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

From: Graham Klyne <Graham.Klyne@zoo.ox.ac.uk>
Date: Tue, 16 Feb 2010 23:15:11 +0000
Message-ID: <4B7B26FF.3060405@zoo.ox.ac.uk>
To: Axel Polleres <axel.polleres@deri.org>
CC: Frank Manola <fmanola@acm.org>, Semantic Web <semantic-web@w3.org>
Axel Polleres wrote:
> BTW, as for W3C specs... they wouldn't necessarily cite those who did the contributions.
> W3C documents are not designed to raise the fame of the individual. Editors do most of the 
> hard work and are those being cited, but there is a lot of contributions coming from group members that don't show up as authors/contributors necessarily... Interestingly enough, the OWL2 WG seems to have taken a 
> different approach, more "academically inspired" here, listing contributors for each spec.

In my experience, editors of W3C specs generally do try to ensure significant 
contributors are acknowledged, but in other respects I agree with you.

> I am personally unsure still whether this is the right way to assess relevance, 
> and/or whether W3C specs should be treated like scientific contributions or not, 
> there are arguments pro and con of this...

I'd say they serve different purposes, both important.  As you say, W3C specs 
are not scientific, in the sense that they don't (or should not) attempt to 
present new knowledge and ideas, but to document engineering practices that are 
found to be effective, and which will benefit from being adopted in consistent 
(interoperable) fashion.

So it's not so much pros and cons but different purposes.  The early semantic 
web work was, to my view, about establishing a community of technical practice 
to enable developments that no group could achieve on their own.


> e.g. pro: ... e.g. W3C specs *do* undergo a quite rigid review cycle, probably more rigid than most scientific publications do!
> e.g.  con: ... W3C specs are a lot about agreement and (ideally) do not solve scientific problems, but just cast existing/established solution into an agreed standard... not saying here that it always really works like that in "standardisation practice"
> Axel
> On 14 Feb 2010, at 10:29, Graham Klyne wrote:
>> Frank Manola wrote:
>>> b.  referring to Jeremy's comment, if the W3C recs were really widely cited (and at least some were typically cited once they were actually recs, even in academic papers), why didn't they come up in the analysis more frequently? 
>> Because they're not recognized as academic publications (which is correct,
>> they're not).
>> But I thought Jeremy's comment about the better review process was so perfectly
>> to the point.
>> Just the other day I attended a talk by Richard Smith, an ex editor of BMJ,
>> (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Smith_(editor)) who was making a very
>> compelling case that the current academic publishing process is completely
>> broken (echoed in his publications at
>> http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1383755/?tool=pmcentrez and
>> http://jopm.org/index.php/jpm/article/view/12/25, both linked from the wikipedia
>> page).
>> What was really interesting for me is that what he suggests as an alternative is
>> in many ways exactly what we are tryimng to achieve for research data using the
>> "Semantic Web".  So in a sense, the problem here is one for us (as a community)
>> to fix :)
>> ...
>> I'll also comment, in passing, that I was very interested to see that Ying
>> Ding's conclusions about rising topics for study seemed, in my personal view, to
>> be spot on.  So, ad-hominem aside, the review process adopted might have some
>> real value in spotting useful trends.
>> #g
>> --
Received on Wednesday, 17 February 2010 09:28:59 UTC

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