The Crossref Curriculum

Journal title management

Titles in the Crossref system are created from the metadata you submit when you first register your content. You determine the exact title and ISSN included in the deposit, and we add that title and ISSN to our database. The title, ISSN, and title-level persistent identifier supplied in your content registration files must be consistent across submissions.

You are strongly encouraged to create a title-level persistent identifier (DOI) for your journal. An ISSN is valuable as a unique identifier of key title information – therefore our title management policies comply with ISSN center requirements for title management. Learn more about depositing ISSNs.

Practices that may affect registering your journal content include:

  • All series (journal, book, conference proceedings) should have an ISSN. The ISSN is crucial for identifying a serial. If you are supplying us with data for older titles that predate ISSN assignment, you should request ISSNs from your ISSN agency as they can be assigned retroactively. This isn’t only for our convenience - libraries, database providers, and other organizations using your data will welcome (and often require) an ISSN for anything defined as a journal.
  • The exception: new journal titles are sometimes not assigned an ISSN until some content has been published. Journal titles may be registered with Crossref without ISSNs if a journal title-level persistent identifier is included in the deposit. The title-level identifier must be supplied with every deposit for the journal until an ISSN is assigned.
  • A distinct ISSN should be supplied for each distinct version of a title. If a title changes significantly the publisher should obtain new ISSNs (both print and online). This rule is established by the ISSN International Centre, not Crossref, but we support and enforce it. Minor title changes (such as changing ‘and’ to ‘&’) don’t require a new ISSN.
    • Original title: Journal of Crossref Metadata
    • Minor change (no new ISSN required): The Journal of Crossref Metadata
    • Major change (new ISSN required): Journal of Crossref Metadata Quality
  • Online versions of journals encompassing multiple historic print titles should each be assigned distinct print and online ISSNs. Some publishers consolidate all versions of a title under the most recent title. This isn’t recommended practice as it causes a lot of linking and citing confusion – you’ve essentially created two (or more) versions of a title. This is particularly confusing when volume and issue numbers overlap between title iterations.
  • Journal titles should reflect the journal title at the time of publication, and should not be updated if the journal title changes later on.

For recommendations on displaying information about journals, see the ISSN Manual, and NISO’s recommended practice on Presentation & Identification of E-Journals.

Journal-level DOIs

You are encouraged to create title-level DOIs for all journals (learn more about DOIs at different levels). You may also deposit DOIs at the issue and volume level. There are no content registration fees for journal-title-level, journal-volume-level, or journal-issue-level DOIs. When creating a journal-title-level DOI, note the following:

  • A distinct DOI should be created for each version of a title registered with Crossref. Any changes requiring a new ISSN should result in a new title-level DOI.
  • A journal-title-level DOI should resolve to a landing page that displays the same title and ISSN (when available) recorded in the Crossref database.
  • Once assigned, a journal-title-level DOI must be maintained.
  • Responsibility for maintaining a journal-title-level DOI transfers to the new owner when title ownership is transferred.
  • As with all content registered with Crossref, the DOI being resolved should appear on the DOI landing page.

Depositing title-level DOIs

Journal-title-level, journal-volume-level, and issue-level DOIs may be included with journal article deposits, or may be deposited separately. Once deposited, a journal-, volume-, or issue-level DOI does not need to be included in subsequent deposits but, as with all DOIs, the URL should be maintained. The web deposit form supports deposit of title-level DOIs. Example title-only deposit files are available here: with ISSN | without ISSN.

Last Updated: 2020 April 8 by Laura J. Wilkinson