COAR controlled vocabularies case study presented at the ELPUB 2016

The International Conference on Electronic Publishing (ELPUB) reached its 20th anniversary ! Among a number of contributions, a paper entitled ‘COAR Controlled Vocabularies and PHAIDRA International’ was presented during the conference.

ELPUB 2016 continues the tradition, and brings together scholars, publishers, lecturers, librarians, developers, entrepreneurs, users and all other stakeholders interested in issues regarding electronic publishing in widely differing contexts. ELPUB 2016 had a look on the current ecosystem of scholarly publishing including the positioning of stakeholders and distribution of economic, technological and discursive power.

Questions included:

What is the core of electronic publishing today? How does agenda setting in emerging frameworks like Open Science function and what is the nature of power of the referring scholarly discourses? How does this relate to the European and world-wide Open Science and Open Innovation agenda of funders and institutions, and how does this look like in publishing practice?

The conference investigated the position and power of scholars and their networks, legacy and academia-owned publishers, research institutions and e-infrastructures - as well as their respective agendas.

A paper entitled COAR Controlled Vocabularies and PHAIDRA International’ (Subirats, Solodovnik, Budroni, Ganguly, Hudak) was accepted for presentation (by Imma Subirats, FAO of the UN) at the ELPUB 2016.

This paper provides technical view for current challenges and ways forward to reshape controlled  vocabularies implemented in PHAIDRA International (PHAIDRA: Permanent Hosting, Archiving and Indexing of Digital Resources and Assets consisting of fourteen repositories), in view of COAR Controlled Vocabularies (in particular, of Resource Type Vocabulary for Open Access Repositories) and in respect to the COAR Roadmap: Future Directions for Repository Interoperability and to the LODE-BD Recommendations.

Different vocabularies – implemented in different repositories -  present challenges because quality control, maintenance strategies, and usage policies vary across the sets. Thus, differences in vocabularies and the communities that manage them are often seen to be a hurdle to interoperability. Moreover, provenance of vocabulary data is critical to understand the management needs of aggregated data as it ages and changes. Another barrier to vocabulary exchange and interoperability is the lack of policies relevant to use and re-use of vocabularies by organizations other than the owner or maintainer of the vocabulary (NISO, 2015).

COAR Controlled Vocabulary interest group (in cooperation with other COAR working groups) aims at providing concrete answers (technical and non technical) to all these issues. 

By focusing on PHAIDRA International use case, COAR Controlled Vocabulary Group is planning to document aligning controlled vocabularies processes using a web-based, multilingual, editing and workflow tool VocBench v.2.3, serialization of specific formats, and fetching strategies to retrieve COAR vocabularies from web services and to import them into repository platforms.

Source: The International Conference on Electronic Publishing ELPUB 2016