22 June 2021, London, UK and Boston, MA, USA — The future of global open access publishing received a boost today with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) and Crossref. The MOU formalizes an already strong partnership between the two organisations and furthers their shared pursuit of an open scholarly communications ecosystem that is inclusive of emerging publishing communities.
Both organisations aim to encourage the dissemination and use of scholarly research using open infrastructure, online technologies, regional and international networks, and community partners - all supporting local institutional capacity and sustainability around the world.
To date, we have collected around 740 million events from 12 different source since we launched our Event Data service service in 2017. Each event is an online mention of the research associated with a DOI, either via the DOI directly or using the associated URL. However, we know that there is much more out there. Because of this, we would like to explore where we could expand.
We invite proposals to conduct a gap analysis for Event Data sources, looking at what we currently collect and seeing what more could be added.
We are delighted to announce the formation of a new Advisory Group to support us in improving preprint metadata. Preprints have grown in popularity over the last few years, with increasing focus brought by the need to rapidly disseminate knowledge in the midst of a global pandemic. We have supported metadata deposits for preprints under the content type ‘posted content’ since 2016, and members currently register a total of around 17,000 new preprints metadata records each month.
It is time to put the ‘R’ back into R&D.
The Crossref R&D team was originally created to focus on the kinds of research projects that have allowed Crossref to make transformational technology changes, launch innovative new services, and engage with entirely new constituencies. Some Illustrious projects that had their origins in the R&D group include:
DOI Content Negotiation Similarity Check (originally CrossCheck) ORCID (originally Author DOIs) Crossmark The Open Funder Registry The Crossref REST API Linked Clinical Trials Event Data Grant registration ROR And for each project that has graduated, there have been several that have not.
You need to be a member of Crossref in order to get your Crossref prefix and register your content with us. Membership of Crossref is about more than just registering DOIs - find out more on our membership page. You can apply to join there too.
After you’ve applied for membership and paid your pro-rated membership fee for the remainder of the current year, we set you up with your own Crossref DOI prefix. We also help you set up the Crossref account credentials that you’ll use to access our systems and register your content.
There are three key steps to getting started, and you can even start step one before you’ve received your new prefix and credentials.
In order to get working DOIs for your content and share your metadata with the scholarly ecosystem, you need to register your content with Crossref.
Your metadata is stored with us as XML. Some members send us XML files directly, but if you’re not familiar with writing XML files, you can use a helper tool instead. There are three helper tools available - these are online forms with different fields for you to complete, and this information is converted to XML and deposited with Crossref for you.
A big decision to make as a new member is which of our content registration methods to use.
A DOI has several sections, including a prefix and a suffix. A DOI will always follow this structure:
https://0-doi-org.lib.rivier.edu/[your prefix]/[a suffix of your choice]
We provide you with your prefix, but you decide what’s in the suffix for each of your DOIs when you register them with us. Your DOIs will look something like this:
If you use the Crossref XML plugin for OJS, they can provide suffixes for you by default, but otherwise you’ll need to decide on your own suffix pattern. It’s important to keep this opaque.
As a DOI is a persistent identifier, the DOI string can’t be changed after it’s been registered. It’s therefore important that your DOI string is opaque and doesn’t include any human-readable information. This means that the suffix should just be a random collection of characters. It should not include any information about the work that could be changed in the future, to avoid a difference between the information in the DOI string, and the information in the metadata.
For example, 10.5555/njevzkkwu4i7g is opaque (and correct), but 10.5555/ogs.2016.59.1.1 is not opaque (and not correct); it encodes information about the publication name and date which may change in the future and become confusing or misleading. So don’t include information such as publication name initials, date, ISSN, issue, or page numbers in your suffix string.
a) Set the password on your Crossref account credentials
You’ll need a set of Crossref account credentials to access our content registration tools. We’ll send you an email so you can set your password.
b) Register your content
You should assign Crossref DOIs to anything that’s likely to be cited in the scholarly literature - journals and journal articles, books and book chapters, conference proceedings and papers, reports, working papers, standards, dissertations, datasets, and preprints.
Because DOIs are designed to be persistent, a DOI string can’t be changed once registered, and DOIs can’t be fully deleted. You can always update the metadata associated with a DOI, but the DOI string itself can’t change, and once it’s been registered, it will be included in your next content registration invoice. It’s important that you only register a DOI that you definitely want to use.
Working with Crossref is about more than just DOIs. When you register content with us, you do register the DOI and the resolution URL, but you also register a comprehensive set of metadata - rich information about the content. This metadata is then distributed widely and used by many different services throughout the scholarly community, helping with discoverability of your content.
Content registration instructions for helper tools:
When you register your content, you’ll receive a message telling you whether your submission has been successful, or whether there are any problems. If there are problems, your DOI may not be live so do check this message carefully.
Our support team is available to help if you have any problems, and you may find help from others in our community on our Crossref Forum. We also run regular “Ask Me Anything” webinars for new members - learn more about our webinars and register to attend.
What happens next?
Once you’ve started registering your content with Crossref and displaying your DOIs on your landing pages, it doesn’t stop there. After you first join, we send you a series of onboarding emails to help you through the next stages. If you want to get started straight away, here are the next steps.
Link your references: Be sure to link your references by adding the DOIs of other members against relevant content on your reference lists.
Participate in more Crossref services: There are other services available. Many members participate in Similarity Check (a cost-effective and user-friendly tool to help detect plagiarism) and Cited-by (which gives you full access to citations, helping you to build a picture of how research has been received by the community). Both Similarity Check and Cited-by require deposit of additional metadata fields.
Register even richer metadata: Richer metadata makes your content even more discoverable: include not just bibliographic information, but also funding data, ORCID iDs, license information, abstracts, clinical trial numbers, references, and full-text links.
Steward your metadata for the long term: The persistence of your DOIs and metadata relies on your continued care. Update your resource resolution URLs if your content moves. Keep the community informed about updates, corrections, or retractions using Crossmark.