[open-bibliography] Survey on name identifier systems

Thomas Krichel krichel at openlib.org
Fri Sep 2 08:06:20 UTC 2011

  I was given a survey on name identifier systems. Here are my
  answers for AuthorClaim. I think I am trying to press the
  case for open data but I may not be able to put it as 
  effectively as it could be done. Comments?


1. What was the motivation for developing the identifier system?

  AuthorClaim is a part of building openly available bibliographic
  systems. I have considerable experience with such systems because I
  was the principle founder of RePEc. Within RePEc, the RePEc Author
  System (RAS) plays an important role. It allows researchers to
  claim their papers. I create RAS in 1999. It was the first author
  claiming system. 

2. Which organisation(s) is (are) responsible for the identifier

  Ultimately the Open Library Society is. I am building a small
  group of individuals looking after the day-to-day management. 
  It's part of a broader effort for open bibliographic data. 

3. What is the scope of your identifier system, in terms of the type of
   people it covers? (For example, does it include: book authors, active
   current researchers, formerly active researchers, doctoral students, masters
   students etc.)

  Anybody can come and register claims to the bibliographic data. 
  If they have no items to claim, they may find the registration
  not very interesting. Getting as much bibliographic data as 
  possible to appeal to a broad group of authors. 

4. How is your system populated with data? (by researchers
   themselves/their institutions/funding bodies)

  This is a author claiming systems. Authors make claims. But their
  records are dwarfed by the amount of bibliographical records. 
  There are more that 35 million bibliographic records. Over 100
  million authorships are up for claim. 

5. Who is authorised to make changes to the information in the system?

  Authors make changes to their records and bibliographic datasets
  contribute bibliographic records. 

6. How are identifiers assigned?

  When a registrant registers, a new identifier is created.

7. What form does the identifier take?

  There two identifiers. The identifier of the person is only used in
  internally. It is a long identifier that combines a date in the
  person's live with an ascii only name expression. Externally, we
  issue a short identifier that starts with p, has two letters and
  then a number that is incremented. This short identifier is not,
  strictly speaking an identifier for the person but the identifier
  of the record in the system that describes the person in the
  AuthorClaim system.

8. What information is maintained in the system? (e.g. names,
   alternative forms of names, email addresses, dates of birth,
   institutional affiliation(s), details of publications, details of
   grants received/applied for) Are any standard metadata schemes

  We make names, name variations, dates (but not of birth),
  affiliations, publications accepted and refused publicly
  available. Email addresses are made publicly available if the
  registrant agrees explicitly. Passwords are not made available.

   The bulk of the information in the system is bibliographic. 

9. With which other systems (if any) does your identifier system

  We work with bibliographic data providers. We are building a profiling
  site, http://authorprofile.org, (still in its infancy) and we 
  use the data is used in ARIW.org. In fact there is a complicated
  interaction between ARIW and AuthorClaim. 

10. Is the information in the system made available to other services?

  Yes. And there are some other services using it, but these are
  close relatives of AuthorClaim. Reaching further is still a 

11. Is there a licence on the data? If so, what is the licence?

  CC0. Note the profile data wraps bibliographic data but this
  bibliographic data is reduced to element commonly thought to
  be in the public domain. 

12. If yes, how is this achieved (what interfaces/protocols are used)
    and is the system free to access?

  There is an ftp site for the AuthorClaim data at ftp://authorclaim.org

13. How is the system funded?

  The underlying software was developed with a grant from the open
  society institute. 

  There is no stable funding sources for open bibliographic data. The
  system is run by volunteers since 2007. We have a very good track
  record of keeping the system running. RePEc runs like that since the
  early 90s. You can't make this type of service dependent on external
  funding. And I am sure once AuthorClaim becomes more widely adopted
  we find volunteers to deal with some mundane tasks and funds to
  bring in automation that will further reduce these tasks.

14. Is the system still under active development? If so, what are your
    priorities for future enhancements?

  Yes, there will be some further work on the system, to make it run
  smoother, with more automation and less input from humans. Research
  will be conducted in how to optimize the guesses made by computer
  learning to available. There are funds for the development of ACIS
  and they will be used on adding a host of smaller thing, most
  importantly for us, the integration with openID. 

15. Do you have any plans for integrating your system with external
    initiatives/services such as ORCID, ISNI, Mendeley, Zotero, Academia.edu?

  and ResearchGate, and PeerEvaluation and ...
  It's a crowded field. AuthorClaim is an initiative that is open.
  Many of the commercial initiative collect data but they don't handle
  the data further. With ORCID, it is not clear to me where the system
  will be heading too, and I am speaking for experience because I am 
  in their technical commitment. I see INSI as a parallel thing to us.
  I have not seen Mendeley and Academia.edu offering lists of papers
  deposited, but I should write to Richard to task. I talked to 
  the Mendeley CEO a while ago. 



  Thomas Krichel                    http://openlib.org/home/krichel
                                               skype: thomaskrichel

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