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  • Linked Research on the Decentralised Web
  • The past went that-a-way. When faced with a totally new situation we tend always to attach ourselves to the objects, to the flavor of the most recent past. We look at the present through a rear-view mirror. We march backward into the future. Suburbia lives imaginatively in Bonanza-land. The Medium is the Massage: An Inventory of Effects, p. 74-75, Marshall McLuhan, 1967 Abstract This thesis is about research communication in the context of the Web. I analyse literature which reveals how researchers are making use of Web technologies for knowledge dissemination, as well as how individuals are disempowered by the centralisation of certain systems, such as academic publishing platforms and social media. I share my findings on the feasibility of a decentralised and interoperable information space where researchers can control their identifiers whilst fulfilling the core functions of scientific communication: registration, awareness, certification, and archiving. The contemporary research communication paradigm operates under a diverse set of sociotechnical constraints, which influence how units of research information and personal data are created and exchanged. Economic forces and non-interoperable system designs mean that researcher identifiers and research contributions are largely shaped and controlled by third-party entities; participation requires the use of proprietary systems. From a technical standpoint, this thesis takes a deep look at semantic structure of research artifacts, and how they can be stored, linked and shared in a way that is controlled by individual researchers, or delegated to trusted parties. Further, I find that the ecosystem was lacking a technical Web standard able to fulfill the awareness function of research communication. Thus, I contribute a new communication protocol, Linked Data Notifications (published as a W3C Recommendation) which enables decentralised notifications on the Web, and provide implementations pertinent to the academic publishing use case. So far we have seen decentralised notifications applied in research dissemination or collaboration scenarios, as well as for archival activities and scientific experiments. Another core contribution of this work is a Web standards-based implementation of a clientside tool, dokieli, for decentralised article publishing, annotations and social interactions. dokieli can be used to fulfill the scholarly functions of registration, awareness, certification, and archiving, all in a decentralised manner, returning control of research contributions and discourse to individual researchers. The overarching conclusion of the thesis is that Web technologies can be used to create a fully functioning ecosystem for research communication. Using the framework of Web architecture, and loosely coupling the four functions, an accessible and inclusive ecosystem can be realised whereby users are able to use and switch between interoperable applications without interfering with existing data. Technical solutions alone do not suffice of course, so this thesis also takes into account the need for a change in the traditional mode of thinking amongst scholars, and presents the Linked Research initiative as an ongoing effort toward researcher autonomy in a social system, and universal access to human- and machine-readable information. Outcomes of this outreach work so far include an increase in the number of individuals self-hosting their research artifacts, workshops publishing accessible proceedings on the Web, in-the-wild experiments with open and public peer-review, and semantic graphs of contributions to conference proceedings and journals (the Linked Open Research Cloud). Some of the future challenges include: addressing the social implications of decentralised Web publishing, as well as the design of ethically grounded interoperable mechanisms; cultivating privacy aware information spaces; personal or community-controlled on-demand archiving services; and further design of decentralised applications that are aware of the core functions of scientific communication. General Terms Design Human factors Standardisation Theory Categories and Subject Descriptors H.1.2 [Information Systems]: Human information processing H.4.m [Information Systems Applications]: Linked Data H.5.3 [Information Interfaces and Presentation]: Web-based interaction I.7.4 [Document and Text Processing]: Electronic Publishing Keywords Communications protocol Decentralisation Human-computer interaction Linked Data Media studies Open science Scholarly communication Semantic publishing Social machine Social web Web science Web standards Audience The intended audience is any agent – especially those that do not yet exist! Agents with the following roles or capabilities may find the information particularly interesting or useful. Archivist Artificial intelligence Computer scientist Faculty (academic staff) Funders Librarian Researcher Declaration I declare that the work covered by this thesis is composed by myself, and that it has not been submitted for any other degree or professional qualification except as specified. Acknowledgements This thesis is the result of interconnected ideas and people coming together. I would like the following to be carved in a hyperdimensional stone: Brigitte Schuster, Emilian Capadisli, Junes Capadisli. My parents and brother. Sören Auer for his supervision, endurance and support; the force that kept my work and initiatives real – a massive understatement. ⚛ Captain Amy Guy for her advice and friendship. Immensely grateful; my work would not be where it is today without her collaboration as well as justifiable distractions of epic proportions. 🦜 Herbert Van de Sompel for helping me to connect the fundamental dots to better situate my work in context of research communication. A mentor. 💡 Tim Berners-Lee, the Web developer that I look up to for inspiration and model perseverance to continue fighting for the Web. I am grateful to collaborate with Tim on the challenges ahead of us. 🕸 Kingsley Idehen, my practise what you preach partner in crime. I have learned a lot from Kingsley as we aimed to realise cool Web stuff. 🧩 Amy van der Hiel for ethical Web checks and having me remind myself to assess the value of what I do with respect to society and adjusting my aims accordingly. Her influence will continue to shape the fabric of the projects that I am involved in. 🧭 Bernadette Hyland for supporting me to hang in there for the long game. ✌ Stian Soiland-Reyes for brainstorming and experimenting on various Linked Data stuff. 🧐 Ruben Verborgh for being an exemplary researcher and developer to learn from, and support to better integrate our work out there in the wild. 🎸 Andrea Scharnhorst for helping me to develop a sense of academic collaboration. 🤝 Axel Polleres for his guidance and supporting initiatives to evolve research communication. 🎩 Dame Wendy Hall for keeping the spirit of the Web in scholarly communication alive. 👣 Ilaria Liccardi for her mentorship and care to help me move my research forward. 🍎 Henry Story for providing context to undoubtedly interconnected ideas in technology and philosophy. 🐠 Melvin Carvalho for bouncing ideas on the intersection of McLuhan’s media theories and the Web. 📺 Christoph Lange for helping to frame my work as research where I thought it was just development. 📜 Jodi Schneider for helping to improve my argumentation in research communication. 📚 Miel Vander Sande for pushing me in the right direction to frame the design science of my work. 🖼 Albert Meroño-Peñuela for collaborating on LSD and LDN, and getting interesting results. ⊹ Paul Groth is partly to blame for all this work as he (indirectly) challenged me to make it so. 🚀 Alexander Garcia Castro for initially nudging me to formulate my vision for scholarly communication which later set the core of my research and development. 🞋 The (anti?) Social Web: from your encouragement to your dismissal of radical and lunatic scholarly endeavours; being the widest sounding board possible. 💬 Introduction 'Why' is the only real source of power, without it you are powerless. The Matrix Reloaded, Merovingian, 2003 Motivation Would you do me a favour? I'd like to stop talking for a minute and when I do, take a look at the room you're in and above all at the man-made objects in that room that surround you – the television set, the lights, the phone and so on – and ask yourself what those objects do to your life just because they're there. Go ahead. Connections, James Burke, 1979 Well, that is what this thesis is going to be all about. It is about modern research communication, and just because it is there, shapes the way we think and behave; and why it exists in the form it does, and who or what was responsible for it to exist at all. What is an alternative way of change? The idiosyncratic relationships between technological breakthroughs and societal transformations throughout history are intrinsically intertwined. It was not until I came across Connections, the TV series by James Burke that I had a glimpse of the phenomenon about the increasingly interlinked human endeavours over time. After encountering Marshall McLuhan’s theories on communication and how media have the power to shape and transform human nature, what to do next was mostly clear (in my head). Given these realisations or perspectives as a foundation, being a Web technologist only enabled me to build the necessary connections between what was previously missing or underdeveloped. The rest was mostly a matter of struggling with the ghost in the machine and working alongside our shared social challenges. Ironically, even today, academics essentially operate within a paper-centric framework to create and disseminate publicly-funded knowledge by usually delegating it to third-party publishers which still operate in the 15th century. Meanwhile, the Web – if we can anthropomorphise for a moment – is disappointed by the distracted academics’ practices. I took the liberty to test the boundaries and demonstrate some of the aspects of what the native affordances of the Web provided – an extension of our central nervous system. I live in an information society, which makes use of variety of communication media to meet societal needs. The Web has shaped social policies and practices around the world, as well as influence the creation and use of other technologies. It has also reconfigured individuals to be active participants in global information exchange, as well as passive consumers partly due to the abundance of instantaneously available multimedia. To date – 30 years old as of this writing – the Web is considered to be a net positive for society all meanwhile open and complex challenges remain. Like any human technology, what we devise and how we use them has societal implications. We can start this story from anywhere. I argue that in order to best contextualise this thesis, it is essential to operate under the understanding of communication mediums and scientific revolutions, as well as their effects on society. This is especially because the research goals of this thesis at its core is sociotechnical, and that a clear division between them will not do its justice. I believe that in order to push the boundaries of our knowledge further, it necessitates a multidisciplinary undertaking – taken with a grain of salt. One overarching goal is to foster the social machinery from different perspectives that is required to build a knowledge Web for any type of user; human, machine, or other. While I set the problem context to scholarly communication, applications of the knowledge and generated artifacts are potentially applicable to other initiatives in society. I assume that researchers in scholarly communication are motivated to some extent personally, whether that is with the goal to take part in advancing collective knowledge, society and life, career advancement, prestige, or financial gain. Researchers are intrinsically interested in making their impact by way of sharing their findings in a manner that is most accessible to potential users. As for the underlying technical machinery for information exchange, I assume that it is useful to aim in designing interoperable information systems to help us address problems in context of societal goals. All of these aspects are part of the social machine of scholarly communication, and are explored through the sections. As many have argued, for scholarly communication to be more effective; accessible, usable, inclusive, as well as equitable, we need to adopt methods that are better at identifying and making use of the native affordances of the Web. This is particularly important today since academic and social activities use the Web as the primary medium to communicate (in contrast to systems that mimic paper media). Hence, I examine the core characteristics of the Web, discuss the state of affairs in scholarly communication, and share my findings on how a way to fulfill the forces and functions in scientific communication can be met by a socially-aware decentralised client application along with an ocean of open Web standards at its disposal. In order to frame the design science of this thesis, the sections on Research Goals and Research Questions are based on Research Goals and Research Questions in Design Science Methodology for Information Systems and Software Engineering, Wieringa, 2014. Research Goals This section contains the outlines for social and technical research goals of this thesis. Each goal is further explored and related material is reviewed in relevant sections. Stakeholders In research projects, there are various stakeholders (in)directly acting as internal and external forces in scholarly communication. In order to address societal concerns, research sponsors fund projects to attain reusable technical designs and acquire new knowledge in the process. Knowledge workers like researchers and scholars are driven by curiosity to advance our understanding of the universe and share their findings. The public is interested in accessing applications of research to educate and for the well-being of life. The industry needs efficient functioning of scientific communication in order to translate the return of research capital. I am a member of stakeholders acting in particular as a knowledge worker, a part of public, an operator (end user, maintainer, operational supporter). Problem Context There are several sociotechnical limitations in the contemporary paradigm that the scholarly communication operates in. I will summarise a subset of problem areas pertaining to interoperability of systems and autonomy of actors. Each problem space will be reviewed in relevant sections of this thesis. There is an abundance of scientific information on the Web. However, humans and machines have restricted access, are required to pay, or hindered to efficiently discover, make sense of, and create new connections between information. Data on the Web tends to be locked into non-interoperable Web systems or be only usable by applications which created it. Actors – creators and readers – in these systems often do not have the means to switch between applications and share data between them. There is a lack of diverse value chains for different units of scholarly communication due to tightly coupled proprietary systems. The actors in these systems create and exchange information by (being forced into) using packaged systems and workflows, give up their rights, and not have control over how their creations can be disseminated and reused. The actors in the system commonly use print-centric tools and data representations to exchange content on the Web and neglect to take advantage of the available affordances of the Web (media). Actors’ possibility to shape their contributions in Web media is typically constrained to third-party service provider’s centralised and non-interoperable solutions. Actors’ use of personal and professional identifiers, as well as data storage from third-parties are subject to privacy issues. Actors typically manage multiple disconnected profiles, social connections, and data spaces. These class of problems in the scholarly ecosystem have implications on access, interoperability, findability, cost and privacy. Consequently, resulting in global deficiencies in the ecosystem. The research questions; Technical Research Problems and Knowledge Questions, are aimed at understanding the internal mechanisms of these type of problems and address them for stakeholders. Technical Research Goals Given the Problem Context, the technical goals of this thesis are to identify gaps in the Web standards landscape and to create new technical standards where necessary. A further goal is to demonstrate how existing and new standards and technologies can be used in combination as part of a user-facing application for publishing and interacting with scholarly artifacts. The Research Questions are geared to meeting these goals. Knowledge Goals The knowledge goals of this thesis describe the theoretical underpinnings necessary to accomplish the Technical Research Goals. We need to understand the various technological mediums in which scholarly communication has historically operated, and how and why this has changed, in order to have a frame of reference for new work. Our investigation must examine scholarship with respect to the media employed for publication, dissemination and feedback, and identify some of the constraints and limitations. This research can serve to describe the effects and artifacts of scholarly communication, as well as conceptual and technical designs that are used to exchange units of information by both humans and machines. The scholarly communication ecosystem is a complex sociotechnical system, which cannot be understood from either a social or a technical perspective alone. Understanding how these aspects feed into and influence on another is crucial for the furtherance of this work. The corpus of knowledge collected in this thesis is driven by understanding the current state of knowledge in the field based on scientific, technical, and professional literature. Literature Review and Citations describes the constraints on how research knowledge will be collected. Research Questions I first outline the Technical Research Problems and then a set of corresponding Knowledge Questions. The questions refine the Research Goals. Technical Research Problems The technical research problems here consist of artifacts to (re)design, requirements to satisfy, stakeholders’ goals to achieve, and the problem context. The overarching technical research problem is defined as follows: Central Design Problem How can we design decentralised Web applications for information exchange in an open and decoupled scholarly communication ecosystem? This research problem can be refined into two sub-problems: Mechanisms What technical mechanisms, standards or protocols are necessary for decentralised information exchange on the Web? Which already exist and what is missing? Artifacts How can Web technologies be employed to fulfill the core functions of scholarly communication in an open and interoperable way? Knowledge Questions The Knowledge Goals can be refined into following knowledge questions: How can we situate scholarly communication using the Web with respect to technological communication mediums and scientific paradigms? What are the core components of scientific communication, how are they configured, and what are the effects of the interactions between them? What are contemporary practices around knowledge creation and dissemination, and how are communities working to improve these? Thesis Overview Static stand-alone paper is not an appropriate habitat for a thesis on linking. Therefore, the paper is included with the CD-ROM, not vice versa. Dynamic and