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Many types of standards exist: international, regional (e.g. European), national, industrial, de facto, etc. I will not in this paper explain the differences, nor will I speak about the many good reasons for making standards. I will concern myself with the making of International Standards (ISO standards) for permanent paper. ISO standards very often take an existing national standard as a point of departure. In that way one hopes to find basic and reliable work, made by experts in the field, that provides a sound and secure starting point. But once an ISO standard is established on the international scene, it in turn becomes the basis for national standards where such are needed. I will speak about why and how the permanent paper standards were made, and how they have been accepted. I will end up with a description of the different stages in the international standardization procedure, so that the whole process may appear a little bit more familiar to you.
The membership in SC10 has been steadily increasing. It is the standardization organization in each of the ISO member countries that is a member. Normally, a national committee to cover the work of the international committee, is set up.
Actively participating member countries (P-members) are the following 17: Australia, Denmark, Canada, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Iran, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Russian Federation, South Africa, Sweden, UK, USA
Observing member countries (O-members) are the following 13: Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, China, Colombia, Iceland, Republic of Korea, Mongolia, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Thailand.
External liaison organizations include ICA (Int. Council on Archives), IFLA, International Docu-mentation Committee of the Inter-national Council of Museums, and IPC (Institute of Paper Conservation). I will return to how an organization such as IFLA can participate in the work when I at the end of my paper give an overview of how practical ISO work is carried out.
TC46/SC10 has up to now had three International Standards published. The first was of course
ISO 9706:1994 Information and documentation -- Paper for documents -- Requirements for permanence. Later came
ISO 11108:1996 Information and documentation -- Archival paper -- Requirements for permanence and durability, and, published in April this year,
ISO 11800:1998 Information and documentation -- Requirements for binding materials and methods used in the manufacture of books
The ongoing work is at present concentrated on the following projects (the meaning of the abbreviations will be explained later when I discuss the stages of standard development):
ISO/FDIS 11798 - Permanence and durability of writing, printing and copying on paper - Re-quirements and testing met-hods
ISO/DIS 11799 - Document storage requirements
ISO/DIS 14416 - Requirements for binding of books, periodi-cals, serials and other paper documents for archive and library use - Methods and materials
ISO/CD 15659 - Archival boards - Migration test
ISO/WD 16245 - Archives boxes and file covers for paper documents
The first can be dealt with rather briefly. When a paper scientist today asks what is the reason and scientific basis for a requirement of minimum 2 % alkaline reserve in the paper (and not higher or lower), the answer surely has to be found in the Barrow studies dating back from the 1950es. The requirement has been unchanged through all the years, and indeed it is one of the most fundamental requirements to a permanent paper. Sometimes one comes across paper marketed as "acid-free". This must have been supposed both by some paper sellers and some publishers to be a mark of quality. But absence of acid in a paper does not guarantee any permanence, unless it is backed up by a deposit in the paper of an alkaline substance (usually calcium carbonate) to counter the influence of acids from the environment and acids produced during paper degradation.
Based on a century of experiences, it was held by all librarians and archivists that lignin had to be excluded from a permanent paper. The 1984 standard simply stated that "The paper shall contain no groundwood or unbleached pulp". To ascertain that, the fibre contents were supposed to be measured by specialists, counting in a microscope according to an old Tappi standard. But this was a requirement that was difficult to handle for the papermakers. Were traces (inevitable in practical paper production) acceptable? How was a dispute to be resolved, if the requirement was not quantified? Here it has to be remembered that the main idea behind standardizing the permanent paper was not to describe the best paper possible, but to describe a permanent paper that could be cheap and therefore ubiquitous. Therefore, the papermakers had to be sure whether their paper complied with the standard or not. The difficulty was resolved in the ISO work. Here the concept of measuring oxidizable matter (technically known as Kappa number) was introduced. Any oxidizable matter present, lignin or whatever, would contribute to raising the Kappa number. When somebody asks why a Kappa number of five is chosen, my answer is that that corresponds to the value of 2% which according to Tappi T401-os-74 Method for fiber analysis of paper and paperboard is the uncertainty of that method. It is therefore a quantitative way of saying "No groundwood or unbleached pulp", and still allowing for traces.
"The technical requirements of this International Standard ISO 9706 are in conform-ity with the standard ANSI/NISO Z39.48-1992, American National Standard for Permanence of Paper for Publications and Documents in Libraries and Archives. The limiting values of two of the four required characteris-tics, viz. tear resistance and resis-tance to oxidation, differ slightly. A symbol of compliance in the form of the mathematical symbol denoting infinity set inside a circle was develo-ped by NISO, the US National Information Standards Organization and introduced in ANSI Z39.48-1984. The NISO symbol is now part of ANSI/NISO Z39.48-1992. The symbol is used in this Inter-national Standard with the permission of NISO."
The importance of this is seen in the fact that a user can be certain that it does not matter whether the paper is made according to American National or ISO standard for permanent paper, and that the now well-known symbol has the same meaning in both contexts.
