Baltimore, MD - May 13, 2016 - The National Information Standards Organization (NISO) seeks comments on three draft documents related to Altmetrics: NISO RP-25-201x-2A, Alternative Outputs in Scholarly Communications: Data Metrics; NISO RP-25-201x-2B, Persistent Identifiers in Scholarly Communications; and NISO RP-25-201x-2C, Alternative Outputs in Scholarly Communications.

These documents are the latest outputs from NISO's Altmetrics Initiative, a project funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The project aims to address limitations and gaps that may hinder the adoption of altmetrics, an expansion of tools available for measuring scholarly impact of research in the knowledge environment. Other working groups participating in the project have released drafts on Altmetrics Definitions and Use Cases and a Code of Conduct for Provider Data Quality.

NISO RP-25-201x-2A, Alternative Outputs in Scholarly Communications: Data Metrics emphasizes the necessity for data to be citable and its use to be measurable. "The Research Data Metrics recommendations are intended to be a very practical set of guidelines that can be implemented by repositories and data publishers alike in the immediate future," says Mike Taylor of Elsevier, co-chair of the Working Group that created the drafts. "The last two years have shown a tremendous growth in the interest in data publishing and posting," continues Taylor, "and we can all benefit from standards about how we define and count a 'download.' I'd like to thank the folk at FORCE11 and elsewhere for their continuing drive to implement data citation."

The second two draft documents, NISO RP-25-201x-2B, Persistent Identifiers in Scholarly Communications and NISO RP-25-201x-2C, Alternative Outputs in Scholarly Communications, are largely comprised of tables that offer overviews of important aspects of scientific communication today. "I'm hopeful that these two outputs will seed and support conversations around these important topics," states Kristi Holmes, of Galter Health Sciences Library at Northwestern University and co-chair of the Working Group. "Wider use of persistent identifiers and recognition of non-article academic outputs are important steps that can further help transform the modern scholarly landscape and facilitate broad data interoperability and exchange."

The Persistent Identifiers document recognizes that DOIs are only one type of identifier among the many available to researchers today, and describes the importance of related efforts in a variety of scholarly domains to identify research outputs of various types. The authors encourage those community members working to support open science and interoperability to use persistent identifiers to measure, evaluate, and report on the effectiveness of research infrastructure and communication whenever possible.

NISO RP-25-201x-2C, Alternative Outputs in Scholarly Communication offers a current list of nontraditional research outputs, displaying the rich array of scholarly products that are created during the research process. The included table provides brief descriptions of the various kinds of materials being produced, from new cell lines to W3C standards; notes example s of known current efforts and by whom these are being undertaken; and offers relevant links.

"These three documents represent a tremendous amount of effort on the part of the Working Group, and we thank them for these valuable contributions," remarks Nettie Lagace, NISO Associate Director for Programs. "Commentary from the wide spectrum of stakeholders in the area of altmetrics will make the documents even stronger, and NISO and the Working Group are hopeful for rich input before the material is published in its final form early this summer."

The draft Recommended Practices are open for public comment through June 11, 2016. To download the drafts or submit online comments, visit the NISO Altmetrics Initiative web page at

About NISO
NISO, based in Baltimore, Maryland, fosters the development and maintenance of standards that facilitate the creation, persistent management, and effective interchange of information so that it can be trusted for use in research and learning. To fulfill this mission, NISO engages libraries, publishers, information aggregators, and other organizations that support learning, research, and scholarship through the creation, organization, management, and curation of knowledge. NISO works with intersecting communities of interest and across the entire lifecycle of information standards. NISO is a not-for-profit association accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). For more information, visit the NISO website.

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