context-sensitive linking of scholarly information, Herbert Van de Sompel, 2000 This Thesis is a Knowledge Graph. Linked Data aware applications can use the resource’s underlying structured data to offer visualisation and interaction possibilities. All information of significance in this thesis is made available as Linked Data on the Web and archived. Structure This thesis is sectioned into following main topic areas: Scholarly Communication on the Web Answers knowledge questions to describe and explain characteristics of the Web and the state of scholarly communication on the Web. Structure of Scholarly Information Answers knowledge questions to identify common structural and semantic patterns for human- and machine-readable information. Contributions: Linked Statistics on publishing and exchanging statistical Linked Data. Decentralising Scholarly Communication Answers knowledge questions pertaining to design of socially-aware decentralised systems, as well as classification of Web specifications for forces and functions in scientific communication. Contributions: Degree of Control, Forces and Functions in Specifications, The Effects and Artifacts of Autonomous Engagement. Linked Data Notifications Answers technical research problems on how to design a decentralised notification protocol. Contributions: Design of A Decentralised Notifications Protocol to exchange reusable decentralised notifications. Decentralised Linked Research Application Answers technical research problems on how to design a decentralised application. Contributions: Linking the Decentralised Information Space, Implementing a Read-Write Application, Forces and Functions in dokieli. Linked Research A description and explanation of the effects of applying Web-centric standards and practices in order to enable creators and consumers of open knowledge, as well as a generalisation of core principles that can serve as an exemplar to set forth a shift in scholarly communication. Contributions: Design Principles, Call for Linked Research, Forces and Functions of Linked Research, Linked Research as a Paradigm. In Conclusions, I will discuss the thesis findings in Research Questions Review, offer my Interpretations, and share Perspectives for the future. Literature Review and Citations The five review characteristics; focus, goal, perspective, coverage, and audience, are borrowed from the summary at Practical Assessment, Research & Evaluation, Randolph, 2009, which is based on Organizing knowledge syntheses: A taxonomy of literature reviews, Cooper, 1988. Focus: The core focus of the reviews and cited material was to establish a connection between the available theories and their underlying mechanisms, as well as the application of certain interventions to help identify and apply a practical need. Hence, majority of the analysis and synthesis focuses on practices or applications in the field. Goal: My intention is to present this thesis in a way that is technically and meaningfully connected with the knowledge out there, as well as to connect my contributions. Hence, I would like any reader (human, machine, or other) in the future to be able to observe and verify the connections that I have put together as much as possible. The main interest for the reviews and citations were information integration for the big picture, identification and discussion of central issues, and explicating arguments. Perspective: As this thesis is about connecting and endorsing open scholarly knowledge in context of decentralised and social Web, there is a selection bias in favour of (research) information based on the following criteria: Publicly accessible URL in the case of digital objects. Referencable URI in the case of printed material. Article and data including full text and media. Accessible by anyone (humans and machines). Available to anyone without financial, legal, or technical barriers (besides an Internet connection, free of charge). Preference for source materials (as opposed to third-party re-publications). Preference for research artifacts that can be publicly archived and recalled with free on-demand services. Preference for research artifacts made available with declarative languages (as opposed to dynamically generated as part of an application). At the time of this writing, HTTP URIs of research objects resolving to paywall or access toll landing pages were excluded. The rationale is that if information is only available to a subset of humans, then it is not deemed to be part of the observable and reproducible universal knowledge – a fundamental requirement of applying the scientific method. Fortunately, I was able to gather plenty of open and free resources to support the narrative of this thesis, and addressing its knowledge goals. Coverage: The reviewed and cited works are composed of a purposive sample, examining only pivotal works and the source of concepts in the field to tie them together. While this selection is naturally not exhaustive in and itself, I have considered, located, and discussed material that was available at the time of my investigation. While there may be natural imperfections in data collection, evaluation, analysis, and interpretation in any literature review and bibliographic citations, I have aimed to be systematic in what’s covered. To that end, the works – text, data, media, or other – mentioned in this thesis were included or excluded based on the following criteria: Information in English. Web accessible digital objects. Printed material available through a public library loan. Referencing information that is legally made available to the public (to the best of my knowledge!) Organisation: Historical and conceptual formats were used as organisation schemes. My observations and categorisations are in Scholarly Communication on the Web, Structure of Scholarly Information and Decentralising Scholarly Communication are first organised conceptually, and then chronologically ordered. Audience: for anyone interested in traversing the connections and building on the underlying findings. See also Audience. Document Convention Unless otherwise noted, all of the quotations are sic. With the exception of referring to existing literature, references made to research, scientific or scholarly communication in this thesis is discipline agnostic. Hence, I mean any academic discipline, from humanities, social, natural, formal, to applied sciences. The prefixes and namespaces that are used in this article are as follows: acl as cert cito contact dcterms doap earl foaf ldn ldp mem oa owl pim prov qb rdf rdfs solid schema skos void xhv How to Read This Thesis This thesis should be read like all other theses. First, it should be read cover-to-cover, multiple times. Then, it should be read backwards at least once. Then it should be read by picking random sections from the contents list and following all the cross-references. This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill, the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill, you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes. The Matrix, Morpheus, 1999 Scholarly Communication on the Web In this section I describe and explain characteristics of the Web and the state of scholarly communication on the Web. Mediums and Paradigms The effects of technological mediums on society have some similarities to the evolution of scientific paradigms. This will serve as the historical framing for this thesis and helps to contextualise the application of core methods and values of the Web on scholarly communication. On Mediums Gutenberg had, in effect, made every man a reader. Today, Xerox and other forms of reprography tend to make every man a publisher. This massive reversal has, for one of its consequences, elitism. The nature of the mass production of uniform volumes certainly did not foster elites but rather habits of universal reading. Paradoxically, when there are many readers, the author can wield great private power, whereas small reading elites may exert large corporate power. Understanding Me, The Future of the Book, p. 179, Marshall McLuhan, 1972 In the 1962 book, The Gutenberg Galaxy, Marshall McLuhan explains how the adoption of new technological mediums shifted human culture in Europe through four eras, with emphasis placed on extending our senses: acoustic age (c. until 800 BCE); audile-tactile, preliterate tribal culture, age of writing (c. 800 BCE to 1500 CE); audile/visual, manuscript culture, age of print (c. 1500 to 1850 CE); visual, mechanical mass communication, age of electronic media (c. 1850 CE to present); central nervous system, global village Acoustic age: According to McLuhan, the acoustic world depended on speech and hearing for communication. Information was an instantaneous and simultaneous experience for speakers and listeners with a collective identity. Existence was about narrated events and survived through story-telling, songs, and poems. Writing age: When the phonetic alphabet came along, information could be defined, classified, and referenced, as well as better preserved. The written word made human knowledge tangible, stretching itself across time and space. While the written word increased the need of our visual system, it brought along the acoustic world with it – early reading was still an oral, and by and large an external (social) activity, as opposed to internal in one’s mind. Print age: Through the age of writing to the age of print, the phonetic alphabet transformed from being an audile-tactile experience to purely visual. Gutenberg’s printing press (c. 1439 CE), through the process of mechanical mass production, had an extensive impact on the circulation of information, and triggered reconfiguration of societies’ structures. Books have boundaries, uniformity, continuity, linearity, and repeatability; this had a profound influence on the organisation of social systems. Print further detribalised social organisations, enabling individualism, fragmentation, government centralism, and nationalism. As a work was mechanically copied, it maintained its consistency and accuracy in comparison to hand copied manuscripts. It was easier to transmit information without personal contact. Then came the responsibility for authors to be consistent with their definitive statements. In Connections, 1978, Burke, posits that once a piece of knowledge was publicly shared, its creator was identifiable and received recognition. Print media democratised knowledge as soon as it became a commodity, mass produced and distributed to populations. The general public had a reason to not only access or acquire media like books, but also had a reason to learn to read for themselves, where previously it was necessary to go through a third-party; the wealthy, scholar, or theologian, in order to be informed. The increase in literacy consequently helped the public to be better knowledgeable about world matters without being subject to official or unofficial censorship. As there were more readers, the ability to write fostered the formulation and preservation of individual thought and culture, as well as enabling the public to voice themselves and question authority. In The Printing Press as an Agent of Change, Eisenstein, 1979, contends that the print media also played a key role in facilitating scientific publishing and the scientific revolution. Electronic age: The electric mass-age made it possible to have instantaneous communication in different forms across the globe. Electronic media did not have the same kinds of boundaries that the print had on society and so society was able to re-organise itself differently. Unlike print media, electronic media like telephone, radio, and television, did not require literacy, and consequently the support of a stable education system. As a whole, it had the same effects on society as the acoustic space created in the tribal world. The speed of information increased, and with it recovered sociality and involvement which was previously abandoned as the primary mode of information exchange. Perhaps more interestingly, as the flow of information through various electronic media accelerated, it facilitated our natural tendency to recognise patterns and (ir)regularities in data – in comparison to print media which happened to isolate, classify, and immobilise items in fixed space. Later I will revisit McLuhan’s studies on the psychic and social consequences of technological innovation and apply them to scholarly communication on the Web. Next, to continue to paint the historical backdrop against which this thesis is placed, I look at the European-centric scientific revolution which overlapped with the transition from the manuscript to the print-centric mode of information organisation and dissemination. On Paradigms I simply assert the existence of significant limits to what the proponents of different theories can communicate to one another. Objectivity, Value Judgment, and Theory Choice, Thomas Kuhn, 1973 In The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Thomas Kuhn, 1962, proposes an explanation for the process of discovery and progress in the history and philosophy of science. Kuhn contended that science did not progress linearly through history, rather it starts with a period that’s disorganised, and then a paradigm – a collection of exemplar agreed by scientists on how problems are to be understood – develops to organise things for day-to-day normal science to take place under the governed paradigm. After some time, anomalies in the paradigm accumulate and lead to a crisis phase where multiple competing paradigms attempt to resolve the issues. This is a particular point in which the community struggles to come to an agreement on the fittest way to practise future science. Finally a paradigm shift – revolution – refers to the last phase where transforming ideas and assertions mature enough to bring order to earlier anomalies, and cause a change in world view. In Objectivity, Value Judgment, and Theory Choice, Kuhn, 1973, sets out five characteristics as a basis to explain which paradigms and methods have been adopted in the past, or may be considered for adoption in the future: Accuracy Application of quantitative and qualitative agreements in a domain. Consistency Internal and external consistency in relation to related theories. Scope Coverage and consequences of theories in what they can explain. Simplicity Computational labour required for explanations. Fruitfulness Explaining previously unnoted relationships or potential to disclose new phenomenon. Kuhn reasoned that progress in science was not a mere line leading to truth, but the notion of moving away from less adequate concepts of and interactions with the world in favour of more fruitful. As to which paradigm can be objectively determined to be better, Kuhn argued that scientists’ decision was ultimately inter-subjective and required value judgement because paradigms – the ideas and assertions within – were not necessarily directly comparable. For example, early versions of the heliocentric model proposed by Copernicus in Commentariolus (1514), as well as the matured version in De revolutionibus orbium coelestium (1543) was neither quantitatively or qualitatively more accurate than Ptolemy’s geocentric model (c. 2nd century CE) based on the knowledge and instruments available at the time. While they were equally internally consistent, geocentrism was regarded to be more consistent with the other accepted theories and doctrines in comparison. Copernicus’ case however offered a simpler explanation and broader scope of application which ultimately was preferred. These were attractive characteristics for Kepler and Galileo when they came to investigate. With Newton’s laws for motion and gravitation, the heliocentric model matured enough to set a new course for science and research. Another example demonstrating the complexity of choosing a theory was from the perspective of language and communication. For instance, the term "mass" has radically different meanings in Newton’s theory of gravity and Einstein’s relativity theory because the definitions are isolated to their respective paradigms. However, General Relativity gave a new lens to understanding the interaction of mass in space-time. While the definition for mass changed, Einstein’s theory was still able to precisely predict Newton’s theory, and further provided an explanation for how gravity worked. Contemporary scholarly communication is situated within a particular paradigm. In Linked Research as a Paradigm I will use Kuhn’s theory of choosing paradigms as a heuristic device to Contextualise Linked Research. Rear-View Mirror The Gutenberg Galaxy and The Structure of Scientific Revolutions were coincidently published in 1962. While the accomplishments of McLuhan and Kuhn had differences in methodology and structure, they reveal the overwhelming effects of patterns of change when new technologies and paradigms are adopted by society. These major communication shifts in society as a whole, and specifically in the mode of scientific inquiry, are rare and significant events in history. Content follows form; mediums and paradigms shape the space. As the characteristics of the spoken word carried over to writing, and writing to print, print media also influenced electronic media like the Web and hypermedia. Print’s typography and knowledge organisation affects the standards, tools, and interfaces that are still used today to exchange knowledge on the Web, as well as certain social expectations or assumptions. For example, authoring tools help us to design and create electronic documents that resemble print representations even if they are not intended to be printed. McLuhan described this phenomenon as though looking at the rear-view mirror; the old medium is always the content of the new medium, This is Marshall McLuhan: The Medium is the Message, McLuhan, 1967. While scholarly communication is transforming due to the effects of the Web, its content, shape, and way of communicating is still based on the characteristics of print media. We need to examine our assumptions about scholarly communication on the Web in order to understand its social implications. Building on the previous brief histories of media evolution and scientific communication, the next review is of the history of the Web (a social machine) and then specific role the Web plays in contemporary scholarly communication. The focus of the rest of this section is on structural changes in scholarly communication, while the evolution of technical advancements runs in parallel. Web: A Social Machine From: timbl@info (Tim Berners-Lee) Newsgroups: alt.hypertext Subject: WorldWideWeb: Summary Date: 6 Aug 91 16:00:12 GMT The WWW project merges the techniques of information retrieval and hypertext to make an easy but powerful global information system. The project started with the philosophy that much academic information should be freely available to anyone. It aims to allow information sharing within internationally dispersed teams, and the dissemination of information by support groups. WorldWideWeb: Summary, alt.hypertext, Tim Berners-Lee, 1991 The World Wide Web is inherently social and comprises various abstract social machines – processes in which the people do the creative work and the machine does the administration, Berners-Lee, 1999, p. 172. In Weaving the Web, Berners-Lee, 1999, p. 123, states that he designed it for a social effect – to help people work together. The Web’s remarkable growth is fundamentally due to its social characteristics above anything else. The technical challenge was to define the basic common rules of protocol for machines to exchange information in a global system. In the remainder of this section, I outline the core components of the Architecture of the Web, discuss the notion and practice of Linked Data, and postulate how the Web Science framework can help towards a holistic understanding