Houghton,Andrew wrote:
> So why do people keep running new standards thru organizations like ISO
> that lock them up behind a pay system?  It's probably better to run them
> through NISO first where they will be freely available, then run them
> through ISO where ISO can lock them up for the people who require the ISO
> stamp of approval before they can use a standard.

I'm on the NISO Architecture Committee, and one of the things that we're 
discussing is what to do about NISO standards that become ISO standards.

First, things go to ISO to become *international* standards, and my 
experience in Europe (I don't know other areas) is that people care very 
much (much more than us) that a standard be international. So having 
standards go to ISO is very important in the global information exchange 

Second, standards can undergo change as they move from NISO to ISO. I 
believe with ISO 2709 there was agreement that it be backward compatible 
with Z39.2, but they are not identical. Should NISO revise its standard 
to match the ISO standard? Should it cease maintenance (NISO 
maintenance) on a standard that has gone on to ISO so as to keep them in 
sync? etc.

I agree that a standard that you can't afford to see (and I've run into 
a number in my time) is pretty close to useless. I don't know if there's 
any chance of convincing ISO of that, however.


Karen Coyle / Digital Library Consultant
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