General information

NISO OpenURL and Metasearch Workshop

While it might seem self-serving, I cannot help but further promote an important NISO workshop that his coming up next month.

This 3-day event will update librarians, middleware vendors, and content providers (which includes libraries, folks!) about OpenURL and Metasearch, and their innovative uses in libraries.

Day 1 is devoted to OpenURL. While the technology may be commoditized by now, there are some interesting things going on with its application. Moreover, version 1.0 is in full release, which has implications for upgrades and development.

Day 2 includes an update on the NISO Metasearch Initiative, including the release of several important documents from its three committees–Access Management, Collection Description, and Search & Retrieval. These include best practices and draft standards. While it may seem like a long time coming, all three committees have created what will be very important work in moving metasearch standards forward. Some brief words about all three:

* Access Management (NISO Committee BA)
Led by Mike Teets of OCLC, this group has done extensive research on authentication and authorization as it relates to metasearch. Their findings will rank and recommend metasearch-related authentication methods. This is the best work on authentication I have seen since Clifford Lynch’s seminal white paper from 1998.

* Collection Description (NISO Committee BB)
Really collection and service description, this committee is led by Juha Hakala, University of Finland, with subcommittee leadership from Pete Johnston, UKOLN (Collection Description) and Larry Dixson, Library of Congress (Service Description). Draft standards for both components, based on Dublin Core and ZeeRex, respectively, will be released at the workshop.

* Search and Retrieval (NISO Committee BC)
Led by Sara Randall, Endeavor, and Katherine Kott, DLF, the third group has had the gargantuan task of recommending not only a better standard for actual search and retrieval of data, but also suggested citation-level metadata (based on OpenURL 1.0). Work included very careful evaluation of SRW/SRU, on which the recommended NISO XML Gateway (or NISO MXG…pronounced “mix-gee”) is based. The group also had discussions with developers at A9 about Opensearch and its future directions.

For background on the NISO Metasearch Initiative, see the wiki.

Day 3 of the workshop will include actual implementation training for OpenURL and Metasearch. While primarily geared toward commercial content providers, I feel strongly that librarians need to get on board and put our develop efforts where our mouths are. If local digital collections are our bread and butter, then we need to make sure that they are OpenURL and metasearch compliant.

LITA and Standards–they go together, and I hope to see plenty of LITA faces in D.C. in September.