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Authority of assertion in repository contributions to the PID graph / George Macgregor (University of Glasgow), with Diane Rasmussen McAdie (Edinburgh Napier University), and Barbara S. Lancho Barrantes (University of Brighton).

CILIP MDG
CILIP MDG

The principles surrounding Linked Open Data and their implementation within digital libraries are well understood. Such implementations may be challenging, but successes are now well documented and continue to demonstrate the benefits of disseminating and enriching existing metadata with improved semantics and relational associations. Often facilitated in machine-readability enhancements to metadata by harnessing serializations of the Resource Description Framework (RDF) and its reliance of URIs, these LOD approaches have ensured digital libraries, and similar GLAMR initiatives elsewhere, contribute to the growing knowledge graphs associated with the wider semantic web by declaring statements of fact about web entities. Within open scholarly ecosystems a growing use of persistent identifiers (PIDs) to define and link scholarly entities has emerged, e.g., DOIs, ORCIDs, etc. The requirement for greater URI persistence has been motivated by several developments within the scholarly space; suffice to state that, when combined with appropriate structured data, PIDs can support improvements to resource discovery, as well as facilitate contributions to the ‘PID graph’ – a scholarly data graph describing and declaring associative relations between scholarly entities. While the increased adoption of PIDs has the potential to transform scholarship, ensuring that these PIDs are used appropriately, encoded correctly within metadata, and that all relevant relational associations between scholarly entities are declared presents challenges. This is especially true within open scholarly repositories, from where many contributions to the PID graph will be made but – unlike many LOD contexts – from where the authority to assert specific relations may not always exist. Such declarations need to demonstrate reliability and provenance and are central to the interlinking of heterogeneous textual objects, datasets, software, research instruments, equipment, and the related PIDs these items may generate, such as for people, organizations, or other abstract entities. This paper will explore the issues that arise when levels of authority to assert are lacking or are uncertain, and review results from a related study exploring the ‘PID literacy’ of scholars... Paper presented at the Metadata & Discovery Group Conference & RDA Day (6th - 8th Sept 2023 at IET Austin Court, Birmingham)

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Authority of assertion in repository contributions
to the PID graph
George Macgregor
University of Glasgow
2023-09-07
https://purl.org/g3om4c
https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8482-3973
(w/ Barbara S. Lancho-Barrantes & Diane Rasmussen McAdie)
Slides available: https://doi.org/10.17868/strath.00085167
1
Overview
This paper: to outline an emerging challenge in repository metadata and users'
discovery of repository content
Exploring issues when levels of 'authority of assertion' are lacking or are uncertain
• Emergence of increasingly fluid, distributed, and fragmented scholarly objects
• Emergence of persistent identification as a (partial) solution
• The growing scholarly graph, e.g. 'PID graph'
• Implications for repositories and the question of 'authority of assertion'
• Scholars' 'PID literacy' as an impediment to satisfactory scholarly objective
description (and ergo discovery) [1]
Raising a manifesto for action?
2
3
Metadata conventions...
• Generating statements of fact about (often) tangible things...
• Even in formal digital libraries, objects (often) static things with predictable
descriptive metadata attributes (e.g. digitized objects, etc)
◦ Linked Open Data (RDF/URIs)
• "...change is slow" [2]
[Photo, previous slide ] Dresden-Neustadt. Sächsische Landesbibliothek - Staats-
und Universitätsbibliothek Dresden, Europeana (CC-BY-SA)
4
Open scholarly infrastructure
[3]
5
Distribution, fragmentation, fluidity
Disorientation grows for metadata creators with research domain, but also for users in
discovery for research content...
• Increasing levels of distribution, fragmentation, and fluidity
◦ Emergence of open, distributed, multi object (often 'non-standard') transient
scholarly objects
• Multi-object exists elsewhere (e.g. METS package) but all components under direct
custodianship where authority of assertion exists
• PIDs increasingly central to linking, description, disambiguation, discovery
6

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Authority of assertion in repository contributions to the PID graph / George Macgregor (University of Glasgow), with Diane Rasmussen McAdie (Edinburgh Napier University), and Barbara S. Lancho Barrantes (University of Brighton).

