JATS and Linked Data

The primary purpose of JATS is to support journal article markup for production, interchange, and archiving of the complete text of articles, with the associated metadata necessary to support those activities. Therefore, JATS is not defined in an RDF-enabled way. In addition, JATS is a descriptive rather than a prescriptive standard, so it does not mandate a way to make ontological or linked-data connections. Nevertheless, the JATS Suite provides several tagging constructs that are useful in making a JATS document as RDF-friendly as is practical in an application specifically designed for full text document production:
  • Every element in JATS has either an optional or a required attribute of type ID. These attributes were added to enable document creators to provide URIs at any level they choose in the document. These IDs can be used to make the document, or a portion of the document at any level of specificity, directly addressable.
  • Every element in JATS can take an @xml:base attribute. This attribute provides a base URI for identifiers within the XML document. While this mechanism provides an inward-facing linkability rather than a pointer to an external ontology, @xml:base can be used to support link-bases into the XML and external semantic interpretations layered over the XML.
  • There is also an easy mechanism to add RDF-a attributes (or any other attributes) to every JATS element. The JATS DTDs provide two parameter entities (%jats-common-atts; and %jats-common-atts-id-required;) that can be used to add any attributes a user may prefer to all of the elements in the Tag Suite (except those out of our control, such as MathML elements). These are the two parameter entities that give each JATS element an ID and an @xml:base. Among current JATS users, these parameter entities have been used to add RDF-a attributes to each element in a JATS document collections.