Reference managers are tools that help building a database of the relevant literature for a researcher or student, and for inserting citations and the bibliography into a manuscript. Import and export of these references is important, and BibTex and RIS are the most commonly used file formats. Reference management increasingly is happening in an online environment, sometimes requiring different file formats or additional information, e.g. all recent publications by a specific author or specific institution. Commonmeta can help to facilitate this.
Citation Style Language (CSL (opens in a new tab)) is the standard Open Source framework for generating formatted citations and bibliographies, with over 10,000 citation styles supported and integrations into many tools and services. CSL uses its own metadata format (CSL-JSON), so metadata in other formats first have to be converted. Because of its focus on formatted citations, CSL-JSON lacks support for some features commonly found in scholarly metadata, e.g. persistent identifiers for people and organizations, or funding information.
The other big issue with formatted citations is that they don't work very well as input format (because of the large number of available citation styles, DOIs not included in many citation styles, and citation styles typically not indicating the content type such as dataset). This is a huge problem with journal manuscripts submitted via manuscript submission systems. The two common workarounds – requiring a specific citation style, and turning the formatted citations back into structured metadata using lots of human and/or compute resources – are not good solutions. The simplest solution is to include identifiers in the formatted citation, prefereably a DOI or other persistent identifier, or alternatively a URL. Commonmeta-based tools and can help in this workflow.
DOI Content Negotiation
Many scholarly resources (more than 150 million) use DOIs as persistent identifiers. These DOIs have standardized metadata, at least per DOI Registration Agency (Crossref, DataCite, etc.). DOI Content Negotiation is a standard mechanism to obtain these metadata in a variety of formats, and Commonmeta can help simplify this format conversion.
Metadata for software can be expressed in a variety of formats, including the emerging new formats
cff. Commonmeta can help simplify metadata conversions for software, e.g. to more generic
bibtex or as formatted