of the interplay between social and technical challenges. Architecture of the Web In Evolution of the Web, Berners-Lee, 1998, mentions the mandate to maintain the Web as an interoperable information space while evolving with the needs of society and technology. Interoperability meant that different systems without prior out-of-band knowledge should be able to communicate if they agree to operate based on open standards. Evolvability meant that languages and interfaces need to handle extensions, mixing, accommodate diverse scenarios for information exchange, as well as co-evolve. The Web architecture initially included three independent components: the Universal Document Identifier (UDI) to refer to information on the Web – now known as Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) to identify things, and Uniform Resource Locators (URL) to locate them on the Web. the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) as the request-response mechanism for systems – client–server model – to communicate and exchange hypermedia documents on the Web. the Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) as the lingua franca to describe and navigate hypertext and multimedia documents on the Web. The W3C Technical Architecture Group (TAG) codified the design principles, constraints, and good practice notes of the Web architecture in W3C TAG Finding, Architecture of the World Wide Web, Volume One (AWWW), 2004. It documents the three architectural bases of the Web: Identification, Interaction, Data Formats, and states that the specifications emerging from each may evolve independently – according to the principle: Orthogonality – in order to increase the flexibility and robustness of the Web. Identification In the context of the Web, anything – a resource – can be globally identified or named with a URI. As per Uniform Resource Identifier (URI): Generic Syntax (RFC 3986) the generic URI syntax is defined as follows: URI = scheme ":" hier-part [ "?" query ] [ "#" fragment ] The hierarchical part (hier-part) is composed of authority and path components. The authority component refers to the naming authority that governs the remainder of the URI (path, query, and fragment components). Some examples: (WebID) urn:isbn:9781584230700 (book identifier) data:image/svg+xml;base64,PD94bWwg... (encoded image) file:///var/www/dokieli/index.html (local file) (email address) tel:+15551234567 (telephone number) In 1996, Berners-Lee proposed a set of axioms for URIs as the backbone of what makes the Web a universal information space: Axiom 0: Universality 1 Any resource anywhere can be given a URI Axiom 0a: Universality 2 Any resource of significance should be given a URI. Axiom 1: Global scope It doesn't matter to whom or where you specify that URI, it will have the same meaning. Axiom 2a: sameness a URI will repeatably refer to "the same" thing Axiom 2b: identity the significance of identity for a given URI is determined by the person who owns the URI, who first determined what it points to. Universal Resource Identifiers -- Axioms of Web Architecture, Tim Berners-Lee, 1996 URIs make it possible for real or abstract things to be identified. When HTTP URIs are dereferenced different representations (data formats) are made available from corresponding Uniform Resource Locators (URLs). While URIs makes it possible to identify (name) things on the Web, URLs make it possible for humans and machines to locate and to interact further with content. The W3C’s URIs, URLs, and URNs: Clarifications and Recommendations 1.0, 2001, distinguishes their purpose: URI Any type of identifier for a Web resource, eg. an HTTP URI. URL Any type of URI that can be resolved or dereferenced to locate a representation, eg. an HTTP URI is a URL. URN A specific type of URI that persistently identifies a resource. Once assigned to a resource, it cannot be reassigned. A URI represents a resource as a conceptual entity and can have different electronic representations. The degree of genericity of a resource on the other hand is determined by the authority that allocates the URI. For example, a spectrum of URIs – generic to specific – can be assigned to a resource while conceptually being about the same thing. Time, language, content type, and the target medium are some of the common dimensions of genericity that Web software handles – Generic Resources. On the Web, any entity is entitled to associate a URI with a resource in accordance with URI ownership. The approach for the http: scheme and URI ownership is architecturally decentralised in that the location of a resource can physically exist anywhere in the world. However, architectural decentralisation is ultimately influenced by political or social centralisation at different levels. The Domain Name System (DNS) is one such hierarchically decentralised structure for naming resources connected to the Internet. It is a kind of a social centralisation in that the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) coordinates the management of Domain Names, where top-level domains for like countries, categories, multiorganization, are then under the authority of specific organisations. Individuals then typically register fully qualified domain names (and map them to IP addresses) through accredited registries. Since DNS is a social construct, it can be brought down or controlled by an authority; states or people. As long as we continue to pay the required fees and manage the name server assignment, we can continue to use the URIs under that domain. Let us not forget that you don’t buy domain names, you rent them – attributed to Ester Dyson, ICANN chair. In response to emerging new identification mechanisms on the Web, the W3C TAG Finding, URNs, Namespaces and Registries, 2005, addresses the questions When should URNs or URIs with novel URI schemes be used to name information resources for the Web? and Should registries be provided for such identifiers? with respect to requiring persistence, standardisation within administrative units, protocol independence, location independence, structuring resource identifiers, uniform access to metadata, and flexibility authority. The finding states that the http: URI scheme can already achieve many of these requirements. In this thesis, I focus mostly on URIs with the http: scheme because of its proven utility and wide adoption. As specified in Axiom 2b: identity, the owner of the HTTP URI defines the identity relationship which exists between a URI and the resources associated with it. Their reuse and persistence are defined by the information publisher – which may be also be the "owner" of the URI space. I expand on Persistence and Preservation. Interaction The Web architecture permits agents to communicate through different protocols eg. HTTP, FTP, SMTP are application layer protocols in the Internet Protocol Suite (RFC 1123). In this thesis, the focus is on HTTP for data communication, ie. the structured requests and responses exchanged by Web agents. For example, when a user-agent (like a Web browser) initiates a request to access the contents of a resource identified by an HTTP URI (dereferencing), a server responds with a message body including a representation of the resource state, and data about the response. The content of the response URL (HTTP URI) is a particular state in that it has a presentation and controls (affordances) that can be further engaged with, eg. hyperlinks to follow; data forms that can be submitted; location of alternate representations. One particular description of this interaction is given in 2000 by Fielding, in Architectural Styles and the Design of Network-based Software Architectures, commonly referred to as Representational State Transfer (REST): a set of architectural constraints for distributed hypermedia systems. There are diverse Web agents, eg. browsers, servers, autonomous scripts, with different capabilities, hence as per HTTP/1.1 Message Syntax and Routing (RFC 7230), not all agents are expected to make the same interactions that are presented to them. There are two categories of interactions: safe and unsafe. A safe interaction is one where the requested resource’s state does not change. When an agent makes a retrieval request (HTTP GET), it has no obligation beyond dereferencing the URL. An unsafe interaction on the other hand may cause a resource to change its state, and that the user may be held accountable, depending on the semantics of the interaction. For example, an agent sending an HTTP POST request with a payload can get a response indicating that a new resource was created, that the resource represented by the URI was deleted by an HTTP DELETE request, or that the agent is unauthorised to either create or delete the resource. When a client requests a resource, the server may return a particular representation of a resource that is the result of a "negotiation" between them. For example, a client may indicate that it would accept the resource in HTML, Turtle, and JSON-LD data formats, and in English and Armenian languages. The server could provide a response body using HTML and English. HTTP request and response functions can be expressed as follows: Request=Method⨯IRI⨯Header⨯Body Method denotes the kind of HTTP request; IRI identifies the target resource for the request; Header provides context about the request and response eg. the Content-Type header indicates the format of the content in Body. Response=Status⨯Header⨯Body Status code denotes the result of the request. Today, Web browsers provide a basis for many forms of human and machine communication; browsers are one of the most widely used platforms through which a wide range of Internet and Web standards used. The goal of the Open Web Platform (OWP) is to advance such standards so that technologies like the Web browser can help us to effectively communicate. Data Formats The Web architecture has no constraints on the type of data formats that can be exchanged between clients and servers. A resource state may have different representations for the information it encodes. For example, HTML+RDFa, Turtle, JSON-LD, and RDF/XML are some RDF serialization formats – discussed in RDF Syntaxes – that can be used to express the same information (semantics) of a resource. On designing computer systems and choosing languages, W3C TAG Finding, The Rule of Least Power, 2006, recommends that when publishing on the Web, you should usually choose the least powerful or most easily analyzed language variant that’s suitable for the purpose. Berners-Lee references RDF as a common language for the Web in Principles of Design, Principle of Least Power: the Semantic Web is an attempt, largely, to map large quantities of existing data onto a common language so that the data can be analyzed in ways never dreamed of by its creators. Berners-Lee states that a declarative language is preferable to a procedural language in terms of data reusability. HTML for example not only turned out to be simple for people to author, its modularity and extensibility paved the way for other standards. In this thesis, I use XHTML and HTML interchangeably (except when explicitly mentioning the lower-level differences in W3C specifications and tooling). Different kinds of language mixing – composition of data formats – emerged, including for example Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), Mathematical Markup Language (MathML), and RDFa, Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) in or alongside HTML. The extension mechanisms eg. in HTML and CSS, allowed new semantics or features to be declared in the content that can be processed by conforming Web agents. Web agents get to choose whether to ignore unrecognised content or try to understand and treat unrecognised patterns as errors. When a browser encounters a syntactical error in an XHTML document, it can stop processing the document or display an error to the user, also known as draconian error-handling. An HTML document on the other hand has a more forgiving error-handling model. An unrecognised component or non well-formed structure would not prevent processing and no alert needed to be passed to the user interface. To date, HTML acts as a unifying language for human interfaces to information systems. Linked Data The Web architecture initially used HTML as the language to represent and connect hypermedia documents with one another. HTML’s success is indisputable today, and that’s perhaps due to its simplicity to create and reuse; its flexibility, for partial understanding to proceed; and its extensibility to allow language mixing. While the HTML specification continues to evolve by reflecting on the needs of the Web, by design it is scoped to creating and connecting Web documents and applications. Nevertheless, the potential language to describe the interrelationships between things as originally proposed in Information Management: A Proposal was not fully realised until the Resource Description Framework (RDF) came along. RDF is a constructed machine-interpretable language to describe and interlink arbitrary things at any level of abstraction on the Web, and reuses the existing architecture of the Web. In Sense and Reference on the Web, Halpin, 2009, states that in the context of RDF (and the Principle of Linking), URIs are primarily referential and may not lead to access unlike links in traditional hypertext systems. Conceptually, RDF was in the fabric of the Web from the start. By naming things with URIs, we can construct structured sentences with RDF. By comparison, HTML at its core is a terse approach to representing and linking knowledge. RDF on the other hand is intended to be a unifying language for machine interfaces to data systems. I will further discuss language mixing with RDF in HTML and XML-family languages via RDFa. One conceptual view of the Web is that anyone being (technically) allowed to say anything about anything (AAA). One consequence of AAA is that while systems (and reasoners within) can operate under both the open-world assumption (OWA) or the closed-world assumption (CWA), the Web ultimately uses the OWA framework because new knowledge can always make its way into the system, and lack of knowledge does not imply falsity. RDF applies a particular restriction of the AAA principle in that nonsensical, inconsistent, or conflicting information can be created or inferred. It is up to processing applications to determine their confidence on the information. Hence, an important distinction: assertions made using the RDF language are claims, as opposed to facts. Statements in RDF are expressed in the form of triples – subject, predicate, object: the subject, which is an IRI or a blank node the predicate, which is an IRI the object, which is an IRI, a literal or a blank node RDF 1.1 Concepts and Abstract Syntax, Triples, W3C, 2014 The International Resource Identifier (IRI) is a generalisation of URI (US-ASCII) in that a wider character set (Unicode/ISO 10646) can be used to identify resources on the Web. A Blank node (anonymous resource) is a local identifier scoped to the context it is used in, eg. file, RDF store, and they are not intended to be persistent or portable. Literals are used for values like strings, numbers, and dates. A set of triples in RDF (an RDF Graph) can be represented as a directed edge-labelled graph: G=(V,L,E), where V is the set of vertices (union of subject and object terms), L is a set of edge labels (predicate terms), and E contains triples from V⨯L⨯V. A subject may have several predicates, and predicates can also be mapped to subjects given that they have their own identity. The structure of RDF statements is similar to: the subject–verb–object sentence structure in linguistic typology – used by nearly half of human languages the entity–attribute–value (EAV) model – widely used for advanced (meta)data modeling We can represent the sentence "Otlet influenced Berners-Lee" in one of the RDF syntaxes as follows: . As ad hoc exploration is one of the goals of the Web, the W3C TAG Finding, The Self-Describing Web, 2009, reports how HTTP and other Web technologies can be used to create, deploy and access self-describing Web resource representations that can be correctly interpreted. It is expressed that the RDF language can be used to integrate with the Semantic Web such that the information encoded in a representation explicitly provides interoperable means to relate Web resources. RDF facilitates a uniform follow your nose type of exploration by following the relations in statements in order to arrive at another unit of self-describing information. The uniformity in graph traversal enables applications to meaningfully interpret and integrate with disparate data without having any out-of-band knowledge, and retrieve more information about the terms as they need to from the source. As the content identified at describes itself, in the same way, the relation defines itself, and when we inspect a representation of, we will find that it describes itself. We can describe Berners-Lee’s IRI (subject) by giving it a human-readable name (predicate): "Tim Berners-Lee"@en . Note The terms IRI and URI are used interchangeably outside of technical specifications. While IRIs can be used to identify resources, retrieval mechanisms use URIs because the request URI in HTTP protocol is defined as a URI. Hence, the characters in IRI are first mapped to their URI counterparts before the request process. In order to address different system and interface needs, different syntaxes for RDF emerged over time. RDF/XML is the grammar to define the XML syntax for RDF graphs; Turtle is a human-readable syntax resembling (subject–verb–object) sentence structure, RDFa expresses RDF statements in markup languages, JSON-LD serialises RDF in JSON (RFC 7159). In order to facilitate querying and manipulating RDF graph content on the Web or in an RDF store, SPARQL Protocol and RDF Query Language (SPARQL) 1.1 provides a set of recommendations. The specifications address SPARQL 1.1 Query Language to match, filter, and construct graph patterns, as well as integration of disparate sources of information. SPARQL 1.1 Federated Querying is an extension to executing queries distributed over different SPARQL endpoints. SPARQL 1.1 Update to update, create, and remove RDF graphs in a store; a SPARQL 1.1 Protocol to convey queries and updates over HTTP; SPARQL 1.1 Service Description in order to discover SPARQL services, and a vocabulary for describing them. SPARQL 1.1 Entailment Regimes retrieve solutions that implicitly follow from the queried graph; and an alternative interface to SPARQL 1.1 Update uses SPARQL 1.1 Graph Store HTTP Protocol for operations on RDF graphs. Using the example RDF data from earlier about Otlet’s relation to Berners-Lee and his name in an RDF store, the following query returns the data in a tabular format for the names of objects that match the graph pattern where the subjects influenced. SPARQL Query: SELECT ?object ?name WHERE { ?object . ?object ?name . } Resulting in extracted data: Example SPARQL Result ?object?name"Tim Berners-Lee"@en Example SPARQL Query and Result. The SPARQL suite is a powerful set of tools for inspecting and manipulating information based on the graph nature of the data. The Linked Data design principles build on the AWWW in order to identify, describe, and discover information, enabling a Semantic Web where humans and machines can explore the Web of data: Use URIs as names for things Use HTTP URIs so that people can look up those names. When someone looks up a URI, provide useful information, using the standards (RDF*, SPARQL) Include links to other URIs. so that they can discover more things. Linked Data – Design Issues (revised in 2009), Tim Berners-Lee, 2006 Note In the original version (earliest archived) of the Linked Data design principles, the third statement was When someone looks up a URI, provide useful information. It