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[Ref-Links] Open for Business

Here's a forward take on DOI. Talks to the scope issue.

What do we get when a DOI is "resolved"? Right now we get  a URL. Looks
like a link. But it's not. It's just part of a link, a link component.
Where you end up after following (or traversing) a link. So, today content
providers are using DOI technology to effectively "publish" their link
targets (or destinations). The link sources (or origins - the jumping off
points - the things you might click on) remain rooted within a content
provider's platform. Link targets (as wrapped by a DOI) can be made
discoverable to 3rd party link sources through applications such as eg

The next big thing with DOI is multiple resolution which is tantamount to
"publishing" multiple link targets. This could be usefully employed to
solve the mirror site (or site replica) problem, or more generally a
co-hosting of content acrosss diverse platforms. The catch here though is
that we need to bundle some kind of information together with the link
targets so that a DOI Service can meaningfully either route a user to the
"correct" target transparently or can provide the user with all the link
targets along with clues as to how to "read" or otherwiswe interpret (and
so differentiate) the link targets. The DOI Services work group is
currently addressing this problem.

But the link sources still remain locked within a vendor platform.

Now what if? What if instead of publishing just the link targets, we get to
"publish" complete links, ie we expose to public view the actual links.
This could be a useful strategy for a content provider who wants to
establish a relationship between entities in a platform independent manner.
For example a journals publisher might want to assert a persistent
relationship between a journal article and an erratum say. Or they may want
to  relate an article to its parent title. Or perhaps they want to make
available publicly a version history record, by relating one edition of an
entity to another. These would be examples of open links.

The benefit of such an open linking technology would be to promote and to
cultivate a services economy. As we become more confident this concept of
open linking might get to appear less daunting. Content would remain secure
but access across content repositories would be freed up. We might even
begin to see examples of collaborative linking where content providers work
together to construct open links which would ultimately build out to
provide an open link infrastructure. An open link infrastructure would fuel
a services revolution, which could be a win/win for all players.


Ref-Links maillist  -  Ref-Links@doi.org