Published June 7, 2022 | Version v1
Presentation Open

All the cool stuff a taxonomic journal can (should?) showcase through semantic enhancemen

  • 1. Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle


The European Journal of Taxonomy (EJT), a journal jointly published by 10 Natural History Institutions in Europe, was created in 2011 with the intent to enable its members to collectively tackle the strategic and technical challenges related to the visibility, access, format and financial structure of academic journals, especially publicly-funded titles. Publishing being an important component of the research cycle, EJT was designed, from the beginning, with the aim to liberate the data contained within its articles to the ecosystem of dynamic, stable, free-to-use and interconnected platforms available on the Web, such as the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF).

Even though EJT publishes only online, it remains a traditional journal in regards with its production workflow. To extract the data contained within its papers, the technical process begins with the decoding of the born-PDF by Plazi followed by the semantic enhancement, tagging taxonomic names, material citations, bibliography, images etc. (Bénichou et al. 2021). Once liberated, the data becomes an integral part of research and is accessible through data portals like GBIF and the Biodiversity Literature Repository (BLR), provides specific access to material citations and makes them FAIR, and thereby multiply their citability and reusability.

The lessons learnt from this approach reveal that avoiding discrepancies in the data remains time-consuming and represents a cost. It is clear that publishing in PDF is adding legacy to the already huge amount of data published and digitized. Yet, most institutional or learned society journals currently publish only in PDF, which might remain the predominant way of publishing in the academic publishing landscape for a long time.

As part of CETAF E-publishing efforts and Bicikl project, EJT is updating its production workflow to publish semantically enhanced papers in the future that make the annotated data directly accessible (FAIR), and to provide bidirectional links within the publication itself.

The presentation aims at showcasing the cool stuff a journal can obtain by extracting the data from its papers, even by retro-conversion. The authors will demonstrate that such efforts are worth it for any taxonomic journal, providing it with useful metrics and indicators of their own success. 


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