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Versions: (draft-vandesompel-identifier) 00

Network Working Group                                   H. Van de Sompel
Internet-Draft                            Los Alamos National Laboratory
Intended status: Informational                                 M. Nelson
Expires: April 7, 2018                           Old Dominion University
                                                               G. Bilder
                                                                Crossref
                                                                J. Kunze
                                              California Digital Library
                                                               S. Warner
                                                      Cornell University
                                                         October 4, 2017


   cite-as: A Link Relation to Convey a Preferred URI for Referencing
                      draft-vandesompel-citeas-00

Abstract

   This specification defines a link relation type that is intended to
   convey that a URI, other than the URI that provides a link with the
   relation type, is preferred for the purpose of referencing.

Note to Readers

   Please discuss this draft on the ART mailing list
   (<https://www.ietf.org/mailman/listinfo/art>).

Status of This Memo

   This Internet-Draft is submitted in full conformance with the
   provisions of BCP 78 and BCP 79.

   Internet-Drafts are working documents of the Internet Engineering
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   material or to cite them other than as "work in progress."

   This Internet-Draft will expire on April 7, 2018.








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Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2017 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the
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   described in the Simplified BSD License.

Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   2
   2.  Terminology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   3
   3.  Scenarios . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   3
     3.1.  Persistent Identifiers  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   3
     3.2.  Version Identifiers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   4
     3.3.  Preferred Social Identifier . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   5
     3.4.  Multi-Resource Publications . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   5
   4.  The "cite-as" Relation Type for Expressing a Preferred URI
       for the Purpose of Referencing  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   6
   5.  Distinction with Other Relation Types . . . . . . . . . . . .   6
   6.  Examples  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   8
     6.1.  Persistent HTTP URI . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   8
     6.2.  Preferred Profile URI . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   8
   7.  IANA Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   9
     7.1.  Link Relation Type: identifier  . . . . . . . . . . . . .   9
   8.  Security Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   9
   9.  References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  10
     9.1.  Normative References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  10
     9.2.  Informative References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  10
   Appendix A.  Acknowledgements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  12
   Authors' Addresses  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  12

1.  Introduction

   A web resource is routinely referenced (e.g. linked, bookmarked) by
   means of the URI where it is directly accessed.  But cases exist
   where referencing a resource by means of a different URI is
   preferred, for example because the latter URI is intended to be more
   persistent over time.  Currently, there is no link relation type to
   convey such alternative referencing preference; this specification




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   addresses this deficit by introducing a link relation type intended
   for that purpose.

2.  Terminology

   The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
   "SHOULD", "SHOULD NOT", "RECOMMENDED", "MAY", and "OPTIONAL" in this
   document are to be interpreted as described in RFC 2119 [RFC2119].

   This specification uses the terms "link context" and "link target" as
   defined in [I-D.nottingham-rfc5988bis].  These terms respectively
   correspond with "Context IRI" and "Target IRI" as used in [RFC5988].
   Although defined as IRIs, in common scenarios they are also URIs.

   Additionally, this specification uses the following terms:

   o  "access URI": A URI at which a user agent accesses a web resource.

   o  "reference URI": A URI, other than the access URI, that should
      preferentially be used for referencing.

   By interacting with the access URI, the user agent may discover typed
   links.  For such links, the access URI is the link context.

3.  Scenarios

3.1.  Persistent Identifiers

   Despite sound advice regarding the design of Cool URIs [CoolURIs],
   link rot ("HTTP 404 Not Found") is a common phenomena when following
   links on the web.  Certain communities of practice have introduced
   solutions to combat this problem that typically consist of:

   o  Accepting the reality that the web location of a resource - the
      access URI - may change over time.

   o  Minting an additional URI for the resource - the reference URI -
      that is specifically intended to remain persistent over time.

   o  Redirecting (typically "HTTP 301 Moved Permanently", "HTTP 302
      Found", or "HTTP 303 See Other") from the reference URI to the
      access URI.

   o  As a community, committing to adjust that redirection whenever the
      access URI changes over time.

   This approach is, for example, used by:




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   o  Scholarly publishers that use DOIs [DOIs] to identify articles and
      DOI URLs [DOI-URLs] as a means to keep cross-publisher article-to-
      article links operational, even when the journals in which the
      articles are published change hands from one publisher to another,
      for example, as a result of an acquisition.

   o  Authors of controlled vocabularies that use PURLs [PURLs] for
      vocabulary terms to ensure that the term URIs remain stable even
      if management of the vocabulary is transfered to a new custodian.

   o  A variety of organizations, including libraries, archives, and
      museums that assign ARK URLs [draft-kunze-ark-18] to information
      objects in order to support long-term access.

