Thursday, 17 December 2009

More activity on semantic publishing

If you saw tweets from @cardcc today, you might realise I’ve been very interested in a couple of recent developments in semantic publishing. I wrote earlier about linking data to journal articles, including David Shotton’s adventures in semantic publishing. David’s work was one of those included in the review article in the Biochemical Journal by Attwod, Kell, McDermott et al (2009). The article ranged over the place of ontologies and databases, science blogs, and various experiments. These included

  • RSC and Project Prospect,
  • The ChemSpider Journal of Chemistry,
  • The FEBS Letters experiment,
  • PubMed Central and BioLit,
  • Shotton’s PLoS experiment,
  • Elsevier Grand Challenge,
  • Liquid Publications,
  • The semantic Biochemical Journal experiment.

The latter was the real focus of the article, available in PDF, but which if read through a special reader called Utopia Document displayed some active capabilities. These included the ability to visualise and rotate 3-d images of proteins, to see tables represented as graphs (or vice versa) and to link to entries in nucleic acid databases. The capabilities were perhaps a bit awkward to spot and to manipulate, but still interesting. This article is (gold) open access. Other articles in the issue have also been instrumented in this way.

It’s clearly early days for Utopia, and I wasn’t wholly impressed with it as a PDF reader, but I was certainly very excited at some of what I read and saw.

I also read today a very different article (I think not available on open access), by Ruthensteiner and Hess (2008). They describe the processes in making 3-d models of biological specimens, and presenting them in PDF, readable by a standard Acrobat Reader. The 3-d capability was at least as good as if not better than the Utopia results.

Because it’s getting late, I’ll end with my last tweet:

“My head is spinning with semantic article possibilities. I hope some get picked up in new #jiscmrd proposals, see"

Attwood, T. K., Kell, D. B., McDermott, P., Marsh, J., Pettifer, S. R., Thorne, D., et al. (2009). Calling International Rescue: knowledge lost in literature and data landslide! The Biochemical journal, 424(3), 317-33. doi: 10.1042/BJ20091474.

Ruthensteiner, B., & Hess, M. (2008). Embedding 3D models of biological specimens in PDF publications. Microscopy research and technique, 71(11), 778-86. doi: 10.1002/jemt.20618. Pubmed abstract.


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