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A while back, I submitted a grant to JISC on digital preservation. The basic idea was to move a set of files that I had as Word docs, post them all on the knowledgeblog platform. The practical upshot of this is that the files, instead of rusting, become accessible to the world at large and, also, they also get digitially preserved by the various web preservation engines around. We called this digital preservation by stealth; putting something on the web is useful anyway, the preservation occurs as a happy by-product. And along the way, we get stats on whether the content was actually used by anyone.

Bringing Things to Life

Tim Berners-Lee sitting at a computer desk, typing on his machine. Around him, 10,000 camera flashes flare, fireworks fire reds and blues into the sky, and the shades of a thousand costumes, filling his eyes. Then, on cue, he sees 50 metre high letters, brillant orange, spelling out “This is for everyone” in homage to his creation, to the Web. He smiles, feeling overwhelmed by the brilliance, and the sheer scale of the event, and the strangeness that his abstract creation has bought him here, to the start of the Olympics, a celebration of muscle and bone.

Ontology Building with Emacs

I have just started to build an ontology and I have to admit that it has been a while since I have done this; I think that the last time was when writing a paper about function (n.d.a) so I was interested to see how it would work. I’ve have been engaged in discussions recently about syntactic aspects of OWL (n.d.b) the main reason for this is my long-held believe of the need for editing tools that work at the syntactic level; this allows us to plug in to the enormous body of programming tools supporting building, collaborative development, versioning and so on. So, I decided to build the entire thing using Emacs; the nature of the ontology also meant that I wanted to reboot my long-neglected attempts to bring literate development to ontologies (n.d.c) While it is not a large ontology I did manage 60 classes in an afternoon, so I am quite pleased with the results.

Open Access and the Semantic Web

As I alluded to in my recent post (n.d.a) the paper that we submitted to Sepublica (n.d.b) was accepted for a special issue associated with the main conference Extended Semantic Web Conference, as one of the best papers from the Workshops. The problem that this is published by Springer, and I want my publication to remain open access. We did enquire of the conference and Springer whether there was an open access option; their website mentions open choice, at the rather eye watering price of 2000EUR. Initially, we were told that they would do this, at 480EUR (40EUR a page), but it turns out that they have stopped doing this for single papers in a conference proceedings. So, we turned down the publication offer. Perhaps not a sensible thing to in the light of the current entertainment of REF (n.d.c/?p=5388) but I feel the right thing to do.

Trying arXiv

We were pleased that our paper (n.d.a) was accepted in a special issue associated with the Extended Semantic Web Conference, as one of the best papers from the Workshops. Of course, it is lovely to be acknowledged in this way, and we’re very grateful to the organisers of Sepublica for this. However, it did place us in the difficult position. In the end, I decided to turn this offer down on the grounds that I did not want to publish with Springer if it meant that the article would become Toll Access.