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OpenURL Standardization

National Information Standards Organization Reports OpenURL Standardization Moving Forward

Bethesda, MD, USA. February 11, 2002.

NISO, the National Information Standards Organization, reports that Committee AX, the NISO standards committee that is preparing the OpenURL Standard, met on January 24th and 25th at the CNRI headquarters in Reston, Virginia and continues to make significant progress.

Eric Van de Velde, the committee chair, summing up progress to date said that existing applications of OpenURL technology only scratch the surface of what else is feasible. Currently, we apply OpenURL technology to bibliographic citations. In the near future, we may apply it to many other types of information: subject headings, legal documents, biological (genome sequences), etc. Currently, we encode OpenURL in an HTTP GET or POST format. In the near future, we may encode OpenURL links in XML. Currently, we think of OpenURL links being provided by specific information providers. In the near future, third parties may provide OpenURL links for any information resource. With these and other opportunities yet to be explored, it is obvious that OpenURL is a technology in its infancy, and we should think of the emerging OpenURL standard as the beginning of a long-term evolutionary process.

To insure that progress made so far will continue to have value, the committee adopted the OpenURL draft originally submitted to NISO as Version 0.1 of the standard. This document is available as part of the official record on the committee's web site. For complete details and background information, please refer to the OpenURL web site at:

About NISO

NISO is the only U.S. group accredited by the American National Standards Institute to develop and promote technical standards for use in information delivery services providing voluntary standards for libraries, publishers and related information technology organizations. All NISO standards are developed by consensus under the guidance of experts and practitioners in the field to meet the needs of both the information user and the producer. For information about NISO's current standardization interests and membership possibilities, please visit the NISO website at

For additional information contact NISO Headquarters at (301) 654-2512. Email:

Prepared by Robin Cover for The XML Cover Pages archive. See "NISO Develops an OpenURL Standard for Bibliographic and Descriptive Metadata."

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