   In order for the investments in infrastructure involved in these
   approaches to pay off, and hence for links to effectively remain
   operational as intended, it is crucial that a resource be referenced
   by means of its reference URI.  However, the access URI is where a
   user agent actually accesses the resource (e.g., it is the URI in the
   browser's address bar).  As such, there is a considerable risk that
   the access URI instead of the reference URI is used for referencing
   [PIDs-must-be-used].

   The link relation type defined in this specification allows to convey
   to user agents that the reference URI is the preferred URI for
   referencing.  Applications such as bookmarking tools, citation
   managers, and webometrics applications can take this preference into
   account when recording a URI.

3.2.  Version Identifiers

   Resource versioning systems often use a naming approach whereby:

   o  the most recent version of a resource is at any time available at
      the same, generic URI

   o  each version of the resource - including the most recent one - has
      a distinct version URI.

   For example, Wikipedia uses generic URIs of the form
   <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Doe> and version URIs of the form
   <https://en.wikipedia.org/w/
   index.php?title=John_Doe&oldid=776253882>.

   While the current version of a resource is accessed at the generic
   URI, some versioning systems adhere to a policy that favors linking
   and referencing by means of the version URI that was minted for the
   current version.  To express this using the terminology of Section 2,



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   these policies intend that the generic URI is the access URI, and
   that the version URI is the reference URI.  These policies are
   informed by the understanding that the content at the generic URI is
   likely to evolve over time, and that accurate links or references
   should lead to the content as it was at the time of referencing.  To
   that end, Wikipedia's "Permanent link" and "Cite this page"
   functionalities promote the version URI, not the generic URI.

   The link relation type defined in this specification allows to convey
   to user agents that the version URI is preferred over the generic URI
   for referencing.

3.3.  Preferred Social Identifier

   A web user commonly has multiple profiles on the web, for example,
   one per social network she takes part in, a personal homepage, a
   professional homepage, a FOAF profile [FOAF], etc.  Each of these
   profiles is accessible at a distinct URI.  But the user may have a
   preference for one of those profiles, for example, because it is most
   complete, kept up-to-date, or expected to be long-lived.

   The link relation type defined in this specification allows to convey
   to user agents that a profile URI - the reference URI - other than
   the one the agent is accessing - the access URI - is preferred for
   referencing.

3.4.  Multi-Resource Publications

   When publishing on the web, it is not uncommon to make distinct
   components of a publication available as different web resources,
   each with their own URI.  For example:

   o  Contemporary scholarly publications routinely consists of a
      traditional article as well as additional materials that are
      considered an integral part of the publication such as
      supplementary information, high-resolution images, a video
      recording of an experiment.

   o  Scientific or governmental open data sets frequently consist of
      multiple files.

   o  Online books typically consist of multiple chapters.

   While each of these components are accessible at their distinct URI -
   the access URI - they often also share a URI assigned to the
   intellectual publication of which they are components - the reference
   URI.




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   The link relation type defined in this specification allows to convey
   to user agents that, for the purpose of referencing, the reference
   URI of the intellectual publication is preferred over an access URI
   of a component of the publication.

4.  The "cite-as" Relation Type for Expressing a Preferred URI for the
    Purpose of Referencing

   A link with the "cite-as" relation type indicates that the link
   target is preferred over the link context for the purpose of
   referencing.

   The link target of a "cite-as" link SHOULD support protocol-based
   access as a means to ensure that applications that store them can
   effectively re-use them for access.

   The link target of a "cite-as" link SHOULD provide the ability for a
   user agent to follow its nose back to the context of the link, e.g.
   by following redirects and/or links.  This helps a user agent to
   establish trust in the target URI.

   Because a link with the "cite-as" relation type expresses a preferred
   URI for the purpose of referencing, the access URI SHOULD only
   provide one link with that relation type.  If more than one "cite-as"
   link is provided, the user agent may decide to select one (e.g. an
   HTTP URI over a mailto URI), for example, based on the purpose that
   the reference URI will serve.

   Providing a link with the "cite-as" relation type does not prevent
   using the access URI for the purpose of referencing if such
   specificity is needed for the application at hand.  For example, in
   the case of scenario Section 3.4 the access URI is likely required
   for the purpose of annotating a specific component of an intellectual
   publication.  Yet, the annotation application may also want to
   appropriately include the reference URI in the annotation.

5.  Distinction with Other Relation Types

   The following existing IANA-registered relationships may intuitively
   resemble the relationship that "cite-as" is intended to convey, but
   are not appropriate for various reasons:

   o  "alternate" [RFC4287], used to link to an alternate version of the
      content at the link context, for example the same content with
      varying Content-Type (e.g., application/pdf vs. text/html) and/or
      Content-Language (e.g., en vs. fr).





