke on SUSHI: the Standardized Usage Statistics Harvesting Initiative and the work of the NISO SUSHI Working Group. Providing a brief historical backdrop, he described the Digital Library Federation (DLF) Electronic Resource Management Initiative (ERMI) which sought to define what electronic resource management systems ought to do. ERMI didn’t tackle statistics because COUNTER was working on that and they wished to avoid duplication of effort. ERMI II involves license expression and data dictionary revision.

Tim also provided a brief recap of COUNTER and its Release 2 of the code of practice for journals and databases. Release 2 has four required reports as well as optional ones that focus on journals. There are 3 reports defined for databases, and 5 for books and reference works.

Some of the problems involved with usage data include

  • The expanding scope of e-resources
  • The resulting proliferation of data
  • COUNTER is helpful, but
  • There is a lack of standardized containers
  • It is time consuming to pull the data together from the many different sources

Tim listed the members of the working group, both the founding members, and the newer members. He presented a slide which provided a graphical illustration of how SUSHI should change the current manual collection of usage data into an automated process. For some of the technical details, he handed off to another member of the SUSHI working group, Ted Fons of Innovative Interfaces.

Ted mentioned that a small group of stakeholders has developed a client-server model in which a client can request information from the server (the database aggregator or producer, or publisher). COUNTER’s XML schema wraps the SUSHI data. The goal is to get the data into the ERM. SOAP is involved because these are designed as web services. They kept it simple and light-weight.

There is lots of information on the SUSHI web site. The Journal Report 1 prototype is finished. A security wrapper will be added, and they plan to test with live data soon.

Next steps include:

  • Publicize the effort, and push for its adoption by data providers
  • Write a NISO “draft standard for trial use”
  • Hold a stakeholder meeting in the spring
  • Gather input, revise the draft into a real standard
  • Expand the effort to encompass other COUNTER reports

License Expression Working Group

The next speaker was Nathan Robertson of the Maryland School of Law. He talked about the work of the License Expression Working Group. The Publishers Licensing Society (PLS), DLF and NISO are cosponsors. The goal is to create a way to communicate license information back and forth. Currently you have to manually encode license terms into your ERM. They are trying to automate this process. You could then, for example, send encoded versions back and forth during license negotiations. You could use the process to communicate with an open link resolver, to communicate license terms to the end user. They are working with ONIX on encoding license values.

Robertson wished to make it abundantly clear that the working group is NOT building a rights expression language that could be used for purposes of DRM. Those systems begin with NO rights, and then only allow those specific rights that the provider wishes to allow. They are NOT DOING THAT.

They are only attempting to express exactly what the licenses say. Silence [in regards to a given right or area] means absolutely nothing either positively or negatively. Their system cannot be used to enable machine language type enforcement.

Their system includes rights statements in ONIX format. It covers ERMI and other things, but will be more granular than ERMI. The working group is evaluating existing licenses and identifying ERMI and other elements and deciding which need to be rigidly encoded in XML and which can be handled by notes.

RFID standards and Issues Progress Report

The next speaker was Dr. Vinod Chachra, CEO VTLS Inc and Chairman of NISO’s working group on RFID standards.

The objective of the working group is to look at RFID standards as used in the United States in regard to the following issues:

  1. Interoperability
  2. Isolation
  3. Privacy concerns
  4. Cost considerations (affordability)

  1. Interoperability: the goal would be to have an RFID tag for a book in one library work in another library, regardless of the vendor(s) or ILS involved.
  2. Isolation: application isolation is what they’re interested in; library tags should not set off alarms in the grocery or video store, or vice versa. Application “family” identifiers are used to tell the software what kind of place (library, grocery store, pharmacy) the tags belong to. Further, there are 2 zones: public and private. ISO groups are setting up 2 family identifiers for libraries, one for items that are checked out, and one for those that are not, since it is important to know which class any given item is in. Another way of handling this piece is to use a specific bit setting instead of separate family identifiers. But if some vendors do it one way, some the other, then there goes your interoperability.
  3. Privacy concerns: what content should be on the RFID tag, or on the bar code? Some privacy concerns are clearly exaggerated; others are real. RFID tags operating at 13.5 mhz can only be read 2-4 inches away from the item, so the idea that someone walking down the street can determine what book you’re reading is exaggerated, and not realistic. The privacy concerns that are valid may apply equally to today’s bar codes, but just haven’t been that much of a concern in the past. The heightened privacy concerns surrounding RFID have made issues that were ignored in the past seemingly more relevant today, and has forced RFID developers to address concerns that have been ignored with bar codes. The working group is working to identify the REAL privacy issues and suggest solutions.
  4. Cost considerations: some groups want more information stored on the RFID tag, such as location info, which would make automatic sorting mechanisms more feasible, and which could aid inventory functions; determining which books are misshelved, etc. The group is looking at which data elements to include while keeping cost down. The more data elements, the more costly the system. The group is attempting to work out compromises in order to make a recommendation.