  • 1. Authority of assertion in repository contributions to the PID graph George Macgregor University of Glasgow 2023-09-07 https://purl.org/g3om4c https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8482-3973 (w/ Barbara S. Lancho-Barrantes & Diane Rasmussen McAdie) Slides available: https://doi.org/10.17868/strath.00085167 1
  • 2. Overview This paper: to outline an emerging challenge in repository metadata and users' discovery of repository content Exploring issues when levels of 'authority of assertion' are lacking or are uncertain • Emergence of increasingly fluid, distributed, and fragmented scholarly objects • Emergence of persistent identification as a (partial) solution • The growing scholarly graph, e.g. 'PID graph' • Implications for repositories and the question of 'authority of assertion' • Scholars' 'PID literacy' as an impediment to satisfactory scholarly objective description (and ergo discovery) [1] Raising a manifesto for action? 2
  • 3. 3
  • 4. Metadata conventions... • Generating statements of fact about (often) tangible things... • Even in formal digital libraries, objects (often) static things with predictable descriptive metadata attributes (e.g. digitized objects, etc) ◦ Linked Open Data (RDF/URIs) • "...change is slow" [2] [Photo, previous slide ] Dresden-Neustadt. Sächsische Landesbibliothek - Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek Dresden, Europeana (CC-BY-SA) 4
  • 6. Distribution, fragmentation, fluidity Disorientation grows for metadata creators with research domain, but also for users in discovery for research content... • Increasing levels of distribution, fragmentation, and fluidity ◦ Emergence of open, distributed, multi object (often 'non-standard') transient scholarly objects • Multi-object exists elsewhere (e.g. METS package) but all components under direct custodianship where authority of assertion exists • PIDs increasingly central to linking, description, disambiguation, discovery 6
  • 7. What are PIDs? PID = persistent identifier • PIDs come in many flavours, e.g. DOI, ORCID, RAiD, ROR, etc. -- and beyond! https://doi.org/10.17868/strath.00085975 https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8482-3973 https://ror.org/05j0ve876 • Enables long-term identification but also 'actionability' because they are (generally) formed as URIs • PIDs usually underpinned by some form of registry which registers new PIDs and resolves them (and contains metadata!) (e.g. DataCite, CrossRef) 7
  • 8. Why have PIDs? PID = persistent identification • Provides unique and persistent reference to an entity normally accessible over the Internet • Maintenance of the scholarly record - citability, verification, reproducibility, replicability [5], [6] ◦ 'Reference rot' / 'link rot' - e.g Klein, Van de Sompel et al. [6], [7] • Uniquely identify entities on the web; enables discovery these entities -- happy times! • The quest to encode PIDs within metadata to link and grow the utility of data 8
  • 9. PID graph .... or Linked Open Data déjà vu... ? [4] 9
  • 10. TIB – Leibniz Information Centre for Science and Technology - PID Service (CC-BY) 10
  • 11. Exploring the graph with Neo4j... 11
  • 12. RAiD envelope diagram. From Janke et al. [1], CC-BY. 12
  • 13. 13
  • 14. Repositories on front line of PID data contributions distribution + fragmentation + fluidity Such metadata key to making scholarly works: Interpretable... • to contextualize; to provide provenance Support reproducibility... • to facilitate reproduciblity, verification, replication Discoverable... • to enable discovery through a variety of access points, some unconventional 14
  • 15. What is 'authority of assertion'? Concept of 'authority of assertion' exists but an under-research area; no definitions • authority = "official permission or the legal right to do something"- Cambridge Dictionary • assertion = "a statement that you strongly believe is true" - Cambridge Dictionary Ergo, could we propose the following: "The extent to which there exists a right to make metadata statements about objects and their relations, such that these statements are reliable, verifiable, and true" 15
  • 16. The 'bread crumbs' and authority of assertion 16
  • 17. 17
  • 18. 18
  • 19. 19
  • 20. 20
  • 21. 21
  • 22. 22
  • 23. 23
