The Crossref Curriculum

Books and chapters

The Crossref Books Advisory Group advises on best practices for books

Its goals are to:

  • Maximize reference linking between books and other Crossref content types including journals and conference proceedings
  • Ensure that Crossref collects and distributes persistent identifiers and authoritative metadata for online books
  • Ensure that book content is part of all Crossref services
  • Enhance the discovery, visibility, and usage of book content.

On this page, learn more about:

Depositing metadata, linking, and DOI use for books

You should:

  1. Register the content by depositing metadata at the time of online publication and assign DOIs at the title and chapter/entry level. Learn more about the benefits of registering book chapters.
  2. Add DOI links to references in books. Learn more about our DOI display guidelines
  3. Deposit references from books to allow participation in our Cited-by service
  4. Instruct authors to cite specific chapters and entries using page numbers, chapter/entry titles and Crossref DOIs
  5. Update your editorial guidelines - ask copyeditors to look for page numbers and chapter titles in book citations. Use our tools to check references as part of the production process so that references can be corrected and missing information added. Learn more about creating reference links.

Updates and versions

There are two types of updates:

  • Major content changes that may affect the interpretation of a work may mean a new edition with new ISBNs. Major version changes imply that the publisher will formally notify readers that content has changed (through errata, corrigenda, or new editions (which would also get a new ISBN)
  • Minor content changes are unlikely to affect a reader’s interpretation of the work, and the publisher will not generally draw attention to the changes with a new version.

Just as publishers decide when a new print edition or version is warranted, it is publishers’ responsibility to distinguish between major and minor versions in online content.

Since a Crossref DOI is a citation identifier, a new DOI should only be issued if the new version will be cited differently. The same logic applies to differing formats, for example, the file types or containers used to present content: a distinct DOI should not be registered for different formats unless the format will be cited in a different way. This means, for example, that you should not assign one DOI to an EPUB version of a book and another DOI to the PDF version of a book if the format doesn’t affect how the book is cited. You may register a single DOI for all versions of a translated book. Distinct DOIs may also be registered for translated versions of content.

The recommended best practice is:

  1. Assign new DOIs to new major versions or editions of books, chapters and entries. This practice will preserve the scholarly citation record. Older versions should remain available online with links to the latest version. In use, a reader follows a link to the version cited and then has the option to follow a link to the current version.
  2. Do not assign new DOIs to minor new versions of books, chapters and entries.
  3. Where book content is hosted on multiple platforms (such as NetLibrary, ebrary) and publishers can enable enable linking from a single DOI to those platforms, they should use multiple resolution, which allows multiple URLs to be associated with one DOI. Learn more about multiple resolution.

If multiple resolution doesn’t work for your circumstances, or content on your platform does not already have DOIs, please contact us to find a solution.

Citation matching for book title queries

To enable citation matching at the title level, the minimum query must include the following elements:

  • book title
  • book author
  • book copyright year

To increase the accuracy of matching, members should also include as many of the following elements as possible in the query:

  • editor (where appropriate)
  • ISBN
  • ISSN / DOI
  • publisher

Citation matching for book chapters or reference entry queries

The metadata provided for a book title is used to identify book chapters during querying. This means that a book chapter query should include title metadata as well. The minimum query for a book chapter must include the following elements:

  • book title
  • title and subtitle should be separated with a colon (:)
  • book year
  • chapter author
  • first page

To increase the accuracy of matching, publishers should also include as many of the following elements as possible in the query:

  • editor (where appropriate)
  • publisher
  • chapter title

Combining chapter title and chapter author returns the best matches.

DOIs in citations

Following a review in 2017 of common citation style guides and publishers’ instructions to authors, this is what we recommend for the use of DOIs in citations, of any style or format:

  • Include Crossref DOIs whenever they are available (use Metadata Search to find DOIs for registered content)
  • Display DOIs as links and follow our DOI display guidelines
  • In your in author guidelines, describe the use of DOIs in general, and for different content types (such as journals, conference proceedings)
  • Books that have DOIs at the title and chapter levels should be cited accordingly
  • Print materials (of any content type) may display DOIs but should not have their own print-only DOIs
  • Providing information to Crossref on update cycles (when possible), and contact information for keeping in touch with questions or future developments (such as new content types).

