The Initiative for Open Citations I4OC is a collaboration between scholarly publishers, researchers, and other interested parties to promote the unrestricted availability of scholarly citation data.

An initiative to open up citation data

The aim of this initiative is to promote the availability of data on citations that are structuredseparable, and open.

Structured means the data representing each publication and each citation instance are expressed in common, machine-readable formats, and that these data can be accessed programmatically. Separable means the citation instances can be accessed and analyzed without the need to access the source bibliographic products (such as journal articles and books) in which the citations are created. Open means the data are freely accessible and reusable.

Key benefits of achieving this aim include:

  • The establishment of a global public web of linked scholarly citation data to enhance the discoverability of published content, both subscription access and open access. This will particularly benefit individuals who are not members of academic institutions with subscriptions to commercial citation databases.
  • The ability to build new services over the open citation data, for the benefit of publishers, researchers, funding agencies, academic institutions and the general public, as well as enhancing existing services.
  • The creation of a public citation graph to explore connections between knowledge fields, and to follow the evolution of ideas and scholarly disciplines.

Reference distribution

Many publishers currently deposit reference lists from their journal articles to Crossref as part of their participation in Crossref’s Cited-by service. To open their references, along with the other bibliographic metadata that publishers send to Crossref, publishers need to turn on reference distribution for all of the Digital Object Identifier (DOI) prefixes they manage. This step allows references within the Crossref members’ articles to be distributed without restriction through all of Crossref's Metadata Delivery services, including the REST API and bulk metadata dumps, to any interested party. See below for additional information on reference distribution and on how to participate in Crossref’s Cited-by service.

Our Policy

Our journal is committed to the principles of open science and the promotion of transparency in scholarly research. As such, we support the Initiative for Open Citations (I4OC) and its efforts to make bibliographic and citation information in scholarly research articles more openly available.

To align with the goals and principles of I4OC, our journal will adopt the following practices:

  • We will make all bibliographic and citation information in our published articles available under a Creative Commons public domain dedication, to ensure that it can be freely used and reused by anyone.
  • We will use standardized formats and structures for bibliographic and citation information, such as the Citation Style Language (CSL) provided by CrossrefMendeley, and Zotero to facilitate its integration into other systems and tools.
  • We will provide access to bibliographic and citation information through APIs and other means, to enable its integration into other systems and tools.
  • We will encourage our authors to include complete and accurate bibliographic and citation information in their manuscripts, and to follow best practices for open citations as outlined by I4OC.

By adopting these practices, we hope to contribute to the transparency and accessibility of scholarly research, and to facilitate the use and reuse of citation information in new and innovative ways.