Visual-Meta

 

 

 

Visual-Meta is a method of including meta-information about the document and its contents visibly in the document, as a human and machine readable appendix.

 

 

Enables Scholarly Copy

 

Visual-Meta enables Scholarly Copy by providing a transparently easy way to add full metadata to documents (initially PDF). Proof-of-concept implementations are Liquid | Author and Liquid | Reader as shown here in a 45 second demo: youtube.com/watch?v=yW52mC50x5g

 

 

Not Yet-Another-Standard-Proposal

 

This is not a new format, this is a novel use and extension of the academic-standard BibTeX format.

 

 

Robust

 

As listed below, in the Key Benefits section, Visual-Meta provides robustness and increased usability of meta information.

 

 

ACM Hypertext 2019 Visual-Meta Presentation

 

 

 

Exceptionally Easy To Implement in Current Systems

 

The Visual-Meta is wrapped in the BibTeX format ( so much so that even a simple copy of BibTeX from a download site will comply). It has three logical sections of Citation information, Addressing Information, Formatting information and Provenance information. Usually the page with Visual-Meta has the text 'Visual-Meta' in the normal top level heading as the main document, but this is for elegance only, it is not technically necessary. the actual Visual-Meta starts with @{visual-meta-start} and ends with @{visual-meta-end} where the closing tag is crucial since the document will be parsed back to front for efficiency (since the Visual-Meta is appended to the end of the document).

 

 

  • Citation Information

 

This is what the Visual-Meta for the Visual-Meta ACM article looks like. Please note, font and size does not matter:

 

author = {Hegland, Frode},

title = {Visual-Meta: An Approach to Surfacing Metadata},

booktitle = {Proceedings of the 2Nd International Workshop on Human Factors in Hypertext}, series = {HUMAN '19},

year = {2019},

isbn = {978-1-4503-6899-5},

location = {Hof, Germany},

pages = {31--33},

numpages = {3},

url = {http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/3345509.3349281},

doi = {10.1145/3345509.3349281},

acmid = {3349281},

publisher = {ACM},

address = {New York, NY, USA},

keywords = {archiving, bibtex citing, citations, engelbart, future, glossary, hypertext, meta,

metadata, ohs, pdf, rfc, text}, }

@{visual-meta-end}

 

 

  • Addressing Information

 

Addressing information (shown as currently implemented in the Citation section above) will be the usual citation information and will have scope to be augmented with high resolution linking to web pages, blogs in particular and in-PDF sections and robust multi-addressing. This is ongoing work.

 

 

  • Formatting Information

 

The formatting specification is implemented as custom fields, which can include anything the authoring software can describe, for extraction into interactive systems:

 

formatting = { heading level 1 = {Helvetica, 22pt, bold}, heading level 2 = {Helvetica, 18, bold}, body = {Times, 12pt}, image captions = {‘Times, l4, italic, align centre} },

 

citations = { inline = {superscript number}, section name = {References}, section format = {author last name, author first name, title, date, place, publisher} },

 

glossary = { term = {Name of glossary term}, definition = {freeform definition text}, relates to = {relationship – “other term”},  term = {Name of glossary term number two}, definition = {freeform definition text}, relates to = {relationship – “other term”}, },

 

special = { name = {DynamicView}, node= {nodcname, location, connections} }

 

 

  • Provenance

 

The ‘version’ field is the version of Visible-Meta, the ‘generator’ is what added the Visual-Meta to the document and the ‘source’ is where the data comes from, particularly to be used if appended to a legacy document:

 

visible-meta = { version = {1.1}, generator = {Liquid | Author 4.6}, source = {Scholarcy, 2019,08,01} }

 

 

Sample Full Visual-Meta

 

Full Visual-Meta co-designed with Jakob Voß at github.com/nichtich/visual-meta

 

@article{Engelbart1962,

author = {Douglas Carl Engelbart},

title = {AUGMENTING HUMAN INTELLECT – A Conceptual Framework},

month = jul, year = {1962}, institution = {SR1},

document = {augmentinghu_douglas_engelbart_19621021231532_6396.pdf},

formatting = { heading level 1 = {Helvetica, 22pt, bold}, heading level 2 = {Helvetica, 18, bold}, body = {Times, 12pt}, image captions = {‘Times, l4, italic, align centre} },

citations = { inline = {superscript number}, section name = {References}, section format = {author last name, author first name, title, date, place, publisher} },

glossary = { term = {Name of glossary term}, definition = {freeform definition text}, relates to = {relationship – “other term”},  term = {Name of glossary term number two}, definition = {freeform definition text}, relates to = {relationship – “other term”}, },

special = { name = {DynamicView}, node= {nodcname, location, connections} },

visible-meta = { version = {1.1}, generator = {Liquid | Author 4.6}, source = {Scholarcy, 2019,08,01} }

}

 

Key Benefits : Why Visual Vs Embedded

 

  • Adds rich metadata for citing, addressing, provenance and formatting of included elements such as description of how to parse tables, images and special interactions such as graphs, for dynamic re-creation by reader software
  • Advanced Meta embedded in the document header is not directly accessible by end user
  • Easy to Add & Extract. A common complaint about embedded meta is that there is no standard beyond the basics (which are not often employed) and is therefore near-impossible to use at scale. Being based on BibTeX means that a simple copy and paste will add significant added, useful meta
  • Self-explaining standard which requires no technical expertise to add
  • End-User immediate benefit for adding Visual-Meta. End-users who add Visual-Meta to their own or legacy PDFs have the immediate benefit of Scholarly Copy and not being locked into a Reference Manager, making Visual-Meta more adoptable than trying to establish a new header-meta standard.
  • Robust:
    • Can survive document format change
    • Can survive printing out and scanning and OCR and nothing is lost
    • All supported meta can survive document format and operating system updates without becoming unreadable
  • Trivially easy for a human reader to verify
  • Trivially easy to append to legacy documents and to strip if not desired anymore
  • Can handle large amounts of formatting information for reader software to use to reformat and re-present the document as well as provide rich interactions

 

 

Further Meta

 

The full description is on the blog: wordpress.liquid.info/visual-meta and further information at: Visible-Meta Example & Structure. Full source code will be made available here. Addressing is discussed at wordpress.liquid.info/10/scholarly-copy-addressing-clipboard/frode/ and

 

 

‘This is a very important concept’
Vint Cerf