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Introduction to SPAR

The Semantic Publishing and Referencing Ontologies (SPAR) form a suite of orthogonal and complementary ontology modules for creating comprehensive machine-readable RDF metadata for all aspects of semantic publishing and referencing. The component ontologies within SPAR are named in the flower diagram below (Figure 1). The ontologies can be used either individually or in conjunction, as need dictates. Each is encoded in the Web ontology language OWL 2.0 DL. Together, they provide the ability to describe far more than simply bibliographic entities such as books and journal articles, by enabling RDF metadata to be created to relate these entities to reference citations, to bibliographic records, to the component parts of documents, and to various aspects of the scholarly publication process.

A diagram showing the eight core SPAR ontologies

Figure 1: The flower diagram showing the component ontologies of SPAR

All eight SPAR ontologies – FaBiO, CiTO, BiRO, C4O, DoCO, PRO, PSO and PWO – are available for inspection, comment and use. They are useful for describing bibliographic objects, bibliographic records and references, citations, citation counts, citation contexts and their relationships to relevant sections of cited papers, the organization of bibliographic records and references into bibliographies, ordered reference lists and library catalogues, document components, publishing roles, publishing status and publishing workflows.

Where appropriate, the SPAR ontologies, specifically FaBiO, the FRBR-aligned Bibliographic Ontology, and BiRO, the Bibliographic Reference Ontology, employ the FRBR (Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records) classification model, a conceptual entity-relationship model developed by the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLAI) as a generalized view of the bibliographic universe, intended to be independent of any cataloging code or implementation [Sau98, Til03]. FRBR distinguishes Works, Expressions, Manifestations and Items.

Ontology integration

A simple architectural diagram of the eight SPAR ontologies is shown in Figure 2.

SPAR architectural diagram

Figure 2: A simple architectural diagram showing the interactions and dependencies between the component ontologies of SPAR

As the architectural diagram indicates, the eight principal SPAR ontologies are supported by three subsidiary OWL2 DL ontologies that are import as required - Essential FRBR in OWL2 DL, DEO, the Discourse Elements Ontology, and the Error Ontology, by the external FOAF Essentials and SWAN Collections ontologies, and by various Ontology Design Patterns ontology modules.

CiTO and FaBiO have been harmonized with the SWAN ontologies for describing elements of scientific discourse, and thus indirectly with the SIOC (Semantically-Interlinked Online Communities) Ontology for describing blogs, wikis and discussion groups, as described in [CSP11].

Historical context

The original motivation for creating the first of these ontologies, CiTO, the Citation Typing Ontology, was provided by the semantic publishing work undertaken in 2008, described in [SPK10]. Version 1.6 of the original CiTO ontology, that was developed from that work and published in 2009, is described in [Sho09].

Since that publication, we have separated out from CiTO those aspects describing bibliographic entities into FaBiO, the FRBR-aligned Bibliographic Ontology, those aspects describing the quantification of citations into C4O, the Citation Counting and Context Characterization Ontology, and those aspects describing the status of publications into PSO, the Publications Status Ontology, leaving the current version of CiTO (v2.0) with the sole role of describing the nature and character of the citations themselves.

The characteristics and benefits of individual ontologies are summarized in the following sections.

CiTO, the Citation Typing Ontology

URL
http://purl.org/spar/cito
SVN repository
https://sourceforge.net/p/sempublishing/code/HEAD/tree/CiTO

The Citation Typing Ontology (CiTO) is an ontology to enable characterization of the nature or type of citations, both factually and rhetorically.

The citations characterized may be either direct and explicit (as in the reference list of a journal article), indirect (e.g. a citation to a more recent paper by the same research group on the same topic), or implicit (e.g. as in artistic quotations or parodies, or in cases of plagiarism).

This ontology contains the object property cito:cites and its sub-properties, and its inverse property cito:isCitedBy, from the original Citation Typing Ontology, CiTO v1.6. Upon the creation of version 2.0 of CiTO, a number of new sub-properties of cito:cites were added, and the inverse properties of all the sub-properties of cito:cites were created, all of which are sub-properties of cito:isCitedBy. The ontology has also been integrated with the SWAN Discourse Relationships Ontology by making cito:cites a sub-property of The SWAN Discoure Relationships Ontology property refersTo"

Restrictions of domain and range present in the previous version of CiTO have been removed from the object properties of CiTO v 2.0, permitting its independent use in other contexts, in addition to conventional bibliographic citations.

This ontology is available at http://purl.org/spar/cito, and uses the namespace prefix cito.

So that they can be used independently, other entities that were previously included in CiTO v1.6 have now been made components of other SPAR ontologies: FaBiO, the FRBR-aligned Bibliographic Ontology; C4O, the Citation Counting and Context Characterization Ontology; and PSO, the Publication Status Ontology.

FaBiO, the FRBR-aligned Bibliographic Ontology

URL
http://purl.org/spar/fabio
SVN repository
https://sourceforge.net/p/sempublishing/code/HEAD/tree/FaBiO

FaBiO, the FRBR-aligned Bibliographic Ontology, is an ontology for recording and publishing on the Semantic Web descriptions of entities that are published or potentially publishable, and that contain or are referred to by bibliographic references, or entities used to define such bibliographic references. FaBiO entities are primarily textual publications such as books, magazines, newspapers and journals, and items of their content such as poems and journal articles. However, they also include datasets, computer algorithms, experimental protocols, formal specifications and vocabularies, legal records, governmental papers, technical and commercial reports and similar publications, and also bibliographies, reference lists, library catalogues and similar collections.

