Thursday, January 14, 2021

DOIs minted for contributions to

At long last, I have finally put into production a feature in the back-end to post dataset metadata to Crossref in order to mint a DOI for each Nomisma editor. The groundwork for this was laid almost exactly two years ago, in the blog post, Formalizing editors and a step toward minting DOIs for Nomisma. However, we have opted toward publishing datasets directly through Crossref's APIs, instead of DataCite, on which the project relies for the same functionality. The ANS is already a subscriber to Crossref for minting DOIs for publications in its Digital Library (and eventually its journals), and the subscription charges are more reasonable for such a small institution as the American Numismatic Society.

As I stated in the above blog post: data constitute an enormous body of collective intellectual effort, and it's increasingly important that scholarly digital works receive equal weight as traditional publications. Therefore, the creation of DOIs for Nomisma contributions would appear in the scholarly profile in ORCID. Just recently, the AIA issued updated guidelines for the considerations of tenure and promotion, with specific guidelines for the recognition of digital projects, and so our goal of formalizing this recognition within Nomisma keeps us on the cutting edge with respect modern modes of scholarly communication.

By integrating contributions into the broader Linked Open Data cloud for scholarly communication, the intellectual labor behind creating, defining, and organizing Nomisma concepts is formalized through an ORCID profile, where datasets are joined with more traditional forms of publication, such as journal articles and monographs. It has long been a challenge within Digital Humanities projects to recognize participation in a context that non-digital peers can appreciate with regard to employment or promotion within the academic sphere. There are few examples of Digital Humanities projects being published as a DOI with ORCID integration; we hope that our work in Nomisma will set an example in other DH disciplines. Beyond Nomisma, we aim to mint DOIs for our other typological projects, like OCRE and Hellenistic Royal Coinages. This is particularly important, as both of these projects employed undergraduate students who have gone on to enroll in PhD programs or are early career scholars.

Under the Hood

This new process is relatively straightforward and almost entirely automated by interacting directly with Crossref's APIs.

The Crossref XML file is generated by a source Nomisma SPARQL query to gets a list of editors and the earliest and latest dates of their edits, as well as an optional ORCID URI:

PREFIX dcterms: <>
PREFIX foaf: <>
PREFIX org: <>
PREFIX rdf: <>
PREFIX skos: <>
PREFIX xsd: <>
PREFIX prov:	<>

SELECT ?editor ?name ?orcid (min(?date) as ?creation) (max(?date) as ?update) WHERE {
  ?editor a foaf:Person ;
            skos:inScheme <> ;
            skos:prefLabel ?name .  
  OPTIONAL {?editor skos:exactMatch ?orcid FILTER contains(str(?orcid), "")}
      ?activity a prov:Activity ;
                  prov:atTime ?date.
      {?activity prov:wasAssociatedWith ?editor
          FILTER NOT EXISTS {?activity prov:used ?spreadsheet}}
      UNION {
        ?activity prov:used ?spreadsheet.
        {?spreadsheet dcterms:creator ?editor }
        UNION {?spreadsheet dcterms:contributor ?editor}
      } }
} GROUP BY ?editor ?name ?orcid ORDER BY ?name


The SPARQL response is then transformed through an XSLT stylesheet into the XML file above. In the Nomisma XForms back-end, this Crossref XML file is sent to their API, and if successful, each editor RDF is updated to insert the DOI into a dcterms:identifier.