OPDS Catalog 1.0 Specification

The OPDS Catalog 1.0 specification has been released.

Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

The open ebook community and the Internet Archive are pleased to announce the release of the first production version of the Open Publication Distribution System (OPDS) Catalog format for digital content. OPDS Catalogs are an open standard designed to enable the discovery of digital content from any location, on any device, and for any application. . . .

Based on the widely implemented Atom Syndication Format, OPDS Catalogs have been developed since 2009 by a group of ebook developers, publishers, librarians, and booksellers interested in providing a lightweight, simple, and easy to use format for developing catalogs of digital books, magazines, and other content.

Reference Model for an Open Archival Information System (OAIS) Draft for Review

A near-final draft of the Reference Model for an Open Archival Information System (OAIS) has been made available for error-checking review.

Here's an excerpt:

This document is a technical Recommendation for use in developing a broader consensus on what is required for an archive to provide permanent, or indefinite long-term, preservation of digital information.

This Recommendation establishes a common framework of terms and concepts which comprise an Open Archival Information System (OAIS). It allows existing and future archives to be more meaningfully compared and contrasted. It provides a basis for further standardization within an archival context and it should promote greater vendor awareness of, and support of, archival requirements.


Profile of Todd Carpenter, Managing Director of NISO

The Society for Scholarly Publishing has published a profile of Todd Carpenter, who is the Managing Director of the National Information Standards Organization.

Here's an excerpt:

[SSP] Where do you see scholarly communications heading, and what new directions interest you most?

[Carpenter] I see the following as critical areas that are in most desperate need of attention in our community: discovery, license and ownership questions, and preservation. On the questions of discovery, thanks to Google, we seem to have forgotten all of the advances in organization that libraries have developed over decades in finding information and have turned to rely solely on keyword searching. This works well enough 80% of the time. The problem is that people have become satisfied with the 80% results that Google returns in fractions of a second, not understanding that there may be something critical in that remaining 20%. Incorporating into search classification structures, ontologies, and improved semantics—all common under different guises in the print world—is a critical component to ensuring that ALL relevant content is visible to users. . . .

The directions that interest me most include ebooks and display technology, identification of items, people and content, and copyright. The next transformation of our industry will likely be in how people access digital content—moving away from the desktop to something that more resembles the experience of using a book. Much of this will depend on developments with display technology, digital ink, and battery power. How people interact with content is going to come down to better solutions for identification of people and content. Control of access to content will be driven by advances in identity management. This likely won't come out of the publishing world (more likely banking or government), but will have incredible ramifications on how scholarship and all content is distributed. Finally, sharing and reuse of content is not likely to be contained by the current rules for copyright. Restructuring those rules to acknowledge and allow what most people want to do with content will be a key question worth watching if copyright is to continue to have any respect by end-users of content.


NISO to Form Single Sign-On Authentication Working Group

NISO will form a single sign-on authentication working group.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

NISO is pleased to announce the approval by the NISO Voting Members of a new work item to focus on perfecting single-sign-on (SSO) authentication to achieve seamless item-level linking in a networked information environment. A new working group will be formed under the auspices of NISO's Discovery to Delivery Topic Committee to create one or more recommended practices that will explore practical solutions for improving the success of SSO authentication technologies and to promote the adoption of one or more of these solutions to make the access improvements a reality.

This work item is the outcome of NISO's new Chair's Initiative, an annual project of the chair of NISO's Board of Directors. NISO's current Chair, Oliver Pesch (Chief Strategist, EBSCO Information Services), has identified single-sign-on authentication as an area that would benefit greatly from study and development within NISO, with a focus on a solution that will allow a content site to know which authentication method to use without special login URLs in order to provide a seamless experience for the user. Possible solutions include providing a generic mechanism for passing the authentication method from site to site; use of cookies to remember the authentication method that was used the last time the site was accessed by that computer; and/or providing a mechanism to discover if the user has an active session for one of the common SSO authentication methods. "By developing recommended practices that will help make the SSO environment work better (smarter)," said Pesch, "libraries and information providers will improve the ability for users to successfully and seamlessly access the content to which they are entitled."

