National Information Standards Organization

To develop a new specification for the real-time synchronization of web resources housed in separate repositories

  • Amount $222,706
  • City Baltimore, MD
  • Investigator Todd Carpenter
  • Year 2011
  • Program Technology
  • Sub-program Scholarly Communication

No central authority tracks updates to an article or a dataset as it moves through various publication channels or institutional, disciplinary, or personal repositories over the course of its lifetime. A scholarly research paper, for example, might be available on a preprint server, the author's home page, a journal's website, and in an institutional repository. Imagine the difficulty an author would face should she wish to add a passage about updated findings to previous versions of the paper. The proliferation of copies means online materials behave surprisingly like physical paper; once you print out a copy of an article, the author can't push revisions to your copy. To address this need, the National Information Standards Organization (NISO) is beginning a project to convene a group of key computer and information scientists to develop a standard for the versioning and synchronization of web resources. They also plan to hold a series of workshops that follow the community development process, resulting in a codified standard that meets the needs of publishers, repositories, and other stewards of scholarly products. Alongside other work on data citation, annotation, and canonical author identifiers, the resulting NISO standard would be a valuable tool to facilitate the publication of scholarship and research data on the web, and is likely to be useful in other contexts as well. Funds from this grant will provide partial support for NISO's efforts over the next two years.

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