Bibliographic citations are central to academia, knitting together independent works of scholarship into a global endeavour and providing authors with a mechanism for assigning credit to other researchers.
Since 2010, the OpenCitations Blog has presented the evolution and growth of OpenCitations, an independent infrastructure organization for open scholarship dedicated to the publication of open bibliographic and citation data by the use of Semantic Web (Linked Data) technologies. OpenCitations is a transdisciplinary infrastructure that assists in making the results of academic research more accessible and reusable, and currently provides free access to over 1.3 billion citations, approaching parity in terms of coverage with commercial citation indexes. OpenCitations is run by the academic community and is managed by the Research Centre for Open Scholarly Metadata at the University of Bologna.
All the data published by OpenCitations are described using the SPAR Ontologies according to the OpenCitations Data Model, and are made freely available so that others may freely build upon, enhance and reuse them for any purpose, without restriction under copyright or database law.
The OpenCitations web site, where these citation data are available, is at http://opencitations.net.
A prototype of the OpenCitations Corpus, the first dataset released by OpenCitations, was first developed in 2010 by David Shotton, Ben O’Steen and Alex Dutton at the University of Oxford, as described in this blog post.
The open availability of freely available aggregated citation data is a crucial requirement for scholarship, for bibliometrics and scientometrics research, and for academic analytics, namely the creation of transparent and reproducible metrics of academic merit and research performance, both individual and institutional, to facilitate the evaluation of grant efficiency and research effectiveness and to assist in decisions relating to funding and academic tenure.
The OpenCitations Blog aims to showcase the work of OpenCitations in facilitating these activities, and to reach out to all members of the global OpenCitations stakeholder community needing such information. These stakeholders include students, researchers, academic librarians, university administrators, research funders, national governments, international organizations, and members of the public who are interested in our work and in the values of Open Science.