Open Publication Distribution System Draft Released

Bill McCoy, General Manager of ePublishing Business at Adobe Systems, has announced the release of a draft version of the Open Publication Distribution System.

Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

Stanza, the leading iPhone eBook software, includes an excellent online catalog system that enables users to seamlessly acquire free and commercial content from within the application. The Lexcycle team built this system in an open, extensible manner using Atom. Adobe and Lexcycle have been working together on Adobe PDF and EPUB eBook support, and now we are deepening that collaboration in working together, along with the Internet Archive and others, to establish an open architecture enabling widespread discovery, description, and access of book and other published material on the open web. The Open Publication Distribution System (OPDS) is a generalization of the Atom approach used by Stanza's online catalog. I'm grateful to the Lexcycle team as well as my friend and colleague Peter Brantley for their efforts on behalf of open access and interoperability.

Read more about it at “Adobe Teams Up With Stanza to Create Open EBook Catalog Standard.”

Draft Standard for Exchange of Library Acquisitions Data: Cost of Resource Exchange (CORE) Protocol

NISO has released the Cost of Resource Exchange (CORE) Protocol (Z39.95-200x) as a Draft Standard for Trial Use.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

The CORE draft standard defines an XML schema to facilitate the exchange of financial information related to the acquisition of library resources between systems, such as an ILS and an ERMS. The document was approved on March 31, 2009 by the Business Information Topic Committee, which provides oversight to the CORE Working Group.

The CORE standard is being issued for a one-year trial use period, to run from April 1, 2009 through March 31, 2010. Following the DFSTU phase will be an evaluation and correction period before final publication.

"I am very pleased that CORE is available for trial use after just eight months' time. The CORE Working Group has produced a standard that provides a simple and effective solution to the problem of exchanging cost-related data from one system to another," commented Todd Carpenter, NISO's Managing Director.

Digital Preservation: JHOVE2 Functional Requirements Version 1.3 Released

JHOVE2 Functional Requirements version 1.3 has been released. (Thanks to the File Formats Blog.)

Here's an excerpt from the JHOVE Project Scope:

JHOVE has proven to be a successful tool for format-specific digital object identification, validation, and characterization, and has been integrated into the workflows of most major international preservation institutions and programs. Using an extensible plug-in architecture, JHOVE provides support for a variety of digital formats commonly used to represent audio, image, and textual content.

"Digital Project Staff Survey of JPEG 2000 Implementation in Libraries"

David Lowe and Michael J. Bennett, both of the University of Connecticut Libraries, have made "Digital Project Staff Survey of JPEG 2000 Implementation in Libraries" available in DigitalCommons@UConn.

Here's an excerpt from the abstract:

JPEG 2000 is the product of thorough efforts toward an open standard by experts in the imaging field. With its key components for still images published officially by the ISO/IEC by 2002, it has been solidly stable for several years now, yet its adoption has been considered tenuous enough to cause imaging software developers to question the need for continued support. Digital archiving and preservation professionals must rely on solid standards, so in the fall of 2008 we undertook a survey among implementers (and potential implementers) to capture a snapshot of JPEG 2000’s status, with an eye toward gauging its perception in our community.

The survey results reveal several key areas that JPEG 2000’s user community will need to have addressed in order to further enhance adoption of the standard, including perspectives from cultural institutions that have adopted it already, as well as insights from institutions that do not currently have it in their workflows. Current users are concerned about limited compatible software capabilities with an eye toward needed enhancements. They realize also that there is much room for improvement in the area of educating and informing the cultural heritage community about the advantages of JPEG 2000. A small set of users, in addition, alerts us to serious problems of cross-codec consistency and relate file validation issues that would likely be easily resolved given a modicum of collaborative attention toward standardization.

Book Industry Study Group BookDROP 1.0 Standard Released

The Book Industry Study Group's Digital Standards Committee has released BookDROP 1.0, which is "a standard intended to support the search and discovery of digital book content on the Web."

Here's an excerpt from the standard's description:

It was first published on December 8, 2008 and was developed jointly by the Book Industry Study Group and the Association of American Publishers. BookDROP defines a set of HTTP transactions between a publishers digital book archive and the websites of the publisher's syndication partners. The overall goal of BookDROP is to encourage the discovery, search, browse and distribution of digital book content across the Web while allowing publishers to manage the quality and availability of their content.