The Europeans have already done a lot of work in this area. Rather than reinvent the wheel, the group is taking the Danish model and using it as a basis for their work.

Web Services and Practices

Candy Zemon, Senior Product Strategist at Polaris Library Systems and a member of the NISO Web Services and Practices Working Group, spoke about web services interoperability. She defined the problem:

  • The goal is cross-vendor cross-language cross-platform limited purpose communication
  • There are a large variety of web-based and non-web-based methods
  • Do we need standards?
  • Is there time to develop them?

Zemon described VIEWS (Vendor Initiative for Enabling Web Services) which did a lot of work in 2004-5. See www.views-consortia.org. The NISO Web Services and Practices (WSP) Working Group kind of took over this effort from VIEWS. There are both a working group and an interest group (which is larger). The missions are different. NISO is trying to define best practices. Whether or not to produce a standard is not a done deal:

  • These services develop rapidly and readily
  • W3C is also working on it
  • These services are very narrow individually and can be used for lots of stuff

The WSP is charged with producing a best practices document which will

  • ID web services used in the library world
  • Group these services into categories
  • Define best practices for them

See http://www.niso.org/committees/Services/Services_comm.html#charge

Part 2: ISBN-13 Transition

The second section of the program was devoted to the ISBN-13 transition, and featured three speakers.

ISBN-13 ILS Challenges

Theodore “Ted” Fons, Senior Product Manager at Innovative spoke on ISBN-13 ILS challenges.

The ISBN number is scheduled to change from the current 10-digit format to a 13-digit format on Jan. 1, 2007. Fons addressed challenges for

  1. Cataloging
    • Indexing
    • User searching
    • Matching

    For cataloging, you have to deal with two kinds of numbers: the old 10-digit ISBNs and the new 13-digit ones. For previously published numbers, you calculate the 13-digit number from the 10-digit one.

  2. Acquisitions
  3. EDI
    • EDIFACT
    • BISAC: no further work is being done on BISAC (fixed digit)
  4. Timing of interface changes with book vendors
  5. Documentation
    • Industry guides
    • Vendor-provided documentation

ISBN-13 implementations should observe this rule: the burden is always on the system to interpret the number that the user supplies, and respond appropriately, regardless of whether the supplied number is 10 or 13 digits.

Timing is important: the transition period is 1/1/2006 to 12/31/2006. In EDIFACT messages, PIA segments carry 10-digit numbers, LIN segments carry 13-digit numbers. During the transition period, systems should read either type of segment; after the sunrise date, only LIN segments should be read.

For additional information, Google ISBN-13. Some useful sources include:

ISBN-13 and LC

David Williamson, a Cataloging Automation Specialist at the Library of Congress, spoke on the topic of ISBN-13 and LC. LC has developed an implementation plan for ISBN-13 . OCLC’s implementation date was Oct. 1, 2004. LC has been recording ISBNs in pairs for the same manifestation, using separate 020 fields (because subfield a is not a repeatable field). The 13-digit ISBN first, followed by the 10-digit one.

For CIP data they made some exceptions. They provide a maximum of 2 pairs per CIP record; this relates to multi-volume works which would have multiple pairs. All the ISBNs would appear in the cataloging record, just not in the CIP data, as publishers don’t have space for long CIP records.

Back cover EANs (bar code UPC numbers) will not be treated as ISBNs by LC, even though the number could be an ISBN.

LC has put up a handy-dandy ISBN converter which converts in both directions, with or without hyphens.

Currently LC is processing 2000 ISBN-13s per month. 25% of CIP records now include ISBN-13s. It has been an easy translation at LC. They’ve encountered no real problems. The biggest problem has been partners that can’t handle the 13-digit ISBNs, which leads to work-arounds.

Send questions about the presentation to dawi@loc.gov (the speaker’s e-mail address).

ISBN-13 and OCLC

The final speaker was Glenn Patton, Director of the OCLC WorldCat Management Division. OCLC moved WorldCat onto a new platform during the transition period which complicated issues. They didn’t want to waste coding on the old system that was about to become obsolete. Some of Patton’s points:

  • The ISBN is one of the highest-used searches in WorldCat
  • It is a primary matching point for
    1. record loading,
    2. with vendors,
    3. for linking to evaluative content (book covers, tables of content, etc.) in FirstSearch WorldCat.

OCLC’s interim solution (until they moved to the new platform):

  • They told member libraries to put ISBN-13s in the 024 field for now, and code them as EANs (this posed problems for LC, as they were putting them in 020)
  • They converted incoming 13s to 024
  • They recommended searching using the “standard number” field, not ISBN fields

OCLC’s plans include:

  • They may convert all WorldCat 10-digit ISBNs to 13-digit ones, or they may convert only the more recent ones
  • They will inform members on how and when to get their interim records replaced with final corrected ones