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Newsletter May 2013


London Book Fair 2013

Thanks to all of our members and colleagues for helping to make EDItEUR’s participation in the recent London Book Fair such a success. We very much appreciated the levels of support at our ONIX for Books International Steering Committee and EDItEUR Open Meeting. We were also very pleased with the reaction to our inaugural LBF stand in the Digital Zone (with many thanks to the International Digital Publishing Forum, who took the lead in arranging the stand and shared it with EDItEUR.) You can read news items relating to specific areas of our work in the relevant sections below.

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ONIX for Books

International Steering Committee

Representatives of the various ONIX national groups attended the ONIX International Steering Committee meeting during the London Book Fair.

The committee, which includes representatives of each of the ONIX National Groups from around the world, guides the future development of ONIX. Graham Bell reported on technical developments over the preceding six months, particularly the development and test release of the ONIX 3.0 Schematron (see below) and initial work developing an ONIX for Books Acknowledgement message.

Complete minutes of the meeting will be posted on the EDItEUR website at http://bit.ly/16SpWUc as soon as they have been approved by all attendees of the meeting.

Codelists Issue 21

Issue 21 of the ONIX codelists was released in late April, having been approved by the National Groups and by the ONIX International Steering Committee at its meeting.

This issue of the codelists contains around twenty new codes across a range of lists, including codes for a number of French e-book retailers to enable sales restrictions to be described in that market. Details of the new codes can be downloaded from http://bit.ly/ZDtUIF, and they have been incorporated into the various documentation and schema packages for ONIX 2.1 at http://bit.ly/QpiwAs and ONIX 3.0 at http://bit.ly/13KFz92.

The ONIX 3.0 schema packages also include slightly updated versions of the DTD, XSL and RNG files, for improved validation of ONIX XML files. If you are validating ONIX 3.0 files, then using the latest versions of the schema files is strongly recommended.

ONIX 3.0 Schematron

Schematron is an ‘advanced schema’ which was first described in the September 2012 newsletter at http://bit.ly/1aacWpl. Since then, the scope of the various rules and tests it applies has been greatly extended, and the code has been improved to improve the future maintainability of the Schematron.

Testing ONIX files with the Schematron complements validation with the XSD file – the Schematron tests requirements of the standard that the XSD cannot. It checks:

Updated versions of the ONIX 3.0 Schematron are regularly posted to the EDItEUR website at http://bit.ly/13KFz92. You will need some technical knowledge and specialist XML software to use it, so it’s not for everyone, but it enables much more thorough checking of messages.

EDItEUR will not develop a Schematron for ONIX 2.1, but for organizations wishing to do so for their own use, much of the existing Schematron can be reused. However, because of the very large number of deprecated but still valid elements in 2.1, a significant amount of new work will be necessary too.

ONIX training

EDItEUR delivered its Bibliographic metadata and ONIX: practical guidance and best practice training course on behalf of BIC in London on 14 May, at a new venue, the British Library. This popular course will run again on 26 June: further details and booking available at http://bit.ly/13N0XOe. An Advanced ONIX course is in development for September: initial details are available at http://bit.ly/187jB78.

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ONIX for Licensing Terms

EDItEUR to participate in NISO ONIX-PL project

In March the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation confirmed the award of a grant to the US National Information Standards Organization (NISO) to support the encoding of a collection of template licences for e-resources into the ONIX for Publications Licenses (ONIX-PL) format. During this one-year project, a set of widely-used template licences, from publisher and library sources, will be encoded into ONIX-PL. The resulting XML expressions will be deposited into an openly-available knowledge base (GO-Kb and KB+) for free distribution to the library, publishing, and library systems community. The deposited expressions will allow libraries that license electronic content to import template licences into their resource management systems for further local customization to match their negotiated terms and implementation. The project will also fund training resources to inform community members on how to use the expressions in this way.

The work of obtaining the template licences and creating ONIX-PL expressions is being undertaken by Selden Lamoureux, formerly Electronic Resources Librarian at North Carolina State University and at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. EDItEUR is providing advice and consultancy throughout the project; and we were very pleased to welcome her to our London office in March for training in ONIX-PL and the OPLE editing software, and for discussions on the project.

JISC Collections, the division of the UK’s Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) that manages electronic content acquisitions for institutions of higher and further education, is providing additional funding to support the project and is participating in the work. JISC has worked with EDItEUR from the very early stages of ONIX-PL development, and has encoded most of the licenses for JISC Collections-subscribed content. JISC ONIX expressions are held in an online database which is searchable by member institutions.

