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Re: DISCLAIMER (was Re: [CfP] Journal of Web Semantics (JWS) - Special Issue on Ontology Engineering)

From: Sarven Capadisli <info@csarven.ca>
Date: Mon, 7 Aug 2017 11:34:48 +0200
To: Harry Halpin <hhalpin@ibiblio.org>
Cc: Matthew Horridge <matthew.horridge@stanford.edu>, "semantic-web@w3.org" <semantic-web@w3.org>
Message-ID: <81c2bc30-5043-8abc-05ee-e25193c912cd@csarven.ca>
On 2017-08-05 12:59, Harry Halpin wrote:
> While normally I consider the desire to publish scientific papers in
> HTML as quite silly given the lack of support of MathML by major
> browsers and the need to use LateX in computer science, 

Grab coffee.

I think that this is not a showstopper because the alternative is not:

* resort to LaTeX/Word..
* resort to handing publicly funded work to a company
* resort to paying fees to get access back to the work
* resort to numbing Web researchers from using the native Web stack

Again, that's precisely what the Web Semantics journal is doing and
encouraging. Shameful.

The fact of the matter is that, if researchers agree on the final goal
of using the native Web stack, and controlling their own work, there are
options however imperfect: MathML, MathJax ( https://www.mathjax.org/ ),
Web fonts, SVG, bitmap images, Flash (not a real suggestion), a photo of
whiteboard or handwritten equations, and more. We can nitpick the whole
day on any given approach, but the bottom line is that it can be
achieved and still reasonable - I'll get back to this in a moment.

If those options are still inadequate, and if the goal still remains to
open up and make the best of the Web, people can dedicate energy to
improve the state of the art. It would be absurd to think that we are
indefinitely stuck with LaTeX for mathematics on the Web.

So, we don't just throw our hands up in the air and walk away - at the
same time throwing the whole academic community under the bus - just
because some Web tech is imperfect, and might as well resort to LaTeX.

We improve the Web because we are idealists. We join standards
organisations or create communities to address the shortcomings - just
as we have in the past.

Springer can't even manage to display code blocks in their HTML copies.
Literally uses *gif* of a PDF (or something) rendering eg:


That is a major joke!

If Springer, with all the funding at their disposal decides to create a
gif of a script block from a LaTeX source, and deemed it to be
"acceptable" (by their standards at least) in academic articles, we can
apply the same line of reasoning and do it ourselves. Pure and simple.
Compare what you get out of the box:

* http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-319-58068-5_33
* http://csarven.ca/linked-data-notifications

It makes zero sense to pay these companies from public funds to reduce
the quality of the representations/semantics, interactive components..
regardless of if they get LaTeX or even HTML.

What they generate is bare minimum junk in comparison to what the
authors can express; multimodal, semantic, social, decentralised
solutions with some commitment to interop on the Web.

Hence, I reject the general line of argument: "x is not perfect,
therefore let's instead p00p on the Web".

> I agree the
> scientific community - especially the Semantic Web community, a
> community in theory devoted to open data - should refuse to publish or
> review in Elsevier journals given their particularly atrocious track
> record, including support of SOPA/PIPA etc. in the past:
> For more, see the Elsevier boycott:
> http://michaelnielsen.org/polymath1/index.php?title=Journal_publishing_reform

And something a bit more recent and concrete, "at the end of 2017, the
following bodies announced that they would no longer extend their
contract with Elsevier":


> Note in response to the boycott, Elsevier now has open access journals.
> Obviously the Web Semantics journal could become an Open Access journal:
> https://www.elsevier.com/about/open-science/open-access/open-access-journals
> Why is it not?

Possibly because APC model requires authors/public institutions to feed
even more money (on top of what their libraries pay for instance) into
the scholarly system, and so the editors of the journal may have figured
that would not be feasible - or maybe it just didn't even occur to them.
In any case, getting the money out of the system is a "goal", so just
taking OA approach for the sake of it is not solving anything.

Moreover, even if gold/green OA was in place, it still doesn't address
the disclaimer point on crafting multimodal research objects, ie. the
bar is still set to their content/data publishing pipeline - which is
archaic as it gets.


Received on Monday, 7 August 2017 09:39:08 UTC

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