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NSF / NSDL Workshop : Scientific Markup Languages Workshop Report FINAL REPORT

Laura M. Bartolo,Timothy W. Cole,Sarah Giersch,Michael Wright.

mercredi 8 février 2006, par anass


This report summarizes a workshop on scientific markup languages (MLs), sponsored by the National Science Foundation, June 14-15, 2004. The workshop goals were to assess and document scientific disciplines’ work on markup languages and to begin to articulate a vision for the future evolution and implementation of markup languages in support of a cyberinfrastructure for research and education, with a particular focus on using markup languages in the context of the National Science Digital Library (NSDL).

The workshop opened with presentations that 1) provided a framework for the workshop discussions about scientific markup languages as they relate to the broader development of a knowledge infrastructure (e.g., the semantic web) and that 2) suggested that there is an ongoing tension between static data exchange standards and the dynamic nature of science, science research and scientific data. Presentations on the current state of scientific MLs as used in four specific scientific domains (chemistry, earth sciences, materials sciences and mathematics) highlighted the idea that for MLs to move forward in a discipline, adoption and development must occur among communities of scientists, publishers and vendors, and end-users simultaneously.

Cross-domain discussions around topics (Education, Markup Languages, Publishers / Professional Societies, and Database / tool developers) identified several cross-cutting themes and recommendations :

Theme A : Vision. Motivating the development of markup languages that are built on XML is the belief that by providing a means to exchange information, or data, in a structured form that colleagues across scientific domains can read, understand and use, scientific research and discovery can be moved forward. Through common interoperability mechanisms, NSDL supports the exchange of information between the sciences and provides a framework for markup languages to be extended even further as they are tested and applied in science education settings. Recommendation 1 : NSDL should play a central role in organizing cross-domain work on markup languages Recommendation 2 : Continue support for cross-domain community interaction

Theme B : Demonstrating the value of markup languages. Despite the potential to benefit several science and research applications, markup languages’ value in those contexts remains unproven. Their broadest implementation to date occurs in processes that are virtually invisible to most users. Recommendation 3 : Support assessing the potential benefits of markup languages

Theme C : Creating & disseminating the pre-requisite tools. Better tools, both technically and in the form of broader, more robust ontologies, would facilitate and speed the adoption of scientific markup languages. Recommendation 4 : Conduct an environmental scan of scientific markup language tols and ontologies Recommendation 5 : Support applied research to produce needed tools and ontologies

Theme D : Mediation of markup languages. “Mediation” covers the concept of tools and services that provide a translation interface between representations in different markup languages, or that provide access to information in a single markup language to a wide variety of users. Recommendation 6 : Support research on mediation services and tools between markup languages Recommendation 7 : Support research on services and tools that mediate between markup languages and end users in education Recommendation 8 : Work with appropriate organizations to encourage to conclusion the development of UnitsML.

Theme E : Identifying challenges to maturation of markup languages. There are cultural and market-related challenges to sustaining an attenuated consensus-building process around scientific markup languages. Recommendation 9 : Support the next stage of scientific markup language standardization and implementation Recommendation 10 : Fund targeted needs assessments to identify audience(s) for scientific markup languages

Specific actions items from the workshop include :

�� Continuing the workshop listserv to support ongoing cross-domain discussions �� Develop a registry of scientific markup languages �� Plan a follow-on workshop in 2005

Source :National Science Digital Library(NSDL).Juin2004. Auteurs :Laura M. Bartolo,Timothy W. Cole,Sarah Giersch,Michael Wright.

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