Scholix Working Group: stakeholder uptake and next steps for article/data linking

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04 Aug 2020
Group(s) submitting the application: 
Meeting objectives: (Scholarly link exchange) is about linking data to articles to improve discoverability, citability, and FAIRness of data. This works the other way too, where links from articles to the underlying data are essential to give context to and enhance the article.

It’s an old idea, but critical, and it’s important that now we have laid the foundations we need to keep working towards better, more comprehensive linkage between articles and data. Since starting the Scholix work with the RDA-WDS Data Publishing Services Working Group in 2014, Scholix has collected millions of links between datasets and journal articles.  We’ll recap this briefly, but we think what you may also want to learn about is how this small idea has grown from conception to implementation and is continuing to gain momentum, even since we last presented at the RDA Plenary in Helsinki in November 2019.

In our session, we want to give you an overview where members from our various stakeholder groups stand, and invite questions and comments from attendees based on what you’re seeing in your own communities and where more progress could be made. 

We will also discuss if we should broaden our scope going forward or if we want to remain focused on data-article links only, and if there is more that should be considered in that aspect alone. Where should Scholix go next? Scope expansion could, for example, include the types of objects that are linked (e.g. going beyond data to include software, workflows, reagents, and/or samples), or expanding the workflows that can be supported (e.g. including publishing status notifications in order to better support synchronization), or look towards better support for the life sciences community. 

We all know how important linking articles to data is for our communities, and we are seeing good progress in workflows that are making this happen by default rather than as something seen as desirable or ‘nice to have’. We’re seeking help to continue to raise awareness and share what others are doing to continue to accelerate this practice. 

Meeting agenda: 

In our session we want to discuss three streams:

1) An overview of Scholix (group co-chair) (15 minutes)

  • An overview of the Scholix schema and Scholix workflows

  • An overview of the growth of article-data links

  • Implementation & adoption stories: how Scholix is being used in practice 

2) An overview of contributor progress (30 minutes)

  • Scholix for data repositories (presented by DataCite)

    • What the data repositories are doing, and what still needs to be done.

  • Scholix for publishers (presented by Crossref and a publisher)

    • What the publishing community and systems providers are doing, and what still needs to be done. Capturing links earlier in the process. 

  • Contributions to Scholix from the different communities: who is linking to who, where and in what volume? 

3) A discussion on next steps and complementary projects e.g. RDA Open Science Graphs IG, RDA Data Usage Metrics WG and Make Data Count (45 minutes)

  • Should we remain focused on improving the basic article-data infrastructure? There is still work to be done here. 

  • Or are there broader elements we need to focus on/other initiatives we should be engaging with. Should we discuss starting new interest groups e.g. publisher workflows, working group, best practice for life sciences. 

  • We will invite audience engagement by using mentimeter (or similar) to collate feedback and raise points for discussion on next steps or potentially (based on number of sign-ups) breakout rooms using Zoom technology

Target Audience: 

The target audience is broad, and we hope that with an online event we will be able to get an even broader range of participants than at an in-person event, especially from the publishing community:

1) Publishers who want to understand better how they can provide article data links and leverage the information on which data they’re linking to and which data is linking to their publications. 

2) Data repositories/centers who want to understand better how to leverage and contribute article-data links

3) Consumers of bulk data-article links to build services or metrics

4) Graph and link aggregators or hubs; e.g. Crossref, EBI, Pubmed, DataCite, OpenAire

Group chair serving as contact person: 
Brief introduction describing the activities and scope of the group: 

The Scholarly Link Exchange Working group aims to enable links between scholarly literature and data.  The working group will leverage existing work and international initiatives to work towards a global information commons by establishing:

  • Pathfinder services and enabling infrastructure

  • An interoperability framework with guidelines and standards (see also

  • A significant consensus

  • Support for communities of practice and implementation

The working group follows on from the RDA/WDS Publishing Data Services WG,  

This WG has been endorsed by the scientific committee of ICSU-WDS

Short Group Status: 

The group is in “maintenance mode”. This may be a deceptive description of the status, as the group has many members who are actively participating in the monthly calls. “maintenance” implies that the current focus of the working group members is on implementation, uptake, and adoption rather than on expanding the Scholix framework itself, although we are also in the process of making some updates to the group schema recommendations based on community feedback.  

Type of Meeting: 
Informative meeting
Avoid conflict with the following group (1): 
Avoid conflict with the following group (2): 
Meeting presenters: 
Wouter Haak, Martin Fenner, Rachael Lammey, Helena Cousijn