About The Research Data Alliance World Data System Scholarly Link Exchange (Scholix) Working Group

Blogpost by Monica Lassi. This post is part of our series of posts reporting from the RDA 9th Plenary (P9), 3-7 April 2017 in Barcelona.

Monica Lassi, Lund University. Photo; Josefine Lidbrandt
Monica Lassi, Lund University. Photo; Josefine Lidbrandt

About data citation and linked data

*Note 1: This is a long post for those interested in data citation and linked data*

About Scholix, Scholarly Link Exchange

*Note 2: The first paragraph describing Scholix, is from a report on data citation and identification from an EU project and will soon be made available* Scholix, Scholarly Link Exchange, was presented in June 2016 as a framework for the standardization of exchanged information about the links between research data and publications.

The framework is developed by the working group Data Publishing Services coordinated by ICSU-WDS and RDA, in collaboration with actors such as Crossref, DataCite, PANGAEA, and International Association of STM Publishers [Burton 2017, Scholix 2016, STM Publishers 2017b].

Vision and guidelines for the standardization of exchanged information about the links between research data and publications

The framework is presented as a vision and guidelines, and builds on a multi-hub model with contributors including data centres, publishers and data repositories. The interoperability guidelines are based on the following assumptions:

  • a number of natural hubs that aggregate data-literature and data-data links
  • interoperability between those hubs and NOT between all the publishers of research objects
  • the need for inference and retrospective linking (at least for several years to come)
  • that some hubs will actively aggregate information from other hubs
  • that other services will leverage this enabling infrastructure
  • the need for unique persistent identification and standard referencing of research objects [Burton 2016, p. 6]

Prototype of Data Literature Interlinking Service

A prototype of the Data Literature Interlinking Service building on the work of the Scholix WG is found here. This allows for retrieving data about links between publications and datasets, see e.g. this dataset.

The workshop drew a full room, to the organisers’ surprise. (This resulted in a different meeting than planned: the breakout sessions in subgroups organized by use-cases were cancelled.)

Will Scholix be able to provide citation data in the future?

A pressing issue for data citation and analysis of citation data was posed as a question by a librarian from CalTech: Will Scholix be able to provide citation data in the future? The reply from the organisers of the session was: Yes, the idea is that actors will be able to retrieve the linking information that they are interested in.

This was good news to me, having recently analysed Data Citation Index from the perspective of climate and environmental research infrastructures’ needs for citation data: all the freely available citation data through the DLI service will widen the scope of citation analysis from what’s indexed in Web of Science.

Publication-to-data links

Another issue discussed thoroughly was whether other types of linking than publication-to-data would be possible/relevant/interesting (e.g. data-to-data). The plan for the Scholix WG is to continue focusing on publication-to-data links (RDA’s WGs have life span of 18 months; if needed, a new WG can be created to continue important work).

Query APIs from Crossref and DataCite

One of the goals of the Scholix WG is to by the end of 2017 provide information to different actors in RDM on how they can make use of Scholix. Query APIs are coming soon from Crossref and DataCite.


[Burton 2017] Burton, A., Koers, H., Manghi, P., Stocker, M., Fenner, M., Aryani, A., La Bruzzo, S., Diepenbroek, M., Schindler, U. and Authr, C., 2017. The Scholix Framework for Interoperability in Data-Literature Information Exchange. D-Lib Magazine, 23(1/2).

[Scholix 2016] Scholix. 2016. RDA and ICSU-WDS Announce the Scholix Framework for Linking Data and Literature. Press release published 2016-06-20. (PDF 537 kb)

[STM Publishers 2017b] International Association of Scientific, Technical and Medical Publishers. 2017. Now available: SCHOLIX.

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