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The voting members of the National Information Standards Organization (NISO)
have approved three new projects to develop standards to better support
exchange and interoperability of bibliographic data. These projects were
identified as high priorities in NISO's Bibliographic Roadmap pre-standards
initiative, which was funded by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon
Foundation. The goal of that project was to collectively determine the needs
and requirements of the new bibliographic framework in a global, networked
information environment and to develop community consensus for a roadmap of
activities needed in this space. Following the issuance of the Bibliographic
Roadmap final report in April 2014, NISO's Content and Collection Management
(CCM) Topic Committee evaluated the recommendations and prepared a new work
item proposal focusing on three of the top prioritized areas: Vocabulary
policies on use and reuse, Vocabulary documentation, and Vocabulary
preservation requirements.

"Differences in vocabularies and the communities that manage them are often
seen to be a hurdle to interoperability," explains Marti Heyman, Executive
Director, Metadata Standards and Services at Cengage Learning, and Co-Chair
of the CCM Topic Committee. "Different vocabularies also present challenges
because quality control, maintenance strategies, and usage policies vary
across the sets. Provenance of vocabulary data is critical to understand the
management needs of aggregated data as it ages and changes."

"One barrier to vocabulary exchange and interoperability is the lack of
policies relevant to use and re-use of vocabularies by organizations other
than the owner or maintainer of the vocabulary," states Betty Landesman,
Head of Technical Services and Content Management at University of
Baltimore, Langsdale Library, and Co-Chair of the CCM Topic Committee.
"Documentation of vocabularies is also important for their users, and a
minimum set of information to be documented should be defined. Many
vocabularies are developed under a short-term funded project and the
long-term sustainability and preservation of the vocabulary is endangered
when the project funding ends. Pathways forward for managing and supporting
such "orphan" vocabularies need to be defined."

"We are looking for a diversity of participants in these projects beyond
just libraries," said Nettie Lagace, NISO Associate Program Director. "In
addition to libraries involved in the bibliographic framework design and
implementation, we are encouraging organizations such as library system
vendors, abstracting and indexing (A&I) services, and developers or users of
standardized vocabularies and metadata for describing resources to volunteer
their experts to help develop these new standards."

The approved proposal for the vocabulary projects and the final report from
the Bibliographic Roadmap project are available on the NISO website at:
www.niso.org/topics/tl/BibliographicRoadmap/. Anyone interested in
participating on one of the vocabulary working groups should use the online
contact form (www.niso.org/contact/) and indicate in which of the three
projects you are interested.

 

 

Cynthia Hodgson

Technical Editor / Consultant

National Information Standards Organization

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301-654-2512