You need to be a member of the Crossref organization in order to get a DOI prefix so you can create Crossref DOIs and register content. Becoming a member of Crossref means joining a community of over 13,000 organizations from 139 countries who want to share research outputs through metadata and persistent identifiers.
Membership of Crossref is open to all organizations who publish scholarly content - you could be a research institution, a publisher, a government agency, a research funder, or a start-up. But if your content is likely to be cited in the scholarly ecosystem, then you are eligible to join.
There’s an annual fee for membership, which varies depending on your publishing revenue. As a guide, the lowest tier is USD 275 per year for organizations with publishing revenue lower than USD 1 million. If you don’t have revenue for your publishing, we look at publishing expenditure, and the fees are the same for commercial and not-for-profit publishers.
Membership comes with obligations to your fellow members and the wider scholarly community - these include keeping the metadata associated with your content up-to-date, making sure that you use DOIs in your article references, and displaying your DOIs on the landing page for your content items. This landing page needs to include a full bibliographic citation for the content you are registering and a way to access the full text of the content.
In return, you contribute to our shared infrastructure. You join a community of publishers who are all linking to each other persistently through their references. You have voting rights, and a say in the future of Crossref. Your metadata is shared with hundreds of organizations in the scholarly ecosystem, and you’re able to take advantage of Crossref services (content registration, the Funder Registry, Similarity Check, Cited-by and Crossmark). And of course, you’ll be able to create persistent identifiers for each citable object that you publish.
There are a few steps to joining and it usually takes a week or so to complete the process, depending on how many extra questions we have to ask you. Once you have paid your pro-rated membership fee, we provide you with a DOI prefix. You then use this prefix to create full DOIs for your journals and articles, and register them with us by providing the url for the content and a lot of other metadata. This can be done via an online form, or by submitting XML.
There’s a one-off content registration fee for every item you register. These fees vary depending on the type of content and whether the publication date is current or backfile but, as a guide, the cost to deposit a current journal article (published this year or in the two previous calendar years) is USD 1. These content registration fees are usually billed quarterly in arrears. Once an item is registered, there’s no further charge to update it.
Find out more about what it means to be a member and how to join as a member.