[uf-discuss] citation microformat encodings
ryan at technorati.com
Wed Jan 25 15:25:10 PST 2006
On Jan 25, 2006, at 9:02 AM, Ross Singer wrote:
Could you add the description below (or a short version of it, or a
link to something similar) to http://microformats.org/wiki/citation-
formats? (under the OpenURL section)
Also, while I'm at it, someone needs to move/merge this [http://
microformats.org/wiki/citation-brainstorming#OpenURL] and this
2F_Dublin_Core] into http://microformats.org/wiki/citation-formats.
> One of the obstacles in explaining OpenURL is the discongruity
> between "the spec" and "the implementation". While, yes, what you
> see in practice is a url with the metadata encoded as arguments in
> the query string, this is merely a representation of the
> "ContextObject" intended to be sent to a link resolver to permit
> services based on the contextobject.
> Let's back up, shall we?
> An OpenURL consists of two independent parts: the ContextObject
> (or the bibliographic metadata surrounding a citation) and the
> location of resolver to parse the metadata and present contextual
> services based on said metadata. The (very real) problem is that
> the term "OpenURL" is also used as a catch-all for all of the
> independent parts and how they work. This is mainly because it's a
> catchier term than "Z39.88", which is the NISO standard all this is
> based upon.
> So, when Tantek pointed out that this is very non-human readable
> url string, that is a *particular representation* of the OpenURL
> ContextObject (which is referred to as "San Antonio Profile 1" --
> more commonly SAP1 -- and is represented in Key Encoded Values --
> KEVs). This "representation" is independent of the ContextObject
> (from here on known as CO) itself and is only intended to permit
> the CO to be transmitted via an HTTP GET request (more on this in a
> There is also SAP2, which is an XML representation of the CO (see:
> fmt:xml:xsd:ctx and the "Implementation Guidelines" link from that
> page for more information) and is a much more human readable
> format. This still (obviously) falls outside the scope of
> microformats, but makes the point that encoding has nothing to do
> with the CO itself. They are just agreed upon means of conveying
> the CO to enable machines act upon them consistently.
> The ContextObject could be conveyed just as easily in XHTML using
> attributes, as long as the terms follow the vocabulary defined in
> the OpenURL framework. The important thing to focus on here is the
> ContextObject -- the address of the link resolver /is/ institution-
> specific and should be handled by a user's (or machine's)
> activating agent.
> However, the link resolver is still a very important component to
> this whole process. Getting users "appropriate copy" is a very
> real (and very difficult) problem that libraries are trying to
> solve. Link resolvers are a pretty efficient means of overcoming
> this hurdle, so it would make sense to mark up bibiographic
> citations in a way that link resolvers can easily parse.
> I hope this clears up a little bit of the confusion.
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