National Information Standards Organization (NISO)
Standards Committee AV

Developing a U.S. National Z39.50 Profile for Library Applications

Profile Specifications


Committee Members


Project Plan



This page links to the documents that reflect the evolving U.S. National Profile specifications.  Preliminary draft specifications are primarily for use and discussion by SC AV members. Implementors are cautioned against assuming any specifications for the U.S. National Profile are stable. Specifications upon which consensus has been reached by SC AV will be noted.

Post-ballot Revised Draft Standard Z39.89: The U.S. National Z39.50 Profile for Library Applications (August  2003)
[MSWord (.doc) 

This is the final version of the draft standard prepared by NISO SC AV and submitted to NISO for preparation for publication. It reflects all changes to the ballot version of the standard based on comments from NISO Voting Members. 

NISO SC AV Responses to Ballot Comments (June 2003)
[MSWord (.doc)PDF (.pdf)

NISO Voting Members approved via ballot the Draft Standard Z39.89. Six voting members voted Yes, with Comments. NISO SC AV has responded to each of the comments, and this document is a compilation of Voting Members Comments and NISO SC AV Responses.

Profile Appendix A -- Sample Searches to Indicate Server Behavior for Profile-Defined Searches (March 30, 2003) 
[MSWord (.doc)Rich Text Format (.rtf)

This document contains Appendix A that will appear in the final published version of the U.S. National Z39.50 Profile for Library Applications.  The appendix contains examples for all profile-defined searches to indicate appropriate server side behavior in selecting records based on the search criteria. Comments from NISO SC AV members welcome on this document. 

Final Draft U.S. National Profile (January 15, 2003) 
[MSWord (.doc)Rich Text Format (.rtf)

NISO SC AV has voted to move the draft U.S. National Z39.50 Profile for Library Applications to NISO for balloting by NISO Voting Members. This final version, dated January 15, 2003, reflects minor changes based on NISO SC AV comments during the vote. A tally of the NISO SC AV vote to move the draft to NISO for balloting is available at:

Older Documents

Final Draft U.S. National Profile (January 8, 2003) 
[MSWord (.doc)Rich Text Format (.rtf)

This final draft of the U.S. National Z39.50 Profile for Library Applications reflects changes based on the NISO SC AV review of a next-to-final draft (November 2002). This final draft version will be submitted to NISO for preparation as a draft standard for balloting by NISO Voting Members. 

A compilation of NISO SC AV members' comments and suggested changes from the review of the next-to-final draft is available at:

The compilation indicates how the chair responded to each of the comments and suggested changes. 

Draft Profile for Final Review by NISO SC AV (November 2002)  
[MSWord (.doc);  Rich Text Format (.rtf)

This is a final, revised version of US National Profile available for review by the NISO SC AV. Comments and responses on this draft are due within two weeks, with all comments to be submitted to the SC AV chair <> by close of business on December 10, 2002. Upon completion of the review period, the final draft version (revised if necessary) will be submitted to NISO for ballot preparation.

This final draft is a revision of the draft from April 2002, and incorporates changes agreed to at the April 2002 meeting of SC AV.  Two SC AV members recorded notes from that meeting, and they are available at:

In preparing this final revised version, the SC AV chair marked up the April 2002 and a copy of that document that shows the majority of changes using MS Word Track Changes is available at:

Functional Area B, Holdings Search and Retrieval, Draft March 29, 2002 
[MSWord (.doc); PDF (.pdf)]

Specifications for Functional Area B.  Developed by Christian Perkin Meyer, Mark Needleman, Dana Dietz, and J. Zeeman.  For review at the NISO SC AV Meeting, April 3, 2002 

NISO SC AV members also developed a XML Schema for Holdings.  This Schema is based on the one developed by Poul Henrik Jorgensen for the ONE-2 Project. It reflects an alternative approach for structuring the schema.  

During the development of this draft, several issues were discovered related to the Z39.50 Abstract Record Schema (ARS) for Holdings.  NISO SC AV is proposing a set of changes to the ARS, and these are listed in the document, Proposed changes to the Holdings Abstract Record Schema. [MSWord (.doc) PDF (.pdf)]]

These changes are reflected in a revised version of the ARS (Version 1.3). [MSWord (.doc)]
Revised, Revised Version, April 2, 2002

Draft Profile, Introductory Text and Functional Area A, for Final Review by NISO SC AV (March 2002)  
[MSWord (.doc);  Rich Text Format (.rtf)PDF (.pdf)]

Revised version of the US National Profile, Introductory Text and Functional Area A for final review by the NISO SC AV members. A vote by the committee to move this forward to NISO for balloting will be conducted at the NISO SC AV meeting on April 3, 2002. 

A version of this document that shows the changes (strikeouts and inserts) from the September 2001 Draft is also available. [MSWord (.doc)PDF (.pdf)] 

A document, Summary of Changes Reflected in March 2002 Profile Draft, lists the major changes to the revised US National Profile. In addition, it lists the major differences between the US National Profile and the Bath Profile.  A set of open issues and questions for the April 3, 2002 meeting is included. [MSWord (.doc)Rich Text Format (.rtf); PDF (.pdf)]

Comments by NISO Voting Members on Draft Profile (November 26, 2001)
[Word.docRich Text Format (.rtf)PDF]

The complied comments from the voting members that responded to a call for review of the September 15, 2001 draft of the profile.  

Draft Profile for Review by NISO Voting Members and Others (September 15, 2001) [Word.docRich Text Format (.rtf)PDF]

This is a draft of the profile available to the NISO Voting members and others to show the progress and direction of NISO SC AV.  Since discussions on Functional Area B, Bibliographic Holdings Search and Retrieval, are continuing within NISO SC AV, the specifications for that Functional Area are not included in this draft.  

Request for Changes and Clarifications to the Bath Profile ( September 6, 2001).

This document was forwarded to the Bath Profile group asking for changes and clarifications.  It was discussed at the Bath Profile Group Meeting in the UK on October 3, 2001.

Open Issues and Specification Questions for Consideration by SC AV (revised August 21, 2001)

This is a revised version of the open issues document first produced in May 2001.  It lists several new issues as a result of discussions and the August 21, 2001 revision of the profile.

Holdings Schema -- XML Schema

Poul Henrik Jorgensen created an XML Schema for Holdings based on the Z39.50 Holdings Schema Version 1.1.  Poul Henrik maintains a website for the Holdings XML Schema documents at: <>.  Current releases of the Schema and related documents can be found there.

There are three related documents for this XML Schema:

Introductory Sections of Draft Profile, September 4, 2001 [Word.doc; PDF]

This contains the draft text for most of the introductory sections for the standard.  It includes: 1.  Introduction; 3. Requrements; 4. Z39.50 Specifications; and the beginning of 5. Conformance.  It omits the Foreword and 2. Definitions.

Revised Profile Specifications, August 21, 2001 [Word .docPDF]

This is a revised version of the specifications that reflect decisions from the SC AV April 2001 meeting.  It begins to structure the document as a draft standard with placeholder sections.  See the Change Document for a summary of significant changes from the previous draft.  It only includes Functional Area A conformance levels.  Included in the document in RED are summaries of significant differences between this profile and the Bath Profile.

Significant Changes in the August 21, 2001 Draft of the U.S. National Z39.50 Profile for Library Applications [Word .docPDF]

 This summarizes the changes made to the August 21, 2001 draft.

Differences Between the Bath Profile and Emerging NISO Profile Specifications (May 2001)

Draft Specifications for Review by SC AV Members (April 2001)

Acronyms & Glossary Terms to include in Standard

Preliminary Draft Specifications for Review by SC AV Members (December 2000)