This blog post is from Lettie Conrad and Michelle Urberg, cross-posted from the The Scholarly Kitchen.
As sponsors of this project, we at Crossref are excited to see this work shared out.
The scholarly publishing community talks a LOT about metadata and the need for high-quality, interoperable, and machine-readable descriptors of the content we disseminate. However, as we’ve reflected on previously in the Kitchen, despite well-established information standards (e.g., persistent identifiers), our industry lacks a shared framework to measure the value and impact of the metadata we produce.
When Crossref began over 20 years ago, our members were primarily from the United States and Western Europe, but for several years our membership has been more global and diverse, growing to almost 18,000 organizations around the world, representing 148 countries.
As we continue to grow, finding ways to help organizations participate in Crossref is an important part of our mission and approach. Our goal of creating the Research Nexus—a rich and reusable open network of relationships connecting research organizations, people, things, and actions; a scholarly record that the global community can build on forever, for the benefit of society—can only be achieved by ensuring that participation in Crossref is accessible to all.
In August 2022, the United States Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) issued a memo (PDF) on ensuring free, immediate, and equitable access to federally funded research (a.k.a. the “Nelson memo”). Crossref is particularly interested in and relevant for the areas of this guidance that cover metadata and persistent identifiers—and the infrastructure and services that make them useful.
Funding bodies worldwide are increasingly involved in research infrastructure for dissemination and discovery.
Preprints have become an important tool for rapidly communicating and iterating on research outputs. There is now a range of preprint servers, some subject-specific, some based on a particular geographical area, and others linked to publishers or individual journals in addition to generalist platforms. In 2016 the Crossref schema started to support preprints and since then the number of metadata records has grown to around 16,000 new preprint DOIs per month.
We aim to fix that. Crossref and Wikimedia are launching a new initiative to better integrate scholarly literature in the world’s largest public knowledge space, Wikipedia.
This work will help promote standard links to scholarly references within Wikipedia, which persist over time by ensuring consistent use of DOIs and other citation identifiers in Wikipedia references. Crossref will support the development and maintenance of Wikipedia’s citation tools on Wikipedia. This work will include bug fixes and performance improvements for existing tools, extending the tools to enable Wikipedia contributors to more easily look up and insert DOIs, and providing a “linkback” mechanism that alerts relevant parties when a persistent identifier is used in a Wikipedia reference.
In addition, Crossref is creating the role of Wikimedia Ambassador (modeled after Wikimedian-in-Residence) to act as liaison with the Wikimedia community, promote use of scholarly references on Wikipedia, and educate about DOIs and other scholarly identifiers (ORCIDs, PubMed IDs, DataCite DOIs, etc) across Wikimedia projects.
Starting today, Crossref will be working with Daniel Mietchen to coordinate Crossref’s Wikimedia-related activities. Daniel’s team will be composed of Max Klein and Matt Senate, who will work to enhance Wikimedia citation tools, and will share the role of Wikipedia ambassador with Dorothy Howard.
Since the beginnings of Wikipedia, Daniel Mietchen has worked to integrate scholarly content into Wikimedia projects. He is part of an impressive community of active Wikipedians and developers who have worked extensively on linking Wikipedia articles to the formal literature and other scholarly resources. We’ve been talking to him about this project for nearly a year, and are happy to finally get it off the ground.
]7 Matt, Max and Daniel at #wikimania2014. Photo by Dorothy.