was updated in 2009 (earliest archived). In practice, what URIs identify, based on the resources fetched upon dereferencing, was ambiguous until the release of the famous W3C TAG Finding, httpRange-14 issue, 2007, as per httpRange-14: What is the range of the HTTP dereference function?. The core issue had to do with machine agents having a deterministic mechanism to distinguish between accessible digital objects on the Web (information resources) and references to a class of physical entities and abstract concepts (non-information resources), ie. things that are not technically "retrievable" over the wire on the Web, but may only be referred to. In Sense and Reference on the Web, Halpin posits that the definition of information object and information realization can be thought of as the classic division in philosophy of mind between an object given on a level of abstraction and some concrete thing that realizes that abstraction, where a single abstraction may have multiple realizations. Having established an overview of the technical environment I will next discuss the Web Science framework, which situates the technical aspects alongside social processes. Web Science Web science – what makes the Web what it is, how it evolves and will evolve, what are the scenarios that could kill it or change it in ways that would be detrimental to its use. Still hates computers, The Inquirer, Dame Wendy Hall, 2010 The openness of the Web and the ease of involvement for both humans and machines (through common protocols) helped its great expansion without a particular central point of failure or coordination. Scholarly communication could be exemplary of different kinds of agents interacting on the Web, whether they are sentient or something else. Web Science – Creating a Science of the Web – is an interdisciplinary field of study concerned with understanding and developing sociotechnical systems like the Web alongside human society. In A Framework for Web Science, Berners-Lee, 2006, the authors state: the Web perhaps more than any other recent human construct carries with it any number of issues including privacy and protection, access and diversity, control and freedom. Structures that we design, engineer and research, and findings that emerge through analysis, will often have strong societal implications. A Framework for Web Science, Tim Berners-Lee, 2006 The challenges of Web Science comprise both social and technical aspects, from user interfaces to data, to information policy, resilience, access from diverse devices, collective creativity, and decentralisation. All of these areas are pertinent to the future of scholarly communication, and Web Science as a field provides a framework for ensuring we consider the various social and technical issues as part of an interconnected ecosystem. In the same vein, furthering the study of Web Science itself can be done through advancements in how we communicate scholarly findings; through better enabling universal access and connections within our collective knowledge. The Web not only expedited the flow of human knowledge with a friendly interface, it enabled social interactions to take place which would not have been possible otherwise due to physical or social constraints. The global adoption of the Web brought new forms of human association and social action. In essence, the Web creates one form of a global village, described by McLuhan, whereby there is greater requirement of individuals to participate than with earlier forms of electric media eg. telegraph, electric light, telephone, radio, television. The way society reacts to the Web as a medium is perhaps more important than the content that is on it. In Credibility of the Web: Why We Need Dialectical Reading, Bruce, 2000 explores Kaufmann’s modes of reading from the 1977 essay Art of Reading (The Future of the Humanities) in context of the characteristics of the Web: exegetical: author is authority, the reader is passive; dogmatic: scepticism on part of the reader; agnostic: continuous evaluation while acknowledging good and bad qualities; dialectical: possessing coding, semantic, and pragmatic competence Bruce draws attention to the dialectical in that an observer enters into a deep experience of reading, engaging with the text with a critical eye, drawing advanced information and interpretations beyond what is merely presented, and actively seeking to understand the material in addition to political, social, and historical dimensions. Bruce states that under the dialectical view, the Web’s multimodal features allows new values and ways of making meaning as an holistic involvement for the consumer. This view is a useful exemplification of McLuhan’s notions on the effects of media on society. Thus far I have covered the architectural foundations of the Web, and the study of the Web from a scientific point of view. I now look at how scholarship on the Web has developed over time. A Brief History of Scholarship on the Web Choice is an illusion, created between those with power, and those without. The Matrix Reloaded, Merovingian, 2003 In Mediums and Paradigms I have discussed the wide reaching effects of communication mediums as well as scientific frameworks adopted by society. In this section I zoom in on the history of scholarship in order to contextualise the practices and their influences to date. As the print age is an important historical backdrop of this thesis, I provide a brief review of The Printing Press as an Agent of Change to further contextualise social transformations and the systematisation of scientific exchange given the availability of a technology for the masses: The Printing Press as an Agent of Change The Printing Press as an Agent of Change, Eisenstein, 1979, traces the impact of the communications revolution on a variety of sociocultural movements that shaped the modern mind that started by the invention of the printing press developed by Johannes Gutenberg (c. 1439 CE). While Eisenstein’s account of the history is not regarded as doctrine, the work demonstrates that the printing press, as a technological innovation, was a potent force in the evolution of social systems, as well as a communication technology which intensified the evolutionary process in the storage and dissemination of information and data. Perhaps more generally, Eisenstein explains how printing altered written communications within the Commonwealth of Learning, p. xiv. Republic of Letters: With the growing power of the printing press since the 15th century, and sufficiently large international readers across Europe, the mass production and distribution of printed material gave rise to the formation of intellectuals as a distinct and independent social class. The long-distance, international, and private correspondence network between the literary figures formed the basis for the concepts, Commonwealth of Learning; vernacular science-writing in Latin aimed at non-academic readers, as well as aiding the literary underground trade among researchers to propel theories and data collection, and the Republic of Letters (ROL) refers to a metaphysical literary society that produced and had access to substantial (non)scientific knowledge in Europe and America in the 17th century, p. 136-139. Royal Society: The Royal Society (RS) effectively established authority for a metaphysical community for scientists and scholars. In essence, it acknowledged and legitimised the social activity in RoL, and acted as a way to filter and help disseminate the discoveries of the literati. Journal des sçavans published in 1665 was the first academic journal in Europe, followed by Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society in the same year. The first journal that strongly focused on scientific communication came later with the Mémoires de l'Académie des Sciences in 1666. Due to societal circumstances, eg. sponsorship and censorship by authorities, the literary underground with the help of the printing press was well underway in the 16th century. By 1640 science had risen mostly in the underground, and pre-dated the discovery and improvement of the telescope p. 685; the RoL; and the establishment of the RS. With the help of the RS later on, new discoveries and theories were disseminated abroad, p. 664. Eisenstein postulates that the printed book played a central role in the rapid dissemination of knowledge to whole new classes that created the modern new attitudes to both science and religion at the end of the fifteenth century. The mere availability of prior knowledge to the public, stimulated scientific curiosity further, and eventually gave birth to the scientific revolution, p. 691. Eisenstein also contends that the communication shift in technical literature occurred even before astronomers changed their views about the structure of the universe, p. 685. Moreover, the origins of the scientific revolution was partly due to the rediscovery of classical scientific texts, and the effects of an internal strife between academic innovators and conservationists (quarrels of learned men), trying to control the field of knowledge outside of academia, p. 523-524, 570. Eisenstein emphasises on the relevance of external social institutions to the internal, relatively autonomous, life of science, p. 636, as well as the utilitarian application of the mathematics to the problems of the natural world, p. 683. The publication and dissemination of information – in the most general sense of the words – played a key role in the advancement of societies’ knowledge for centuries. The first academic journal, Journal des sçavans and shortly after the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society in 1665, evolved out of the exchange of letters among scholars and the transcripts of the meetings in scholarly societies discussing experiments, publications and natural curiosities. With this in mind, the most widely accepted purpose of a scholarly article is a way to communicate research results and other intellectual work with the public; to have an accurate archival record of the research findings; to build on top of earlier knowledge; as well as to have it serve towards crediting authors for their work. Today’s scholarly journals, containing quality-controlled research reports, closely resemble the first journal. Encyclopedia of International Media and Communications, Scholarly Journals, Vol. 2, p. 688, 2003, states that due to the growth and demand for copies of the literature from non-members, mostly institutions, the larger journals began to sell subscriptions at relatively higher prices than members pay. In The Sociology of Science: Theoretical and Empirical Investigations, Merton, 1973, discusses four sets of institutional imperatives taken to comprise the ethos of modern science, originally introduced in The Normative Structure of Science, Merton, 1942: Communalism: in order to promote collective collaboration, intellectual output should have common ownership. Universalism: scientific validity is kept independent of political and personal factors such that everyone has equal rights and possibility to obtain information. Disinterestedness: the practice of science should benefit the common scientific enterprise with no conflicts of individual interest or gain. Organised skepticism: scientific claims should be exposed to critical examination before being accepted to be part of common knowledge. Open and Free While there are many definitions for “open” and “free”, depending on the context assigned by different communities eg. The Many Meanings of Open, Berners-Lee, 2013, here I acknowledge some that are commonly used. The definition given by The Open Definition which is derived from the Open Source Definition, is as follows: Knowledge is open if anyone is free to access, use, modify, and share it — subject, at most, to measures that preserve provenance and openness. The Open Definition 2.1 The definition of free (or libre) in context of software that is widely acknowledged is: “Free software” means software that respects users’ freedom and community. Roughly, it means that the users have the freedom to run, copy, distribute, study, change and improve the software. Thus, “free software” is a matter of liberty, not price. To understand the concept, you should think of “free” as in “free speech,” not as in “free beer”. We sometimes call it “libre software,” borrowing the French or Spanish word for “free” as in freedom, to show we do not mean the software is gratis. What is free software?, GNU Project – Free Software Foundation In order for an item or piece of knowledge to be transferred in a way to foster rich culture, the Free Cultural Works defines freedom to mean the freedom to use; to study; to make and redistribute copies; and to make changes and improvements. The definition can be used as a tool to determine whether a work or license should be considered "free." The definition of Open Content explains how users of works to have free and perpetual permission to engage in activities with the right to retain, reuse, revise, remix and redistribute content. Creative Commons’s (CC) CC licenses is one of public copyright licenses that can be used on works which grant additional permissions for the purpose of free distribution of an otherwise copyrighted work. With the exception of CC0 1.0 (public domain) license, all CC licenses require users of the works to attribute the creators. CC0, CC BY (Attribution) and CC BY-SA (Attribution-ShareAlike) are compatible with the definition of Free Cultural works. CC licenses are open, flexible, interoperable, and has global uptake. The policy of CC license is also compatible with public laws in various jurisdictions. I now discuss several movements which emerged since the 1990s towards fundamentally transforming scholarly communication using newly available digital network technologies. Archives and Repositories In 1991, recognising the need for scholars to expedite the exchange of scholarly information, Paul Ginsparg created the LANL preprint archive for e-prints. Creating a global knowledge network, Ginsparg, 2001, states that self-archiving provided a moderated central repository where scientists can deposit their articles to make them accessible to anyone, which was a cost-effective solution (estimates were less than 5 USD per submission for administration) for scholars to disseminate research results quickly. It initially started out as a central mailbox with an interface; it adopted FTP in 1991, Gopher in 1992, and finally the World Wide Web in 1994. The articles in the repository are not expected to be peer reviewed, but rather a place where versioned preprints – considered to precede publications that are peer reviewed – can be accessed for free. In 2001, the LANL preprint archive eventually became what is currently known as arXiv. The arXiv license information permits different rights and licenses to be assigned to the scholarly records, ie. anything from public domain, Creative Commons licenses, or with copyright to the publisher or author, provided that arXiv is given sufficient rights to distribute. The repository accepts submissions in TeX, PDF, PostScript, and HTML. This sort of discipline-centric and institution-run preprint exchange mechanism had the technical ingredients to serve as a substitute for the traditional scholarly journal. From 1991 to 2017, arXiv had a linear increase in submission rate (passing the 1 million mark in 2015). arXiv’s early success lead to the emergence of the Open Archives Initiative in 1999, and the Open Access movement in 2002. Open Access In 1994, Harnad made a proposal to appeal to the esoteric: It is applicable only to ESOTERIC (non-trade, no-market) scientific and scholarly publication … that body of work for which the author does not and never has expected to SELL the words. The scholarly author wants only to PUBLISH them, that is, to reach the eyes and minds of peers. The Subversive Proposal, p. 11, Stevan Harnad, 1994 After some years of prototyping and researcher-centric initiatives, the ideas eventually formulated into the Budapest Open Access Initiative (BOAI) in 2002. BOAI is based on the principle that publicly funded research output, including peer reviewed journal articles as well as unreviewed preprints, should be made immediately available, and indefinitely, without access fees and free from most restrictions on copying and reuse, to increase visibility and uptake: By "open access" to this literature, we mean its free availability on the public internet, permitting any users to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of these articles, crawl them for indexing, pass them as data to software, or use them for any other lawful purpose, without financial, legal, or technical barriers other than those inseparable from gaining access to the internet itself … the only role for copyright in this domain, should be to give authors control over the integrity of their work and the right to be properly acknowledged and cited. Budapest Open Access Initiative, 2002 In order to open up access to scholarly journal literature, BOAI recommends the adoption of two complementary strategies for open access (OA): Self-Archiving Open-access Journals The term self-archiving in context of OA differs from that of the early practices around preprint self-archiving in that there were no constraints set for the status of the scholarly literature, ie. peer reviewed or not. For OA-centric scientific literature, quality-control and certification are integral. The foundations of the OA approach were conceived at a time when the major revenue models to cover publishing costs for scholarly literature were through subsidies from institutions, journal subscriptions, or pay-per-view. In this payment model, consumers of the literature were charged either individually or through institutions. In contrast, the article processing charge (APC) model requires publication costs to be covered upfront, thereby waiving the costs for the consumers of the literature. Today, APC is the most widely used method to finance OA publishing, with varying levels of fees. The OpenAPC dataset includes publication fee spending of 238 institutions reveals an average of 1946 EUR per article based on fully and hybrid OA journals (average of 1558 EUR and 2504 EUR respectively). In this dataset, the institutional spending on article publishing in 2018 was at minimum 13 EUR, maximum 12000 EUR, and mean 1834 EUR. The effect of open access and downloads ('hits') on citation impact: a bibliography of studies, OpCit, 2013, is intended to describe progress in reporting these studies; it also lists the Web tools available to measure impact. It is a focused bibliography, on the relationship between impact and access. Harnad argues that the essential message of OA is research that is not freely available online loses research impact – any reasons not to make research Open Access are merely excuses (see the raincoat science metaphor). In The deliverance of open access books, Snijder, 2019, looks at the consequences of open access for books, and concludes that books that are freely accessible online attract more readers and are cited ten percent more than those that do not use open access platforms. Deconstructing the Scholarly Journal In Modularity: the next form of scientific information presentation?, Kircz, 1997, states that the present-day linear (essay-type) scientific article is the result of a development over the centuries, and that different types of information, at present intermingled in the linear article, can be separated and stored in well-defined, cognitive, textual modules. A natural consequence to having modular electronic articles, with their own unique characteristics, is that units are self-contained and interconnected to other units. In The deconstructed journal – a new model for academic publishing, Smith, 1999, provides insights on networked-based scholarly