Semantic micro-contributions with decentralized nanopublication services

Authors : Tobias Kuhn, Ruben Taelman, Vincent Emonet, Haris Antonatos, Stian Soiland-Reyes, Michel Dumontier

While the publication of Linked Data has become increasingly common, the process tends to be a relatively complicated and heavy-weight one. Linked Data is typically published by centralized entities in the form of larger dataset releases, which has the downside that there is a central bottleneck in the form of the organization or individual responsible for the releases.

Moreover, certain kinds of data entries, in particular those with subjective or original content, currently do not fit into any existing dataset and are therefore more difficult to publish.

To address these problems, we present here an approach to use nanopublications and a decentralized network of services to allow users to directly publish small Linked Data statements through a simple and user-friendly interface, called Nanobench, powered by semantic templates that are themselves published as nanopublications.

The published nanopublications are cryptographically verifiable and can be queried through a redundant and decentralized network of services, based on the grlc API generator and a new quad extension of Triple Pattern Fragments.

We show here that these two kinds of services are complementary and together allow us to query nanopublications in a reliable and efficient manner. We also show that Nanobench makes it indeed very easy for users to publish Linked Data statements, even for those who have no prior experience in Linked Data publishing.

URL : Semantic micro-contributions with decentralized nanopublication services


Comparing the diffusion and adoption of linked data and research data management services among libraries

Author : Jinfang Niu


Libraries face innovations periodically. It is important to identify consistent patterns in the diffusion and adoption of innovations so that libraries and relevant stakeholders will be informed and well-prepared for future innovations.


This paper compares findings from two previous projects, each of which was conducted to investigate the diffusion and adoption of two recent innovations, research data management service and linked data, respectively.

The two projects were conducted using similar methods: collecting and analysing literature about the adoption of these innovations in libraries in the United States. Literature was collected through Google Scholar search, citation chasing, and target search for people or libraries that are involved in their adoption.


The gathered articles were then coded and analysed based on diffusion of innovation theories.


Similarities and disparities between the diffusion and adoption of the two innovations were identified.


Findings from this study are informative for the decision-making of libraries, librarians, funders, and professional associations facing future innovations. They also contribute to diffusion of innovation theories through revealing new communication channels and alternative adoption processes, as well as redefining existing concepts.


Semantic publishing, la sémantique dans la sémiotique des codes sources d’écrits d’écran scientifiques

Auteur/Author : Gérald Kembellec

Cet article analyse les enjeux du semantic publishing en contexte scientifique et examine sous un axe sémiotique les codes sources qui en sont le vecteur de propagation.

Sont présentés et discutés les différents signes passeurs qui rendent possible le maillage de l’écriture fragmentaire en réseau : le RDFa, les microdonnées et le JSON-LD par exemple. Leurs usages sont ici analysés et mis en relation avec les besoins et objectifs des chercheurs, qu’ils soient auteurs ou lecteurs.

Enfin, le futur du semantic publishing scientifique est anticipé de manière critique et des points de vigilance sont évoqués tant sur la gouvernance des autorités et des schémas qui étayent le linked data que sur les tentations d’user et d’abuser des bénéfices communicationnels annexes entre médiation et médiatisation.


Towards Trusted Identities for Swiss Researchers and their Data

Authors : Julien A. Raemy, René Martin Schneider

In this paper we report on efforts to enhance the Swiss persistent identifier (PID) ecosystem. We will firstly describe the current situation and the need for improvement in order to describe in full detail the steps undertaken to create a Swiss-wide model.

A case study was undertaken by using several data sets from the domains of art and design in the context of the ICOPAD project. We will provide a set of recommendations to enable a PID service that could mint Archival Resource Key (ARK) identifiers or a flavour of Research Resource Identifiers (RRIDs) as complement to Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs).

We will conclude with some remarks concerning the transferability of this approach to other areas and the requirements for a national hub for PID management in Switzerland.

URL : Towards Trusted Identities for Swiss Researchers and their Data


Linked Research on the Decentralised Web

Author : Sarven Capadisli

This thesis is about research communication in the context of the Web. I analyse literature which reveals how researchers are making use of Web technologies for knowledge dissemination, as well as how individuals are disempowered by the centralisation of certain systems, such as academic publishing platforms and social media.

I share my findings on the feasibility of a decentralised and interoperable information space where researchers can control their identifiers whilst fulfilling the core functions of scientific communication: registration, awareness, certification, and archiving.

The contemporary research communication paradigm operates under a diverse set of sociotechnical constraints, which influence how units of research information and personal data are created and exchanged.

