The Crossref Curriculum

Why Crossref?

Crossref makes research outputs easy to find, cite, link, and assess.

We’re a not-for-profit membership organization that exists to make scholarly communications better. We rally the community; tag and share metadata; run an open infrastructure; play with technology; and make tools and services—all to help put scholarly content in context.

As a community organization, Crossref works for and is responsive to many different groups involved in scholarly communications. Everyone in scholarly communications has a role to play. Who is Crossref? You are Crossref! Learn more about how we can help you as a publisher, editor, researcher, research funder, librarian, developer, or research administrator.

Why choose Crossref?

There are several DOI registration agencies that are members of the DOI Foundation. Crossref is one of only two registration agencies that offer a broad range of infrastructure and services that specifically support scholarly content anywhere in world.

Other registration agencies specialize in a particular region, language, or content type; or even totally different industries such as construction, or movies.

Benefits of Crossref membership

There are many other DOI registration agencies that are members of the International DOI Foundation. But no other DOI registration agency offers the broad range of infrastructure and services that specifically support scholarly content. Others specialize in a particular region or language or content type. Or even totally different industries such as construction, or movies.

And no one else does it quite like us, either. Take a look through our six truths, to understand the guiding principles that are important to our community. Our mission is to make research outputs easy to find, cite, link, assess, and reuse. Everything we do, we do specifically to help make greater connections: between content types; between countries; between disciplines; and between people.

A DOI is just the start

Other registration agencies can register your DOIs. But only members of Crossref can use the tools and services that we have built on top of Crossref DOIs. Only Crossref DOIs are included in services such as:

  • Content Registration: Crossref metadata specifically enables collection of other essential information surrounding publications in a standard way across publishers: funding data, ORCID iDs, license information, abstracts, clinical trial numbers, references, and full-text links.
  • Reference linking: Joining us means that you’re entering into a reciprocal linking agreement with 17036 other Crossref members publishing over 111231936 works from over 120 countries around the world. Adding DOIs to your reference lists means that you are linking your content with the growing network of scholarly research, and the other Crossref members are required to link back to your content in the same, persistent way.
  • Cited-by provides members with a way to look at Crossref metadata to find out how your publications are being cited by other members and share that information with your readers and authors.
  • Similarity Check for editorial originality. Our agreement with Turnitin offers our members reduced-rate access to the iThenticate tool from Turnitin, allowing them to check their content against the full-text of tens of millions of published research materials.
  • Crossmark Crossmark gives members the ability to add a clickable widget to their content to show readers if it’s been updated, corrected, or retracted. It shows researchers that our members are committed to maintaining their content as well as giving researchers the information they need to check that they are using the most recent and reliable versions of a work.
  • Metadata retrieval: All of the metadata that Crossref collects helps our members’ content be more discoverable. We make it available in a variety of formats (including an API) so that anyone can come to one place to get information from our thousands of diverse members. Information about your publications is being shared by and used in search engines, collaborative editing and authoring tools, discovery platforms, library databases and many, many other places.

We are sustained by annual membership fees that are tiered according to size of publishing revenue.

We’re committed to maintaining this infrastructure and building on it in a sustainable way for our members, improving existing tools and services and building new ones. We’re only as strong as our links within the international community we work. There are lots of ways you can interact with us and let us know what’s happening. One of our ‘truths’ is smart alone, brilliant together and that’s very much the case. We have a blog, advisory and working groups you can be involved with, regular webinars, our Crossref LIVE Locals, and our Crossref LIVE Annual, which are free to attend events, and open to everyone.

The first step is to become a member.

Crossref & DataCite

Crossref and DataCite are both not-for-profit membership organizations which allow you to register a range of research outputs with DOIs - how do you decide which one is right for your needs?

Crossref serves the publishing community, so if you follow a publishing process, join Crossref. DataCite serves the repository community, so if you host content, join DataCite. For some organizations, it’s appropriate to join both organizations.

Learn more about how we work with DataCite.

Last Updated: 2020 April 8 by Laura J. Wilkinson