Scholix Metadata Schema for Exchange of Scholarly Communication Links


Scholix Metadata Schema for Exchange of Scholarly Communication Links

By Stefanie Kethers

RDA/WDS Scholarly Link Exchange (Scholix) WG

Recommendation Title: Scholix Metadata Schema for Exchange of Scholarly Communication Links

Group co-chairsAdrian Burton Martin FennerPaolo ManghiWouter HaakRachael Lammey

Authors: Burton, Adrian; Fenner, Martin; Haak, Wouter; Manghi, Paolo

Editor:  Brady, Catherine
Researcher(s): Diepenbroek, Michael; Schindler, Uwe; Aryani, Amir; Bilder, Geoffrey; Ryder, Gerry; Graef, Florian; Demeranville, Tom; Bruno, Ian; Cousijn, Helena; Shaw, Phil; Wass, Joe; La Bruzzo, Sandro; Rauber, Andreas; Nielsen, Lars Holm
Recommendation package DOI10.5281/zenodo.1120265
Citation: Burton, Adrian, Fenner, Martin, Haak, Wouter, & Manghi, Paolo. (2017, November 21). Scholix Metadata Schema for Exchange of Scholarly Communication Links (Version v3). Zenodo. DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.1120265



The goal of the Scholix initiative is to establish a high level interoperability framework for exchanging information about the links between scholarly literature and data. It aims to enable an open information ecosystem to understand systematically what data underpins literature and what literature references data. The DLI Service is the first exemplar aggregation and query service fed by the Scholix open information ecosystem. The Scholix framework together with the DLI aggregation are designed to enable other 3rd party services (domain-specific aggregations, integrations with other global services, discovery tools, impact assessments etc).
Scholix is an evolving lightweight set of guidelines to increase interoperability. It consists of: (i) a consensus among a growing group of publishers, datacentres, and global/ domain service providers to work collaboratively and systematically to improve exchange of data-literature link information, (ii) an Information model: conceptual definition of what is a Scholix scholarly link, (iii) Link metadata schema: metadata representation of a Scholix link. Options for exchange protocols (forthcoming) Scholix is the “wholesaler to wholesaler” exchange framework, to be implemented by existing hubs or global aggregators of data-literature link information such as DataCite, CrossRef, OpenAIRE, or EMBL-EBI. These hubs in turn work with their natural communities of data centres or literature publishers to collect the information through existing community-specific workflows and standards. Scholix thus enables interoperability between a smaller number of large hubs and leverages the existing exchange arrangements between those hubs and their natural communities (eg between CrossRef and journal publishers). Scholix is a technical solution to wholesale information aggregation; it will need to be complemented by other policy, practice and cultural change advocacy initiatives. This approach could be extended over time to other types of research objects in and beyond research (e.g. software, tweets, etc).


Output Status: 
RDA Endorsed Recommendations
Review period start: 
Monday, 20 April, 2020 to Wednesday, 20 May, 2020
Group content visibility: 
Use group defaults
Primary WG Focus / Output focus: 
Domain Agnostic: 
Domain Agnostic
PDF icon Scholix Metadata Schema.pdf1012.46 KB
  • Katherine McNeill's picture

    Author: Katherine McNeill

    Date: 21 May, 2020

    I have a handful of minor comments.  They're organised by page # of the document (and within that ID #, where applicable)

    p. 6

    Where it says “For example if an identifier of a dataset can be resolved to provide its name, creator, publisher and publication date, then only the identifier is mandatory.” Is that something that can be verified within the system, or is that written here simply so that adopters can know the rules by which they’re supposed to abide (but it’s not enforced)?

    p. 7

    1: I wonder whether we might want to strengthen the language about standardised date format (from “consider” to something stronger such as “encourage” or “urge”).  Of course it’s not feasible to require use of, and maybe challenges to endorsing, a particular standard, but assuming it would be optimal to use that standard, that could be more emphasized.

    p. 8

    2.2: I’m wondering where ROR fits in, and whether we’d like to explicitly mention it, at minimum as another example. 

    2.2.2: I believe the correct URL is “” (“” doesn’t resolve); applies also to 7.2

    p. 9

    3.1 (and relates to CVs on p. 15): I think it would be helpful to more explicitly explain the difference between a Supplement and a Reference relationship.  This relates to a DataCite blog post earlier this year (, that doesn’t answer this question per se,  nor does the DataCite Schema itself.  So I think more of an explanation is useful (even if just a brief phrase). (especially since researchers will say that they have data “supplemental” to a journal article that might actually qualify as a Reference). 

  • Wouter Haak's picture

    Author: Wouter Haak

    Date: 02 Jun, 2020

    Hi all, and specifically: thank you Katherine McNeill, 

    Please keep these comments coming! While this working group is very much in the implementation phase, we do occasionally call the community together to further refine the Scholix guidelines. Having these comments to do another iteration will improve our work even more. 

    Kind regards,

    Also on behalf of the other Scholix co-chairs. 

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