Case Study

Kavi and NISO

“Kavi was the only software suite specifically designed for standards development and therefore extremely appropriate for NISO.”

— Todd Carpenter, Managing Director, NISO


NISO is a non-profit association with a voting membership of over 75 organizations in the fields of publishing, libraries, IT, and media. In addition to participants from these member organizations, experts and practitioners from the information community as a whole serve on NISO working groups, committees, and as officers of the association.

Accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), NISO is where content publishers, libraries, and software developers turn for information industry standards that allow them to work together. Through NISO, all of these communities are able to collaborate on mutually accepted standards. These standards apply both traditional and new technologies to the full range of information-related needs, including retrieval, re-purposing, storage, metadata, and preservation.

In addition to NISO’s work in the US, the organization represents the US at ISO in Technical Committee 46, and serves as secretariat for TC46 Subcommittee 9, coordinating and managing the work of that subcommittee’s working groups at the international level.

NISO came to Kavi after going through an organizational restructuring. Part of this restructuring identified the need for a new system for document management and work group collaboration for the creation of information standards.


What NISO found in Kavi Workspace was an application that integrates document management and email communication, keeps meticulous records kept for document revisions and tracks voting in case of an ANSI audit. All of this is accomplished with a solution that is highly configurable and easy to use.


Integrated Document Management and Communication
The existing NISO system for communication and document management was a disjointed and disorganized patchwork consisting of disparate email platforms, a homegrown SQL database, and information and documents housed on personal hard drives. In addition, a large amount of documents existed only on paper. This made sharing, updating and revisioning frustrating and unreliable.

With Kavi Workspace, NISO now has a consistent look and feel for all document revision and editing, and for work group communication. NISO has a way to record all document changes, and group members receive email alerts every time a document is updated, improving communication and allowing groups to get more work done quicker and easier.

Tools to Pass an ANSI Audit
Right around the time they were reorganizing, NISO faced a challenging ANSI audit. WIth Kavi Workspace, it’s now much easier for NISO to navigate through all ANSI-required processes. This ensures that any future audits can be resolved without a hitch. Workspace allows NISO documents to retain precise voting records, with email alerts automatically sent to non-voters. Configuring this upfront functionality into Kavi Workspace makes following ANSI process simple and easy.

Data Dictionary
The Data Dictionary (ANSI/NISO Z39.7-2004: Information Services and Use: Metrics & statistics for libraries and information providers — Data Dictionary) is a specially created and continuously maintained database standard. In accordance with ANSI requirements, Kavi Workspace provides a public place for commenting on the Data Dictionary. Workspace also keeps a trail of all updated versions, and sends email alerts whenever comments are added.


Having a packaged application that’s highly configurable allowed NISO to quickly “close the gap” between the necessary functionality required by the organization and out-of-the-box capabilities of Kavi Workspace. With a bit of fine tuning, Workspace was able to tightly fit NISO’s specific needs.

NISO also uses custom pages for comment forms and publications, and can pull data from their membership database to automatically populate public web pages.

The consistent look and feel between different workgroup sites and pages, plus integrated calendar and email system, make it easy for new employees and group members to quickly get up to speed and start participating right away.


The collaborative efforts of NISO work groups are now more organized and coherent since the implementation of Kavi Workspace. Integrated document sharing and email alerts improve communication and give NISO tools to meet ANSI requirements, helping NISO remain at full speed and fully focused on their mission of setting standards for the information age.

The National Information Standards Organization (NISO) needed an easier way to follow rigorous ANSI requirements for developing information standards, and a smarter way to help work groups collaborate to create, revise and manage documents.

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