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   o  "bookmark" [W3C.REC-html5-20151028], used to convey a permanent
      link to use for bookmarking purposes.

   o  "canonical" [RFC6596], used to identify content that is either
      duplicative or a superset of the content at the link context, for
      example a single page version of a magazine article, provided for
      indexing by search engines, of an article that is spread over
      several pages for human use.

   o  "duplicate" [RFC6249], used to link to a resource whose available
      representations are byte-for-byte identical with the corresponding
      representations of the link context, for example, an identical
      file on a mirror site.

   o  "related" [RFC4287], used to link to a related resource.

   A closer inspection of these candidates [identifier-blog] shows that
   they are not appropriate and that a new relation type is required.

   In the scenario of Section 3.1 there is no content available at the
   reference URI as it merely redirects to the access URI.  In the
   scenario of Section 3.3, the content at the reference URI is a
   profile that is different than the profile at the access URI.  In the
   scenario of Section 3.4 the content at the reference URI, if any,
   would typically be a sort of table of contents with links to
   component resources and possibly a summary.  These considerations
   exclude "alternate", "canonical", and "duplicate" as possible
   relation types.

   The meaning of "canonical" is commonly misunderstood on the basis of
   its brief definition as being "the preferred version of a resource."
   A more detailed reading of [RFC6596] clarifies that the intended
   meaning is preferred for the purpose of content indexing
   [canonical-blog].  In constrast, for "cite-as" it is preferred for
   the purpose of referencing.

   The intent of "bookmark" is closest to that of "cite-as" in that the
   link target of a link with the "bookmark" relation type is intended
   "to give a permanent link to use for for bookmarking purposes."
   However, for reasons related to its original intent [bookmark-blog],
   "bookmark" is specifically defined for use in conjunction with the
   HTML <article> element and is explictly excluded from use in the
   <link> element in HTML <head>.  Since a link in <link> and a link in
   the HTTP Link header are semantically equivalent, "bookmark" is also
   excluded from use in HTTP Link.






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   While "related" could be used, its semantics are too vague to convey
   the specific nature of "cite-as" as a means to convey a URI for the
   purpose of referencing.

6.  Examples

   Sections Section 6.1 and Section 6.2 show examples of the use of
   links with the "cite-as" relation type.  One example shows its use in
   a response header and body, the other in a response body only.

6.1.  Persistent HTTP URI

   If the access URI is a landing page for a scholarly article for which
   the persistent HTTP URI <http://persistence.example.org/738207472>
   was minted, then the response to an HTTP GET on the landing page's
   URI could be as shown in Figure 1.

HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Link: <http://persistence.example.org/738207472> ; rel="cite-as"
Content-Type: text/html;charset=utf-8

<html>
 <head>
 ...
  <link rel="cite-as" href="http://persistence.example.org/738207472" />
 ...
 </head>
 <body>
  ...
 </body>
</html>


    Figure 1: Response to HTTP GET on the URI of the landing page of a
                             scholarly article

6.2.  Preferred Profile URI

   If the access URI is the home page of John Doe, John can add a link
   with the "cite-as" relation type to it, as a means to convey that he
   would preferably be referenced by means of the URI of his FOAF
   profile.  Figure 2 shows the response to an HTTP GET on the URI of
   John's home page.








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HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Content-Type: text/html;charset=utf-8

<html>
 <head>
 ...
  <link rel="cite-as" href="http://johndoe.example.com/foaf" type="text/ttl"/>
 ...
 </head>
 <body>
  ...
 </body>
</html>


     Figure 2: Response to HTTP GET on the URI of John Doe's home page

7.  IANA Considerations

7.1.  Link Relation Type: identifier

   The link relation type below has been registered by IANA per
   Section 2.1.1 of [I-D.nottingham-rfc5988bis]:

      Relation Name: cite-as

      Description: A link with the "cite-as" relation type indicates
      that the link target is preferred over the link context for the
      purpose of referencing.

      Reference: [[ This document ]]

8.  Security Considerations

   In cases where there is no way for the agent to automatically verify
   the correctness of the reference URI (cf.  Section 4), out-of-band
   mechanisms might be required to establish trust.

   If a trusted site is compromised, the "cite-as" link relation could
   be used with malicious intent to supply misleading URIs for
   referencing.  Use of these links might direct user agents to an
   attacker's site, break the referencing record they are intended to
   support, or corrupt algorithmic interpretation of referencing data.








