Info standards group releases draft

Networked reference protocol documents

Delivery of library reference services online could be helped by a new draft standard from the National Information Standards Organization, a Library of Congress official said this week.

The proposed networked reference protocol defines a way of exchanging data between so-called digital reference service domains, so that questions that a librarian cannot answer locally can be passed to other librarians, said Sally McCallum, chief of the library's network development office.

Besides librarians, other groups that may be interested in the standards are government purchasing agencies and developers of reference software and e-learning systems, a NISO official said. The protocol will be available free for trial use until April 12, 2005.

NISO is a nonprofit group accredited by the American National Standards Institute that publishes technical standards for managing digital information.

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