The National Information Standards Organization (NISO) announces the publication of a new recommended practice, Protocol for Exchanging Serial Content (PESC) (NISO RP-23-2015), which provides guidance on the best way to manage the elements of digital serial content packaging in a manner that aids both the content provider and the content recipient in understanding what has been delivered and received.
"Many diverse organizations—such as publishers, content aggregators, archives, and indexing services— exchange and work with the heterogeneous digital files that make up serial content," states Kimberly A. Tryka, Research Data Librarian, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and Co-chair of the NISO PESC Working Group. "Organizations that exchange serial content know that lack of consistency in packaging and describing the items being exchanged leads to frustration and inefficiency. The PESC recommended practice is intended to inform members of the scholarly information community about preferred practices for packaging and exchanging serial content which can enable the creation of better automated processes to receive and manage serial content."
"Use cases including a diverse array of actors helped map out the complex ecosystem in which the exchange of serial content occurs," explains Leslie Johnston, Director of Digital Preservation, National Archives and Records Administration and Co-chair of the NISO PESC Working Group. "The PESC recommended practice includes guidance to communicate about the package itself, a manifest document, folder structure for the content of the package, and package format. There are also examples of three various conformance levels, which are intended to communicate various levels of exchange between organizations. These demonstrate the flexibility of PESC to be suitable for use in assorted situations between parties. The recommendations include advice for maximizing the effectiveness of the recommendations, and detailed examples of packages and an FAQ included in the document's appendices should also help practical adoption of PESC. This could additionally serve as a model for the interchange of other forms of electronic content."
"By following these recommendations, exchanging organizations can clearly communicate more systematically what content has been transmitted, how it is organized, and what processing is required when a new package is received," comments Todd Carpenter, NISO Executive Director. "We are pleased to publish the collaborative product of another successful Working Group. As we have done with other initiatives, NISO will create a Standing Committee that will provide maintenance, education, and outreach for PESC."
Protocol for Exchanging Serial Content (PESC) (NISO RP-23-2015) is available for free download from the PESC Working Group webpage on the NISO website at www.niso.org/workrooms/pesc/ .