Accepted paper:

The problematic of open access interoperability


Clifford Tatum (Leiden University)

Paper short abstract:

Paper long abstract:

Proliferation of Open Access repositories at universities, research institutes, and in subject categories (Green Open Access) reveals new challenges to accessing research output. While the total volume of freely accessible literature may be increasing, new attention to Enhanced Publications, which are comprised of digitally linked objects[1], necessitates advanced interoperability schemes to ensure compatibility across the distributed network of repositories. As a consequence, Open Access is increasingly dependent on computer operations and complex interoperability standards that extend beyond use of traditional citation metadata. This problematic of interoperability[2] raises operational questions about Open Access, which have implications for scholarly communication more broadly. On the basis of interoperability, what new forms of scholarly communication are enabled and/or constrained and what are the implications for normal functions of scholarly communication? In this study I examine the transition from citation-level metadata to semantic publishing ontologies for increased interoperability within article content. The empirical material is based on two Open Citation initiatives aimed at facilitating Open Access[3]. Analysis is focused on the relationship between normative claims of openness[4] that underpin Open Access concepts and the evolution of interoperability schemes.


[1] Woutersen-Windhouwer, et al. 2009. Enhanced Publications: Linking Publications and Research Data in Digital Repositories. Amsterdam University Press

[2] Ribes and Bowker. 2009. "Between Meaning and Machine: Learning to Represent the Knowledge of Communities." Information and Organization 19 (4) (October)

[3] OptCit in 2002 ( and Open Citations in 2011 (

[4] Merton. 1973. The Sociology of Science: Theoretical and Empirical Investigations. University of Chicago Press.

panel G1
The development of digital tools in STS and digital humanities: Watching, muddling through and reflexivity