  • 24. Assertion and 'PID literacy' • Components of multi-object, non-standard scholarly objects can often be inferred (by human & maybe machine) • Lack of authority to assert can make reliable, verifiable, and true statements difficult or impossible ◦ We want to assert the predicate / attribute of that PID, e.g. IsVersionOf , HasPart , etc. ◦ We want relational understanding Analogy - cataloguing a book and discovering that half the title page is missing... 24
  • 25. ... All of which leads to a lack of authority to assert: • Undermining the multi-part scholarly object • Undermining end-user discovery and establishment of provenance • Undermining open research, esp. verification, reproducibility, etc. • Undermining ability of repositories or other scholarly services to contribute meaningful data to the wider scholarly PID graph 25
  • 26. Er, what the heck is 'PID literacy'?! What does a PID literate scholar look like? "PID literate scholar might display the following competencies: 1. An understanding of persistent identification in scholarship, when it should be used, and its importance to the scholarly record and the wider PID graph. 2. An ability to accurately identify, reproduce, and cite PIDs in scholarship activities. 3. Cognizance of adjacent PID types relevant to scholars’ community of practice, such as those devised to identify scholarly 'things' other than academic papers." [1] 26
  • 27. Where art thou, PID literacy? • Challenges within the open research culture space generally ◦ e.g. open data, data management planning (DMP), etc. • Our research reveals [1] many scholars (~35%) demonstrate limited recognition of even common PIDs, e.g. DOIs & ORCIDs ◦ Even less understanding of how they should be (re)used - widespread confusion ◦ Concerning levels of failure in the PID tests we engaged our participant scholars in 27
  • 28. 28
  • 29. 29
  • 30. 30
  • 31. ... But enthusiasm for PIDs in scholarship; they are perceived positively even though many do not know what they are (exactly) or how to use them 31
  • 32. Centrality of scholars to making a better scholarly web HELP NOW PLEASE! • To go beyond the academic paper we need help from PID literate scholars • Radical improvement of 'digital scholarship' skills necessary • 'To do' for open research / scholarly communications teams: advocate; communicate; educate Better metadata modelling of the new nature of scholarly research objects increasingly reflected in schema • Rioxx v 3.0 and DataCite Schema 32
  • 33. 33
  • 34. Conclusion and way forward... • Distributed, multi-part scholarly objects are here -- and will only increase • Modelling reality and servicing users requires that we describe this complexity in a meaningful way, contributing to the wider scholarly graph of data • But improving PID literacy as part of wider 'digital scholarship' engagement essential to guarantee sufficient authority to assert, as well as open research goals • Notwithstanding PID illiteracy... 34
  • 36. References [1] G. Macgregor, B. S. Lancho-Barrantes, and D. R. Pennington, 'Measuring the concept of PID literacy: user perceptions and understanding of PIDs in support of open scholarly infrastructure', Open Information Science, vol. 7, no. 1, 2023, available: https://doi.org/10.1515/opis-2022-0142 [2] G. Alemu. (2022). 'Resource Description and Access (RDA)'. In The Future of Enriched, Linked, Open and Filtered Metadata: Making Sense of IFLA LRM, RDA, Linked Data and BIBFRAME (pp. 197-212). Facet, London, available https://doi.org/10.29085/9781783304943.010 [3] G. Bilder, J. Lin, and C. Neylon, 'The Principles of Open Scholarly Infrastructure', 2020, available: https://doi.org/10.24343/C34W2H 36
  • 37. [4] H. Cousijn et al., 'Connected Research: The Potential of the PID Graph', Patterns, vol. 2, no. 1, p. 100180, 2021, available: https://doi.org/10.1016 /j.patter.2020.100180 [5] H. M. Sandy et al., 'Making a case for open research: implications for reproducibility and transparency', Proceedings of the Association of Information Science & Technology, vol. 54, no. 1, pp. 583–586, 2017, available: https://doi.org/10.1002 /pra2.2017.14505401079 [6] S. M. Jones et al., 'Scholarly Context Adrift: Three out of Four URI References Lead to Changed Content', PLoS ONE vol. 11, no. 1, p. e0167475, 2021, available: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0167475 [7] S. M. Jones, M. Klein, and H. Van de Sompel, 'Robustifying Links To Combat Reference Rot', Code4Lib Journal, no. 50, 2021, available: https://journal.code4lib.org/articles/15509 37