publishing models: means/end confusion, where journals continue to mimic or replicate existing mechanisms modifications to the system should still match the needs of the traditional scholarly journal cooperating agents can function without going through a central agency, eg. a publisher. The role of the journal includes both main (editorial, quality control, recognition of work, marketing, and disseminating) and hidden (subject and community defining, and archiving) functions. The proposed deconstructed journal model is preferable to the paper influenced electronic publishing model in that both main and hidden roles can be accomplished in a distributed manner. Here, Smith emphasises allowing greater academic freedom and shifting of power and control from the monolithic third-parties to the knowledge producers, which could be realised in either an institution- or researcher-centric approach. In this process, journals with the refereeing process would link to the articles with full content hosted on the authors’ Web sites. To get there, however, Smith acknowledges that for such a new paradigm to be adopted, professional and funding bodies must transition themselves to accepting the decoupling and self-controlled literature publishing model as something equivalent (in terms of academic value) to the traditional model. After two decades, the anecdotal evidence suggests that academia acknowledges the sort of equivalence that Smith describes at varying levels. For example, while literature quality-control can be generally anywhere on the Web, on the other hand, self-published literature remains to be treated as grey literature, that is, any material that is outside of the traditional scholarly distribution channels, especially when it comes to academic reward systems. In Decoupling the scholarly journal, Priem, 2012, presents an analysis of the traditional functions of the scholarly journal – registration (recording, time-stamping), certification (quality-control, assessment), awareness (dissemination), and archiving (preservation) will be discussed in detail under Forces and Functions. The article echoes earlier work in that the scholarly journals bundle multiple functions, and that this tight coupling has hindered innovation, is inefficient, and makes it difficult to improve individual functions. The article also states that the current system, ie. the bundling of the closed publishing and certification models, is unlikely to change if the communication functions are not decoupled, regardless of all the other out-of-band activities – activism or innovation – to improve the publishing models or certification mechanisms. The article diverges from the traditional view of separating registration and archiving functions since the latter necessitates both persistent storage and identification. Hence, an archived unit of communication (Rethinking Scholarly Communication) has already fulfilled registration. The authors echo many of the ideas of Smith with respect to decoupling and decentralisation, however they only go as far as describing them within the context of scholarly functions operating alongside institutional or third-party online services. While the article does not exclude the possibility of units of information being self-hosted and individually-controlled by the researchers, it is not explored further. The article concludes that the nature of the communication revolution will be through the structure and organisation of the units in the system. Open Archiving The First meeting of the Open Archives initiative in 1999 was held to agree on recommendations to address interoperability challenges, and outlined in The UPS Prototype, 2000 – such as search and linking – for data across publicly available distributed self-archiving solutions. To promote the global acceptance of self-archiving, with interoperable systems being core to its successful adoption, the Open Archives Initiative (OAI) Organization was established to take on the development of technical recommendations – for metadata standards, discovery, and retrieval. This led to the evolution of recommendations such as OAI-PMH Protocol for Metadata Harvesting, and its successor ResourceSync as a resource synchronization framework for servers; OAI-ORE for Object Reuse and Exchange; and Memento which specifies a time dimension to the Web architecture. Reminiscing About 15 Years of Interoperability Efforts, Van de Sompel, 2015, summarises the lessons learned on interoperability efforts by concluding that a shift from a repository-centric to a Web-centric perspective was essential in order have a viable and sustainable scholarly system. Scholarly Declarations and Practices While there is a plethora of overlapping guides, best practices, principles, manifestos, and declarations in the field of research, scholarly communication, data and publishing, here I highlight a few that are Web-centric. Today, Open Science is a broadly understood notion that is intended to foster an accessible approach to conducting science and scholarship. While there is no single agreed definition of open science, the general consensus is about improving the practice of scientific communication in a transparent, traceable, verifiable, and reusable manner. One definition of open science is as follows: Open Science is the practice of science in such a way that others can collaborate and contribute, where research data, lab notes and other research processes are freely available, under terms that enable reuse, redistribution and reproduction of the research and its underlying data and methods. Open Science Definition, FOSTER With the advent of the scholarly journal, the practice of open science have been continuously evolving. As the Web speeds up information exchange, there has been further interest in the systemisation and application of open science in research communities. Later on I will further discuss Social Scholarly Web. Data on the Web Best Practices The W3C Recommendation for Data on the Web Best Practices (DWBP) provides a wide range of best practices, in order to benefit comprehension, processability, discoverability, reuse, trust, linkability, access, and interoperability. The DWBP can be used by data publishers in order to help them and data consumers to overcome the different challenges faced when publishing and consuming data on the Web. DWBP applies to all data publishers but is pertinent for researchers. FAIR Guiding Principles The FAIR Guiding Principles, Wilkinson 2016, is a set of principles to facilitate knowledge discovery and reuse for machines and humans. The principles, findable, accessible, interoperable, reusable (FAIR) are intended to express policy goals, as opposed to a technical prescription to building a data infrastructure and exchange. The elements of the principles include: Findable For human and machine discovery of (meta)data and services by use of globally unique and persistent identifiers, and machine-readable way-finding. Accessible (Meta)data to be retrievable using open and free standard communication protocols via applicable authentication and authorization mechanisms. Interoperable (Meta)data using structured knowledge representations to be interpretable by autonomous agents. Reusable (Meta)data to optimise the reuse of data with domain-relevant, license, and provenance information. Cloudy, increasingly FAIR; revisiting the FAIR Data guiding principles for the European Open Science Cloud, Barend, 2017, posits that data are often open but not necessarily FAIR; data could be closed yet perfectly FAIR. FAIR does not directly proscribe data quality, trustworthiness, ethics or responsibility. Hence, conforming with the FAIR principles does not necessarily adhere to the scientific method. Cost of not having FAIR research data, PwC EU Services, European Commission, 2018, provides a cost-benefit analysis for FAIR research data based on the following indicators: time spent, cost of storage, license costs, research retraction, double funding, cross-fertilization, potential economic growth (as % of GDP). The estimates reveal that the annual cost of not having FAIR research data costs the European economy at least €10.2bn every year and that the true cost cost to be much higher. To put €10.2 billion in perspective, the cost of not having FAIR is ~ 400%, of what the European Research Council and European research infrastructures receive combined. The study also highlights the consequences in the absence of FAIR data to include impact on research quality, economic turnover, or machine readability of research data. Data Processing, Privacy and Protection In addition to institutional ethical principles and federal regulations, research can be subject to additional regulations. For instance, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) imposes obligations on organisations that process personal data of individuals in the EU and the EEA. Hence, GDPR is relevant for experiments and studies that include human subjects, personally identifiable information (PII), as well as acquired or inferred personal characteristics. In relation to scholarly communication, ie. research as a basis for data processing, GDPR is permissive and indicates exemptions on the processing of personal data for archiving purposes in the public interest, scientific or historical research purposes or statistical purposes should be subject to appropriate safeguards for the rights and freedoms of the data subject, as well as for scientific research purposes including technological development and demonstration, fundamental research, applied research and privately funded research. Digital Agenda In order to further open up the market for services based on public-sector information, the European Commission’s Revision of the PSI Directive, 2012 — a digital agenda for Europe — as per Office Journal C 240/2014, recommends high-demand datasets from libraries and archives be published in machine-readable and open formats (CSV, JSON, XML, RDF, etc.) to enhance accessibility, and described in rich metadata formats and classified according to standard vocabularies, and to facilitate re-use, public sector bodies should … make documents available … at the best level of precision and granularity, in a format that ensures interoperability. As the importance of the new approaches are acknowledged by scholarly communities, there is an increasing social, as well as technical demands for their adoption. Paper User Interface Because paper enforces single sequence and there is no room for digression, it imposes a particular kind of order in the very nature of the structure. When I saw the computer, I said, ‘at last we can escape from the prison of paper’, and that was what my whole hypertext idea was about in 1960 and since. Contrarily, what did the other people do, they imitated paper, which to me seems totally insane. Ted Nelson Demonstrates XanaduSpace (by Arthur Bullard), Ted Nelson, 2013 The Web goes beyond the confines of the physical paper. The user experiences between the Web and print-centric media differ greatly. This section briefly compares Portable Document Format (PDF) and HTML. Donald E. Knuth, the inventor of TeX, considers TeX to be a program written using the literate programming approach. The TeX source code can be imperatively programmed, then compiled by a processor to arrive at a view. LaTeX, which is widely used for scholarly articles, is a collection of TeX macros. In some scientific communities, PDFs are usually generated from LaTeX. PDF (ISO 32000-2:2017) is intended for displaying and storing, and generally self-contained. However, it is not intended to be editable as the formatting instructions are no longer available. PDF is inherently layout oriented, and it is an optimal format for printing given its high-precision for typography. Third-party scholarly publishers tend to require a fixed layout with typographical guidelines for research documents, hence submissions are often required to be made as PDFs. In order to facilitate metadata interchange, an Extensible Metadata Platform (XMP) package in the form of XML (most commonly serialized as RDF/XML) may be embedded in PDF as per XMP Specification Part 1: Data Model, Serialization, and Core Properties (ISO 16684-1:2012). Otherwise, semantically useful information is not preserved when PDFs are generated, which makes it difficult to go back to source content format. HTML is both a content format for encoding information, and a document format for storing information. HTML can reflow to fit different displays. HTML has ubiquitous support across devices. If HTML is used as the original format to record the information, a PDF copy can be generated on demand, using the specifications of the user. With an accompanying CSS for the HTML, desired layout guidelines can be achieved. Converting from PDF to HTML+CSS is possible, but the precision rests on rendering the view, as opposed to creating a structurally and semantically meaningful document. Formatting research articles as PDF comes at the cost of losing access to granular information. Thus, PDF’s primary focus – the presentation layer – leads to legacy documents that are not reusable in the long run. A great amount of reverse-engineering is required to extract the underlying information (like content, tables, figures). The source format (like TeX, JATS, XML, HTML, or other) are often needed instead for content exchange and modifications. TeX and HTML (as stacks) are compared in Table Comparison of TeX and HTML. Comparison of TeX and HTML TeXHTML SystemTypesettingWeb Programming paradigmImperativeDeclarative Device readinessModerateGood Applicable mediaScreen, PrintAny* LayoutFixedReflowable ModularityLockedExtensible ImmutabilityCoreFeasible InteractivityStaticDynamic AccessibilityVariesCore Machine-readabilityLowHigh LinkabilityBasicRich Reference granularityCoarseFine We consider TeX stack family to include DVI, XMP, LaTeX, PDF and ECMAScript, whereas the HTML stack family to include hypertext and semantic (W3C) technologies and JavaScript. Any media refers to W3C CSS Media Queries, 2012, eg. braille, handheld, print, screen, speech. Device readiness is an informal estimate on how likely a device will be able to open the stack, view, and interact. Third-party research publishing services commonly impose constraints on file formats derived from print requirements. As a consequence, it regulates researchers’ choice of tools to prepare and share their work with their peers and the society. In essence, it impacts how researchers and scholars approach communicating their work based on the confines of the medium. While the choices for digital representation for research information may seem arbitrary, the effects of a print-centric scholarly publishing is analogous to McLuhan’s we look at the present through a rear-view mirror. I chose HTML not to be a programming language because I wanted different programs to do different things with it: present it differently, extract tables of contents, index it, and so on. Principle of Least Power, Tim Berners-Lee, 1998 Semantic Publishing One of the shortcomings of the research publication system is that scientific literature in electronic formats resemble, mimic, and have similar affordances to printed papers. While the paper-centric approach has been adequate, although not necessary optimal, for human consumption and reuse, it is insufficient for machine-assisted analysis or reuse. The print-centric affordances lack structure that could enable better aggregation, discovery, processing, and integration – which machines excel at – and in turn help with human-led tasks. Representing and storing semantically structured knowledge on the Web enables automated agents to process information more intelligently. The most wide use of the term semantic publishing in scientific literature is defined in Semantic publishing: the coming revolution in scientific journal publishing, Shotton, 2009. Here the term semantic publishing is constrained to anything that enhances the meaning of a published journal article, facilitates its automated discovery, enables its linking to semantically related articles, provides access to data within the article in actionable form, or facilitates integration of data between papers. In Genuine Semantic Publishing, Kuhn, 2017, posits that with respect to the Semantic Web vision, this definition is too restrictive in a sense that it is concerned mainly about narrated information, and too inclusive in that a shallow semantic publication would still qualify. The article argues that the definition for semantic publishing should be broader in that works without a narrative are accounted for, and narrower in the sense that semantic representations should be incorporated at the time of creating and publishing entities. The genuine semantic publishing concept prescribes the notion of publishing 1) machine interpretable formal representations, 2) having essential coverage of the claims, 3) authenticated by the contributors, 4) be a primary component of the work, and 5) be part of fine-grained and light-weight containers. Analogous to the FAIR principles, data needs to "signal" potential opportunities for reuse as per Research Objects in Why Linked Data is Not Enough for Scientists, Bechhofer, 2013. Arguments and Citations A core component of the Web is hyperlinks between documents. Most, if not all, academic articles reference others in some way. For articles published using Web technologies for the content or even just the metadata, creating hyperlinks is an obvious way to enhance these references. Such links can create citation chains between articles at a high level, and graphs of claims and arguments at a more granular level. The case is made for using a Web-friendly and machine-tractable model of scientific publications in Micropublications: a semantic model for claims, evidence, arguments and annotations in biomedical communications, Clark, 2014. The Micropublications model, formalised as an OWL ontology, can reduce the human-labour cost of checking the support of a claim, as it is capable of representing scientific controversy and evidentiary requirements in primary literature. Further, the Micropublications model can be applied to generate argument graphs representing the claim that is argued, and its support by other statements, references, and scientific evidence (data). Machine-navigable linkage at the level of assertions in scientific articles and data improves robustness of scientific citations and observations. Argument graphs: Literature-Data Integration for Robust and Reproducible Science, Clark, 2015, posts that creating data structures based on the relationships between arguments can be complementary to using entity recognition for mapping textual terms in articles to curated scientific databases. Citations perform a variety of functions, and an author’s intention when referencing a particular source is not always evident from the prose, and certainly not from a machine-readability perspective. For example, does the author mean to point to a whole document (this is usually the level at which traditional citations operate) or are they only referring to a particular statement or section within it? Are they citing something because it supports their perspective, or because they disagree with it? This is particularly problematic in a system which simply counts the instances of a citation to determine impact or relevance. Measuring academic influence: Not all citations are equal, Turney, 2015, and Why (almost) Everything We Know About Citations is Wrong: Evidence from Authors, Teplitskiy, 2018, provide evidence indicating that authors with a means to express their citations and intentions in a structured way can improve the preservation of the connections between research assertions or units of information in general. Fortunately there has already been work towards creating vocabularies around