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NISO Launches E-book Special Interest Group

NISO Launches E-book Special Interest Group

New group will foster collaborative work, incubate new 
initiatives, and provide education

The National Information Standards Organization (NISO) and its 
Architecture Committee are pleased to announce the creation of a 
Special Interest Group focused on E-books (the NISO E-book SIG). 
Simultaneous with the formation of the group, NISO is issuing a 
call for participation in the E-book SIG and its associated 
monitoring group. The E-book SIG will explore a range of industry 
best practices and standards related to the creation, 
distribution, discovery, delivery, and preservation of digital 
book content. The primary responsibilities of the group will be 
to continuously monitor and review the state of the industry for 
e-books and to suggest areas for new initiatives within NISO or 
areas where NISO can engage with other communities on e-book work 
underway outside of NISO. The group will also host thought leader 
meetings and commission relevant research to advance the state of 
the industry.

While NISO is best known for shepherding groups focused on a 
specific problem through the creation and implementation of 
recommended practices and standards, NISO's new strategic 
initiatives seek to widen its outreach within the information 
industry. Specifically, the NISO Board and Architecture Committee 
seek to emphasize NISO's role as a facilitator within the 
industry, one that can foster cross-community dialogue in a given 
topical area and provide a place for the incubation of ideas even 
if no formal standards process within NISO is ever initiated as a 

In line with this strategy, the E-book SIG will explore the 
larger context in which development initiatives are unfolding, by 
addressing some of the following foundational questions:

*How can NISO actively facilitate cross-community dialogue in 
this area, building bridges between what are now separate, 
sometimes disparate groups?

*How can NISO work collaboratively to provide education and 
information to assist with this dialogue?

*How can NISO actively foster "incubation teams" to identify 
specific pain points in the e-books realm that could be remedied 
through formal standards, recommended practices, dissemination of 
information (e.g., via white papers, educational workshops, 
professional forums, Thought Leader meetings, etc.) either 
through NISO or within another agency or in partnership with one 
or more organizations?

Initially, the NISO E-book SIG will identify relevant ongoing or 
proposed work related to e-books, then begin outreach to the 
communities within the library, publishing, information system, 
and scholarly communication communities actively engaged in some 
aspect of e-book development and support.

The NISO Architecture committee is seeking nominations for 
experts interested in actively participating in the core E-book 
SIG from all areas of the community. In addition to the core 
group, a larger monitoring group will also be established to 
receive updates from the core group and provide feedback. NISO 
encourages any organization actively engaged in this area to 
contact the NISO office via email (nisohq@niso.org) to 
participate. Please indicate if you are interested in the core 
group or the monitoring group.

Cynthia Hodgson
NISO Technical Editor Consultant
National Information Standards Organization
Email: chodgson@niso.org