The KnowledgeBase Plus (KB+) and Global Open Knowledgebase (GO-Kb) projects, mentioned above, are led respectively by JISC Collections and the Kuali OLE consortium, who are collaborating to design and develop comprehensive knowledge bases on e-resources for academic libraries. More information may be found at http://bit.ly/120zDOT and at http://bit.ly/18jYtYU.

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News from ICEDIS: serials, subscriptions & library supply

ICEDIS Meeting at UKSG

There was a well-attended meeting of the ICEDIS Committee on the final day of the UKSG conference in Bournemouth on 10 April. Participants learned more about recent work (more details below) on New Orders and on the Structured Name & Address model and discussed the plans of member organizations to implement some of the newer standards in this area. Prioritization discussions signposted several interesting directions, which will be developed over coming months.

One major strand was that there is a pressing need to be able to communicate standard identifiers (such as the Ringgold ID, ISNI and ORCID) more easily between business partners. The legacy ICEDIS standards (most notably, the Renewals format) are ill-equipped for carrying this type of information – new identifiers have of course emerged since the old standards were originally formulated – and there is little or no "space" available to cater for this need.

Taking this together with the emergence over past decades of online products, packages and complex pricing – none of which were really around when the legacy standards were formulated – there was consensus that the time has arrived to give very serious consideration to re-engineering and replacing the legacy standards. EDItEUR will produce a discussion document on "sunsetting" the legacy ICEDIS standards (of course, after an adequate period for planning, development work and communication), for consideration ahead of the Frankfurt ICEDIS meeting.

Separately, ICEDIS will investigate whether it might usefully collaborate with the Association of Subscription Agents and Intermediaries (ASA) on a joint approach to streamlining claims handling and other business processes of shared interest. And several participants expressed an interest in the possibility of a validation or endorsement scheme, both to underpin the quality of information exchanges and to promote wider adoption of standards.

Structured Name & Address Model

Progress continues to be made by the ICEDIS Working Group looking at a Structured Name & Address Model. In recent months a ‘paper pilot’ has been underway to test the model. The group has assembled a small library of almost 100 name & address types and analyzed each to see how well it maps against the emerging model.

In its first concrete application, the model has been incorporated into the New Order message (see next), wherever name, address and party identifier information is required. An XML schema has been prepared to support this and relevant values added to the ONIX Serials Codelists. Also, the Overview document describing the model has been updated to a new version 0.121, to include recent modifications and improvements. All of these materials are available from the website, at http://bit.ly/PzlJsT.

New Orders for Subscription Products

We recently reached a key stage in the development of the New Orders message. Following extensive discussion within the ICEDIS Working Group, we have agreed the draft structure of the message and are now ready to arrange pilot exchanges. After the Working Group hammered out working conclusions on e-activation information and license details, EDItEUR has produced an updated Overview document, an XML schema and comprehensive HTML documentation for the New Orders message.

As mentioned elsewhere, a significant feature of the message is the inclusion in several places of the Structured Name & Address Model, which we hope should significantly improve record matching and thus, efforts to automate the ingestion of this new message. If you would like to know more about the New Orders work or wish to participate in pilot exchanges, please contact Tim Devenport via info@editeur.org. More information and downloadable copies of all the resources mentioned above can be found at http://bit.ly/10StMYz.

ONIX for Price Catalog (ONIX-PC)

With the 2014 pricing season fast approaching, participants at the ICEDIS Meeting discussed ways of broadening the adoption of the standard. One key issue identified is that there are still significant differences in interpretation between early implementers, leading to additional downstream work for the receiving agents. ICEDIS members were agreed that prompt action needs to be taken to harmonize ONIX-PC files, wherever they are produced, and two initiatives are underway that it is hoped will assist in this process.

First, EDItEUR has recently produced a set of sample ONIX-PC files, showing how several typical business & pricing models should be encoded. Three types of sample have been published to date on the EDItEUR website, and each is available in both PDF (human readable) and XSD formats, the latter being XML files that have been formally validated against the ONIX-PC schema.

Second, we are arranging an ONIX-PC workshop in early June to provide guidance on implementation and in particular to identify differences in interpretation between the early implementers, almost all of whom will be represented at the workshop. Space is very limited at this event, kindly sponsored by Elsevier. But if it proves popular, EDItEUR hopes in future to institute more frequent training and implementation workshops of this kind.

More information and all of the published resources for ONIX-PC are available here: http://bit.ly/14TWhoO.

