Solid-based approach for research information interoperability


I’d like to hear your opinions regarding the hypothesis of a Solid-based approach for the interoperability of information about research. In France, we have a specific problem with the complexity of research organization, due to the fact that laboratories gather researchers from different universities and institutions, and that researchers have various affiliations in addition to their laboratory. Institutions struggle to obtain real-time information about affiliations, works and projects, and most of the time their view is neither exhaustive nor up to date.
As we brainstormed with other universities about the best approach to solving this problem, we thought that perhaps if universities became Solid Pod providers and stored this information in the Pods (researcher pods, laboratory pods), this would offer a solution to this problem of interoperability and data sharing. Eventually, researchers could use their Pod data for third-party applications, such as academic social networks, CV generators or editors like Dokieli. As there are already several ontologies that model research organization and activity (Vivo, Cerif, bibliographic ontologies…), the modeling step would not be too demanding.
Do you think this is a direction we should explore?

Thanks in advance


This is probably the best starting place for you : Linked Research on the Decentralised Web. And yes, it does seem like a fruitful direction to explore.

At Ghent University we are exploring ways on how (semi) real-time information about researchers and their research artifacts can be gathered. Our Mellon project explores a decentralized architecture were researchers and service providers exchange information about publications, citations, review, derivative works, A&I indexing, archivation and all that. The work of SarvenCapadisli’s (and Amy Guy’s) as our inspiration. Our Mellon project provides additional standards and further decoupling our the services for scholarly communication.

You might be interested in our Event Notifications & Event Notifications in Value-Added Networks protocol we created to exchange information about scholarly artifacts in decentralized networks. The protocol is based on Linked Data Notifications and can be implemented by any type of institutional repository or service provider. The COAR Notify group is already doing experiments for peer-review usecases, including with HAL in France. Also open source repositories like DataVerse are currently implementing this protocol. In our research we use Solid Pods for all our experiments. In our studies we try to figure out what would happen if every researcher in a community would own a Solid Pod. The Event Notifications protocol is focussed on what are the most important events in the lifecycle of an artifact that needs to be communicated with the network. These are mostly human triggered events that can be distilled from only looking at a provenance trail. These events we call ‘Value-Added’ : they increase the scholarly ‘value’ of the artifact and need to be recorded and exchanged with the network. As you explained in your question, this is information is currently very hard to track in scholarly networks and need a lot of postfactum heuristics to reassemble.

If you are interested in a call or chat with our team, you are always welcome.

PS: Herbert Van de Sompel’s vision explaining what would become our Mellon project is a pointer what we are trying to do with Solid: Scholarly Communication: Deconstruct & Decentralize? - YouTube

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Thanks @jeffz @hochstenbach for all this information, which will be invaluable for our ongoing study. We’re pleased to learn that we’re not the first to consider such an approach.
Thanks @hochstenbach for the contact proposal. As our team is currently on summer vacation, we’ll take advantage of this period to read the material you’ve recommended, and we’ll get back to you in September!

Hi @jdp1ps,

At some point in the past, the CERN team that maintains Zenodo expressed interest to see if there could be some relationship between Zenodo and Solid. Zenodo being an open source platform that already has a strong community and a lot of users and data, it may be an interesting direction to investigate, so that you don’t have to start from scratch.

I’d also love to see what you could do with HAL’s API and Solid!

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