Economic forces and non-interoperable system designs mean that researcher identifiers and research contributions are largely shaped and controlled by third-party entities; participation requires the use of proprietary systems.

From a technical standpoint, this thesis takes a deep look at semantic structure of research artifacts, and how they can be stored, linked and shared in a way that is controlled by individual researchers, or delegated to trusted parties. Further, I find that the ecosystem was lacking a technical Web standard able to fulfill the awareness function of research communication.

Thus, I contribute a new communication protocol, Linked Data Notifications (published as a W3C Recommendation) which enables decentralised notifications on the Web, and provide implementations pertinent to the academic publishing use case. So far we have seen decentralised notifications applied in research dissemination or collaboration scenarios, as well as for archival activities and scientific experiments.

Another core contribution of this work is a Web standards-based implementation of a clientside tool, dokieli, for decentralised article publishing, annotations and social interactions. dokieli can be used to fulfill the scholarly functions of registration, awareness, certification, and archiving, all in a decentralised manner, returning control of research contributions and discourse to individual researchers.

The overarching conclusion of the thesis is that Web technologies can be used to create a fully functioning ecosystem for research communication. Using the framework of Web architecture, and loosely coupling the four functions, an accessible and inclusive ecosystem can be realised whereby users are able to use and switch between interoperable applications without interfering with existing data.

Technical solutions alone do not suffice of course, so this thesis also takes into account the need for a change in the traditional mode of thinking amongst scholars, and presents the Linked Research initiative as an ongoing effort toward researcher autonomy in a social system, and universal access to human- and machine-readable information.

Outcomes of this outreach work so far include an increase in the number of individuals self-hosting their research artifacts, workshops publishing accessible proceedings on the Web, in-the-wild experiments with open and public peer-review, and semantic graphs of contributions to conference proceedings and journals (the Linked Open Research Cloud).

Some of the future challenges include: addressing the social implications of decentralised Web publishing, as well as the design of ethically grounded interoperable mechanisms; cultivating privacy aware information spaces; personal or community-controlled on-demand archiving services; and further design of decentralised applications that are aware of the core functions of scientific communication.


Creating Structured Linked Data to Generate Scholarly Profiles: A Pilot Project using Wikidata and Scholia

Authors : Mairelys Lemus-Rojas, Jere D. Odell


Wikidata, a knowledge base for structured linked data, provides an open platform for curating scholarly communication data. Because all elements in a Wikidata entry are linked to defining elements and metadata, other web systems can harvest and display the data in meaningful ways.

Thus, Wikidata has the capacity to serve as the data source for faculty profiles. Scholia is an example of how third-party tools can leverage the power of Wikidata to provisde faculty profiles and bibliographic, data-driven visualizations.


In this article, we share our methods for contributing to Wikidata and displaying the data with Scholia.

We deployed these methods as part of a pilot project in which we contributed data about a small but unique school on the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) campus, the IU Lilly Family School of Philanthropy.


Following the completion of our pilot project, we aim to find additional methods for contributing large data collections to Wikidata. Specifically, we seek to contribute scholarly communication data that the library already maintains in other systems.

We are also facilitating Wikidata edit-a-thons to increase the library’s familiarity with the knowledge base and our capacity to contribute to the site.

URL : Creating Structured Linked Data to Generate Scholarly Profiles: A Pilot Project using Wikidata and Scholia


Automatically Annotating Articles Towards Opening and Reusing Transparent Peer Reviews

Authors : Afshin Sadeghi, Sarven Capadisli, Johannes Wilm, Christoph Lange, Philipp Mayr

An increasing number of scientific publications are created in open and transparent peer review models: a submission is published first, and then reviewers are invited, or a submission is reviewed in a closed environment but then these reviews are published with the final article, or combinations of these.

Reasons for open peer review include giving better credit to reviewers and enabling readers to better appraise the quality of a publication. In most cases, the full, unstructured text of an open review is published next to the full, unstructured text of the article reviewed.

This approach prevents human readers from getting a quick impression of the quality of parts of an article, and it does not easily support secondary exploitation, e.g., for scientometrics on reviews.

While document formats have been proposed for publishing structured articles including reviews, integrated tool support for entire open peer review workflows resulting in such documents is still scarce.

We present AR-Annotator, the Automatic Article and Review Annotator which employs a semantic information model of an article and its reviews, using semantic markup and unique identifiers for all entities of interest.

The fine-grained article structure is not only exposed to authors and reviewers but also preserved in the published version. We publish articles and their reviews in a Linked Data representation and thus maximize their reusability by third-party applications.

We demonstrate this reusability by running quality-related queries against the structured representation of articles and their reviews.