New working group aims to put Scholix guidelines for data-literature integration into practice

SCHOLIXA new working group has been formed to take data-literature linking to a new global scale – and there are great opportunities for OpenAIRE repositories.  This scholarly exchange ink xworking group, which builds on the achievements of the RDA-WDS Data Publishing WG, includes participants from infrastructure providers like CrossRef, DataCite and OpenAIRE; from publishers such as Elsevier and Springer Nature; and from data centres including Pangaea and the Cambridge Crystallographic Data Centre.  

The group, which has applied for continued working group status under the RDA, wants to build an open information ecosystem to understand systematically what data underpins literature and what literature references data.

The initiative builds on the recently published Scholix guidelines for aggregating and exchanging information about links between literature and data. The Scholix interoperability framework was  an output of a joint working group of the Research Data Alliance and World Data System, and a second stage working group was launched in Amsterdam in November to extend the interoperability framework and coordinate implementations at infrastructure providers, publishers, data centres, repositories and other service providers.

Paolo Manghi, of OpenAIRE and co-chair of the working group, remarked, “This cooperation of major scholarly infrastructure providers will create an unprecedented open and global view of the links between data and literature.  And here’s the beauty of it for individual repositories, data centres or publishers: it is so easy to take part.  For example OpenAIRE data providers need simply extend their existing feed to OpenAIRE to include data-literature link information. And they can use their existing Dublin Core, DataCite or CRIS metadata.  No new system or compliance needed.  If you make data-literature link information available from your service, then the big information infrastructures like OpenAIRE, DataCite, and CrossRef are committed to exchange protocols that will aggregate it globally.”

“And the payoff for an individual repository is access to what other services know about your scholarly assets.  Have there been references to one of your datasets elsewhere in the literature?  Which datasets underpin the claims in this article?  Before a researcher re-uses a dataset, can they read an article from someone who has already done so?”

dli-service“There is definitely a ‘network benefit’ from participating in Scholix,” agreed Adrian Burton from the Australian National Data Service, another co-chair.  “By agreeing to have a joined up system everyone wins.  And the immediate message for OpenAIRE repositories is ‘We want your links!’.  In the medium term you could also think of ways to pull back new link information into your own repository from OpenAIRE’s DLI Service, the first exemplar aggregation of Scholix data-literature link information.”

The kick-off meeting of the working group formally agreed on a number of activities to focus on over the next 6-9 months including:

  • Community support for repositories, data centres and publishers exposing links
  • Extension of the Scholix framework with interchange formats and protocols for large aggregating hubs
  • Support for services to take advantage of the aggregate pool of resources
  • Working through peak advocacy bodies such STM Publishers, CODATA, World Data Service, and Force11 to bring about culture change.

If you think you could help with any of this, you can also join the working group and attend the next meeting at the RDA plenary meeting in Barcelona in March.

Contributors:

  • Adrian Burton, ANDS
  • Martin Fenner, DataCite
  • Wouter Haak, Elsevier
  • Paolo Manghi, OpenAIRE

Paolo Manghi

Researcher in Computer Science at ISTI-CNR, member of the InfraScience research group, software architect for the OpenAIRE data infrastructure.

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