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.
TL;DR One of the things that makes me glad to work at Crossref is the principles to which we hold ourselves, and the most public and measurable of those must be the Principles of Open Scholarly Infrastructure, or POSI, for short. These ambitions lay out how we want to operate - to be open in our governance, in our membership and also in our source code and data. And it’s that openness of source code that’s the reason for my post today - on 26th September 2022, our first collaboration with the JSON Forms open-source project was released into the wild.
Ans: metadata and services are all underpinned by POSI.
Leading into a blog post with a question always makes my brain jump ahead to answer that question with the simplest answer possible. I was a nightmare English Literature student. ‘Was Macbeth purely a villain?’ ‘No’. *leaves exam*
Just like not giving one-word answers to exam questions, playing our role in the integrity of the scholarly record and helping our members enhance theirs takes thought, explanation, transparency, and work.
Funders are joining Crossref to register their grants so that they can more easily and accurately track the outputs connected to the research they support.
Once you’re a member, registering grants with us means giving us information about each awarded grant, including a DOI which uniquely and persistently identifies each record. At the moment just direct XML deposit methods is supported but we’re working on a manual form to deposit and update grant metadata. This section focuses on grants, but research funders can also register other content types such as reports, data, and working papers.
Something to consider before you begin
Decide which grants to register first, as you get into the swing of things. For example, pilot a particular country, or area of support. It’s better to start with newly-awarded grants, and then move on to older or long-running awards - these are cheaper to register, and are more likely to have produced research papers, so they’re great for demonstrating the full potential of connected research metadata.
Constructing your identifiers (DOIs)
A DOI is made up of a DOI resolver, a prefix, and a suffix. When you join Crossref as a member, we give you a DOI prefix. You combine this with a suffix of your choice to create a DOI. Although some funders choose to use their internal grant identifier as the DOI suffix, we advise you to make your suffix opaque, meaning that it does not encode or describe any information about the work. Your DOI becomes active once it is successfully registered with us. Read more about constructing your DOIs.
Should a grant move to a new landing page, the URL in the grant’s metadata is updated to point to the new location. There’s no charge to update metadata for existing deposits.
Formatting grant metadata for registration
Grants can be registered for all sorts of support provided to a research group or individual, such as awards, use of facilities, sponsorship, training, or salary awards.
Here’s the section of our schema for grant metadata. If you’re working with a third-party system, such as Proposal Central or EuroPMC, they may be able to help with this piece of work.
You may be able to map your own data and identifiers to our schema. See our example deposit file - this is a full example, and many of the fields it contains are optional, but we encourage you to provide as much information as you can. Rich metadata helps maximum reuse of the grant records you register with Crossref. This .xsd file helps explain what goes into each field, and the parameters (length, format) of what is accepted in each field. Here’s a less techy version.
When you’ve created your XML files, use our checker to test them - this will show any potential errors with your files. For help with resolving problems, send your XML file and the error message to Support.
Uploading your files to Crossref
Once you’re happy with your files, upload them to us using the admin tool, or submit them through HTTPS POST.
Let your grant submission systems, awardees, and other parties know you are supporting Crossref grant identifiers, and that they should start collecting these identifiers too. Crossref grant metadata (including grant DOIs) is made openly available through our APIs, so it can be used by third parties (including publishers, grant tracking systems) to link grants to related research outputs.
Page owner: Rachael Lammey | Last updated 2020-April-08