“All publishers must make bibliographic references free to access, analyse and reuse, argues David Shotton.”
Openness is central to the research endeavor. It is essential to promote reproducibility and appraisal of research, reduce misconduct, and ensure equitable access to and participation in science. Yet, calls for increased openness in science are often met with initial resistance. The introduction of pre-print servers, open access repositories, and open data sets were, for example, initially resisted, but eventually adopted without adverse effects to the scholarly ecosystem. The launch of the Initiative for Open Citations (I4OC) is facing similar obstacles. This initiative has campaigned for scholarly publishers to make openly available the references found in articles from their journals. Many publishers, including most of the large ones, support the initiative and have opened their references. However, the initiative still lacks support from a minority of the large publishers.
The analyses show that, of 956,050,193 references from journal articles stored at Crossref, 486,041,671 (50.84%) are now in the category “Open”, and are freely available for third parties to download and use for any purpose.
This is a significant milestone for the Initiative for Open Citations (I4OC, https://i4oc.org/), which since early 2017 has been campaigning for scholarly publishers to open their reference lists, and a major gain for the world of open scholarship.
“It’s now four months since we publicly announced the Initiative for Open Citations (I4OC). Since the beginning of this effort, almost half of indexed scholarly citation data have become freely accessible. We’ve also had some amazing initial press coverage and we continue to add new publishers and stakeholders.
Data unlocked by I4OC is already being used by a growing number of projects and platforms. OpenCitations imports citation data into a corpus which now includes more than 9 million citation links, a nearly 200% increase since the beginning of the year. Collaborative databases, such as Wikidata, are already using this data to connect and structure knowledge and to generate citation graphs. These examples provide just an early indication of the potential of open citation data and we would be delighted to hear about other efforts….”
“The Initiative for Open Citations (I4OC) aims to allow anyone to access science papers’ reference lists and to build analytical services on top of that raw data. Started last year by the Wikimedia Foundation in San Francisco, California and five other partner organizations, I4OC announced at its official launch on 6 April that 29 organizations, including some of the world’s largest scientific publishers, have now agreed to openly release citation data.”