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Re: The status of Semantic Web community- perspective from Scopus and Web Of Science (WOS)

From: AzamatAbdoullaev <abdoul@cytanet.com.cy>
Date: Sat, 13 Feb 2010 21:58:31 +0200
Message-ID: <5D711D7D46F74D69A5D9C6A790698204@personalpc>
To: <semantic-web@w3.org>, <public-lod@w3.org>
Cc: "Dan Brickley" <danbri@danbri.org>
On Saturday, February 13, 2010 10:32 AM, Dan Brickley wrote:
"A lot of key SemWeb infrastructure came about through non-academic 
collaboration; either industrial or what we might call collaborations 
conducted online informally, 'Internet-style'. In fact I'd argue that the 
needs of the academic publication process have often been a retarding factor 
on this collaborative work."
Indeed. The academy, as an establishment for knowledge advancement, is 
losing its research monopoly. Our critical times pushing for a more holistic 
understanding of the knowledge cycle mechanisms and innovation processes.
There is a strong tendency to forming the user-centric environments for 
research, development and innovation, mostly induced by Multidisciplinarity 
and ICT paradigms.
As an example may serve  "Experience and Application Research" or "Living 
Lab" community, where users together with researchers, firms and public 
institutions look for new solutions, new products, new services or new 
business models. http://www.openlivinglabs.eu/
There may be a city driven Living Lab or the Future Internet Living Lab or 
the Knowledge Web Living Lab, etc.
Azamat
----- Original Message ----- dingying@indiana.edu
From: "Dan Brickley" <danbri@danbri.org>
To: "Ying Ding" <dingying@indiana.edu>
Cc: "Semantic Web" <semantic-web@w3.org>; <public-lod@w3.org>
Sent: Saturday, February 13, 2010 10:32 AM
Subject: Re: The status of Semantic Web community- perspective from Scopus 
and Web Of Science (WOS)


