Thursday, July 12, 2007

Interoperable epublishing software components

Presenter: Robert Forkel, Max Planck Digital Library (in the Max Planck Society)
Thursday, July 12, 2007
2:55 PM - 3:55 PM in SFUHC Earl and Jennie Lohn Floor Policy Room



Robert Forkel is a programmer at the Max Planck Digital Library and is responsible for technical stuff in the ePubTk/livingreviews project.

Living Reviews project is part of the Max Planck digital library. Living Reviews publishes four different online open access journals, which cover different disciplines. They are a small scale publisher considering the number of journals published, but they have their own research and development team.

Robert Forkel asked the audience to take this session as a chance to have a discussion regarding issues or obstacles faced by developers of electronic publishing software. His case was interoperability problem when the software has to support different publication types. For example, humanities have a specific type of journal articles that is different from physics. With their first journal started in 1998, they have learned some lessons along the way.

He touched on how he approached the interoperability problem on component level, during the design and implementation process:
  • determine the resources (data, metadata, publication process data, etc)
  • describe the components (define them as functional entities)
  • specify interfaces

He also pointed out that the building blocks are there (OAI-PMH, unAPI, APP) and that projects such as APSR and DiPP are facing similar problems. He then asked the audience to think of collecting best practices as a starting point to tackle the interoperability problem. The audience responded to his presentation with some discussions afterward.

Living Reviews project presentations
Livng Reviews project wiki for developers


ePublishing Toolkit, the software developed by the Living Reviews project, is an open source software licensed under GNU General Public License 2.0 – one of the commons-based, peer-production solutions for human development that Yochai Benkler proposed.

During the presentation, Robert was calling developers of electronic publishing software community to work together in solving the interoperability problem – as is the norm in a peer-production solution. He is asking the community to contribute to the advancement of electronic publishing software, the “tool” that enables creation of the public good (as declared in the Budapest Open Access Initiative):

the world-wide electronic distribution of the peer-reviewed journal literature and completely free and unrestricted access to it by all scientists, scholars, teachers, students, and other curious minds

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