Skip Navigation Bar

Invitation to Join the Interest Group for the National Information Standards Organization (NISO) Presentation and Identification of E-Journals (PIE-J) Working Group

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.  This notice presents an opportunity for others with a similar interest to participate 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).


In the fall of 2010, NISO established a working group known as PIE-J, to create a set of best practices to provide guidance to publishers, platform providers, and others involved in the e-journal supply chain regarding the display and presentation of journals online. NISO has created a virtual Interest Group to provide input to the PIE-J Working Group and serve as the sounding board and mechanism for commenting on the early drafts of the proposed best practices. (Information about joining the Interest Group can be found at the end of this message.)

About PIE-J

Citations form the basis for much scholarly research. Connecting researchers with appropriate content is the goal of OpenURL linking and other reference linking systems. Two things are necessary for accurate identification. First, articles must be cited by the title of the journal in which they originally appeared, which may be different from the title the journal currently bears. Second, the correct ISSN must be used in order for link resolution to accurately happen. Until there is a consistent and universally used identification scheme for articles (the penetration of CrossRef and the DOI is far from universal), researchers have no choice but to rely on existing citation elements.

Unless journal websites accurately and uniformly list all the titles under which content was published, user access to desired content is considerably diminished. No one wins-not the library, the publisher, the vendor, or the researcher.

The goal of the PIE-J Working Group is to review the problem and develop a Recommended Practice that will provide much-needed guidance on the presentation of e-journals-particularly in the areas of title presentation, accurate use of the ISSN, and citation practices-to publishers and platform providers as well as to solve some long-standing concerns of serials librarians.

Issues to be addressed fall under the following key areas:

  • Titles for Different Formats: For example, when a journal is available in print and online.
  • Former Titles: Information about and easy access to former titles (including ISSN of former titles and the dates that the journal was published under the former titles) needs to be provided on the new title's website to ensure visibility, accessibility, and tracking. Supporting documentation that providers/publishers can mount on the website to facilitate identification will be covered.
  • Citations: Citations need to be historically accurate; they need to cite the title and ISSN that the journal carried at the time when the article was published.
  • ISSN: ISSN centers can help to provide correct title sequences, dates, and the ISSNs that will enable accurate linking, as well as help in resolving questions or interpreting complex relationships.

Working Group Roster

Co-chairs: Bob Boissy (Springer) and Cindy Hepfer (Univ. at Buffalo) 

Members: Janet Carter (UCLA (Ref)), Ed Cilurso (Taylor & Francis), Laurie Kaplan (Serials Solutions), Kathy Klemperer (Harrassowitz), Lou Knecht (NLM), Shane Marmion (HeinOnline), Sheri Meares (EBSCO), Elisabeth Moscara (IEEE), Nancy Murray (JSTOR), Regina Reynolds (Library of Congress), Rose Robinson (Publishing Technology), Steve Shadle (University of Washington), Kathleen Sheedy (American Psychological Association), Andrea Twiss-Brooks (University of Chicago (Ref)), Rachael Venuti (Sage), Hazel Woodward (Cranfield University)   Official Observers: Les Hawkins (CONSER, Library of Congress), Annette Hooss (Harrassowitz)

Projected Timeline

October 2010: First working group conference call

May 2011: Draft document available for public review

August 2011: Publish final document

Best Practices

The Best Practices deliverable/document will likely include:

  • Preamble/context statement
  • Principles
  • Metadata elements
  • References
  • Examples
  • Appendix: ISSN Information
  • Appendix: Terminology/Glossary
  • Appendix: List of resources


How Interest Group Members Can Help:

  • Review documents posted on PIE-J's public Web site at and provide the working group with feedback.
  • Send examples of especially well or poorly done journal websites to the interest group list at sure to explain what you like/don't like about the examples you send!
  • Offer ideas via the list regarding how/where publishers, platform providers, full text database vendors, and others can easily (and inexpensively, if they have to pay at all) obtain good and reliable bibliographic data about their titles.

Sign up for the PIE-J Interest Group at: