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Weekly News Digest

August 6, 2013 — In addition to this week's NewsBreak(s), the editors have compiled the Weekly News Digest, featuring stories from the week just past that you should know about. Watch for additional coverage to appear in the next print issue of Information Today.

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NISO Publishes Fifth Edition of Data Dictionary

The National Information Standards Organization (NISO) published the fifth edition of the standard ANSI/NISO Z39.7-2013, “Information Services and Use: Metrics and Statistics for Libraries and Information Providers–Data Dictionary.” The standard aims to help information professionals identify, define, collect, and interpret statistical data about U.S. libraries.

The Z39.7 Standing Committee maintains the standard, which was first published in 1968 under the title “Library Statistics.” The data dictionary came online in 2004, and in 2008, NISO began continuous maintenance on the standard, which means that users can comment and make suggestions on its content. The Standing Committee evaluates possible changes biannually, according to Nettie Lagace, NISO associate director for programs. “When a sufficient number of changes have been accepted, a revision of the standard is presented for approval by the NISO Voting Members. This fifth edition includes all the accepted changes since the previous edition was published,” she says.

These changes include “reformatting and better organization, [and] the e-metrics that were introduced in the 2004 edition as a separate section have been updated and integrated into the body of the standard to make them easier to use,” says Martha Kyrillidou, Standing Committee chair. The new edition also added data-gathering tools and updated survey references. Kyrillidou stresses that the standard recognizes the importance of using integrative thinking when working in the digital environment.

“In addition to evaluating suggestions from the community, the Z39.7 Standing Committee regularly reviews other metrics-related standards and best practices with an eye of continuously improving the Data Dictionary,” according to Steve Hiller, another member of the Standing Committee.

Libraries need statistics to document their value and decide how best to use their services, says Todd Carpenter, NISO executive director. “Z39.7 is the key standard in the United States for this purpose and the current revision ensures that the standard remains up-to-date with the changing environment in today’s libraries,” he says.

Source: National Information Standards Organization



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