Opening up citations

Proud to be a part of I4OC

Citations are central elements of academic publishing, helping give knowledge context. Consider how much information is contained within one single citation; it could tell us where an idea has come from, how it links with other research, and the impact a piece of research has made (one of the many measures used to understand this).

Then consider what a single database of all scholarly citations, expressed in a common, machine-readable language could tell us. Think new services built on top of this data and graphs that capture the bigger picture – illustrating connections between researchers, trends within subject areas and the development of knowledge over time.

Whatever the future of open citations looks like, we think it presents some exciting opportunities for everyone involved in scholarly research. And we’ve teamed up with other organizations in a step towards making this happen.

Introducing I4OC

I4OC stands for ‘Initiative for Open Citations’. It’s a collaboration between publishers, researchers and organizations to promote access to data on citations that is structured, separable and open.

  • Structured means that data representing citations is expressed in a common language and is machine-readable (so it can be read and processed by a computer).
  • Separable means that references can be separated from the source they came from, so you don’t need access to an article or book to get the references included within it.
  • Open means that the data can be accessed by anyone and reused in whatever way they like, enabling the development of new services. 

Opening up: the benefits

  • Enhancing the discoverability of research. In opening up citation data, it makes it easier to find and discover content (and if you’re an author, your work becomes more discoverable too).
  • New opportunities. An open database of citations presents opportunities for new services to be built from this data to benefit researchers, funders, institutions, publishers and the public.
  • Further knowledge. An open database of citations opens up opportunities to learn from and build knowledge upon citation metadata. Graphs could be created to capture the bigger picture of knowledge – illustrating connections between fields and the evolution of research over time.
  • Opening up citations to all, so anyone, anywhere can access these valuable sources of information.

Deborah Kahn, Publishing Director (Open Access and Medicine) at Taylor & Francis Group commented:

“We are proud to be one of the largest publishers to be opening up our citations as part of I4OC’s initiative. We believe that opening up and linking citation data, and enhancing the discoverability of content will improve knowledge, accelerate research and allow exciting new services to be developed for the benefit of all the players in the research network.”

Want to find out more?

For more information, visit the Taylor & Francis Newsroom.