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9.  References

9.1.  Normative References

   [I-D.nottingham-rfc5988bis]
              Nottingham, M., "Web Linking", draft-nottingham-
              rfc5988bis-08 (work in progress), August 2017.

   [RFC2119]  Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate
              Requirement Levels", BCP 14, RFC 2119,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC2119, March 1997,
              <https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc2119>.

   [RFC4287]  Nottingham, M., Ed. and R. Sayre, Ed., "The Atom
              Syndication Format", RFC 4287, DOI 10.17487/RFC4287,
              December 2005, <https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc4287>.

   [RFC5988]  Nottingham, M., "Web Linking", RFC 5988,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC5988, October 2010,
              <https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc5988>.

   [RFC6249]  Bryan, A., McNab, N., Tsujikawa, T., Poeml, P., and H.
              Nordstrom, "Metalink/HTTP: Mirrors and Hashes", RFC 6249,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC6249, June 2011,
              <https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc6249>.

   [RFC6596]  Ohye, M. and J. Kupke, "The Canonical Link Relation",
              RFC 6596, DOI 10.17487/RFC6596, April 2012,
              <https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc6596>.

   [W3C.REC-html5-20151028]
              Hickson, I., Berjon, R., Faulkner, S., Leithead, T., Doyle
              Navara, E., O'Connor, E., and S. Pfeiffer, "HTML5", World
              Wide Web Consortium Recommendation REC-HTML5-20141028,
              October 2014,
              <https://www.w3.org/TR/2014/REC-html5-20141028/>.

9.2.  Informative References

   [bookmark-blog]
              Nelson, M. and H. Van de Sompel, "rel=bookmark also does
              not mean what you think it means", August 2017,
              <http://ws-dl.blogspot.com/2017/08/2017-08-26-relbookmark-
              also-does-not.html>.







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   [canonical-blog]
              Nelson, M. and H. Van de Sompel, "rel=canonical does not
              mean what you think it means", August 2017, <http://ws-
              dl.blogspot.nl/2017/08/2017-08-07-relcanonical-does-not-
              mean.html>.

   [CoolURIs]
              Berners-Lee, T., "Cool URIs don't change", World Wide Web
              Consortium Style, 1998,
              <https://www.w3.org/Provider/Style/URI.html>.

   [DOI-URLs]
              Hendricks, G., "Display guidelines for Crossref DOIs",
              June 2017,
              <https://blog.crossref.org/display-guidelines/>.

   [DOIs]     "Information and documentation - Digital object identifier
              system", ISO 26324:2012(en), 2012,
              <https://www.iso.org/obp/
              ui/#iso:std:iso:26324:ed-1:v1:en>.

   [draft-kunze-ark-18]
              Kunze, J. and R. Rodgers, "The ARK Identifier Scheme",
              Internet Draft draft-kunze-ark-18, April 2013,
              <https://datatracker.ietf.org/doc/html/draft-kunze-ark>.

   [FOAF]     Brickley, D. and L. Miller, "FOAF Vocabulary Specification
              0.99", January 2014, <http://xmlns.com/foaf/spec/>.

   [identifier-blog]
              Nelson, M. and H. Van de Sompel, "Linking to Persistent
              Identifiers with rel=identifier", July 2016, <http://ws-
              dl.blogspot.com/2016/11/2016-11-07-linking-to-
              persistent.html>.

   [PIDs-must-be-used]
              Van de Sompel, H., Klein, M., and S. Jones, "Persistent
              URIs Must Be Used To Be Persistent", February 2016,
              <https://arxiv.org/abs/1602.09102>.

   [PURLs]    "Persistent uniform resource locator", April 2017,
              <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
              Persistent_uniform_resource_locator>.








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Appendix A.  Acknowledgements

   Thanks for comments and suggestions provided by Martin Klein, Harihar
   Shankar, Peter Williams, John Howard, Mark Nottingham.

Authors' Addresses

   Herbert Van de Sompel
   Los Alamos National Laboratory

   Email: herbertv@lanl.gov
   URI:   http://public.lanl.gov/herbertv/


   Michael Nelson
   Old Dominion University

   Email: mln@cs.odu.edu
   URI:   http://www.cs.odu.edu/~mln/


   Geoffrey Bilder
   Crossref

   Email: gbilder@crossref.org
   URI:   https://www.crossref.org/authors/geoffrey-bilder/


   John Kunze
   California Digital Library

   Email: jak@ucop.edu
   URI:   http://www.cdlib.org/contact/staff_directory/jkunze.html


   Simeon Warner
   Cornell University

   Email: simeon.warner@cornell.edu
   URI:   https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7970-7855











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