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NISO Publishes Recommended Practice PIE-J: Presentation & Identification of E-Journals

Recommendations Ensure Long-Term Online Accessibility to Scholarly Journals Even After Title and Publisher Changes

The National Library of Medicine, the world's largest medical library and a component of the National Institutes of Health, has a deep interest in the publishing models used by scientific journals, from the viewpoints of practical and efficient use of titles that are indexed for MEDLINE, and the clear and accurate preservation of the scientific literature for use by future generations.  As such, it has been a partner in the development of a Recommended Practice that will provide guidance on the presentation and identification of electronic journals, an undertaking of the National Information Standards Organization (NISO).

On March 27, 2013, NISO announced the publication of a new Recommended Practice: PIE-J: Presentation & Identification of E-Journals (NISO RP-16-2013). This Recommended Practice was developed to provide guidance on the presentation of e-journals—particularly in the areas of title presentation, accurate use of ISSN, and citation practices—to publishers and platform providers, as well as to solve some long-standing concerns of serials, collections, and electronic resources librarians. In addition to the recommendations, the document includes extensive examples of good practices using screenshots from various publishers' online journals platforms; a discussion of helpful resources for obtaining title history and ISSN information; an overview of the International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) and key points for using it correctly; an explanation of the Digital Object Identifier (DOI®), the registration agency CrossRef, and tips on using DOIs for journal title management; and a review of related standards and recommended practices.

"Citations form the basis for much scholarly research. Unless journal Web sites accurately and uniformly list all the titles under which content was published, user access to desired content is considerably diminished," explains Cindy Hepfer, Continuing E-Resource Management and Cataloging Librarian at the State University of New York at Buffalo and Co-chair of the NISO PIE-J Working Group. "For example, many e-journal publishers and aggregators now place digitized content originally published under an earlier title on the Web site for the current title, using the current ISSN, thus seriously impeding the researcher's ability to find or identify the content being sought. The PIE-J project was initiated to address these issues."

"The publishers and providers of e-journals take great pride in the diverse designs of their Web sites," states Bob Boissy, Manager, Account Development & Strategic Alliances at Springer and Co-chair of the NISO PIE-J Working Group. "Yet how these Web sites present, identify, and link together the publications that they display can make the end users' task of discovering articles and accessing them easy, frustrating, or completely fruitless. Application of the PIE-J recommended practice guidelines will result in improved discovery and access that will benefit researchers, authors, librarians, online providers, and publishers."

"The PIE-J Recommended Practice provides a clear and succinct list of guidelines that publishers can easily implement to facilitate long-term access to their e-journal content," declares Todd Carpenter, NISO Executive Director. "This constructive advice will aid publishers with the presentation of born-digital content as well as supporting the continued digitization of content from journals originally published only in print."

The PIE-J Recommended Practice and a brochure summarizing the recommendations are available from the NISO PIE-J workroom Web site at:

 For the updated status see NISO Recommended Practice PIE-J: Presentation & Identification of E-Journals.

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