JATS 4 Reuse working group launch first public event

Join us in a Google Hangout on Wednesday 22nd October (4pm UTC;  11an EDT and 8a, PDT) to discuss these issues: https://plus.google.com/u/0/events/c4skqol6qlg8ai7m200l31pvlv4

The National Library of Medicine’s NISO standard Journal Article Tag Suite (JATS) is a set of XML elements and attributes for tagging journal articles. It is used by most open-access (and non-OA) publishers, and for storage of articles in archives such as Pubmed Central (PMC).  PMC currently hosts over 800,000 articles in their open-access subset, which are freely available to download in this format.


In theory, providing the articles in a well-defined XML format should make them easy to parse and reuse.  However, in principle, there is considerable variation in the tagging conventions used by various publishers, which makes it difficult to write software to reliably extract key metadata or to parse the content in important ways.


One important example of the problem is the way that license information is represented within the JATS xml of articles.  Even if the article is licensed under a standard Creative Commons license, there are many different ways of inserting this information into the XML, which causes problems for anyone wanting to reliably determine which of a large subset of JATS article conforms to a specific set of licenses.


There are many other examples of types of data and metadata for which the JATS standard provides only loose guidance or suggestions as to how they should be tagged, which leads to considerable variability “in the wild”, and consequent problems for reuse of openly-licensed content.


A group of open access publishers and others have started a new effort, JATS for Reuse, which is attempting to establish definitive guidelines on how these various types of metadata should be tagged in journal articles in order to facilitate reuse of the articles.  These guidelines will conform to JATS and, in fact, be a layer of specification on top of the JATS standard.


We hope you will join us in a Google Hangout on Wednesday 22nd October (4pm UTC;  11an EDT and 8am, PDT) to discuss these issues: https://plus.google.com/u/0/events/c4skqol6qlg8ai7m200l31pvlv4

A recording of the hangout will be posted online afterwards in case you cannot attend.