RE: examples of linking bibliographic RDF to articles

From: Matthew Cockerill <>
Date: Fri, 15 Jul 2005 10:48:11 +0100


Actually, long term I think scientific authors do need to be identified URIs.
I think ultimately the semantic web, and the increasing sophistication of bibliographic tools built on it, will drive this.

The need for author specific IDs has been raised several times in the scientific literature.
Nature 411, 237 (17 May 2001) | doi: 10.1038/35077304
Sorting out the Smiths

[But there was a more recent one too.]

The ambiguity in author names has pretty serious consequences - e.g. it is disproportionately difficult for editors of our journals to identify if someone is a suitable reviewer for a paper, if they have a common name (Chinese names being a particular challenge), since searching bibliographic databases it can be very difficult to identify which people are genuinely the same person.

It might be felt that it's difficult to see how we can get from the current situation, to a situation where author names on papers are always include an ID (ideally a URI), but as the major indexing services (PubMed, ISI, and Google Scholar), say, increasingly base themselves on electronic data supplied by the publisher, it's easily conceivable that as well as (or perhaps better, instead of) requiring an email address from authors, journals could require authors to supply their author URI, obtained from an international open registry analagous to Crossref.

Obviously, not all journals would do this immediately, but it's conceivable that a bibliographic service like PubMed or Google Scholar could generate its own best estimate of the set of distinct authors, represented within the corpus of data that it indexes, using statistical text analysis techniques, and could have it's own namespace of author URIs, which would map onto the official author-registered URIs.

Authors would then start to have a strong incentive to register their real author URI, and to correct any mismappings that exist in the attempts at author disambiguation that were generated by the bibliographic databases.

So although it's a pretty thorny problem, I do think that the elements of an achievable solution may be starting to fall into place.


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Alf Eaton []
> Sent: 15 July 2005 00:26
> To:
> Subject: Re: examples of linking bibliographic RDF to articles
> On 14 Jul 2005, at 18:21, Eric Miller wrote:
[...discussion on general biblio RDF markup issues deleted...]
> >> Alf, What are you thoughts on giving URIs to people?
> Impossible (as far as bio/med publications are concerned, anyway).
> alf.
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Received on Fri Jul 15 2005 - 09:58:31 EDT

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