The purpose of PIE-J (Presentation and Identification of E-Journals) as a recommended practice is to encourage unification of how e-journals are described and identified in places like publishers’ websites, databases, and citations, as well as making e-journals more easily discoverable by standardizing the presentation of information like historical titles and accurate ISSNs by format.
The process of creating an official standard or recommended practice is a lengthy one. It begins with proposing a problem and getting approval by the NISO (National Information Standards Organization) Business Information Topic Committee to become a working group, followed by months, or even years, of meetings, research, writing, and re-writing. Once a working group is confident in the solidity of their proposal for a standard/recommended practice, they put a draft out for public comment. Currently, the PIE-J working group has a draft up for review and public comment until July 5, 2012.
PIE-J working group formed back in December of 2010, and was charged:
To develop a Recommended Practice that will provide guidance on the presentation and identification of e-journals, particularly in the areas of title presentation and bibliographic history, accurate use of the ISSN, and citation practice, that will assist publishers, platform providers, abstracting and indexing services, knowledgebase providers, aggregators, and other concerned parties in facilitating online discovery, identification, and access for the publications.
During the past two years, members of the working group have produced several publications explaining their mission, progress, and hopes for an outcome, which can be found on the PIE-J Workroom, along with the current draft recommended practice and comment form.
As summarized in the draft, the recommended guidelines resulting from the working group’s research are as follows:
- Retention of title and citation information under which articles were originally published.
- Display of title histories, including information relating to title changes and related metadata.
- Display of correct ISSN for different formats and for changed titles.
- Retention and display of vital publication information across the history of a journal, including publisher names; clear numbering and dates; editors, editorial boards and sponsoring organizations; and frequency of publication.
- Graphic design and inclusion of information that allows easy access to all content.
- Special considerations for retroactive digitization.