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Bethesda, Md., USA:  (April 8, 2002) NISO, the National Information
Standards Organization has been asked to undertake the development of a
national standard to facilitate the exchange of serials subscription
information.  In evaluating this suggestion the Standards Development
Committee concluded that further information is needed before NISO can
launch standards development work. Over the next two months, NISO will
survey the leaders in the serials community, systems staff, and librarians
to learn more about this issue with the goal of making an informed
decision about the viability of a national standard on this topic.
Funding from the Digital Library Federation will support this research.

Information aggregators, publishers, third party service providers, and
libraries engage in a number of recurring business-to-business transactions
requiring the exchange of serial subscription information. At this time
there is no standard to facilitate this information exchange.  This survey
will explore the needs for serials subscription information exchange, the
formats now being used and views on the need for and usefulness of a
national standard for serials subscription information exchange; the study
will also measure the need and support for a standard designation for
subscribers and services.

NISO has engaged Ed Jones to conduct a telephone and email survey. Based on
the findings, Jones will draft a White Paper describing the current and
potential applications for exchanging serials subscription information
between libraries, publishers, aggregators, and third party services.  The
final report will be made available to all NISO members in June 2002. If you
would like to participate in the survey, please contact Pat Harris
(pharris@niso.org), NISO Executive Director.

About NISO: NISO is the only U.S. group accredited by the American
National Standards Institute to develop and promote technical standards
for use in information delivery services providing voluntary standards for
libraries, publishers and related information technology organizations.
All NISO standards are developed by consensus under the guidance of
experts and practitioners in the field to meet the needs of both the
information user and the producer. For information about NISO's current
standardization interests and membership possibilities, please visit the
NISO website at http://www.niso.org.

For additional information contact NISO Headquarters at (301) 654-2512.
Email: nisohq@niso.org