[Open-access] NISO Recommendations on Open Access Metadata

Andrea Zanni aubreymcfato at gmail.com
Tue Jan 28 09:37:41 UTC 2014

Hi all,
I've just read the "Open Access Metadata and Indicators" document,
and I find it very useful.
A URL for the license and a Y/N free-to-read tag can go a long way in
conveying the information we want to.
For what is worth, I find it a clever, low profile approach that could be
very effective (and don't scare publishers).

Now, how should I implement it?
I see that the document recommends to put the tags in the HTML META tags
for the moment,
and hopes for standards (ONIX, OAI-PMH, RDF, DC, ..) to incorporate the new
So, we have to wait them to accept the new tags?


Andrea Zanni
Wikimedia Italia

On Tue, Jan 7, 2014 at 1:07 PM, Cameron Neylon <cn at cameronneylon.net> wrote:

> On 7 Jan 2014, at 10:42, Graham Triggs <grahamtriggs at gmail.com> wrote:
> > I'm only following this on the periphery at the moment, so forgive me if
> I misstep a bit here. But I don't see why there is a theoretical problem to
> machine readable standard for rights - create a model for the rights that
> you wish to be able to check for, then the licenses can be expressed in
> those terms.
> Sorry you're right. Rhetorical over-reach. The "theoretical" issue is that
> metadata is an assertion, whereas licensing is an offer of terms for
> acceptance. My sense having gone over this is that the two are effectively
> incompatible or at least not equivalent in their underlying logic of
> responsibilities and guarantees. When you use a license you are bound by an
> agreement. When you use metadata there is no such binding. The set of
> responsibilities and who holds them are different. That said, I have not
> done a rigorous philosophical analysis, just a proof by exhaustion :-)
> You can agree a subset of rights that are expressed through metadata, but
> then the metadata elements must in effect refer to defined underlying legal
> language, which means that they are effectively a license, just one
> expressed in a way which isn't obvious. And you still have to agree that
> subset of rights and what they mean...which is as we've said not really
> feasible.
> In terms of a registry - I realise where Mike was coming from now. You're
> absolutely right that a whitelist of defined URLs would be better but this
> wasn't politically tractable. What was tractable was a requirement that the
> URL resolve, and that the publisher agree they are bound by the terms at
> that URL (ie the URL must resolve to an actual license). My assumption is
> that those requirements make it clear that in those cases where a CC
> license is used you would choose to point at the CC URL. I guess in
> principle someone could put a copy of a CC license on their own server but
> why would you bother?
> What we can do is two-fold. Firstly work on best practice guidelines for
> linking to licenses and license expression to drive consistency (part of my
> work for this year) and secondly use existing registries eg the OKFN
> license server to build up that list of URLs in the wild and some subset of
> rights that matter to us. But my acceptance that this sits outside the
> recommendation was driven in large part by the same issue as Mike's
> concerns. A standards process will get bogged down whereas our community
> can just get on and build those tools up which will in the end be used by
> default.
> Cheers
> Cameron
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