the relationships between articles and their citations. In An annotation scheme for citation function, Teufel, 2006, a classification system is proposed for relationship information between articles and their citations in order to improve automatic recognition to build better citation indexers, as well as to have more accurate interpretations of scientific arguments. The Citation Typing Ontology (CiTO) model is equipped with common classifications eg. "cites for information", "disputes", "cites as evidence", "cites as potential solution", that can be used to create explicit relations between entities, as posited in FaBiO and CiTO: ontologies for describing bibliographic resources and citations, Peroni, 2012. It also has an extension mechanism to support customised properties in order to allow authors to express their intentions closer to their mental model. In contrast to extracting rhetorical knowledge structured claimed by authors of scientific articles, Corpora for the conceptualisation and zoning of scientific papers, Liakata, 2010, describes how the structure of human-readable investigation in research articles can be retrieved based on a generic high-level annotation scheme for scientific concepts. It is shown that such complementary approach can assist in the generation of automatic summaries and intelligent querying. Genuine Semantic Publishing, Kuhn, 2017, also contends that while narrative text remains an important part of research discourse, publishing the data using formal semantics without the need of a narrative is beneficial. Meanwhile, tooling for creating unique identifiers at granular levels, for clauses or statements within articles as well as pieces of supporting datasets, hinders researchers’ in using structured mechanisms for describing their citations. Authors may be unable to obtain or generate a precise identifier, or lack an authoring or referencing environment which would allow them to assign identifiers appropriately. When an author’s intentions are preserved only in prose, entity-recognition techniques are typically required to understand the original intentions of citations. This is generally a complicated task and error prone given that an algorithm attempts to reverse-engineer the purpose of the citation. Registration of Identifiers Identifying units on the (scholarly) Web is currently done with different kinds of social agreements and expectations. In Identifiers for the 21st century: How to design, provision, and reuse persistent identifiers to maximize utility and impact of life science data, McMurry, 2018, posits that actors should generally create their own identifiers for new knowledge, and to reuse existing identifiers when referring existing knowledge. Depending on the one or more roles an actor has in the creation, editing, and republishing of content, the decision to create a new or reusing identifier is left as a judgement call. Here I discuss a few systems that pertain to registration of identifiers: Digital Object Identifier (DOI) is an international standard for document identification, and the services that are offered through is managed by the International DOI Foundation (at the time of this writing). The foundation permits DOI Registration Agencies to manage DOI records. In order to have a resource assigned with a DOI, it has to be done by one of the DOI registration agencies which requires organisational membership, excluding individuals. For example, a typical journal publisher as a member of a DOI registration agency (eg. CrossRef) submits mappings for objects of interest. Given the statement in AWWW, URI persistence is a matter of policy and commitment on the part of the URI owner, DOI introduces an additional layer of social contract to govern the discovery of research artifacts. A DOI is aimed at being a persistent identifier for an object it is assigned to, and has the mechanism to refer to the URL of an object where it can be found. That is, a DOI may refer to a landing page about the actual object and not necessarily the object itself – this happens to be a common practice for literature that is not necessarily open and free. For literature that has restricted access, the resolved DOI is typically a webpage where an actor would need to go through the system’s paywall or access toll in order to retrieve the content. From a machine’s perspective, what the DOI identifies at the resolved location is not clear eg. company logo, tracking software, search form or the intended research object? For open literature, the resolved DOI would generally hyperlink to the actual scientific object in human-interpretable only fashion, or be part of a webpage accompanied by material unrelated to the scientific object itself, ie. information that the scientists neither assembled as part of their research nor intended for the consumer. If the actual URL of the object changes, the DOI’s lookup table for the URL has to be updated. Otherwise, they'll point to dead links or unrelated information. Open Researcher and Contributor ID (ORCID) is a community-governed persistent identifier system for researchers and organisations. An ORCID identifier is specified as a URI. While anyone can create and update their ORCID profile, the identifier is ultimately owned and managed by the ORCID organisation and made available through Profiles are constrained to express to the UI’s template and the kind of information ORCID is willing to store. For most intents and purpose, the free service offered by ORCID is sufficient for researchers, and provides a mechanism where researchers can aggregate information about their education, employment, funding, and works like academic publications and data. It also allows researchers to extend their profile descriptions, as well as linking to their alternative online profiles. Persistent Uniform Resource Locator (PURL) is a way to provide an HTTP URL a permanent redirect to another HTTP URL. PURLs can be registered and managed by anyone. The PURL service is currently administered by the Internet Archive. Similar to PURLs, is the W3C Permanent Identifier Community Group’s resulting, where a group of entities that pledge to ensure the operation of the community-drive service. provides a permanent URL re-direction service, and it can be done by making a request to register and update a URI path. There are shared second-level paths eg. for people, that can be registered the same way. The service is flexible in that different server rules for redirections can be set. Persistent Identifiers for Scholarly Assets and the Web: The Need for an Unambiguous Mapping Van de Sompel, 2014, states that a Persistent Identifier (PID) is a string that complies with a well-defined syntax, minted in a namespace controlled by a naming authority. PURL, w3id, ORCID, and DOI are PIDs. For digital objects accessible over the Internet, PIDs are intended to be used as a long-lasting reference to a unit of information, and be actionable in the sense that the environment can be directed to the identified source. For example, a DOI-based PID can be 10.2218/ijdc.v9i1.320, and the organisation – in this case the International DOI Foundation – would be responsible to maintain an unambiguous mapping to an accessible resource. Typically once mapped, the process starts from a DOI URI which (currently) resolves to the location where its contents can be retrieved. URN, International Standard Book Number (ISBN), Archival Resource Keys (ARK) are other examples of PID. There are different forms of social contracts or promises made for long-term societal benefit in terms of archival and preservation of knowledge. They can be categorised as follows: any Web-wide publicly usable archival services, eg. Internet Archive,, WebCite,, Webrecorder; dedicated digital preservation organisations, eg. Portico; libraries, eg. LOCKSS; global archives preserving content on behalf of all libraries, eg. CLOCKSS; subscription based service for all kinds of libraries, federal institutions, state archives, NGOs, eg. Archive-It; state or federal archives, eg. Swiss Federal Archives, Library and Archives Canada; institutional-run digital archives, eg. TIB, Zenodo In 1996, the Internet Archive begun to archive the publicly accessible resources on the Internet, and provides free public access to its digital library. The Wayback Machine is a service that allows users to search and access archived Web documents in particular. The Wayback Machine can be used to navigate through different versions of URLs based on the date-time in which they were accessed and stored. For example, all of the captures of as well as the other articles of the site are available, along with a summary. Social Scholarly Web Experience with the ªWorld-Wide Webº (W3) global information initiative suggests that the whole mechanism of academic research will change with new technology. However, when we try (dangerously) to see the shape of things to come, it seems that some old institutions may resurface but in a new form. Physics World article for end March 1992, Tim Berners-Lee, 1992 The scholarly ecosystem is inherently social. Researchers and scholars have been exchanging and collaborating on their findings and questioning, just as they were in the era of the Republic of Letters. The social dimension not only exerts a force within the research community, from the society, and eventually flowing back out to society. As the Web deeply impacts societies, in addition to using social media, researchers and academics have also been studying sociotechnical systems from their respective disciplines. We need to understand the effects of the tools we use on the ecosystem and on scientific and scholarly communication. There is a top-down social pressure for research openness and access to knowledge that is in the public interest, however, achieving it through the methods and ethics is challenging for societies. In this section, I will overview how researchers use social media, quality control and certification, and access to research knowledge in context of privilege and gatekeeping. Social Media and Academia Contemporary social media and networking sites has been facilitating academics to exchange information. More specifically, academics use social media for a variety of reasons, to name a few: to network and collaborate; disseminate and find research results, crowd-source and crowd-fund research challenges, engage with public and foster trust on research results by providing authoritative feedback. There are online communities geared towards scientists, academics, librarians, and scholars with topical focus on various aspects of scholarly communication. In Academics and their online networks: Exploring the role of academic social networking sites, Jordan, 2015, discusses the proliferation of social networking sites predominantly operated by businesses independently of education institutions. Academics from different disciplines communicate to publish and review articles in different states (pre-prints to post-prints), pose and answer questions, construct identities and build profiles, exchange messages, as well as explore trends. Online social media tools are affecting or influencing scholarly communication from a variety of fronts. For instance, with the advent of the Web and the notion academics having the right and means to exchange scholarly literature with their peers for free, there has been plethora of initiatives and developments over the course of three decades in academia, libraries, archives, as well as standards for creating, sharing and preserving (Open Access Directory). Moreover, the call to take advantage of features offered by the new media, has opened new ways of publishing and disseminating scientific and scholarly knowledge globally, as well as institutional infrastructures being adapted to meet communication needs. For example, universities providing an online space for staff members and students to publish their profiles, as well as to share their research interests, academic output, and other educational material. Institutional repositories have been built to retain copies of scholarly work, as well as mechanisms to exchange data with other repositories. In recent years, there has also been growing number of community-led initiatives for individuals to help researchers and scientists by performing citizen science independently, from sharing photos of coral reefs, analysing radio signals, to solving protein structures. In parallel to "internal" technical and social advancements, infrastructure towards open scholarly communication has been offered by commercial entities in various forms with different business models, from authoring, reviewing, messaging, organising, indexing, searching, to visualising scholarly information. In essence, third-party controlled online social media exist simply because academics have needs to be fulfilled. PASTEUR4OA Briefing Paper: Infrastructures for Open Scholarly Communication, Moore, 2016, states that online platforms have become increasingly centralised locations for a range of user interactions, and they have a commonality in that, their primary currency is user’s data which is monetised in various ways; the platforms cater to different stakeholders while being free; the platforms are often funded by firms that offer venture-capital and are almost exclusively driven by profit-maximising; and in order to maximise the number of users and data generated through their interactions, the platforms are centralised and act as closed proprietary ecosystems (commonly referred to as walled gardens) where data access, portability, ownership and content structures are constrained in ways which makes it difficult for users’ to simply move to another system. Quality Control and Certification peer review A method of quality control of scholarly articles, whereby each article submitted for publication in a journal is sent to one or more scholars working the same research field as the author and the scholar(s) assess(es) whether the article is of a high enough standard and appropriate for publication in that particular journal. Encyclopedia of International Media and Communications, Scholarly Journals, Vol. 2, p. 687, 2003 In Free at Last: The Future of Peer-Reviewed Journals, Harnad, 1999, states that peer review is a quality-control and certification (QC/C) filter necessitated by the vast scale of learned research today. In Implementing Peer Review on the Net: Scientific Quality Control in Scholarly Electronic Journals, Harnad, 1996, posits that electronic networks offer the possibility of efficient and equitable peer review on published and ongoing work, which can replicate the traditional paper form. As the medium revolutionised interactive publications, it was possible for peer review to be supplemented with online commentary as another form of quality control for scholarly literature at any state. The scientific community has been aware of the crude and fallibility of traditional peer review, for example, in cases such as, crediting bad research, good research getting dismissed for political reasons, predatory publishing (quality of the research content being irrelevant), or even treating commentary or opinion pieces as equivalent to scientific evaluation. Nevertheless, the function of peer review in the scholarly system is a form of self-regulation and certification. Without having any maintenance for quality, distinguishing valid, reliable, useful and ethical work from those not, would be difficult to achieve systematically. This is particularly concerning where the general public can become aware of a piece of information, yet the validity of the research findings may be inaccessible or absent, and thus have major consequences to our society and the planet – as with cases where widely agreed scientific evidence and observable effects of global climate change can be easily "questioned" by propaganda spread through mass-media by elite forces with a personal or private agenda; the amplification of the flat Earth conspiracy, and so on. What is open peer review? A systematic review, Ross-Hellauer, 2017, first categorises the problems in traditional peer review, second studies the diversity of definitions of open peer review (OPR) in literature, and sets out to resolve the ambiguity, and classifies the common traits. The articles argues that the OPR traits: open identities, open reports, open participation, open interaction, open pre-review manuscripts, open final-version commenting, and open platforms (“decoupled review”) can help to address common problems in the traditional peer review model categorised as: unreliability and inconsistency, delay and expense, lack of accountability and risks of subversion, social and publication biases, lack of incentives, wastefulness. The peer review model towards quality control has received extensive criticism. These are studied in A multi-disciplinary perspective on emergent and future innovations in peer review, Tennant, 2017. The article examines different approaches to peer review models and systems. In context of decoupled post-publication (annotation services), the article states that while there are online communities and services for open peer review, the systems are largely non-interoperable in that most evaluations are difficult to discover, lost, or rarely available in an appropriate context or platform for re-use. Reproducible research findings refers to the notion that when the exact methods are used to replicate or repeat to reach the same findings. However, for some research, reproduction is not always possible, for example when data is sensitive, or influenced by time or space. In this case, replication can be carried out to answer the same research questions using similar or equivalent approaches. The reproduction of the original work can be either confirmatory, ie. able to reproduce, or; contradictory, unable to reproduce or inconclusive. Thus, in order to reconstruct how the data was generated and to make sense of it, data needs to be accompanied by enough detail about its provisional interpretations. The preregistration revolution, Nosek, 2018, describes the uptake of the preregistration process as a way to define the research questions and analysis plan before observing the research outcomes. Registered reports was initially proposed as an open letter to the scientific community as a way to Changing the culture of scientific publishing from within , Chambers, 2012. Researchers would register a research plan which gets reviewed by their peers for significance, rationale, soundness and feasibility of the methodology, and replicability, it would be approved to carry out the research. The approach provides a conditional acceptance for the final manuscript. Any observed statistical regularity will tend to collapse once pressure is placed upon it for control purposes. Goodhart’s law The current scholarly system implements metrics for impact of various scholarly artifacts. Citations impacts quantifies the importance of academic articles, journals, and authors. Article citations is used to indicate how often it is referenced. Journal Impact Factor (JIF) is used to indicate the relative importance of an academic journal within its field. h-index is one way to measure bibliometric impact of individual authors in their field. The validity of these metrics has received numerous criticisms. Prestigious Science Journals Struggle to Reach Even Average Reliability, Brembs, 2018, examines accumulating data which suggests methodological quality and, consequently, reliability of published research works in several fields may be decreasing with increasing journal rank. As society becomes more literate and reliability of research becomes more important, the article posits that the scientific community should strive to abolish the pressure that JIF exerts towards measuring the productivity of scholars, in order to preserve society’s trust in the scientific endeavour. Deep impact: unintended consequences of journal rank, Brembs, 2013, posits that fragmentation and the resulting lack of access and interoperability are among the main underlying reasons why journal rank has not yet been replaced by more scientific evaluation options, despite widespread access to article-level metrics today. Altmetrics is the creation and study of new metrics based on the social web for analyzing, and informing scholarship. They are are complementary to traditional citation impact metrics by aggregating diverse online research output eg. citations, downloads, mentions, from public APIs (The Altmetrics Collection, Priem, 2012). It could be applied in researcher evaluations, as well as can pressure individuals to use commercially controlled social media. Privilege and Gatekeeping The scholarly communication system has been the subject of controversies internationally ever since the shift towards its systematisation and the effect of the forces in society, research market and knowledge industry. Controlling access to information or knowledge in all intents and purposes has been a race to controlling science (communication), financial and political power. Moreover, intelligence gleaned from users data has not only been profitable, but has also raised long-standing privacy issues. 