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Thursday, January 17, 2008

Latest CLADDIER report on data-publication linkage

Brian Matthews and four co-authors, Citation, Location, And Deposition In Discipline & Institutional Repositories:  Recommendations for Data/Publication Linkage, November 30, 2007.  Report III for the CLADDIER Project.  (Thanks to Charles Bailey.)

Abstract:   A key aim of the CLADDIER project is to investigate the cross-linking and citation of resources (in particular data and their associated publications) held in institutional and subject-based repositories within the research sector. Typically traditional citations are partial in that they are “backward citations”, referring to work which influenced the current research, and they only cite other formal publications, ignoring other artefacts which are the output of research, in particular research data. Online repositories storing more dynamic digital objects gives the opportunity to provide a more complete picture of the relationships between them, with backward and forward citations to data and publications being propagated between repositories.

This report motivates the cross-citations of data from the CLADDIER use case example, and considers the approaches which have been implemented to harvest and propagate citation information. Most of these existing approaches depend on centralised services, which were considered unsatisfactory in an environment where independent repositories wish to maintain control of their resources and do not wish to be dependant on third-party services. Criteria are identified for building a Citation Notification Service to propagate citation references and links between repositories, including using a peer-to-peer protocol. A number of different architectures are proposed and evaluated.

The requirement for a light-weight peer-to-peer service which is as widely applicable as possible lead to the selection of Linkback services, in particular Trackback which provides an existing simple specification which can be implemented quickly and adapted to the requirements of citation notification. A detailed description the Trackback protocol is then given, together with the design of the adaptations and extensions identified as required for citation notification. This extended Trackback protocol has been implemented in the STFC ePubs institutional repository; this implementation is described and a use case is described.

The resulting protocol provides a flexible mechanism for propagating information between repositories. The report considers the status and possible future applications and extensions of the Trackback Citation Notification Service.