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The data-literature interlinking service: Towards a common infrastructure for sharing data-article links

Adrian Burton (Australian National Data Service, Melbourne, Australia)
Hylke Koers (Elsevier BV, Amsterdam, The Netherlands)
Paolo Manghi (Institute of Information Science and Technology – CNR, Pisa, Italy)
Sandro La Bruzzo (Institute of Information Science and Technology – CNR, Pisa, Italy)
Amir Aryani (Australian National Data Service, Melbourne, Australia)
Michael Diepenbroek (PANGAEA, Bremen, Germany)
Uwe Schindler (PANGAEA, Bremen, Germany)

Program: electronic library and information systems

ISSN: 0033-0337

Article publication date: 3 April 2017




Research data publishing is today widely regarded as crucial for reproducibility, proper assessment of scientific results, and as a way for researchers to get proper credit for sharing their data. However, several challenges need to be solved to fully realize its potential, one of them being the development of a global standard for links between research data and literature. Current linking solutions are mostly based on bilateral, ad hoc agreements between publishers and data centers. These operate in silos so that content cannot be readily combined to deliver a network graph connecting research data and literature in a comprehensive and reliable way. The Research Data Alliance (RDA) Publishing Data Services Working Group (PDS-WG) aims to address this issue of fragmentation by bringing together different stakeholders to agree on a common infrastructure for sharing links between datasets and literature. The paper aims to discuss these issues.


This paper presents the synergic effort of the RDA PDS-WG and the OpenAIRE infrastructure toward enabling a common infrastructure for exchanging data-literature links by realizing and operating the Data-Literature Interlinking (DLI) Service. The DLI Service populates and provides access to a graph of data set-literature links (at the time of writing close to five million, and growing) collected from a variety of major data centers, publishers, and research organizations.


To achieve its objectives, the Service proposes an interoperable exchange data model and format, based on which it collects and publishes links, thereby offering the opportunity to validate such common approach on real-case scenarios, with real providers and consumers. Feedback of these actors will drive continuous refinement of the both data model and exchange format, supporting the further development of the Service to become an essential part of a universal, open, cross-platform, cross-discipline solution for collecting, and sharing data set-literature links.


This realization of the DLI Service is the first technical, cross-community, and collaborative effort in the direction of establishing a common infrastructure for facilitating the exchange of data set-literature links. As a result of its operation and underlying community effort, a new activity, name Scholix, has been initiated involving the technological level stakeholders such as DataCite and CrossRef.



The authors would like to thank the PDS-WG members and representatives from CrossRef, DataCite, The National Data Service, ORCID, The Research Data Alliance, ICSU World Data Systems, and the RMap project for many valuable discussions and constructive interactions. This work is partially funded by the EU projects RDA Europe (FP7-INFRASTRUCTURES-2013-2, Grant Agreement: 632756) and OpenAIRE2020 (H2020-EINFRA-2014-1, Grant Agreement: 643410).


Burton, A., Koers, H., Manghi, P., La Bruzzo, S., Aryani, A., Diepenbroek, M. and Schindler, U. (2017), "The data-literature interlinking service: Towards a common infrastructure for sharing data-article links", Program: electronic library and information systems, Vol. 51 No. 1, pp. 75-100.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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