Crossref began its service by linking publications to other publications via references. Today, this extends to relationships with associated entities. People (authors, reviewers, editors, other collaborators), funders, and research affiliations are important players in this story. Other metadata also figure prominently in it as well: references, licenses and access indicators, publication history (updates, revisions, corrections, retractions, publication dates), clinical trial and study information, etc. The list goes on.
What is lesser known (and utilized) is that Crossref is increasingly linking publications to associated scholarly artifacts.
TL;DR… In a few weeks, publishers can upgrade to the new and improved Crossmark 2.0 including a mobile-friendly pop-up box and new button. We will provide a new snippet of code for your landing pages, and we’ll support version v1.5 until March 2017.
We recently revealed a new look for the Crossmark box, bringing it up-to-date in design and offering extra space for more metadata. The new box pulls all of a publication’s Crossmark metadata into the same space, so readers no longer have to click between tabs.
If you ever see me in the checkout line at some store do not ever get in the line I’m in. It is always the absolute slowest.
Crossref’s metadata system has a sort of checkout line, when members send in their data they got processed essentially in a first come first served basis. It’s called the deposit queue. We had controls to prevent anyone from monopolizing the queue and ways to jump forward in the queue but our primary goal was to give everyone a fair shot at getting processed as soon as possible.
Rallying the community is a key Crossref role. Sometimes this means collaborating on new initiatives but it is also an ongoing process, a cornerstone of our outreach efforts. Part of rallying the community is bringing people together, literally, in a series of outreach days around the globe. It means we encourage dialog with us and among members and non-publisher affiliates. We want to hear from the community and we hope to facilitate conversations in it.
We now have linked clinical trials deposits coming in from five publishers: BioMedCentral, BMJ, Elsevier, National Institute for Health Research and PLOS. It’s still a relatively small pool of metadata - around 4000 DOIs with associated clinical trial numbers - but we’re delighted to see that “threads” of publications are already starting to form.
If you look at this article in The Lancet and click on the Crossmark button you will see that in the Clinical Trials section there are links to three other articles reporting on the same trial: two from the American Heart Journal and one from BMJ’s Heart.
Known unknowns If you follow this blog, you are going to notice a theme over the coming months- Crossref supports the deposit and distribution of a lot more kinds of metadata than people usually realise.
We are in the process of completely revamping our web site, help documentation, and marketing to better promote our metadata distribution capabilities, but in the mean time we think it would be useful highlight one of our most under-promoted functions- the ability to distribute references via Crossref.
The act of registering a DOI (Digital Object Identifier) for scholarly content is sometimes conflated with the notion of conferring a seal of approval or other mark of good quality upon an item of content. This is a fundamental misunderstanding.
A DOI is a tool, not a badge of honor.
The presence of a Crossref DOI on content sends a signal that:
The owner of the content would like to be formally cited if the content is used in a scholarly context.
I had a great chat with Danielle Padula of Scholastica, a journals _platform with an integrated peer-review process that was founded in 2011. We talked about how journals get started with Crossref, and she turned our conversation into a blog post that describes the steps to begin registering content and depositing metadata with us. Since the result is a really useful description of our new member on-boarding process, I want to share it with you here as well.
I’m a co-founder with rOpenSci, a non-profit that focuses on making software to facilitate reproducible and open science. Back in 2013 we started to make an R client working with various Crossref web services. I was lucky enough to attend last year’s Crossref annual meeting in Boston, and gave one talk on details of the programmatic clients, and another higher level talk on text mining and use of metadata for research.
What happens to a research work outside of the formal literature? That’s what Event Data will aim to answer when the service launches later this year.
Following the successful DOI Event Tracker pilot in Spring 2014, development has been underway to build our new service, newly re-named Crossref Event Data. It’s an open data service that registers online activity (specifically, events) associated with Crossref metadata. Event Data will collect and store a record of any activity surrounding a research work from a defined set of web sources.