Parts of a book deposit

<book> is the container for all information about a single book volume and (optionally) the book chapters. Books may be deposited as a single book, a series, or a set, and the metadata requirements differ for each type. Learn more in our schema documentation for books, and about book structures and structural metadata.

  • Book titles: Books with subtitles should use the <title> and <subtitle> tags to capture the appropriate segment of the title.
  • Book title DOIs: A DOI is required for each book that you submit. It is not possible to submit DOI information for individual chapters without assigning a DOI to the entire work.
  • ISBNs: ISBNs should be supplied when available. Both a print and electronic ISSN may be supplied for a book. If a book does not have an ISBN, the <noisbn> element is required.
  • Contributors: If a book as a whole has a single set of authors, the author(s) should be included in the <contributors> section for the book itself. Editors may also be deposited. If each chapter has distinct authors and/or editors, the authors should also be included at the chapter (<content_item>) level.
  • Editions: <edition_number>, when given, should include only a number and not additional text such as “edition”. For example, you should submit “3”, not “third edition”.
  • Citations: <citation_list> should only be used in <book_metadata> instead of <content_item> when the reference list is a separate section of the book and chapters are not included in the deposit.
  • Book language: The language of the book should be specified in the book_metadata language attribute using the ISO639 language code. If a book contains items in multiple languages this attribute should be set for the predominant language of the book. Individual items may have their language specified in content_item. If all content items are the same language, it is only necessary to specify the language at the book level.
  • Book chapters: Book chapters are captured in the container element <content_item>. Book chapter DOIs are optional but strongly recommended if the book content will be commonly cited at the chapter level.

Metadata supplied in the top-level book section (<book_metadata>, <book_set_metadata>, or <book_series_metadata>) will be applied to the chapters as well unless distinct information is supplied for a chapter. This includes contributors, citation lists, and publication dates.

Example of a book deposit containing a single book with chapters

Review the sample below or download an XML file.

<doi_batch xmlns="http://0-www.crossref.org.lib.rivier.edu/schema/4.3.7" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance" version="4.3.7" xsi:schemaLocation="http://0-www.crossref.org.lib.rivier.edu/schema/4.3.7 http://0-www.crossref.org.lib.rivier.edu/schemas/crossref4.3.7.xsd">
<head>
<doi_batch_id>2004-10-19-10-04-31-1016001</doi_batch_id>
<timestamp>20082117100522</timestamp>
<depositor>
<depositor_name>Sample Master</depositor_name>
<email_address>support@crossref.org</email_address>
</depositor>
<registrant>CrossRef</registrant>
</head>
<body>
<book book_type="edited_book">
<book_metadata language="en">
<titles>
<title>Use of Recycled Materials</title>
</titles>
<publication_date>
<year>2005</year>
</publication_date>
<isbn media_type="electronic">2912143691</isbn>
<publisher>
<publisher_name>RILEM Publications SARL</publisher_name>
</publisher>
<doi_data>
<doi>10.50505/book</doi>
<resource>http://0-www.crossref.org.lib.rivier.edu/hello</resource>
</doi_data>
</book_metadata>
<content_item component_type="chapter" publication_type="full_text">
<contributors>
<person_name sequence="first" contributor_role="author">
<given_name>E.</given_name>
<surname>Vázquez</surname>
</person_name>
</contributors>
<titles>
<title>Miscellaneous</title>
</titles>
<pages>
<first_page>53</first_page>
<last_page>55</last_page>
</pages>
<publisher_item>
<item_number>rep030-006</item_number>
</publisher_item>
<doi_data>
<doi>10.50505/m4</doi>
<resource>
https://www.rilem.net/boutique/fiche.php?cat=book&reference=rep030-006
</resource>
</doi_data>
</content_item>
<content_item component_type="chapter" publication_type="full_text">
<contributors>
<person_name sequence="first" contributor_role="author">
<given_name>L.</given_name>
<surname>De Bock</surname>
</person_name>
</contributors>
<titles>
<title>Recycled asphalt pavement</title>
</titles>
<pages>
<first_page>45</first_page>
<last_page>51</last_page>
</pages>
<publisher_item>
<item_number>rep030-005</item_number>
</publisher_item>
<doi_data>
<doi>10.50505/m5</doi>
<resource>
https://www.rilem.net/boutique/fiche.php?cat=book&reference=rep030-005
</resource>
</doi_data>
</content_item>
</book>
</body>
</doi_batch>

Example of a book series deposit

Review the sample below or download an XML file.

