The Abbey Newsletter

Volume 14, Number 3
Jun 1990


The February NISO Meeting on Z39.48

[This report by Betsy Humphreys, Chair of Standards Committee II, appeared in the Information Standards Quarterly 2(2), April 1990, p. 12-13

[The National Information Standards Organization is revising its standard for uncoated printing paper, Z39.48. Although the standard originated with NISO, and is maintained by it, the American National Standards Institute lists it as an American Standard, along with standards that were formulated by other U.S. groups. - Ed.]

On February 6, 1990, NISO Standards Committee II met to review comments received from NISO members and other interested parties in response to the discussion draft of the revision of Z39.48-1984, Permanence of Paper for Printed Library Materials. Twenty-three organizations provided comments. Reaction to the draft was generally very positive, although a number of suggestions for Modifications were received. Issues raised for consideration by the committee, and their disposition, follow.

Need for a maximum pH value. A maximim pH of 10 will be incorporated in the revision circulated for ballot. Use of a different test method for determination of lignin content. TAPPI T236 85, "Kappa Number of Pulp," is being considered as a replacement.

Validity of the one percent limit on lignin. This issue requires further investigation. The committee is ordering tests of alkaline papers that contain more than one percent lignin but have no groundwood or other mechanical pulps.

Potentially confounding effect of surface sizings and other lightweight coatings on the determination of the pH of papers that meet the definition for "uncoated." The methods for determining the pH of uncoated paper will be adjusted to avoid this potential problem. Need to explain the basis for the tear index. The formula for computing tear index from tear resistance will be included in the revision circulated for ballot. Both metric units and traditional U.S. units will be included. The tear index for coated paper will probably be based on the total weight of the paper, although the value will be set based on the percentage of the paper's weight that is attributable to the core paper.

Inclusion of an accelerated aging requirement. The committee remains unconvinced that there is sufficient information on which to base the establishment of valid minimum percentages for retention of physical properties after accelerated aging.

Those who provided comments will be contacted over the next few months about their specific suggestions and the committee's plans for addressing them. The committee is working toward an October 1990 date for putting the revision to a vote of NISO members. This schedule is dependent on receipt of the results of additional paper testing.

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