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Weekly News Digest

March 5, 2019 — In addition to this week's NewsBreaks article and the monthly NewsLink Spotlight, Information Today, Inc. (ITI) offers Weekly News Digests that feature recent product news and company announcements. Watch for additional coverage to appear in the next print issue of Information Today. For other up-to-the-minute news, check out ITIís Twitter account: @ITINewsBreaks.

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What's Up With the NFAIS-NISO Merger

by Dave Shumaker

The National Federation of Advanced Information Services (NFAIS) and the National Information Standards Organization (NISO) have announced plans to merge, contingent on approval by the NFAIS membership. Deanna Marcum, president of the NFAIS board of directors, characterized the merger as the culmination of discussions begun last summer, which will enable the combined organization to serve its members more effectively during a time of rapid change. In a membership conference call, NISO executive director Todd Carpenter described its potential as “transformative.”

The two groups have much in common, and opportunities for synergy are clear. Both are institutional membership organizations, drawing libraries, publishers, and vendors of information systems and services. NISO, with its 80 voting and 135 nonvoting members, focuses primarily on developing standards. It is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and represents the U.S. on six International Organization for Standardization technical committees. NFAIS, with 44 voting members, is the smaller of the two partners. Its strengths have been in providing opportunities for industry participants to network and share common interests. (To perpetuate these strengths, the partners announced that NFAIS’ annual conference will continue, along with the Miles Conrad Award.)

The combination of NFAIS’ programming with NISO’s implementation orientation promises to benefit a variety of common interests. These include ontologies, metadata structures, the RA21 initiative, and information analytics.

The NFAIS membership vote was scheduled to be concluded in February, and if approved, the merger will take effect June 30.



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