<doi_batch xmlns="http://0-www.crossref.org.lib.rivier.edu/schema/4.3.7" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance" version="4.3.7" xsi:schemaLocation="http://0-www.crossref.org.lib.rivier.edu/schema/4.3.7 http://0-www.crossref.org.lib.rivier.edu/schemas/crossref4.3.7.xsd">
<head>
<doi_batch_id>123456</doi_batch_id>
<timestamp>20082003110604</timestamp>
<depositor>
<depositor_name>test data</depositor_name>
<email_address>support@crossref.org</email_address>
</depositor>
<registrant>test data</registrant>
</head>
<body>
<book book_type="edited_book">
<book_series_metadata language="en">
<series_metadata>
<titles>
<title>Electrochemistry</title>
</titles>
<issn>0305-9979</issn>
</series_metadata>
<contributors>
<person_name sequence="first" contributor_role="editor">
<given_name>D</given_name>
<surname>Pletcher</surname>
</person_name>
</contributors>
<titles>
<title>Electrochemistry</title>
</titles>
<volume>8</volume>
<publication_date media_type="print">
<year>1983</year>
</publication_date>
<isbn>978-0-85186-067-1</isbn>
<publisher>
<publisher_name>Royal Society of Chemistry</publisher_name>
<publisher_place>Cambridge</publisher_place>
</publisher>
<doi_data>
<doi>10.50505/testdoi13</doi>
<resource>http://ebook.rsc.org/?DOI=10.1039/9781847557179</resource>
</doi_data>
</book_series_metadata>
<content_item component_type="other" publication_type="full_text">
<contributors>
<person_name sequence="first" contributor_role="editor">
<given_name>D.</given_name>
<surname>Pletcher</surname>
</person_name>
</contributors>
<titles>
<title>Front cover</title>
</titles>
<pages>
<first_page>X001</first_page>
<last_page>X002</last_page>
</pages>
<doi_data>
<doi>10.50505/testdoi14</doi>
<resource>
http://ebook.rsc.org/?DOI=10.1039/9781847557179-FX001
</resource>
</doi_data>
</content_item>
</book>
</body>
</doi_batch>

Example of a book set deposit

Review the sample below or download an XML file.

<doi_batch xmlns="http://0-www.crossref.org.lib.rivier.edu/schema/4.3.7" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance" version="4.3.7" xsi:schemaLocation="http://0-www.crossref.org.lib.rivier.edu/schema/4.3.7 http://0-www.crossref.org.lib.rivier.edu/schemas/crossref4.3.7.xsd">
<head>
<doi_batch_id>20080305081200</doi_batch_id>
<timestamp>200815071200</timestamp>
<depositor>
<depositor_name>Sample Master</depositor_name>
<email_address>support@crossref.org</email_address>
</depositor>
<registrant>Sample Data</registrant>
</head>
<body>
<book book_type="edited_book">
<book_set_metadata language="en">
<set_metadata>
<titles>
<title>Sample Set Title</title>
</titles>
<isbn media_type="print">0 571 08989 5</isbn>
</set_metadata>
<titles>
<title>Sample Volume Title</title>
</titles>
<volume>1</volume>
<publication_date media_type="print">
<year>2007</year>
</publication_date>
<isbn media_type="print">0064410145</isbn>
<publisher>
<publisher_name>Sample Publisher</publisher_name>
</publisher>
</book_set_metadata>
<content_item component_type="chapter" level_sequence_number="1" publication_type="full_text" language="en">
<contributors>
<person_name sequence="first" contributor_role="author">
<given_name>Patricia</given_name>
<surname>Feeney</surname>
</person_name>
</contributors>
<titles>
<title>Sample Chapter Title</title>
</titles>
<publication_date media_type="print">
<year>2007</year>
</publication_date>
<pages>
<first_page>1</first_page>
<last_page>200</last_page>
</pages>
<publisher_item>
<item_number item_number_type="sequence-number">S0091679X0861064X</item_number>
</publisher_item>
<doi_data>
<doi>10.50505/testset1</doi>
<resource>http://0-www.crossref.org.lib.rivier.edu/</resource>
</doi_data>
</content_item>
</book>
</body>
</doi_batch>

Last Updated: 2020 April 8 by Amanda Bartell