Today I attended the “Connecting data and literature: the Scholix initiative” webinar organised by the Research Data Alliance (RDA). Adrian Burton, the Director of Services at the Australian National Data Service, gave an overview of the Scholix initiative. He is one of the authors of this paper that describes Scholix in detail.

Scholix brings together publishers, data centres and service providers (e.g. Crossref, DataCite) to address the problem of linking datasets and publications on a global scale. Instead of each player coming up with their own solution, the idea is that all the interested parts work together to solve a common problem.

As decribed on the Scholix website: “Scholix stands for “(a Framework for) Scholarly Link Exchange”. Scholix is not an organisation. It is the consensus achieved by a number of organisations — journal publishers, data centres, global service providers — to create an open global information ecosystem to collect and exchange links between research data and literature. The Scholix recommendations are the output of the joint Research Data Alliance/ICSU World Data System Data Publishing Services Working Group.”

4TU.ResearchData (or rather 3TU.DataCentrum) is listed as one of the organisations that has been involved in the working group and related projects. I am not sure what our involvement was or is, but I learned today that there are three ways in which we can participate.

1. Join the RDA-WDS Scholarly Link Exchange (Scholix) Working Group

It is possible to join to “simply stay in touch with the latest developments.” But we could also help expand and document the Scholix Guidelines.

2. Get the Scholix information using the open DLI API 

DLI stands for Data-Literature Interlinking Service.

This could be interesting for us to do because it would allows us to query for any known links in the literature to our datasets.  We could see which papers are citing our datasets and could even enrich our archive with links to those papers.

3. Feed our data-literature link information to an existing Scholix hub 

We may already be doing this through DataCite, which is one of the Scholix hubs. The metadata used for DOI is made available via DataCite and DLI APIs. This metadata needs to be enriched with links between the literature (related resources) and the data.


Something to note, which was discussed during the webinar’s Q&A, is that this is an initiative that is getting started, so it is not yet comprehensive. For example, not all data centres registering DOIs with DataCite  include links to the literature in their metadata. Additionally, not all data centres use DOIs. This is common is astronomy, for example. Burton mentioned that they are reaching out to these communities.