Every Contributor exported as Author in COinS export

Every contributor is exported as author "rft.au" in the COinS export, regardless whether this is an author, editor, bookeditor, translator, ... Is this a bug or feature? (COinS has IMO no possibility to save contributors, which are not authors.)
  • I don't recall any discussion about this -- any thoughts on what to do? I guess there are three options:
    1. The status quo: priorities not losing data over getting creator types right.
    2. Reverse this: only export authors
    3. Find a way to distinguish in COinS. Like you, I don't think we can do this, but haven't looked at this in any depth.
  • The discussion here and the specification indicated that there is no editor (or other functions except author) in COinS. I am still thinking about 1. and 2.
  • I think 2. It doesn't help reporting more data if it's wrong. If someone wants more complete metadata, they should choose a better format. I don't recall if we're able to use other namespaces for COinS experts (e.g. dc)
  • well, but at least listing book editors as authors is more in the spirit of COinS, which was developed as an OpenURL format.
  • edited July 31, 2015
    We do have the option of using the DC namespace (though we can't mix it with other namespaces). http://alcme.oclc.org/openurl/servlet/OAIHandler/extension?verb=GetMetadata&metadataPrefix=mtx&identifier=info:ofi/fmt:kev:mtx:dc However, I'm not entirely sure that it would be an improvement.

    Edit: yeah, nvm. DC is not nearly rich enough. It's a shame we can't define arbitrary namespaces and use them as we do in RDF export.
  • The COinS format is used in the end by reference management systems, like zotero, and linkresolvers. If all editors, translators etc. are imported to a reference management system as authors, then this information is wrong and should IMO be better avoided. I don't know how exactly the linkresolver like SFX are working, but I guess they can deal with some incomplete information, but wrong information may be more tricky.

    Thus, I would also tend to 2. However, every publication should have a creator, and therefore it might be an option, that if there are no authors present in an item, to export some other contributors as authors. E.g. if there are no authors, then we would also export book authors. However, if there are three bookauthors but the chapter is just written by one of them, then we should only export one author in COinS.

    It seems that wikipedia it also ignoring editors in their example of a COinS export at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:COinS
  • edited July 31, 2015
    When used for resolvers, less information is often fine (some COinS implementations only put the first author, for example), so option 2 works for me.

    Surveying a few other implementations: CiteULike and VUFind do not include editors in COinS. COPAC does. OCLC seems to label editors as authors (in both the human-readable page and in COinS).
  • yeah, I had OCLC in mind-- I figured that was the standard approach, which doesn't seem to be the case.
    I'm OK with 2. then.
  • Please, if it must be COinS, #2.

    Please, also, try to avoid using COinS as a medium for transferring bibliographic metadata. As stated above, COinS is useful primarily for OpenURL linking (and it functions satisfactorily for that purpose).
  • zuphilip's patch implementing 2.) is up & should make it into Zotero soon: https://github.com/aurimasv/zotero/pull/27

    I do hope no one uses COinS to transfer bib data, but it does remain the easiest way to quickly implement bibliographic data into a webpage in a way that's readable by multiple reference managers.
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