Resuability benefits all scholarly content, but we need as much input from the scholarly publishing community as possible to develop XML tagging best practices that serve all kinds of organisations (publishers, vendors, typesetters, delivery platforms, archives, etc) and all kinds of people (editorial, production, and technical).
OK….what is ‘reusability’?
‘Reusability’ is the ability of machines to “reuse” published content for exchange, storage, retrieval, and sharing throughout the scholarly publishing infrastructure. This infrastructure, which is continuously expanding, includes search engines, aggregator & indexer systems, archives, repositories, identifier-assigning authorities, digital catalogs, and databases, making interoperability more important than ever (read more about this here).
But everyone uses JATS now. Isn’t that enough?
Journal Article Tag Suite (JATS) NISO Z39.96-2012 is the XML standard that almost everyone in scholarly publishing uses today, but it is intentionally a loose standard. This means that the same content can be marked up in many different ways using JATS XML, making it very difficult for machines and humans alike to predictably and accurately find key pieces of information, especially in the metadata. When XML tagging is consistent and predictable, then systems and tools can be programmed and built much more efficiently.
For example, the following are two different ~but valid!~ ways of indicating licensing information using JATS, which machine-reading systems need to find in order to reuse content:
<permissions> <license> <license-p>http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/</license-p> </license> </permissions>
Another way (See JATS4R recommendations):
<permissions> <license license-type=”open-access” xlink:href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/“> <license-p>This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. </license-p> </license> </permissions>
By adopting JATS4R recommendations for XML best tagging practices, we can lower the barrier to our content’s reuse by the systems that handle scholarly publishing content today, such as web platforms, libraries, repositories, aggregator sites, digital catalogs, and content-discovery platforms. A little participation in JATS4R can make a big difference. Find out how you can get involved.