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Thursday, October 17 • 11:30am - 12:30pm
Citations: how open do we want them?

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The panel for this session consists of:
  • Dominika Tkaczyk, Crossref
  • Ivan Heibi, Open Citations
  • Shelley Stall, American Geophysical Union
  • Kathleen Shearer, Coalition of Open Access Repositories
  • Richard Jefferson, The LENS (via remote connection)

The panel will be facilitated by:
  • Bianca Kramer, Utrecht University Library
  • Jeroen Bosman, Utrecht University Library

Citations are an important aspect of scholarly infrastructure. Citation databases play an important role in discovery and assessment; however, they currently lack community governance and often have restricted access. Over half of all articles referenced in Crossref now have openly available citations thanks to the I4OC initiative, enabling the citations to be used by anyone for any purpose. For example, OpenCitations have built the open citations index of DOI-to-DOI citations (COCI - https://opencitations.net/index/coci). Yet what about the other half? When publishers themselves cannot be convinced to make citations open, are there other sources that can be used instead? If so, what role do license restrictions play in the availability and reuse of citations from these sources?

This panel session covers two potential ways of sourcing open citation information and the dilemmas posed by their incompatible license requirements:
  • Crowdsourced Open Citations Index (CROCI - https://opencitations.net/index/croci) - begun by OpenCitations in 2019 as a project in which anyone can deposit citation information, as long as they have the legal right to do so. The information is deposited with a Creative Commons CC0 license in order to enable reuse without limitations.
  • Microsoft Academic (MA - https://academic.microsoft.com/home) and The Lens (https://www.lens.org) can provide a source of citations that are not openly available through Crossref. In both cases, the information is available for sharing and reuse under an Open Data Commons ODC BY license.
While citations crowdsourced through CROCI would be fully open for reuse, the approach is limited in scale. Meanwhile, sourcing information from Microsoft Academic or Lens means that more citations can be made publicly available, but also means that the citations cannot be reused without attribution - for example, they cannot be integrated with other open citations in COCI.

This raises interesting questions, which will also be discussed during this session:
  • What does openness mean for citations?
  • What are the potential uses cases for open citations?
  • Which is the best approach when sourcing citations that are currently not openly available?
  • Can citations really be subject to copyright and/or database licensing, when they are simply statements of fact about relationships between publications?


Ivan Heibi

University of Bologna
avatar for Shelley Stall

Shelley Stall

Sr. Director, Data Leadership, American Geophysical Union
Shelley Stall is the Senior Director for the American Geophysical Union’s Data Leadership Program. She works with AGU’s members, their organizations, and the broader research community to improve data and digital object practices with the ultimate goal of elevating how research... Read More →
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 →
avatar for Jeroen Bosman

Jeroen Bosman

Scholarly Communications Librarian, Utrecht University
Talk to me about what's on your mind ;-) You can ask me anything about Open Science, the 101 Innovations in scholarly communications survey and project, research tools, the Force11 scholarly commons working group and of course photography, cycling and the absurd.

Thursday October 17, 2019 11:30am - 12:30pm BST
Plenary Room