This situation is happily going to exist also in the coming years. Both standards will have to be revised when the time is ripe. That time has not yet come. The ANSI/NISO 1992 standard was confirmed in 1997 for another 5-year period. In May this year, ISO/TC46/SC10 adopted the following resolution (addressing a proposal from some paper makers for a revision accepting higher lignin content):
"SC 10 appreciates the information on ongoing research given in presentations by Mr. Bruce Arnold [on research by ASTM/ISR on paper ageing, natural and accelerated] and Mr. Norayr Gurnagul [on research in Canada on the effects of lignin on paper ageing], and finds that a revision of ISO 9706 is not possible this stage, since the final reports of both are not yet available. SC10 confirms that the parallelity at which exists between ANSI/NISO Z39.48 of 1992 (reconfirmed in 1997) and ISO 9706 from 1994 should be upheld also in the future."
According to the scope of the standard, archival paper is primarily required for docu-ments and publications intended to be kept permanently because of their high histori-cal, legal or other significant values. Archival paper is for special purposes, not for common use. The use of the term "archival paper" does not imply that all papers kept in archives are "archival papers". Examples of use of a document include, but are not limited to, the ability of the document to be handled, read, examined, or copied for the purposes of dissemination or transfer to another medium
It follows from the definitions given that archival paper is permanent paper that also is durable. Any paper that is made according to ISO 11108 will also meet the requirements of ISO 9706. ISO 9706 for permanent paper has requirements to
ISO 11108 for archival paper has extra requirements to ensure durability. Paper strength is to be measured by also by determining the folding endurance, and a list of acceptable fibre types that have to make up the principal part of the furnish is given.
Ideas for a new International Standard that are in an embryonal stage and have not yet been developed technically, may be introduced as preliminary work items. They are introduced into the programme of work of ISO/TC46/SC10 by a simple majority vote of its P-members. Liaison members who have good ideas they would like to see developed, should contact the SC10 secretariat about it. The address is:
An NP proposal requires some more preliminary work to be done than a PWI proposal does. It may, however, be made by members as well as by organizations in liaison with the committee, such as IFLA. An NP requires a first working draft for discussion as well as a project leader. Ballot papers will be prepared by the secretariat, and shall be returned within three months. P-members ready to participate should provide the name of their experts. Liaison members wanting to contribute in a Working group for the development of successive working drafts resulting in a Committee Draft should contact the SC10 secretariat. An NP requires approval by a simple majority vote of the P-members, plus a commitment by at least five P-members to participate actively.
Working Drafts are normally prepared in Working Groups (WGs) made up of the at least five experts nominated by the national member bodies that are P-members. There exist some possibilities of widening the WG membership with extra experts. Liaison members such as IFLA may also nominate WG members. Such nominations will be much appreciated.
When the WG considers itself to be ready with its work - perhaps after having considered several successive WDs in WG meetings and/or by correspondence - it delivers the final WD to SC10, who pronounces the WD to be a Committee Draft, a CD. CDs are issued to the P- and 0-members of SC10 for detailed scrutiny and correction of errors or changes to the intent of the Work Item, via a ballot and comment routine. It is at this stage that the possibility to exert influence is the best. Changes proposed in the later stages are more difficult to incorporate. Liaison members are also welcome to give their comments at this stage. The time frame for review of the first CD is normally three months. If the changes proposed as a result of the CD ballot are considered to be substantial, a second CD will be prepared and balloted. The time limit for review of a second CD is also three months. A consensus among P-members is required to advance the project to the next stage, the Draft International Standard. A 2/3 majority is required in case of doubt about consensus.
DISes are prepared by the SC10 secretariat and issued for ballot by the ISO Central Secretariat in Geneva to all national member bodies. The text of the DIS is to reflect the result of the ballot on the CD draft, and it will show the inclusion or exclusion of comments made during the CD balloting routine. A 2/3 majority of TC46/SC10 P-members is required for approval, and further not more than 25% of all votes cast may be negative. Abstentions and negative votes without accompanying comments are not counted. Liaison members voices will no longer be heard. If the DIS fails in the ballot, a revised DIS may be prepared. An approved DIS has to be considered as the final draft, ready for publication (that is: no more enquiries asking for comments, neither as to technical content or editorial details). A Final Draft international Standard will be prepared, however.
FDISes are prepared by the SC 10 secretariat and issued by ISO Central Secretariat to reflect the final results of the ballot of the DIS. The ballot is for a two months vote. The question to be answered is a simple yes/no question as to publication of the FDIS as an International Standard. The rules for acceptance are the same as for DIS ballot. Technical reasons for negative votes - if such are presented - will be submitted to the SC10 secretariat for consideration at the time of he next review of the International Standard, which shall take place not later than after a five year period. The correction of errors that may have been introduced in the preparation of the draft may be pointed out by the voting member bodies. The SC10 secretary will collect and forward them to ISO/CS in the proof review for correction. Further editorial or technical amendments are not acceptable at, this stage. The FDIS clearly is not the stage to produce new additions; only minor corrections of editorial nature will be taken into account. ISO/CS will correct any errors pointed out by the secretariat of SC10, and publish the International Standard in English and French.