The Standards Interest Group meeting on January 12th from 4-6 was very informative. Todd Carpenter, the managing director of NISO, began by giving the group a very thorough report on current NISO activities. Mr. Carpenter described 2007 as a very busy and fruitful year for NISO. NISO received a quarter of a million dollars in grants in 2007. It also passed one standard (SUSHI; Z39.93), two recommended practices and three initiatives. Among many other activities, NISO also finished the third edition of its popular “Framework for Building Good Digital Collections.”
According to Todd Carpenter, 2008 will also be a busy year for NISO. For example, a working group to explore issues surrounding institutional identification has recently been formed. This working group will propose an identifier that will both uniquely identify institutions and describe relationships between entities within institutions. One of its first tasks is to review the existing institutional identifiers, such as those found in the MARC Code List for Organizations.
NISO will also hold four “Thought Leader” meetings in 2008 that will bring experts together to discuss topics currently of interest to the standards community. Possible topics for future Thought Leader meetings include preservation issues, cataloging and information exchange and the Semantic Web.
Another important activity that NISO hopes to accomplish in 2008 is to begin to develop partnerships with other standards bodies, such as OASIS. It is also pursuing secretariat responsibilities for ISO TC 46/SC9. The ISO TC 46/SC9 is responsible for such standards as ISBN and ISSN.
After Mr. Carpenter presented, Holly Eggleston of the University of California, San Diego spoke about Shibboleth and electronic resources. “Shibboleth is standards-based, open source middleware software which provides Web Single SignOn (SSO) across or within organizational boundaries. It allows sites to make informed authorization decisions for individual access of protected online resources in a privacy-preserving manner” (From the Shibboleth web page at: http://shibboleth.internet2.edu/). Two goals of Shibboleth is to improve access to licensed electronic resources, regardless of user location and to create a consistent user experience. Ms. Eggleston presented several scenarios of how to use Shibboleth to meet these goals. One scenario showed how Shibboleth may be used with EZproxy, an inexpensive server side proxy system. Holly Eggleston also described how Shibboleth is being used by the University of California, San Diego libraries.
As an update, the ISO Technical Management Board has assigned the responsibilities of managing the Secretariat for TC46 SC9 to NISO effective in the spring of 2008. NISO will be working to transition the current Secretariat from the Library and Archives Canada to NISO and will be working with the current SC9 leadership–Brian Green (EDItEUR), Chair and Jane Thacker (LAC)–on this move. The next plenary meeting will be held in Stockholm in mid-May. People at US-based organizations are welcome to participate, but must first contact the NISO offices by emailing nisohq [at] niso [dot] org
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