Serials Codelists – Issue 6

Development of the New Orders message and the Structured Name & Address model has made it necessary to add new values (and in some cases, entirely new codelists) to the controlled codelists that underpin EDItEUR’s standards. With this in mind, we have produced an updated Issue 6 of the ONIX Serials Codelists and published this on the EDItEUR website at http://bit.ly/10StSzr. Following recent practice, the codelists are available in XSD format (to work in conjunction with the various XML schemas) and also in HTML (human readable!), CSV and TXT formats. The changes and additions in this particular release are clearly highlighted in the HTML version.

Future ICEDIS Meetings

The next ICEDIS Committee Meeting will in Frankfurt on the afternoon of Monday 7 October, just ahead of the opening of the Frankfurt Book Fair.

Following that, the next ICEDIS Meeting in North America will be held in Charleston, SC during the week of the Charleston Conference: the meeting is likely to be on Wednesday 6 November but we will communicate further details when arrangements are finalized.

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Other Major Projects

Enabling Technologies Framework Project

The recent focus of the Enabling Technologies Framework project has been on preparation for various conferences, and the continuation of the training programme and guidelines. The final update of the guidelines (version 4.0) is now underway and will ready in English in time for the DAISY conference in Copenhagen in June. The guidelines are available in 6 languages in total and these others will be updated soon afterwards.

LIBF e-book club panel

The biggest event on the ETF calendar was at LIBF April 2013. EDItEUR helped to organize the accessibility event alongside PLS and RNIB, as on previous occasions, and Great expectations of e-books went down well, attracting around 175 delegates. The purpose of the session was:

By way of an e-book club panel chaired by the BBC’s Torin Douglas, four readers gave the audience an insight into their experiences with the e-readers of their choice and demonstrated how they choose to read. Three of the panel of four were print-impaired: each of the four showed how they read the same paragraph from Great Expectations, using adjustable fonts, text-to-speech and electronic Braille. This session was followed by hands-on opportunities for the audience to try out a range of e-book reading devices.

On training, we have completed four training modules, two of which are currently available via our website where we have now developed a new training section: http://bit.ly/MxTDdg.

The third and fourth modules will be available on the same site very shortly, and look at Accessible Images, and Metadata and Accessibility.

In order to promote awareness for the guidelines and the Enabling Technologies Framework Project, we have set up a Twitter account and regularly ‘tweet’ about the guidelines and events. In addition, we ‘re-tweet’ important information on publishing and accessibility to our followers. We currently have over 180 followers from a diverse range of industries, and this activity has helped to increase awareness of our project in all communities. Do please join us and show your support – @accessiblebooks.

Linked Heritage

Linked Heritage (http://bit.ly/NKMicv) is 30-month EC co-funded project, in which EDItEUR is a work package leader, will soon draw to a close. EDItEUR’s final report, D4.3 Specification of Legal / Licensing Environment, will soon be available at the Linked Heritage website at http://bit.ly/187kBYV, and linked from EDItEUR’s project page at http://bit.ly/Z1H6Jm. It details the challenges and opportunities in the current legal and licensing frameworks of Europeana and the commercial world, possible approaches for contributing proof-of-concept data before the end of Linked Heritage and final thoughts on directions for future projects. The report delivered the following specific findings:

  1. Legal framework – copyright and database rights in existing data.

    The discussion of data licensing frameworks rests on the concept of intellectually property law, which is established on a Europe-wide basis. Our report examines bibliographic and other media product data in detail to establish which data elements, data records and datasets will be protected by copyright and database right, and under which conditions. It finds that not only is commercial data always covered at least by database right and probably also – in some aspects – by copyright, but it may also contain elements or records that are licensed from other parties and should have their reuse rights cleared before contribution to another aggregator. In the context of Europeana’s decision to use a CC0 rights waiver for republishing its data, there are serious doubts that anything more than a bare minimum of commercial information can be contributed to Europeana without infringing the rights of the metadata ‘owner’. This section also emphasises that commercial metadata is not (relatively) static as in most cultural heritage databases, but highly dynamic: commercial metatdata might better be viewed as a form of data service whose value lies in continual update and correction.

  2. Licensing framework – enabling a proof-of-concept agreement

    Semi-formal discussions with commercial publishers, books-in-print and other product information services, and others in the books and media supply chains, allowed us to identify clearly the likely costs and benefits to actors at each stage of the supply chain, were they to contribute data to Europeana. The conclusion is that in general, the actors with the most and richest databases probably have the least to gain, in commercial terms, from sharing the data under CC0. Under present conditions a very small subset of relevant product records, from the smallest commercial actors, could potentially be available to Europeana. But for large-scale data contributions, new licenses appropriate to commercial data service business models would be required.

