Ivan’s private site

July 1, 2008

Journal of Web Semantics Preprint Server

Filed under: Semantic Web,Work Related — Ivan Herman @ 13:21

(Maybe it is common knowledge and I am the only one who has missed it, but maybe it is not. If the latter, this can be useful information for somebody else, too…)

I spent some time yesterday scanning through some papers of the latest issues of the Journal of Web Semantics. I could do that relatively easily, because I happen to be employed by a research institute (CWI, in Amsterdam), which pays hefty price to access the digital library of Elsevier. This means I could download and print the papers I was interested in without problems. However, what is with those in the community who do not happen to work at a university or a research institute? Why isn’t JWS online? The subscription price for the journal is €77 per year; not a huge amount of money, maybe, but a significant sum nevertheless for a private person.

However, after some searching, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that Elsevier has a preprint server for JWS up and running. Still in beta (I had some temporary access problems today, for example), but it works well and most of the papers I was interested in are downloadable in PDF (the format is not necessarily the same as the final journal print, but who cares?). It is good to see that access of the JWS papers are not restricted to institutionalized researchers only, but they are accessible to everyone alongside the papers of conferences like ISWC or WWW…

(In case you only see the blog item somewhere but not the comments: it is worth looking at them. Jim Hendler corrected me on the preprint server: it turns out not to be Elsevier’s. My mistake or, rather, lack of knowledge… — IH, 2008-07-02)



  1. Ivan – Just so you know – this preprint site is NOT run by Elsevier — there was a major negotiation between us and them when we set up the journal. We insisted that we “owned” the accepted preprints and they owned what came after (i.e. once they added value). The preprint server has been up since the beginning of the journal’s existence, but in the past year it has moved to Manchester and taken on a new look and feel. There’s also a fair amount of RDF metadata floating around – I know at one time we planned to add this to the Linked Object Data world, I’m not sure what became of that idea after I stepped down as an EIC.

    Comment by Jim Hendler — July 1, 2008 @ 19:17

  2. Jim,

    thanks. I indeed did not know this. Congratulation for your successful negotiation then:-) But it also shows that my first instinctive reaction was correct: isn’t it a shame that you had to go through this to get the articles into the open? When will it be the norm for publications to be accessible to everyone?

    Sigh. Anyway, enough rumbling. Enjoy the papers…

    Comment by Ivan Herman — July 1, 2008 @ 20:33

  3. And with some pride I add that the preprint server is running on openacademia, a bibliography management system that Michel Klein and myself have put together while at the Vrije Universiteit, in Amsterdam. The system is fully RDF-based (converting from BibTex to RDF and backwards) and has some other nifty features not used here, e.g. generating RDFa enabled bibliographies for personal web pages.

    Comment by Peter Mika — July 2, 2008 @ 0:50

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