FaBiO classes are structured according to the FRBR schema of Works, Expressions, Manifestations and Items. Additional properties have been added to extends the FRBR data model by linking Works and Manifestations (fabio:hasManifestation and fabio:isManifestationOf), Works and Items (fabio:hasPortrayal and fabio:isPortrayedBy), and Expressions and Items (fabio:hasRepresentation and fabio:isRepresentedBy).

This ontology is available at http://purl.org/spar/fabio, and uses the namespace prefix fabio.

BiRO, the Bibliographic Reference Ontology

URL
http://purl.org/spar/biro
SVN repository
https://sourceforge.net/p/sempublishing/code/HEAD/tree/BiRO

BiRO, the Bibliographic Reference Ontology, is an ontology structured according to the FRBR model to define bibliographic records (as subclasses of frbr:Work) and bibliographic references (as subclasses of frbr:Expression), and their compilation into bibliographic collections and bibliographic lists, respectively.

It provides a logical system for relating an individual bibliographic reference, such as appears in the reference list of a published article (which may lack the title of the cited article, the full names of the listed authors, or indeed the full list of authors):

This ontology is available at http://purl.org/spar/biro, and uses the namespace prefix biro.

C4O, the Citation Counting and Context Characterization Ontology

URL
http://purl.org/spar/c4o
SVN repository
https://sourceforge.net/p/sempublishing/code/HEAD/tree/C4O

C4O, the Citation Counting and Context Characterization Ontology (C4O) allows the characterization of bibliographic citations in terms of their number and their context.

It provides the ontological structures to permit the number of in-text citations of a cited source (i.e. the number of in-text reference pointers to a single reference in the citing article’s reference list) to be recorded, and also the number of citations a cited entity has received globally, as determined by a bibliographic information resource such as Google Scholar, Scopus or Web of Knowledge on a particular date.

Moreover, it enables ontological descriptions of the context within the citing document in which an in-text reference pointer appears, and permits that context to be related to relevant textual passages in the cited document.

This ontology is available at http://purl.org/spar/c4o, and uses the namespace prefix c4o.

DoCO, the Document Components Ontology

URL
http://purl.org/spar/doco
SVN repository
https://sourceforge.net/p/sempublishing/code/HEAD/tree/DoCO

DoCO, the Document Components Ontology, provides a structured vocabulary written in OWL 2 DL of document components, both structural (e.g. block, inline, paragraph, section, chapter) and rhetorical (e.g. introduction, discussion, acknowledgements, reference list, figure, appendix), enabling these components, and documents composed of them, to be described in RDF. It imports the Discourse Elements Ontology and the Document Structural Patterns Ontology, and uses seven rhetorical block elements (background, conclusion, contribution, discussion, evaluation, motivation and scenario) abstracted from the SALT Rhetorical Ontology.

This ontology is available at http://purl.org/spar/doco, and uses the namespace prefix doco.

PRO, the Publishing Roles Ontology

URL
http://purl.org/spar/pro
SVN repository
https://sourceforge.net/p/sempublishing/code/HEAD/tree/PRO

PRO, the Publishing Roles Ontology, is an ontology written in OWL 2 DL for the characterization of the roles of agents – people, corporate bodies and computational agents (e.g., author, editor, reviewer, publisher, librarian) – in the publication process. It permits one to specify how an agent has a role relating to a bibliographic entity, and the period of time during which that role is held.

Because it is based on the Time-indexed situation ontology pattern, it is easy to extend the set of specified roles, simply by adding new individuals to the class pro:Role.

This ontology is available at http://purl.org/spar/pro, and uses the namespace prefix pro.

PSO, the Publishing Status Ontology

URL
http://purl.org/spar/pso
SVN repository
https://sourceforge.net/p/sempublishing/code/HEAD/tree/PSO

PSO, the Publishing Status Ontology, is an ontology written in OWL 2 DL for characterizing the publication status of a document and other publication entity at each of the various stages in the publishing process (e.g. draft, submitted, under review, rejected, accepted for publication, proof, published, Version of Record, catalogued, archived).

Because it is based on the Time-indexed situation ontology pattern, it is easy to extend the set of specified statuses, simply by adding new individuals to the class pso:Status.

This ontology is available at http://purl.org/spar/pso, and uses the namespace prefix pso.

PWO, the Publishing Workflow Ontology

URL
http://purl.org/spar/pwo
SVN repository
https://sourceforge.net/p/sempublishing/code/HEAD/tree/PWO

PWO, the Publishing Workflow Ontology, is an ontology written in OWL 2 DL for describing the steps in the workflow associated with the publication of a document or other publication entity (e.g. being written, under review, XML capture, page design, publication to the Web).

It is based on the Time-indexed situation pattern to describe workflows steps and on the Sequence pattern to define their order.

This ontology is available at http://purl.org/spar/pwo, and uses the namespace prefix pwo.

References

[Sau98]
Saur KG: FRBR (Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records) Final Report. International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions; 1998. http://www.ifla.org/files/cataloguing/frbr/frbr_2008.pdf.
[Til03]
Tillett B: What is FRBR? A Conceptual Model for the Bibliographic Universe. Washington DC, USA: Library of Congress, Cataloguing Distribution Service; 2003. http://www.loc.gov/cds/downloads/FRBR.PDF.
[CSP11]
Ciccarese P, Shotton D, Peroni S and Clark T: CiTO + SWAN: The web semantics of bibliographic records, citations, evidence and discourse relationships. (Submitted for publication).
[SPK09]
Shotton D, Portwin K, Klyne G, Miles A: Adventures in semantic publishing: exemplar semantic enhancements of a research article. PLoS Comput Biol 2009, 5:e1000361. http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pcbi.1000361.
[Sho10]
Shotton D: CiTO, the Citation Typing Ontology. Journal of Biomedical Semantics 2010, 1 (Suppl. 1): S6. http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/2041-1480-1-S1-S6.