Read more about it at "BISG Unveils BookDROP Standard for Digital Book Repositories."

Digital Repository Log Standards: Final Report: JISC Usage Statistics Review

JISC has released Final Report: Usage Statistics Review.

Here's an excerpt:

The JISC Usage Statistics Review Project is aimed at formulating a fundamental scheme for repository log files and at proposing a standard for their aggregation to provide meaningful and comparable item-level usage statistics for electronic documents like e.g. research papers and scientific resources. . . .

The thus described usage events should be exchanged in the form of OpenURL Context Objects using OAI. Automated access (e.g. robots) should be tagged. . . .

With the JISC-funded Publisher and Institutional Repository Usage Statistics (PIRUS) and the DFG-funded Open-Access-Statistics there are two projects which will formulate standards for usage statistics and work on their implementation. To reach broad comparability national efforts should be bundled together. A central authority—which could for example be the Digital Repository Infrastructure Vision for European Research (DRIVER)—should aggregate the usage data. . . .

Policies on statistics should be formulated for the repository community as well as the publishing community. Information about statistics policies should be available on services like OpenDOAR and RoMEO.

JPEG 2000—A Practical Digital Preservation Standard?

The Digital Preservation Coalition has published JPEG 2000—A Practical Digital Preservation Standard?.

Here's an excerpt from the "Executive Summary":

With JPEG 2000, an application can access and decode only as much of the compressed image as needed to perform the task at hand. This means a viewer, for example, can open a gigapixel image almost instantly by retrieving and decompressing a low resolution, display-sized image from the JPEG 2000 codestream.

JPEG 2000 also improves a user’s ability to interact with an image. The zoom, pan, and rotate operations that users increasingly expect in networked image systems are performed dynamically by accessing and decompressing just those parts of the JPEG 2000 codestream containing the compressed image data for the region of interest. The JPEG 2000 data can be either converted to JPEG and delivered for viewing with a standard image browser or delivered to a native JPEG 2000 viewer using the JPIP client-server protocol, developed to support the JPEG 2000 feature set.

Using a single JPEG 2000 master to satisfy user requests for dynamic viewing reduces storage costs and management overhead by eliminating the need to maintain multiple derivatives in a repository.

Beyond image access and distribution, JPEG 2000 is being used increasingly as a repository and archival image format. What is remarkable is that many repositories are storing “visually lossless” JPEG 2000 files: the compression is lossy and irreversible but the artefacts are not noticeable and do not interfere with the performance of applications. Compared to uncompressed TIFF, visually lossless JPEG 2000 compression can reduce the amount of storage by an order of magnitude or more.

NISO Releases SERU: A Shared Electronic Resource Understanding

The National Information Standards Organization has released SERU: A Shared Electronic Resource Understanding. The document "codifies best practices for the sale of e-resources without license agreements."

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

SERU offers publishers and librarians the opportunity to save both the time and the costs associated with a negotiated and signed license agreement by agreeing to operate within a framework of shared understanding and good faith.

Publication of SERU follows a trial-use period of June through December 2007, during which time librarians and publishers reported—all positively—on their experiences using the draft document. . . .

The SERU Working Group was launched in late 2006 following the recommendation of participants in a meeting exploring opportunities to reduce the use of licensing agreements. The 2006 meeting was sponsored by ARL, NISO, the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers (ALPSP), the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC), and the Society for Scholarly Publishing (SSP). More information about the SERU Working Group, including FAQs and an electronic mailing list, can be found at http://www.niso.org/committees/seru/.

Adobe PDF 1.7 Becomes ISO 32000 Standard (DIS)

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has approved Adobe PDF (Portable Document Format) 1.7 as the ISO 32000 standard (DIS). Comments about the new standard will be addressed early next year, and they will either be resolved, followed by the publication of a revision of the standard, or the DIS standard will become a Final Draft International Standard (FDIS), subject to a two-month vote.

Read more about it at: "Adobe's PDF Now an ISO Standard" and "PDF Approved as International Standard."

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