5 Responses to Ten next steps for semantic authors and publishers

  1. Thanks for an excellent list! I wonder if a few of the items here are not overkill, in that they add semantics that could already be inferred from the other steps. After all, inference is the point of linked data, isn’t it?

    For instance, shouldn’t we be able to compute the rest of the bibliographic markup from the DOI or URI? Asking publishers to add RDFa, RDF, and XML all declaring that “volume” has property http://purl.org/ontology/bibo/volume doesn’t seem to add much value. Adding just enough semantic data that we can reliably infer the rest might help researchers and publishers get the most bang for the buck, so to speak.

    I wonder if scoring the publishers on these ten points would provide any incentive to adopt these innovations? At least from the researcher perspective it would be useful to know which publishers were providing the most real added value in terms of these semantics.

    • Phillip Lord says:

      I’d agree with Carl on point 4; it makes no sense, the in text citations are enough, if they use DOIs or URIs. Point 5, also, I am unconvinced. How can I, as an author, either claim or disclaim copyright on other peoples titles? If they are copyrightable at all, then I do not own that copyright. If they are not copyrightable, then it doesn’t matter anyway.

      • davidshotton says:

        Phil, Point 5 was addressed primarily to publishers, not authors. While an article’s bibliographic references are actually “just data”, and thus fall outside the copyright protection that covers the rhetorical text of the article itself, the reality is that most publishers don’t make this distinction, but rather have licenses that preclude free re-use of the contents of reference lists. Happily, this situation is changing, with a number of publishers now putting references outside subscription pay walls. An increasing number have also responded to my Open Letter to Publishers of January 3rd 2013, and have informed CrossRef that they are happy for the reference lists of their articles to be exposed through the CrossRef API for re-use, for example for ingest into the Open Citations Corpus, as noted in other Open Citations Blog posts.

  2. davidshotton says:

    To “compute the rest of the bibliographic markup from the DOI or URI” implies the use of a web service and requires that someone – ideally the publisher – has indeed encoded the bibliographic metadata in machine-readable form and made it publicly available. Ironically, most publishers already have this information nicely marked up in XML for all the papers in their production system, but sadly simply throw it away at the end of the publication pipeline and just publish PDFs, leaving PubMed or CrossRef the job of re-creating it. Others, like PLoS, expose their articles in XML for external harvesting. My feeling is that full machine-readable bibliographic metadata should accompany each article, rather than having to be fetched from some third-party source.

  3. Pingback: Open access journals – wheat, chaff and hopeful monsters | Semantic Publishing

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