> On Fri, Feb 12, 2010 at 8:22 PM, Ying Ding <dingying@indiana.edu> wrote:
>> Hi,
>>
>> If you are interested to know the Semantic Web: Who is who from the
>> perspective of Scopus and Web Of Science, recently we conduct a 
>> bibliometric
>> analysis in this field
>> (http://info.slis.indiana.edu/~dingying/Publication/JIS-1098-v4.pdf), 
>> which
>> might be interesting to you.
>
> It's interesting to see what a traditional - ie. essentially pre-Web -
> citation analysis comes up with; however I wouldn't leap so quickly to
> claim this this results in 'identifying the most productive players'.
>
> A lot of key SemWeb infrastructure came about through non-academic
> collaboration; either industrial or what we might call collaborations
> conducted online informally, 'Internet-style'. In fact I'd argue that
> the needs of the academic publication process have often been a
> retarding factor on this collaborative work. The
> traditionally-published academic literature is of course a key part of
> the story, but if you look at it alone you will end up with both a
> misleading sense of how things got this way, and -worse- misleading
> intuitions about how to get more involved and help further the
> project. This is why I bother to make a little fuss here.
>
> The phrase 'Semantic Web' from ~2000 was essentially a rebranding of
> the then-unfashionable RDF technology. Prior to calling it RDF, the
> project was called PICS-NG. These days many call it 'Linked Data'
> instead. From http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/sw99/ ->
> http://www.w3.org/1999/11/SW/Overview.html (Member-only link) 'We
> propose to continue the W3C Metadata Activity as a Semantic Web
> Development Initiative'. But by this point, the base technology was
> already out there, both as a W3C Recommendation and as something in
> use: Netscape - the Google of it's time - was using RDF already. For
> example back in October 1988
> http://web.archive.org/web/19991002043750/www.mailbase.ac.uk/lists/rdf-dev/1998-11/0004.html
> R.V.Guha, then at Netscape wrote
>
>  "I still see this as a big and important use of RDF. This server
> answers over 2 million requests in RDF every day." ... "I do plan to
> fix the RDF, but thats with the next version of the browser (I have
> about 6M browsers out there which are depending on this older
> format)."
>
> Any narrative that puts the start of Semantic Web history in 2000/2001
> will confuse people as to where it came from: we had major browser
> buy-in 2-3 years previously, after all. And any narrative that omits
> the role of MCF - simply because it didn't come through the academic
> publication process - risks misleading 'emerging stars' about how to
> make an impact on the world rather than just on the citation
> databases. Netscape bought into RDF because it grew from MCF, acquired
> from Apple with Guha. A reformulation of MCF to use an XML notation
> was one of the key inputs into the RDF design; see
> http://www.w3.org/TR/NOTE-MCF-XML/ and the earlier MCF White Paper
> http://www.guha.com/mcf/wp.html
>
> Now MCF had significant mind-share and presence in the tech world back
> in 1996 - 
> http://web.archive.org/web/20000815212707/http://www.xspace.net/hotsauce/
> - and even grassroots adoption on sites that wanted to have a '3d fly
> thru' using Apple's then-cool visualization plugin. MCF was a direct
> ancestor to RSS (also originally an RDF-based Netscape product); it
> was triples-based, written in XML, and quite recognisable as RDF's
> precursor to anyone who reads the spec. The grassroots, information
> linking style of MCF was one of the inspirations behind FOAF too.
>
> However it did not leave any footprint in the academic literature. We
> might ask why. Like much of the work around W3C and tech industry
> standards, the artifacts it left behind don't often show up in the
> citation databases. A white paper here, a Web-based specification
> there, ... it's influence cannot easily be measured through academic
> citation patterns, despite the fact that without it, the vast majority
> of papers mentioned in
> http://info.slis.indiana.edu/~dingying/Publication/JIS-1098-v4.pdf
> would never have existed.
>
> In my experience, many of the discussions that shaped the early RDF
> and Semantic Web efforts were conducted online, using email, often
> also IRC chat, and as the years went by, increasingly in blogs and now
> microblogs. And many of the people who got a lot done were not
> employed in an academic setting where there was an institutionalised
> pressure to public in certain kinds of places. This is not to belittle
> the critically important contributions that came from those employed
> in academia, just to note that the wave of interest and research
> funding that followed 200/1 served largely to polish and promote ideas
> (and tools, specs) that had already reached prominence via
> Internet/Web/industry means. Without that academic buy-in and
> associated research funding, the Semantic Project would surely be dead
> by now. However, there is a continuing danger of confusing the real
> project --- a global collaboration to improve the Web's
> information-linking facilities --- with the activity of writing about
> it. The two are not the same, we need both, and the lack useful modern
> impact metrics makes it easy to conflate the two.
>
> It is not appropriate to entitle an academic citation analysis of the
> SemWeb project "Who is who in the field", not because of the bruised
> egos of those it omits, but because it risks misleading younger
> developers about how to make an impact on the world, rather than just
> on the literature. "Who cites whose paper?" might be a more accurate
> characterisation.
>
> This is not a problem distinct to the Semantic Web scene. All kinds of
> scientific collaborations (the Web's founding use case) can be
> conducted with greater speed thanks to the Web. But impact analysis
> lags behind, making it hard for those who work openly, rapidly and
> collaboratively to show the merits of their approach. Or the same in
> Web standards: any account of recent developments in HTML should pay a
> lot of attention to Web browsers, to organizations like Mozilla,
> Microsoft, Opera, Apple, KDE, WebKit and to fora like #whatwg (an IRC
> channel), the whatwg- and W3C- mailing lists, and countless blogs
> where the future of HTML is being passionately debated. If you scan
> the academic literature concerning HTML5 it is a pale and much-delayed
> echo of the real debates. It is hardly suprising that a technology
> community - HTML5 - devoted to improving the Web are also using it to
> conduct their discussions. I think you'll find, although perhaps to a
> lesser degree, the same also to be true of the Semantic Web project...
>
> cheers,
>
> Dan
> 
Received on Saturday, 13 February 2010 19:59:19 GMT

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