ICT and Information

Z39.50 or ISO 23950 Standards

A national and international (ISO 23950) standard defining a protocol for computer-to-computer information retrieval is Z39.50. Z39.50 makes it possible enables a user in one system to hunt and retrieve details from other computer systems (that have also executed Z39.50) without being aware of the search syntax that is employed by other systems. Z39.50 was initially sanctioned in 1988 by the National Information Standards Organization (NISO). Z39.50 is a protocol which describes data structures and transmission norms that permit a client machine (called an “origin” in the criteria) to search databases on a server machine (called a “target” in the criteria) and access records that are recognized as an outcome of such a hunt . Z39.50 protocol is employed to seek and access bibliographic records in more than a single library system. This criterion is connection-oriented. The criterion talks about communication amongst merely two machines. Z39.50 fails to describe an applications program interface (API) to the services of the protocol on either the client or the server. It merely handles the communications amongst the client and server machines. Furthermore, Z39.50 fails to deal with the problems that are part of the user interfaces that the client may put forth or any of the problems that are part of the database management at the server. Z39.50 also includes operations related to the search management. For instance, a server can offer progress reports for an active search, or can ask the client for permission to go ahead with a resource intensive search; a client has the option to give up any active search. The report for finishing the search can also return additional details like how many records matched individual element terms in a search. Z39.50 attained immense reliability in the library automation community and quickly became part of the conditions majority of the libraries employed while buying new library automation systems; this additionally enhanced the executions.

The name Z39 was derived from the ANSI committee on libraries, publishing and information services which was termed as Z39. NISO standards are numbered successively and Z39 is the 50th standard created by the NISO. The present version of Z39.50 was implemented in 1995 while previous versions were implemented in 1992 and 1988 (Z39.50 Cataloging at a glance, 2014).


Original Reference Article:

  • Jain, C. (2017). Evolving a Model for National Digital Repository of Indian Government Publications using Institutional Repository Infrastructure.
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Md. Ashikuzzaman

Work at North South University Library, Bangladesh.

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