Hitchcock, Steve, Brody, Tim, Gutteridge, Christopher, Carr, Les, Hall, Wendy, Harnad, Stevan, Bergmark, Donna and Lagoze, Carl
Open Citation Linking: The Way Forward.
D-Lib Magazine, 8, (10)
The speed of scientific communication — the rate of ideas affecting other researchers' ideas — is increasing dramatically. The factor driving this is free, unrestricted access to research papers. Measurements of user activity in mature eprint archives of research papers such as arXiv have shown, for the first time, the degree to which such services support an evolving network of texts commenting on, citing, classifying, abstracting, listing and revising other texts. The Open Citation project has built tools to measure this activity, to build new archives, and has been closely involved with the development of the infrastructure to support open access on which these new services depend. This is the story of the project, intertwined with the concurrent emergence of the Open Archives Initiative (OAI). The paper describes the broad scope of the project's work, showing how it has progressed from early demonstrators of reference linking to produce Citebase, a Web-based citation and impact-ranked search service, and how it has supported the development of the EPrints.org software for building OAI-compliant archives. The work has been underpinned by analysis and experiments on the semantics of documents (digital objects) to determine the features required for formally perfect linking — instantiated as an application programming interface (API) for reference linking — that will enable other applications to build on this work in broader digital library information environments.
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