2019 Big Deals Survey Report: An Updated Mapping of Major Scholarly Publishing Contracts in Europe, European University Association, 2019, states that the consortia including universities, libraries, government representatives, and scientific organisations, representing 30 European countries reported a total annual spend of €726,350,945 on periodicals Big Deals. The proportion of these costs covered by universities is about 72%, or approximately €519,973,578. SPARC Landscape Analysis, SPARC, 2019, observes a company’s revenues per journal article in the region of 4100 USD. Is the staggeringly profitable business of scientific publishing bad for science?, The Guardian, 2017, reports that some publishing and data analytics businesses earn close to 40% profit margins meanwhile scientists get a a bad deal. Inequality in Knowledge Production: The Integration of Academic Infrastructure by Big Publishers, Posada, 2018, commercial entities traditionally with the publisher role have evolved and increased their control of the research process, publishing process, as well as the research evaluation process. The Oligopoly of Academic Publishers in the Digital Era, Larivière, 2015, posits that the value added by the publishers did not increase as their rise of ownership in the scientific publishing system over centuries. According to Opening the Black Box of Scholarly Communication Funding: A Public Data Infrastructure for Financial Flows in Academic Publishing, Lawson, 2015, the emergence and growing use of APC model provided a stable revenue stream to publishers, while the technical infrastructure remained relatively unchanged. In Open Access, the Global South and the Politics of Knowledge Production and Circulation, an Open Insights interview with Leslie Chan, 2018, states that adding openness to an asymmetrical and highly unequal system simply amplifies the gap and empowers the already powerful. A corpus of research articles on the topic of “open” and “free” access to research is collected in Group: Open Access Irony Award, 2019, where individual articles at the time of their publication are themselves inaccessible, require subscription or payment. In Practicing What You Preach: Evaluating Access of Open Access Research, Schultz, 2018, sets to find out how many published research articles about OA fall into the category of publishing their work in paywalled journals and fail to make it open. One explanation of this phenomenon may be that while the research community has shown increasing interest in studying and pursuing open access to research (over several decades, if not more generally over centuries), as well as an overwhelming support for the idea of open access as shown in Highlights from the SOAP project survey. What Scientists Think about Open Access Publishing, Dallmeier-Tiessen, 2011, the actors in the scholarly system are constrained or tied to traditional models of publishing and distribution. The SPARC Landscape Analysis, SPARC, 2019, reports that some of the major academic publishers are transitioning from providing content to data analytics business. The document provides broad-stroke strategies that higher institutes can consider eg. revising existing data policies, establishing coordination mechanisms, negotiating to ensure institutional ownership of the data and infrastructure and establishing open terms and conditions … re-thinking the institution’s relationship to its data in terms of commercial exploitation, IP ownership, and research investment outcomes. Vertical Integration in Academic Publishing, Chen, 2019, confirms academic publishing industry’s expansion and control of data analytics by building end-to-end infrastructure that span the entire knowledge production life cycle through mergers and acquisitions. Authors state further vertical integration can potentially have an exclusionary effect on less financially well-endowed journals and institutions, primarily those in the Global South, in their attempt to emulate the western modality of knowledge production. The article Publisher, be damned! From price gouging to the open road, Harvie, 2014, criticises the large profits made by for-profit publishers while taking advantage of academics’ labours. After internal disagreements (between the publisher and the editorial board), the article was published where the original version introduced a disclaimer warning by the publisher stating that the accuracy of the content should not be relied upon. Such unfortunate turn of events exemplifies how academic freedom can be jeopardised, subject to censorship and manipulation when external parties ultimately control the distribution of knowledge. In response to paywalled articles with high costs, Sci-Hub is a website that provides free access to research articles and books. The authentication credentials is illicitly obtained authentication credentials to commercial publisher’s online libraries. Sci-Hub has received a variety of responses including praise and criticism from different stakeholders including the research community and the commercial publishers. In the case of scholarly publishing, standards such as DOI, JIF, and even metadata standards, are not only technical decisions, but are also political decisions with public policy implications. This is because these standards are not neutral, but are designed to privilege certain types of knowledge or outputs, while rendering other invisible. Open Access, the Global South and the Politics of Knowledge Production and Circulation, an Open Insights interview with Leslie Chan, Leslie Chan, 2018 Some of the observable effects of commercial participants in the scholarly ecosystem on scholarly communication is that they have the means to monitor the usage and interaction of units of scholarly information, censor who or what information gets shared and at what cost, have the agency to control the flow of information, and influence the coupling of their notion of academic impact to a biased incentive system. The current state of scholarly communication predominantly operates under the notion of requiring or relying on third-party publishers to make scholarly contributions available, as well as setting technical and ethical constraints on what can potentially be a scholarly contribution. Looking at this from another perspective, we can observe that actor-controlled participation is not possible towards “open” participation. I will highlight some of the technical practices (from a plethora of instances) put in place by third-party publishers (irrespective of genuine interest in adhering to the Open Science initiative) which raises a number of user experience (UX) issues. Some commonly observable UX includes: Session tracking. Requiring cookies to be enabled in order to access the core content. JavaScript-driven resources – forcing users to use certain software and enable JavaScript execution. Resources (eg. articles, annotations) including tracking software. Resources are actively blocked, rate limited, restrictive terms and conditions on reuse for content mining – preventing further research. Web crawlers are actively blocked – preventing archiving services to snapshot. Proprietary data models and access methods. Resources including advertisements. Resources including subscription forms to the journal. Resources are branded by the publisher. Resources change at the discretion of the publisher. Persistent identifiers eventually resolving to landing webpages with no deterministic way for machines to discover content. Forces and Functions The scientific communication market is an interplay between actors with an objective to exchange units of information along the lines of: academic literature, analysis, annotations (eg. assessments, bookmarks, comments), datasets, evidence, interactive representations, software, observations, provenance, and workflows. Further, researchers commonly want to expose their work beyond the scientific community to the wider world, seeking adoption or contradiction of new ideas and findings. In the seminal work, Forces and functions in scientific communication, Roosendaal, 1997 provide a framework which has had historical influence on research and development pertaining to technical challenges on interoperability, workflows, service sharing, and information modeling in scholarly communication. Through this thesis, I will refer back to these concepts as a means to describe and compare various technologies and approaches to scientific publishing. Roosendaal and Geurts disassemble the scientific communication market as an interplay between four forces and functions. The dynamics between the forces and functions is described as a tetrad: Forces The scientific communication market consists of four forces with each having complementary parts: actors, accessibility, content, and applicability. Actors Any kind of interactive agent that creates or uses information, eg. authors, readers, tool implementers, policy makers, application programs. Accessibility The availability and retrievability of information, content accessibility. Content The generated questions and answers by actors. Applicability Transfer of knowledge to science, technology, and society. Functions Scientific communication consists of four functions: registration, awareness, certification, and archiving (RACA). Registration Allows claims of precedence for a scientific activity. Awareness Remaining informed of the observations. Certification Establishes the validity of registered claims. Archiving Preservation of scholarly records over time. The actor and content forces are generic and internal to the scholarly market, and are considered to be indispensable in that there would not be a scientific communication market if there are no researchers and the artifacts they exchange. The accessibility and applicability forces on the other hand are external forces because they shape, give purpose to, or influence the activities and content. The registration and archiving are objective functions in that they are external to the research process. Information exchange cannot take place if there are no usable identifiers for the units of communication or if no knowledge preservation measures are put in place. Certification and awareness are subjective communication functions – internal to the research process. Registration and awareness are different aspects of making information findable, or scientific observations. Certification and archiving are aspects of scientific judgement, ie. they act as filtering mechanisms in the information space. In today’s scholarly publishing, the journal article is considered to have four chief functions: The dissemination of information The archiving, or permanent preservation, of the information The assignment of priority in the information Quality control Encyclopedia of International Media and Communications, Scholarly Journals, Vol. 2, p. 690, 2003 In Rethinking Scholarly Communication, Van de Sompel, 2004, proposes to revise the notion of a unit of scholarly communication in two ways. In a technological sense, it suggests to recognise the compound and dynamic nature of a unit of communication that work on the Web. Content can be the result of a combination of other registered items; data may be available through interactions, or depend on acquiring externally registered items. In order to empower scholarly communities from a systems perspective, the article posits that there should be more flexibility in what constitutes a unit of scholarly communication in order to allow registration, as well as factoring timing and the quality of what is to be registered. The article also acknowledge the presence of an additional function in the market which reflects the academic credit and policy in the current system. A derived function, rewarding of actors for their performance in the communication system based on metrics derived from that system. For rewarding to take place, the information space needs to provide the ability to extract meaningful metrics. In A Perspective on Archiving the Scholarly Web, Van de Sompel, 2014 characterises the ongoing evolution and transition of objects pertaining to scholarly communication. In particular, the communication is becoming more Web-centric ie. visible, continuous, informal, instant, content-driven, and the communicated objects vary in their type, have compound composition, diverse, networked, and open. Given that the emergence of the Web influenced the communication market by transforming it from predominantly being medium-driven into a content-driven ecosystem, as well as the research process becoming more visible on the Web (per the Open Science movement), the article also posit that the aforementioned indicators impact the functions in scientific communication, and in particular have a significant impact on the future of archiving. The observation is based on the archival process held on the Web; unplanned and unconstrained archiving, organically occurring, by way of Web objects being deposited across distributed and dedicated archival services. They describe the effect of Web-based archiving with respect to the four functions: registration: a wide variety and versions of objects that are compound, dynamic, interrelated, and interdependent are available from different Web platforms; certification: a variety of mechanisms that are decoupled from registration; awareness: a variety of objects being communicated in real-time and social; archiving: no constraints on the number or kinds of parties that can hold archived copies, the need for appropriate levels of cross-archive interoperability in order to support seamless, uniform access to archived objects, that are temporally appropriate while context being preserved The authors conclude that in order to address the needs of a distributed archival approach for scholarly Web objects, standards will play a central role for interoperable systems. Given the dynamic nature of units of communication on the Web, vertical integration, stepping through the four functions in order (as per the traditional journal-centric ecosystem), turns out to be inadequate. Hence, an affirmation of the outlook as outlined in Rethinking Scholarly Communication, that the essential functions need to be fulfilled in discreet, disaggregated, and distributed manners, and in which a variety of networked pathways interconnect the autonomous hubs that fulfill these functions. The act of recording (or registering in the most general sense) a unit of communication is not a replacement for archiving or persistence, even if the freely available Web services are used towards this end. The authors distinguish recording and archiving in that the former is short-term, no guarantees provided, used for many read-write operations, and part of a scholarly process. Archiving serves a different function, in that it is intended for the long-term, and there is an attempt of a guarantee (or promise) and the archived artifact becomes part of the scholarly record. The authors call for another archival paradigm that is based off the characteristics of the Web. That is, given the inherently interlinked and dynamic nature of Web objects, archived resources cannot be treated as atomic resources as they do not necessarily contain the complete content. For instance, a research document on the Web may refer to external media or interactive scripts, aggregated objects, and changing or ephemeral objects. This is in contrast to the traditional journal-centric approach to archival where all material – physical paper – can be eventually tracked to library stacks. Hence, the future of archiving needs to consider the nature of the object, including the degree to which it can be archived. The complexity and care that is required for the proper preservation of digital objects is further described in Requirements for Digital Preservation Systems, Rosenthal, 2005, provides a taxonomy of threat models: software, communication, network, economic, organisational, to name a few, which pose a particular risk to permanent information loss. Thus, it is important to bare these potential issues in mind when considering what scholarly units of information will contain and how they will be made available. Effects and Artifacts All of man’s artifacts – whether language, or laws, or ideas and hypotheses, or tools, or clothing, or computers – are extensions of the physical human body or the mind. Laws of Media, p. 93, Marshall McLuhan, 1989 In recent decades there has been a global shift in communication forms used for scientific activities. This perhaps demonstrates a desire for amplification of the senses that are used to consume and create knowledge. For instance, print-centric emphasises the linearity of scientific information representation and its communication, whereas a Web-centric approach makes multimodal interactions possible within the same domain. Scientists need no longer fit their understanding of the world within the confines of static and two-dimensional descriptions of phenomena. The need to travel great distances for first-hand observations and collaboration is also reduced. With electronic media, and more specifically the Web, we have the option to also watch, listen, and participate around measured observations, instantaneously as the events occur, or after the fact around persistent and detailed logs. Just as the invention of the printing press transformed the codification and mobility of knowledge, the Web transformed and extended human and machine communication on all fronts. What will be further explored in this thesis is the extent to which our current scholarly activities make use of the inherent qualities of the Web, as well as ways to further take advantage of these qualities. Tetrad of Media Effects: The Web is an artifact of our society. In order to help us understand the effects of the Web on scholarly communication, we can tetrad of media effects from the Laws of Media, McLuhan, 1989, as a heuristic device; a set of four questions: What does it enhance or intensify? What does it render obsolete or displace? What does it retrieve that was previously obsolesced? What does it produce or become when pressed to an extreme? Laws of Media, p. 7, Marshall McLuhan, 1989 Effects of Web Centric Scholarly Communication: The questions are intended to be complimentary and studied simultaneously. They correspond to four effects: enhances, obsolesces, retrieves, and reverses into. I use this tetrad to situate the effects and artifacts of scholarly communication on the Web in relative to adjacent mediums, in particular, to print media: