The Crossref Curriculum

Setting up as a member

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, plus a username and password that you’ll use to access our systems and register your content.

If you work with a third party (such as a platform provider or typesetter), they will be able to use these details too.

If you’ve joined through a Sponsor, we’ll send these details to your Sponsor.

There are three key steps to getting started, and you can even start step one before you’ve received your new prefix.

  1. Prepare to register your content
  2. Register and verify
  3. Display your DOIs

Step 1: Prepare to register your content

a) Choose your content registration method

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.

Find the best option for you.

b) Decide how you’ll construct your DOI suffixes

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:

The structure of a DOI: resolver, prefix, suffix

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.

An opaque identifier does not encode or describe any information about the work, such as publication name, date, or ISSN. It’s important to avoid encoding any human-readable information, so if any of the metadata associated with the DOI changes, there is no confusion between the information encoded in the DOI and that found in its metadata.

For example, 10.5555/njevzkkwu4i7g is opaque, but 10.5555/ogs.2016.59.1.1 encodes information which may change and therefore could be confusing or misleading in future.

Learn more about constructing your DOIs.

c) Ensure your landing pages meet the guidelines

You’ll need a live, unique landing page on your website for each item you register and this landing page will need to contain specific information

Learn more about landing pages.

Step 2: Register and verify

a) 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:

Content registration instructions for direct deposit of XML:

b) Verify your registration

When you register your content, you’ll receive a message telling you whether your submission has been successful, or whether there are any problems.

It’s important to check this carefully, as if there are problems, your DOI may not be live.

Learn more about how to verify your registration.

Step 3: Display your DOIs

Don’t forget to display your DOI on the landing page of each item you register - this is an obligation of membership. You’ll need to display your DOI as a link like this:

https://0-doi-org.lib.rivier.edu/10.xxxx/xxxxx

Learn more about Crossref DOI display guidelines.

How to get help and support

Our support team is available to help if you have any problems, and you may find help from others in the Crossref 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. We’ll be sending 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.

  1. Link your references: You need to make sure to link your references by adding the DOIs of other members against relevant content on your reference lists.
  2. Register new content and update existing DOIs: You need to continue to register your new content, and make sure you keep your metadata updated for existing DOIs.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Watch your metadata grow: Check your Participation Report to see how your metadata is growing.
  6. Steward your metadata for the long term: The persistence of your DOIs and metadata relies on your continued care. It’s particularly important to update your resource resolution URLs if your content moves. Keep the community informed about updates, corrections, or retractions using Crossmark.
  7. Maintain your membership: Thank you for paying your annual membership and content registration invoices. These fees help sustain and develop Crossref’s infrastructure, services, and tools.

Page owner: Laura J. Wilkinson   |   Last updated 2020-April-08