Bruce Rosenblum: 2020’s NISO Fellow

The first NISO Plus conference, held on February 23-25, 2020, featured an awards luncheon in the tradition of the annual NFAIS conference. As part of this awards program, NISO also revived the tradition of NISO Fellows to recognize the ongoing contributions of community members. The 2020 NISO Fellow is none other than Bruce Rosenblum, who was honored for his long service and invaluable contributions to NISO, to the standards world, and to the scholarly communications community.

NISO Executive Director Todd Carpenter noted that as well as serving on the NISO Board of Directors from 2005 through 2013, Bruce has made technical contributions that have been even more long-running important—including creating the Crossref Metadata Deposit Schema, co-authoring the original NLM DTD that eventually became JATS, working actively on both JATS and BITS committees, and co-chairing the STS Working Group.

Bruce, Todd said, “is amongst the most prolific voters and contributors on standards. In 2007, we restructured and launched the system of topic committees … to make it easier for members to participate and vote on standards [of particular interest to them] … I think Bruce is the only one that was upset that we instituted this structure, because by my count he participated in 34 of the voting pools we set up under this structure, which is more than any other member.”

Bruce wasn’t able to attend NISO Plus this year, but here’s the acceptance speech Robin Dunford delivered on his behalf:

I was stunned and deeply honored when I received Todd’s email. I have known a few past NISO Fellows, and they have made truly significant contributions to NISO. I considered my contributions useful, but never dreamed they were on the same level.

But then, perhaps the timing was apropos; Todd’s email arrived sandwiched between STS and JATS Standing Committee calls last Thursday and Friday, respectively. These calls are the routine work of standards organizations. We work as a team to find consensus.

Brad Washburn, the noted mountaineer, photographer, cartographer and museum administrator once commented, “I wouldn’t last 30 minutes climbing solo.”

Standards development is, in Washburn’s parlance, a “team sport”—or, in a more professional language, a collaborative enterprise.

The honor bestowed by this award is really a recognition of those I have had the pleasure to work with for more than 20 years. My work with NISO and the larger community simply would not have been completed or adopted without the collaboration of a lot of colleagues, including many of you in this room.

In the spirit of that collaboration, I humbly accept this award.

I’d like to thank everyone who has collaborated with me in community work over the past 20 plus years. In particular, I am grateful to the team at Inera for their ongoing support of NISO work, and I’d like to thank my wife, and Inera’s founder, Irina Golfman. If she hadn’t sent me off to 12083 meetings at the 1999 XML conference, I might never have become involved with NISO.

Thank you to the NISO board and to Todd Carpenter for reviving this honor and bestowing it on me.

Bruce’s Inera and Atypon colleagues are delighted to see his important and ongoing work on standards recognized.