Enhances access to information, autonomy, social connections, decentralisation, distribution, immediacy, multi-modality Obsolesces centralisation, isolation, distance, memorisation, privacy, tactility, travel, linearity, typographical conventions Retrieves community, correspondence, direct representation, free expression, dialogue, involvement, public space, self-control Reverses into collectivism, degraded information quality, group-think, information overload, fabrication, lack of accountability, noise, third-party control Throughout this thesis, I will refer back to these concepts. The tetrad serves as a conceptual categorisation of impacts of a medium that a particular media affords. It allows us to outline and analyse what the medium enables or has implications for based on observations in "the real world", or in day-to-day academic practice. In particular, we can examine the Web’s effects and artifacts within with regards to composition of scholarly information, individual autonomy to create and consume knowledge, and sociality of scholarly communication. By examining these effects, we can hone in on understanding what the underlying form does to us, society at large, and scientific communication itself. It provides us with a foundation to go further in uncovering the nature of scholarly communication’s interplay with the Web. How does scientific communication evolve through the mediums it operates from? Understanding the Medium In the 1967 book, The Medium is the Massage, McLuhan wrote: at the high speeds of electric communication, purely visual means of apprehending the world are no longer possible; they are just too slow to be relevant or effective. While McLuhan’s critique was about the effect of the print media in the electric age, it stands especially valid today in the age of interactive new media. For instance, the World Wide Web is a cool media because its access, multi-linearity, and interactive possibilities offer multi-sensory states for individuals. This is in contrast to print, considered by McLuhan to be hot media, demanding primarily the attention of our vision. As the printed word’s requirement for the other senses is minimal, it spoon-feeds the content to the reader in a l-i-n-e-a-r fashion. The literate or print culture is passive and is detached from immediate involvement because the medium has no such requirements. The cooler media on the other hand, requires a greater level of engagement from the audience at a faster rate. This increased engagement allows us to detect change and better recognise patterns, which, according to Gestalt laws of grouping, makes the whole of the information easier to follow and understand. The interaction of media with our senses is an inherent property of media. The media’s built-in sensory bias affects and transforms human society and psyche. Modern media, like the Web, offer extensible interactions, creative participation, and social engagement. There is a natural human desire to connect and exchange ideas, behaviour, or style with others, as well as to co-create. Given these opportunities, the fundamental question to ask here is, why should research communication be limited to, evaluated by, and rewarded on methods and practices be based on print-centric media? Scholarly communication still uses methods which date back to the invention of the mechanical movable type printing press (c. 1450 CE), even in the advent of the globally accessible and interactive new media that are at our fingertips today, and at much faster turnaround times from publication to consumption than ever before. The practices correspond to publication workflows that are in place for academic communication, and have remained largely unchanged for over a century. What does it mean to have an academic achievement through a “publication”? If we consider the Web as a potential supplement to or replacement for these older practices, and given that the Web can be purposed for greater possibilities than print alone, then we (members of the academic community) also need to address the question, what constitutes a scholarly contribution? Today, it is evident that the typical academic publishing scenario requires adherence to the printability aspects of the information eg. page length, typographical guidelines. That is, all of the encompassing data or supporting artifacts for any given research output typically must be channelled through the characteristics of print media. In practice, this leads the research community to use tools that are tailored solely for printing or viewing (on screen). This (sticking to print) leads to unnecessary information loss or arbitrary filtering of the content, which might be otherwise preserved if a different medium was used. Since print is only one possible way to represent and communicate the information, it is worthwhile to investigate and employ alternative or complimentary representations that are more appropriate given the affordances of the Web. Traditional electronic document formats, on the hot end of the media spectrum, are trying remain relevant inside a cool medium. This section served to acknowledge initiatives and developments that went into scholarly communication in the age of information and Web, against their historical backdrop. It also introduces some frameworks for description and analysis of technologies and processes particular to scholarly communication, and communication mediums in general, which I will continue to refer to through the rest of this thesis. Subsequent sections are dedicated to devising a scholarly space that is more fitting to the medium of the Web. Structure of Scholarly Information Scholarly Communication on the Web served to explain the state of sociotechnical affairs in scholarly communication. In this section, I focus on facets of research and scholarly information and its exchange on the Web. The Linked Statistics section describes my knowledge and artifact contributions for publishing and exchanging statistical Linked Data. Information Spaces Given that global strategic research is influenced by policies and industry, different information spaces can be created by an ensemble of units of information. Such information spaces would serve to facilitate knowledge exchange in the scientific communication market. In this section, I investigate existing approaches towards configuring different aspects of Web-centric information spaces. Scholarly knowledge includes a range of research artifacts that needs to be described, uniquely identifiable and be discoverable on the Web. These include research articles, peer reviews, research data, social interactions like review requests and notifications in general, as well as different kinds of annotations on research objects. The current state of access and use of scholarly knowledge is insufficient for society at large. By enabling accessible Scholarly Knowledge (Knowledge Graphs: New Directions for Knowledge Representation on the Semantic Web) graphs as well as applications which make use of it, we hope to enable universal access to previous research. By improving the availability through linked research, we can facilitate discovery and building on existing research. A fundamental first step is to investigate and develop effective ways to represent fine-grained information that is accessible, human- and machine-readable, and interconnected. A typical high-level interplay between the actors and the content forces, and their functions (registration, awareness, certification, archive) in scholarly communication have authors reply to call for contributions by sharing their literature. Reviewers provide feedback on the research results; individuals annotate and re-share the literature; editors filter and assemble a collection of work; archives are notified about the research. While the document-centric Web was mostly for human-readability, Linked Data-based Web is oriented towards improving discoverability, readability, and reuse for machines, and in effect better helping humans. For example, if research articles capture their problem statements, motivation, hypothesis, arguments, workflow steps, methodology, design, results, evaluation, conclusions, future challenges, as well as all inline semantic citations (to name a few) where they are uniquely identified, related to other data, and discoverable, then specialised software can be used to verify the article’s well-formedness with respect to the domain. In essence, this materialises the possibility of articles being executable towards reproduction of computational results. Similarly, user interfaces can manifest environments where readers can rerun experiments or observe the effects of changing the input parameters of an algorithm. This has the affordance for a more involving environment for the user, improves learnability of material, and supersedes the passive mode of reading. In a 1999 article, Practical Knowledge Representation for the Web, Van Harmelen, 1999, stated that the lack of semantic markup is a major barrier to the development of more intelligent document processing on the Web, and meta-data annotation of Web sources is essential for applying AI techniques on a large and successful scale. In this section I examine some of the existing Web standards and practices for the structure and semantics of scholarly information with focus on narrative documents and observational data. Scholarly documents with the characteristics of a continuous prose, such as those of research articles typically includes factual information about an investigation with supporting provenance-level information and references to underlying data. Annotations in the general sense can be similar to articles, however they are generally intended to encapsulate an indirection where target resources are associated with annotation activities with motivations, eg. commenting, bookmarking, or classifying. Notifications for scholarly activities serve as a way to inform a target of interest about events in general. I also examine representation and publication of statistical, experimental, or observational data on the Web following the Linked Data design principles. One goal here is to identify and apply patterns so that content creators can register different units of information at varying semantic granularity. Ultimately, I seek solutions that embrace interoperability and reusability, device and medium independence, as well as favourable for accessibility and archiving. Structure and Semantics The structure of a scholarly journal article has been mostly conserved during the evolution of scientific communication. A typical scholarly article may include a sequence of sections, usually an abstract; introduction and background relevant to earlier work; methods used to justify experiments; research results; discussion and conclusions; and a list of references. Different forms of research eg. original, scientific, artistic, or research in the humanities, may have their own discipline-centric organisational structures for the journal article. For example, Introduction, Methods, Results, and Discussion (IMRAD) is a widely adopted standardised structure in original research articles as per survey, The introduction, methods, results, and discussion (IMRAD) structure: a fifty-year survey, Sollaci, 2004. In the medical domain, structured abstracts are used to help with rapid comprehension by having distinct labelled sections, eg. introduction, objects, methods, results, conclusions, within the abstract of the article. This section covers semantic structure of the narrative aspects scholarly communication. This can enhance both human- and machine-readability of information, in particular, representations of units irrespective of how they are produced. Non-narrative units can also be semantically represented to enable easier reuse and interpretation; this is covered in more detail in Linked Statistics and Interactive Linked Statistics. Units of Communication Researchers exchange units of communication like scientific literature, annotation, datasets, workflows, argumentation, provenance, citation, and software. Knowledge may be represented or presented dynamically, or as a compilation of various independent units (compound). Semantic structure may be embedded in narrative or prose-based scholarly communication as well as used to enhance non-narrative units like experimental results or datasets. Narrative and non-narrative units may in turn include or refer to each other. While Web resources and their representations can be composed of different kinds of hypermedia, I focus on those that are generally referred to as documents. For instance, articles, annotations, notifications, and profiles when combined can cover a wide range of use cases with respect to units of communication. Each instantiation share common characteristics in that they can be both human- and machine-readable – forming a particular knowledge graph. Article An article in the most general sense is a domain-agnostic unit of information encoded in a document. Research contributions including, manuscripts, reports, assessments, technical specifications, news, social media posts and slideshows are some examples for different kinds of articles. Annotation Annotations include information that is generally about an association between resources with different intentions. For example, assessing, commenting, liking, bookmarking, describing, linking, are some of the motivations to annotate an article. Notification Notifications generally express actor activities. For example, announcements about a scientific article or parts within; a quality assessment of some literature; reports of observations; annotations or social activities. Profiles Actors have online profiles where they generally describe themselves, refer to their contacts (address books) or curriculum vitae. Human- and Machine-Readable Information A human-readable format (or medium) is a representation of information that enables humans to read, edit, or act upon. A machine-readable format entails that information can be effectively stored and processed by a machine. Both approaches are equipped with affordances that can be used by respective agents. Declarative programming paradigm: Declarative programming is a style of building the structure and expressing the semantics of programs, ie. what it should accomplish. The imperative programming style on the other hand is about how the program should execute and change the program state. The declarative approach tends to be short, easy to understand, independent of implementation, less likely to contain errors as well as to easily correct, and tractable. For example, many domain-specific markup languages, such as HTML and XML-family (XSLT, SVG, MathML), and CSS are declarative. HTML simply tells the consuming agent – like a Web browser – what should appear as part of a Webpage. HTML’s readability and ease of interpretation played a role in its adoption – anyone that wanted to express some information in a Webpage can "view source" to learn without any further steps. RDF as the language: HTML is a prominent media form to publish on the Web. While this is sufficient to cover various use cases in a scholarly information space, it is limited in the sense that the granularity of machine-readable content is based on the classic hypertext model, ie. ultimately a relationship with loose semantics between documents or their parts. It is considered to be limited in terms of capturing domain-specific knowledge. This is in contrast to using RDF as the language to communicate knowledge about arbitrary things at different levels of abstraction. Atomic statements about scientific information and scholarly activities can be expressed, as well as each component of a statement being universally identifiable. The language enables the information to be serialised using different syntaxes eg. HTML+RDFa, Turtle. Perhaps most importantly, the underlying data is intended to be manipulated as a graph of things, where its syntactical representations remaining isomorphic across serialisations. Human- and machine-readable units: As indicated earlier, the high-level units of communication that I am examining are primarily in the form of prose which may be accompanied with or linked to supplemental (meta)data eg. statistical Linked Data. With this premise, I emphasise on the point that the underlying information is intended for both humans and machines, where each can create and interact with the information through applicable and desired interfaces. Content negotiation: The HTTP Content Negotiation (RFC 7231) mechanism can be used to serve a possible representation of a resource that the client prefers from a URI. The decision algorithm may be based on different dimensions of content negotiation, eg. media type, character set, encoding, language, time. All things equal, here I consider having simplicity in the design as a desired quality for a server requirement, in order to make data available for the purpose of read-write operations that a client can perform. For instance, to what extent can we serve a resource representation "as is" without having to perform media type conversions in order to satisfy both human and machine consumers? By raising this, it is neither the case that a one-size-fits-all solution is required or desirable. RDFa: From the available RDF syntaxes, this line of reasoning brings us to encapsulating information using RDFa 1.1 – attribute-level extension – inside host languages like (X)HTML, and various XML-family languages eg. SVG, MathML – language mixing. What makes RDFa in HTML, for instance, an attractive combination is that it maps information patterns in RDF which is ideal for enhanced machine processing, while retaining the same document that is interpretable by humans. Essentially, interoperable information exchange and reuse by machines is intended to work over the RDF graph that is expressed and encoded with RDFa. Here HTML merely acts as the container to encapsulate the underlying information and to offer presentations and interactions (in regardless of the RDF syntax embedded in HTML). RDFa specifies only a syntax and allows independently defined specifications (like vocabularies) to be used. RDFa defines a single, non-domain-specific syntax, used alongside a hosting language’s syntax, so that fragments of information can be consistently interpretable. Existing HTTP servers can virtually serve HTML content without additional server or client-side modules or application logic. Ergo, RDFa in HTML manifests a low barrier to make human- and machine-readable information available from a single URL. The W3C TAG Finding, The Self-Describing Web, 2009, also posits RDFa in HTML as a good practice: To integrate HTML information into the self-describing Semantic Web, use RDFa. Finally, W3C RDFa Use Cases: Scenarios for Embedding RDF in HTML describes the Augmented Browsing for Scientists use case where actors can add RDFa to their articles to indicate the scientific components by reusing the existing vocabularies defined by the scientific community. Note The initial motivation and development on encoding RDF in HTML started in the late 1990s and continued into early 2000, and eventually became the RDF/A Syntax – currently known as RDFa – in 2004. The goal was to express RDF by using markup languages’ attribute mechanisms alongside existing content so that documents can be more machine-readable. There has been a number of RDF in HTML: Approaches which helped shape the initial version of RDFa, the surviving approach i) retained the expressiveness of the RDF language ii) and extending host languages (like HTML, SVG, MathML) through common attributes as necessary, iii) was aligned with the original vision of the Web, iv) was built through consensus through an open Web standards body like the W3C. Why RDFa: HTML’s extensibility mechanism allows authors to embed data blocks using the