    A prototype licensing agreement was constructed, taking into account the needs of Europeana, the Linked Heritage project’s data aggregation infrastructure, and of course the concerns of smaller commercial operations, especially those attached to heritage sector institutions. This serves to illustrate the needs of such potential contributors, and the gaps between those needs and the terms currently on offer from Europeana.

  3. Recommendations for new services

    Based on this research, new services for integrating commercial book (and other media product) data into Europeana will require some level of investment, both in time and resources (analogous services investigated during the project all had dedicated staff) and for any scale, also in database service contracts in order to supply updated, high quality data content. Potentially, data management infrastructure, such as an aggregation platform, record deduplication, and identifier registration and resolution, would also be required in order to integrate commercially valuable logistics data such as price and availability, as well as simply descriptive data, allowing other supply chain partners to derive value from contributing.

The report records the practical steps taken to prepare proof-of-concept data sets in readiness for one-off contributions to Europeana through Linked Heritage’s workflows (though as yet no data has been published this way); this means that clear guidelines exist which future projects could build on to take forward this work.

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Forthcoming Events

BookExpo America

29 May–1 June 2013
Javits Center, 655 West 34th Street, New York, N.Y. 10001, U.S.A.

BookExpo America (BEA) is the ideal place for content creators and consumers to discover new books, meet favourite and new authors, learn about trends shaping the book industry, and network with those have a passion for books and reading. The event will give attendees access to the largest show floor in North America with 1,300+ exhibitors, as well as special events and the Digital Discovery Zone (D2Z) brought to you by IDPF. Please see the website at http://bit.ly/Ym3z04 for full details.

NASIG Conference

5–9 June 2013
Hyatt Regency Buffalo Hotel and Conference Center, Two Fountain Plaza, Buffalo, New York, USA 14202

The 28th annual NASIG conference will take place in Buffalo, NY, in June 2013. It provides a casual venue for preconferences, formal sessions, practical workshops, special events, and networking. An emphasis on thoughtful discourse and informality promotes an intensity of purpose not always possible at other conferences, and this year’s event will be no exception.

SSP 35th Annual Meeting

5–7 June 2013
San Francisco Marriott Marquis Hotel, 55 Fourth Street, San Francisco, CA 94103, USA

The Society of Scholarly Publishing presents the 35th SSP Annual Meeting entitled "Surviving (and Thriving!) in Our Multi-Access World: Navigating the New Publishing Paradigm", which will take place in San Francisco, California. The SSP Annual Meeting is the focal point for those engaged in scholarly communication. By bringing professionals together in an open exchange of the newest technical and industry related information, the meeting provides the highest standards in professional communication.

Future Publishing and Accessibility Conference

13–14 June 2013
CPH-Conference, Tietgensgade 65, DK 1704 Copenhagen V, Denmark

The Future Publishing and Accessibility conference will highlight and encourage conversations surrounding the perspectives for the future of publishing and accessibility. Discussions will take place regarding topics such as ‘Will the role of publishing companies, manufacturers and libraries change dramatically?’, ‘Who will be the dominating players in the future?’, and ‘What will be the socio-economic and commercial consequences?’ Please see the website at http://bit.ly/YjKIG8.

ALA Annual Conference and Exhibition

27 June–2 July 2013
McCormick Place, 2301 South Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, Illinois 60616, United States (with some events at other venues)

ALA Annual Conference programs, updates, conversations, and other events cover key issues such as digital content and e-books, technology in libraries, innovation, books and hundreds of authors, leadership, library advocacy, community engagement, and library marketing. There’s also a wide range of networking opportunities and fun events. Please see the website at http://ala13.ala.org/ for a full list of events and schedules.

BIC Training Course – Bibliographic metadata and ONIX: practical guidance and best practice

26 June 2013
British Library Conference Centre, 96 Euston Road, London NW1 2DB, United Kingdom

This is a one-day course that introduces the business value of accurate metadata, then provides a thorough and authoritative, ground-up introduction to ONIX for Books, and concludes with a look at best practices and some of the trickier parts of the ONIX message. It covers both ONIX 2.1 and 3.0, and it’s relevant to both e-books and physical products.The course is suitable both for beginners with no pre-existing knowledge of ONIX or XML, and for those with practical experience.

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For further details, contact

Mark Bide, Executive Director
United House
North Road
London, N7 9DP
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7503 6418
Mobile: +44 (0) 7785 306267
E-mail: mark@editeur.org

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