Warnings, Caveats and Weasel Words

Most of the experiments linked to here are running on R&D equipment in a non-production environment. They may disappear without warning and/or perform erratically. If one of them isn’t working for some reason, come back later and try again.


 4 minute read.

Crossref Labs is the dedicated R&D arm of Crossref. In late 2021 we announced that we are re-energizing Labs after a period of working mostly on development tasks.

What’s our focus?

The division between what the R&D group does at the group-level, and what the wider organisation does will always be more of a gradient than a line. But at the highest level we’d say that R&D will focus on projects that:

  • Address new constituencies.
  • Involve fundamentally new approaches (technology or process or both).
  • Are exploratory with no clear product application yet.

And that a “strategic initiative” (as opposed to a new feature, service, or product) is something that:

  • Involves something we’ve never done before.
  • Involves potential changes to our membership model and fees.
  • Would require a large investment of resources outside of normal budget.

We’re certainly not the only group at Crossref who experiment, build proof of concepts (POCs), and do research, but we hope to support other groups who do - both inside our organization and in the wider research ecosystem.

Sound right up your street? Interested in collaborating on something you’re working on? Let us know.


What are we working on now?

All the projects we are working on can be browsed here. We also have a list of Labs ideas.

A few current highlights are:

  • Measuring how good our community is at preservation. Dashboard at https://the-vault.fly.dev/ and these are displayed on the Labs prototype (see next…!)
  • Playing around with how we might evolve our Participation Reports.
  • Looking at running a “labs” version of our API where we can experiment with exposing new functionality and metadata in order to get quick feedback from the community.
  • Making the Retraction Watch data openly available via the Labs API (and in .csv format) so we can get feedback on it before integrating it into our REST API.
  • Looking at how we can extend the classification information we currently make available via our API across more journal titles.
  • Exploring how we currently do citation matching with a view to evolving this approach i.e. making it better, more transparent and open to community contributions.
  • Creating a sampling framework that can be used to extract samples of works and make them publicly available.
  • Building POC tools to help our members and support team more easily accomplish common tasks.

A flavor of Labs research and experiments

Page owner: A Crossref Labs creature   |   Last updated 2023-February-20