Jonathan Rochkind wrote:
Call me pedantic but if you do not have an identifier than there is no
hope to identity the publication by means of metadata. You only
*describe* it with metadata and use additional heuristics (mostly
search engines) to hopefully identify the publication based on the
But the entire OpenURL infrastructure DOES this, and does it without
using search engines. It's a real world use case that has a solution in
production! So, yeah, I call you pedantic for wanting to pretend the use
case and the real world solution doesn't exist. :)
As you said OpenURL is an *infrastructure*. It only makes sense if you
have resolvers that map an OpenURL to a unique publications. This
resolvers do the identification while OpenURL only describes (as long as
you do not put a unique publication identifier into an OpenURL). In
contrast an identifier can be used to compare and search publications
without any additional infrastructure.
You can call it "description" rather than "identification" if you like,
that is a question of terminology. But it's description that is meant to
uniquely identify a particular publication, and that a whole bunch of
software in use every day succesfully uses to identify a particular
It's not just terminology if you can either just compare two strings for
equalness (identifcation) or you need an infrastructure with knowledge
bases and specific software (to make use of a description).
OpenURL is of no use if you seperate it from the existing infrastructure
which is mainly held by companies. No sane person will try to build an
open alternative infrastructure because OpenURL is a crapy
library-standard like MARC etc. This rant on OpenURL summarizes it well:
The OpenURL specification is a 119 page PDF - that alone is a reason to
run away as fast as you can.
If a twitter annotation setup wants to be able to identify publications
that don't have standard identifiers, then you don't want to ignore this
use case and how actually in production software currently deals with
it. You can perhaps find a better way to deal with it -- I'm certainly
not arguing for OpenURL as the be all end all, I rather hate OpenURL
actually. But dismissing it as "impossible" is indeed pedantic, since
it's being done!
If a twitter annotation setup wants to get adopted than it should not be
build on a crapy complex library standard like OpenURL.
> It IS a hacky and error-prone solution, to be sure. But it's the
> best solution we've got, because it's simply a fact that we have many
> publications we want to identify that lack standard identifiers.
Ok, back to serious: Bibliographic Twitter annotations should be
designed in a way that libraries (or whoever provides that knowledge
bases aka OpenURL resolvers) can use it to look up a publication by its
metadata. So there should be a transformation
Twitter annotation => OpenURL
If you choose CSL as bibliographic input format you can hopefully create
a CSL style that does not produce a citation but an OpenURL - Voilà!
I must admit that this solution is based on the open assumption that CSL
record format contains all information needed for OpenURL which may not
the case. A good point to start from is the function createContextObject in
which is used by Zotero to create OpenURLs.
Jakob Voß <jakob.v...@gbv.de>, skype: nichtich
Verbundzentrale des GBV (VZG) / Common Library Network
Platz der Goettinger Sieben 1, 37073 Göttingen, Germany
+49 (0)551 39-10242, http://www.gbv.de