The National Information Standards Organization (NISO) announces the
publication of a new recommended practice, Open Discovery Initiative:
Promoting Transparency in Discovery (NISO RP-19-2014), which provides
specific guidelines on participation in the new generation of library
discovery services. The NISO Open Discovery Initiative (ODI) began work in
2011 to develop recommendations that would increase transparency across all
aspects of indexed discovery services. The group's final publication
includes guidelines to content providers on disclosure of level of
participation, the minimum set of metadata elements provided for indexing,
linking practices, and technical formats. Recommendations for discovery
service providers address content listings, linking practices, file formats
and methods of transfer to be supported, and usage statistics. The document
also provides background information on the evolution of discovery and
delivery technology and a standard set of terminology and definitions for
this technology area.

"An increasing number of libraries, especially those that serve academic or
research institutions, have invested in the new generation of discovery
services that use an aggregated central index to enable searching across a
wide range of library related resources," explains Marshall Breeding, an
independent library consultant and Co-chair of the ODI Working Group. "These
libraries expect their entire collection, including licensed and purchased
electronic content, to be made available within their discovery service of
choice. But it is often not clear which resources are available and which
are indexed in full text, by citations only, or both. Libraries deserve a
clear explanation of the degree of availability of the content they license
in their discovery service-and they need usage statistics to help assess the
effectiveness of their discovery tool."

"Index-based discovery services involve a complex ecosystem of interrelating
issues and interests among content providers, libraries, and discovery
service creators," states Jenny Walker, an independent publishing consultant
and Co-chair of the ODI Working Group. "The ODI Working Group included
participation and input from all three stakeholders in the development of
these recommendations. These recommendations are intended to encourage
participation by the content providers in providing their content for
indexing, transparency for libraries with regard to the level of indexing
for different collections in the discovery services, and implementation of
best practice by the discovery services regarding unbiased linking to source
material, the neutrality of algorithms for generating result sets, relevance
rankings, and link order."

"NISO and the ODI Working Group intend to support the Recommended Practice
with follow-up efforts," states Todd Carpenter, NISO Executive Director.
"Areas of further investigation potentially include collaborative discussion
mechanisms, discovery of content via application programming interfaces,
handling of restricted content, on-demand lookup, and interaction with
COUNTER about usage statistics related to discovery services."

Open Discovery Initiative: Promoting Transparency in Discovery (NISO
RP-19-2014) is available for free download from the ODI Working Group
webpage on the NISO website at:



Cynthia Hodgson

Technical Editor / Consultant

National Information Standards Organization

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