May 25, 2022

Standards: NISO Launching Three New Projects To Support Exchange/Interoperability of Bibliographic Data

From Today’s National Information Standards Organization (NISO) Announcement:

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.”

Three Projects (via Approved Work Item Proposal)

  • Policies Supporting Vocabulary Use and Reuse
  • Documentation
  • Preservation of RDF vocabularies

Learn More: Direct to NISO Bibliographic Roadmap Development Project Info Resources

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About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.