The National Information Standards Organization (NISO) is seeking comments
on the draft recommended practice Open Discovery Initiative: Promoting
Transparency in Discovery. Launched in 2012, the NISO Open Discovery
Initiative (ODI) aims to facilitate increased transparency in the content
coverage of index-based discovery services and to recommend consistent
methods of content exchange. This draft recommended practice provides
specific guidelines for content providers on metadata elements, linking, and
technical formats, and for discovery service providers on content listings,
linking, file formats, methods of transfer, 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 index-based discovery services as a
strategic interface to all their resources," states Marshall Breeding, an
independent library consultant and Co-chair of the ODI Working Group. "These
libraries expect their uniquely 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, which are indexed in full text, by
citations only, or both, and whether the metadata derives from aggregated
databases or directly through the full text. Libraries deserve a clear
explanation of the degree of availability of their content in the available
discovery services and they need usage statistics for access from the
discovery tool."

"The domain of index-based discovery services involves a complex ecosystem
of interrelating issues and interests among content providers, libraries,
and discovery service creators," explains Jenny Walker, an independent
consultant and Co-chair of the ODI Working Group. "The increasing use of
indexed search as a primary means for library patrons to discover and access
licensed content brings with it new requirements for industry practices that
will ensure consistent provision of metadata, unbiased linking to source
material, and neutrality of algorithms for generating result sets, relevance
rankings, and link order. Specific guidelines around these issues are given
in the ODI Recommended Practice."

"In addition to the recommendations in the current draft, the ODI Working
Group has identified a number of actions for future work," states Nettie
Lagace, NISO Associate Director for Programs. "NISO plans to support this
follow-up effort to address such issues as collaborative discussion
mechanisms, application programming interfaces, handling of restricted
content, on-demand lookup, and interaction with COUNTER about usage
statistics related to discovery services."

The draft recommended practice is open for public comment through November
18, 2013. To download the draft or submit online comments, visit the Open
Discovery Initiative webpage at:



Cynthia Hodgson

Technical Editor / Consultant

National Information Standards Organization

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