IDPF Board candidate: Bill Kasdorf, Apex CoVantage (INCUMBENT)

May 24, 2016

I have been committed for my entire career to helping to develop and promote interoperable standards for the publishing industry. I have written and spoken extensively on this throughout the development of SGML, XML, OEB PS, and EPUB, as well as the constituent standards on which they're based and the standards that are based on them. Most recently, I have conducted seminars and presentations over the past two years in the US, UK, France, Germany, Belgium, and elsewhere on the topic of "The Grand Convergence," discussing how the publishing standards ecosystem is gradually converging, transitioning from formerly proprietary or sector-based standards to truly interoperable, non-proprietary, accessible, sector-agnostic standards. While this convergence is far from complete, the proposed combination of the IDPF and the W3C is the most prominent confirmation of this important trend. I have been privileged to serve both on the IDPF's EPUB 3 Working Group and the W3C's Digital Publishing Interest Group since their inceptions, enabling me to become intimately familiar with this important convergence from both sides first hand.

One of the priorities I have emphasized, and one area where I believe my contributions have been particularly helpful, is in fostering cross-sector understanding and collaboration. It is important for work being done in one sector to be done with knowledge of—and, ideally, collaboration with—work being done in others. This work, too, is far from complete: there is still a frustrating lack of awareness of such efforts between sectors. It's important for work being done in one sector to be aware both of the accomplishments and of the failures or limitations of related work being done in others. I have therefore deliberately become involved in such work in several important sectors—books, journals, magazines, and the news industry. I am grateful that this work has been recognized by my having received the Industry Champion Award from the Book Industry Study Group, the Distinguished Service Award from the Society for Scholarly Publishing (which has an emphasis on journals), and the Luminaire Award from Idealliance, the primary standards organization for magazines.

At this critical juncture in our industry, when the proposed combination of the IDPF and W3C is being considered and—whether or not that combination occurs—the publication and web standards governed by those organizations are continuing to converge, I believe I can make an important contribution as a member of the IDPF Board of Directors. I respectfully request your support and your vote.


Bill Kasdorf, General Editor of The Columbia Guide to Digital Publishing, is Vice President and principal consultant of Apex Content Solutions, a leading supplier of data conversion, editorial, production, and content enhancement services to publishers and other organizations worldwide. Past President of the Society for Scholarly Publishing (SSP), Bill is a recipient of SSP’s Distinguished Service Award, the IDEAlliance/DEER Luminaire Award, and the Book Industry Study Group’s Industry Champion Award.

Active in many standards initiatives, Bill serves on the Board of Directors of the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF) and is a member of the IDPF Working Group responsible for the EPUB 3 standard. He is also an active member of the W3C Digital Publishing Interest Group, which is working to advance the Open Web Platform to better address the full breadth of publishing needs. He is Apex’s delegate to the International Press Telecommunications Council (IPTC), which governs many standards for image and video metadata as well as rights metadata and other standards for the news industry, and is Chair of the BISG Content Structure Committee, which is responsible for the BISG EPUB 3 Support Grid and publishes resources for the book industry. He is an active member of the EDUPUB Alliance, an international collaboration advancing standards for educational content; the IDEAlliance Tech Council, focused on PRISM and other standards for the magazine industry; and the SSP Annual Meeting Committee and Organizational Collaboration Committee for the scholarly publishing industry.

Bill has led seminars, written articles, and spoken widely for publishing industry organizations such as SSP, O’Reilly TOC, NISO, BISG, IDPF, DBW, AAP, AAUP, ALPSP, STM, ALA, Publishing Business, Seybold Seminars, and the Library of Congress. Most recently, he is the author of the chapter on EPUB metadata and packaging for O’Reilly’s EPUB 3 Best Practices and the chapter on EPUB in the bookThe Critical Component: Standards in Information Distribution, published by the American Library Association in collaboration with NISO.

In his consulting practice, Bill has served clients globally, including large international publishers such as Pearson, Cengage, Wolters Kluwer, and Sage; scholarly presses and societies such as Harvard, Cambridge, MIT, Toronto, Taylor & Francis, ASME, and IEEE; aggregators such as CourseSmart and netLibrary; and global publishing and library organizations such as the World Bank, the British Library, the Asian Development Bank, OCLC, and the European Union.

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