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Wednesday, October 16 • 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Citations - how open do we want them?

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Citations are an important aspect of scholarly infrastructure. Citation databases, that play an important role in discovery and assessment, currently lack community governance and often have restricted access. . Thanks to the I4OC initiative, over half of all articles with references in Crossref now have their references openly available. These can be used by anyone for any purpose. As one example, they have enabled OpenCitations to build an open citation index of DOI-to-DOI citations (COCI).
But how about the other half? If publishers themselves can’t be convinced to make citations open, can other sources be used? And what role do license restrictions play in the availability and reuse of citations from these sources ?
In this session, we will discuss two potential ways of sourcing open citation information, and the dilemmas their incompatible license requirements pose.
- The Crowdsourced Open Citations Index (CROCI), started this year by OpenCitations as a project into which people may deposit citation information that they have a legal right to submit, with a CC0 license to enable reuse without limitations.
- Extraction of citation information from Microsoft Academic (MA) and The Lens, which include citations that are not openly available through Crossref. MA and Lens both allow sharing and reuse of their data under an Open Data Commons attribution ODC-BY.
While citations crowdsourced through CROCI would be fully open for reuse, the approach is limited in scale. Sourcing information from Microsoft Academic or Lens would allow more citations to be publicly available, but due to the license, they cannot be reused without attribution. For instance, they cannot be integrated with other open citations in COCI. This raises interesting questions about what openness means for citations, what the potential uses cases are, and what approach for sourcing currently closed citations would be preferable. It also touches on the question whether citations, as statements of fact about relationships between publications, can be subject to copyright and/or (database) licensing.

avatar for Bianca Kramer

Bianca Kramer

Utrecht University Library
Making scholarly communication truly open and participatory is not (just) about agreeing on definitions. It's about people and practices, about providing good infrastructure to carry out and disseminate research, and supporting people in the choices they make as they shape their... Read More →

Wednesday October 16, 2019 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Plenary Room
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