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Www.medra.org mEDRA P. Attanasio, G. Marangoni, P. Mazzucchi, N. Mezzetti, G. Scipione A semeiotic view of DOI applications General approach and concrete.

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Presentation on theme: "Www.medra.org mEDRA P. Attanasio, G. Marangoni, P. Mazzucchi, N. Mezzetti, G. Scipione A semeiotic view of DOI applications General approach and concrete."— Presentation transcript:

1 mEDRA P. Attanasio, G. Marangoni, P. Mazzucchi, N. Mezzetti, G. Scipione A semeiotic view of DOI applications General approach and concrete experiences Washington, 22 June 2007 Handle System Workshop

2 Summary What do we mean as semeiotic approach Relations between DOI and other identifiers: The actionable ISBN (aka book-land DOI) How a semeiotic approach influences the Multiple resolution development Menu based vs interim page The MR value chain

3 What do we mean as semeiotic approach Users are familiar with systems, which are characterised – apart technicalities – by signs Such signs are used both by machines and by people For instance, we can tell people: The DOI is an opaque string: please, do not infer anything from that But we cannot avoid that people read strings giving the meaning they like (and instruct machine to read strings in unexpected ways) Having a semeiotic approach simply means to try to consider signs as an opportunity instead of a problem

4 We may be not familiar with the semeiotic vocabulary Sign = Signifier (e.g. the ISBN number per se) + signified (what is intended to mean) Signification = the process of decoding signs passing from the signifier to the signified, thus creating meaning Code = system of signs Denotation = the first order of signification: the primary intention of signification Connotation = second order of signification, introduced by the actuation of meanings deeply rooted in one social environment e.g.: one ISBN is a product identifier for a certain book (denotation) some people frequently signify the ISBN saying: since there is an ISBN, that product is a real book and not grey literature (connotation)

5 But we are familiar with many semeiotic phenomena = Using the first was a fantastic semeiotic idea oThat also generated interesting connotations, i.e. second signified coming from the same signifier (e.g. when we speak about dot-coms) However, the URL syntax become less semeiotic-effective when you use URLs such as: Book%20Publishing%20Revised%20Final%2010%20August% pdf Book%20Publishing%20Revised%20Final%2010%20August% pdf Thats for: Publishing Market Watch – Sectoral Report 2: Book Publishing, by Turku University and Rightscom, Turku (Fi), August 2004, The use of the DOI may have also a semeiotic value: or simply doi: /whateversuffix doi: /whateversuffix Think how grateful editors will be when preparing a citation for a printed edition! And readers as well!

6 First application of the concept: Actionable ISBN or Bookland DOI All people in the book trade are familiar with this set of signs The ISBN number on the top The barcode (only for machine) The GS1 number on the bottom They are signifiers that carry some signified, which become "meaning" within contexts of use The publishing prefix of an ISBN does not mean that that book is currently under the control of that publisher, just may suggest it... Any number is opaque, in some extent, but is interpreted by humans that accept some risk of misunderstanding There is a need to maintain the ISBN as primary identifier of text monographs (books), exploiting all denotations and connotations associated to the ISBN signs

7 Actionable ISBN project: the syntax Syntax combining DOI and ISBN (a brilliant idea by Julian Sowa of Nielsen BookData) E.g.: doi: / / DOI prefixsuffix Number identifying that string as a DOI in the Handle System Number reserved (together with 979) by CNRI to the ISBN community ISBN publisher prefix ISBN book identifier (including check digit, without hyphenation)

8 Benefits All users (publishers, agencies, bibliographic DBs, web-based systems, libraries, etc.) only need one number-string (the ISBNs) to manage a corresponding DOI Consequences Development of new applications for the book supply-chain is made easier Machine can be easy instructed to obtain DOIs from ISBNs in automatic way Final users with a book in hand may easy type a valid address for that book

9 Value of ISBN actionability An example: look at Google BookSearch Users can reach services to buy the book

10 How such links are made? Links include the ISBN as a parameter in queries to dynamic webpages. The following is the list of the URLs: ean= In fact ISBN, per se, is not actionable This implies that Who creates the link has to know the syntax of the queries The publishers of the cited objects have no rule on that (may just, sometime, opt-out)

11 Value of using directly actionable ISBNs Using the Actionable ISBNs and multiple resolution, publishers may include any (and all) the links they like, without need to ask any third party to do anything Two key features: All publishers regardless their size may add links according their needs Links may be used within any web page We are piloting this using within the VTO (Volltextsuche online) project in Germany, but it is usable: by any publishers registering bookland DOIs by any webpage, simply using a DOI syntax Multiple resolution is essential for this application

12 Multiple resolution and semeiotic There are different types of MR (see the Chuck Koschers presentation later) We are moving within the domain of multiple choice MR, not considering at this stage contextual MR 1. Menu based MR

13 Multiple resolution and semeiotic There are different types of MR (see the Chuck Koschers presentation later) We are moving within the domain of multiple choice MR, not considering at this stage contextual MR 2. Interim page MR

14 How to select one? The first is much better when you consider look and feel criteria and usability Higher usability: one click less to reach the targeted resource More elegant: users never leave the webpage unless they actually wish to move to another resource Not surprising, larger efforts, in the DOI community, was devoted to the first So: we decided to select the second

15 Reasons for such a contradictory decision There is a value chain in the use of Multiple Resolution Registrant DOI-RA We page editor Final user A BC The registration agency should consider All the needs along the value chain The semiotic codes used by the different players e.g. one publisher assigning DOIs to books e.g. one newspaper website citing that book Note that the user is a reader of B and not of A

16 Consequences A cannot say to B: please, cite my book using this new code This is necessary with menu based MR, where the webpage must be created with additional, not usual, scripts A must say to B: please, cite my book using this value within the code you are familiar with All the webpage editors need to cite is a URL (a DOI incorporated in a proxy service) There is not only a matter of simplifying the work for generating pages with very beautiful menu based multiple resolution It is also a matter that you have to convince people to learn another code And that code has already some connotation: e.g. it is referred to journal articles: why to use for books or others While an actionable ISBN brings more appropriate connotations, as well

17 A second problem: what should the MR contain? MR interim page (and menu as well) are based on: Taxonomy of target resources Labels to be shown to users Also in this case: much better to start from what users are more familiar with So we started from ONIX relevant code list The final objective is to include such taxonomy within the ONIX for DOI registration schema But having ONIX-like codes immediately have some semeiotic value Once again: we should be aware that we bring in the pilot denotations and connotations associated to ONIX Moreover: separating the list of target resource types and labels facilitate multilingualism (a problem we immediately have between Italy and Germany)

18 What we show in our interim page Very sort explanation to final user Few metadata (planned: author, title, publisher and © year) One button to view complete metadata The actual multiple resolution

19 Finally: one unexpected semeiotic lesson in our experience When we decided to implement interim pages, we would like to have more elegant one We decided to produce pop up windows because (denotation) They are more similar to menu You can have the previous page visible on the back However, pop up windows have now negative connotation within the web environment So that, many browsers block them in default configuration We have just decided to turn back to normal pages!

20 Thank you for your attention Questions and information Technical aspects Genuine semeiotic experts


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