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NISO Seeking Feedback on Institutional Identifier Midterm Report

The NISO Institutional Identifier (I2) Working Group (WG) has 
released a midterm report: 

The NISO I2 WG is soliciting feedback on the report and guidance 
for the next steps in developing this standard from individuals 
and groups involved in the digital information transactions. 
Stakeholders include publishers/distributors, libraries, 
archives, museums, licensing agencies, standards bodies, and 
service providers, such as library workflow management system 
vendors and copyright clearance agencies. Anyone involved at any 
level in the distribution, licensing, sharing or management of 
information is invited to participate.

Please read the information below and participate in the 
evaluation of our midterm work by reading the midterm release 
document and answering a few questions about each development 
area. You are the stakeholders for this information standard. We 
must work to ensure that it meets your needs, so your input is 
very valuable and important to us.

BACKGROUND: NISO established the working group in 2008 to develop 
an institutional identifier (I2) to uniquely identify 
institutions engaged in the digital information workspace. The 
goal of the I2 Working Group is to develop an institutional 
identifier that is globally unique, robust, interoperable, 
scalable and able to integrate smoothly with current digital 
information workflows. The working group is currently at the 
midterm of its efforts and hopes to complete its draft 
specification by December, 2010. Community input was requested 
through surveys and conferences to refine the objectives, create 
the metadata and identify scenarios of need. We are currently 
soliciting midterm review to provide confirmation of our work to 
date, course correction as needed and to ensure that we have 
identified and are addressing all the issues surrounding this 
critical enabling standard.

THE PROBLEM SPACE: Obtaining, using, sharing, storing and 
managing information often involves multiple institutions across 
the digital information space. These institutions must be able to 
identify each other and to trust that the identification is both 
correct and unique. The information managed may itself be digital 
(e.g., the licensing of an e-book) or analog information that is 
managed over the digital information space (e.g., interlibrary 
loan of a physical book). Currently, there are many identifiers 
in use, ranging from simple naming to established codes. However, 
no single identifier that is globally unique, trustworthy, and 
able to capture relationships among institutions and variant 
legacy identifiers for institutions currently exists. As a 
result, transactions are locked into proprietary workflow silos 
and management of all the digital information activities of an 
institution are not integrated.

THE PROPOSED SOLUTION: The I2 is proposed as a globally unique, 
robust, scalable and interoperable identifier with the sole 
purpose of uniquely identifying institutions. The I2 consists of 
two parts: an identifier standard that includes the metadata 
needed to uniquely identify the organization -- including 
documenting relationships with other institutions that are 
critical for establishing identity -- and a framework for 
implementation and use.

The I2 is envisioned as a simple, core identifier with the sole 
purpose of identifying institutions in a robust and trustworthy 
manner. Workflow-specific implementations, such as regional ILL 
collaborations or ebook licensing services, will leverage the I2.

THE BENEFIT: Institutions will only have to request and reuse a 
single identifier. Institutions will be able to robustly identify 
every institution engaged in an information transaction. 
Institutions that engage in many different information 
transactions or that work with many different institutions will 
be able to track and manage institutional activities across 
multiple workflows through the use of a single, authoritative 

The Midterm status report and review survey are available at the 
following link. Please respond by August 2, 2010.


Thank you very much for your support of this lynchpin digital 
information standard. Your input is very valuable to us and will 
be carefully studied and considered. Please download the report 
and keep it open to assist you in completing the survey.

[Note: This message has been cross-posted to obtain wide input.]

Cynthia Hodgson
NISO Technical Editor Consultant
National Information Standards Organization