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What’s your (citations’) style?

Bibliographic references in scientific papers are the end result of a process typically composed of: finding the right document to cite, obtaining its metadata, and formatting the metadata using a specific citation style. This end result, however, does not preserve the information about the citation style used to generate it. Can the citation style be somehow guessed from the reference string only? TL;DR I built an automatic citation style classifier.

What if I told you that bibliographic references can be structured?

Last year I spent several weeks studying how to automatically match unstructured references to DOIs (you can read about these experiments in my previous blog posts). But what about references that are not in the form of an unstructured string, but rather a structured collection of metadata fields? Are we matching them, and how? Let’s find out.

Reference matching: for real this time

In my previous blog post, Matchmaker, matchmaker, make me a match, I compared four approaches for reference matching. The comparison was done using a dataset composed of automatically-generated reference strings. Now it’s time for the matching algorithms to face the real enemy: the unstructured reference strings deposited with Crossref by some members. Are the matching algorithms ready for this challenge? Which algorithm will prove worthy of becoming the guardian of the mighty citation network? Buckle up and enjoy our second matching battle!

Matchmaker, matchmaker, make me a match

Matching (or resolving) bibliographic references to target records in the collection is a crucial algorithm in the Crossref ecosystem. Automatic reference matching lets us discover citation relations in large document collections, calculate citation counts, H-indexes, impact factors, etc. At Crossref, we currently use a matching approach based on reference string parsing. Some time ago we realized there is a much simpler approach. And now it is finally battle time: which of the two approaches is better?

What does the sample say?

At Crossref Labs, we often come across interesting research questions and try to answer them by analyzing our data. Depending on the nature of the experiment, processing over 100M records might be time-consuming or even impossible. In those dark moments we turn to sampling and statistical tools. But what can we infer from only a sample of the data?

URLs and DOIs: a complicated relationship

As the linking hub for scholarly content, it’s our job to tame URLs and put in their place something better. Why? Most URLs suffer from link rot and can be created, deleted or changed at any time. And that’s a problem if you’re trying to cite them.

Using AWS S3 as a large key-value store for Chronograph

One of the cool things about working in Crossref Labs is that interesting experiments come up from time to time. One experiment, entitled “what happens if you plot DOI referral domains on a chart?” turned into the Chronograph project. In case you missed it, Chronograph analyses our DOI resolution logs and shows how many times each DOI link was resolved per month, and also how many times a given domain referred traffic to DOI links per day.

HTTPS and Wikipedia

This is a joint blog post with Dario Taraborelli, coming from WikiCite 2016.

In 2014 we were taking our first steps along the path that would lead us to Crossref Event Data. At this time I started looking into the DOI resolution logs to see if we could get any interesting information out of them. This project, which became Chronograph, showed which domains were driving traffic to Crossref DOIs.

You can read about the latest results from this analysis in the “Where do DOI Clicks Come From” blog post.

Having this data tells us, amongst other things:

  • where people are using DOIs in unexpected places
  • where people are using DOIs in unexpected ways
  • where we knew people were using DOIs but the links are more popular than we realised

Where do DOI clicks come from?

As part of our Event Data work we’ve been investigating where DOI resolutions come from. A resolution could be someone clicking a DOI hyperlink, or a search engine spider gathering data or a publisher’s system performing its duties. Our server logs tell us every time a DOI was resolved and, if it was by someone using a web browser, which website they were on when they clicked the DOI. This is called a referral.

Crossref & the Art of Cartography: an Open Map for Scholarly Communications

 

In the 2015 Crossref Annual Meeting, I introduced a metaphor for the work that we do at Crossref. I re-present it here for broader discussion as this narrative continues to play a guiding role in the development of products and services this year.

Metadata enable connections

Cartography BorgesAt Crossref, we make research outputs easy to find, cite, link, and assess through DOIs. Publishers register their publications and deposit metadata through a variety of channels (XML, CSV, PDF, manual entry), which we process and transform into Crossref XML for inclusion into our corpus. This data infrastructure which makes possible scholarly communications without restrictions on publisher, subject area, geography, etc. is far more than a reference list, index or directory.