Become a member

Connect your content with the global network of online scholarly research.

Membership of Crossref allows you to connect your content with a global network of 12428 other members from 118 countries. It’s so much more than just getting a DOI for your content. All our members commit to registering complete metadata for their content and keeping it up-to-date - plus linking to other members in their references.

This means that membership comes with responsibilities, but it also means lots of opportunities to improve your discoverability as part of this global network. Our tools and services allow people across the scholarly world (and beyond) to find, cite, link, and assess your publications.

Are you eligible for membership?

Many types of organizations register their content with us. You could be a research institution, a publisher, a government agency, a research funder, or a start-up. In order to become a member, register content and deposit metadata and DOIs, you’ll need to meet the criteria set out in our governing by-laws:

Membership in Crossref is open to organizations that publish professional and scholarly materials and content.

In addition, applicants should be able to meet the terms and conditions of membership. These terms should be carefully reviewed to understand your full obligations and responsibilities. Before applying, you need to make sure that you can definitely fulfil the obligations of membership.

You also have the option to appoint a sponsor to act on your behalf to register metadata or look up references. If you wish to work with a sponsor, don’t fill out our application for membership - instead get in contact with your chosen sponsor. Find out more about Sponsors.

(Please note: if you’re only interested in retrieving and making use of the metadata that’s been registered with Crossref, you don’t need to become a member. Instead, visit our Metadata Delivery page.)

How much does it cost?

All Crossref members pay an annual membership fee, which is tiered depending on your publishing revenue. The tiers start at $275. If you don’t have publishing revenue, we take a look at your publishing expenses. Your first year’s membership fee is payable before your account is created and ready for use. You’ll receive an invoice soon after applying and every year in January.

Once you’re in, we give you a prefix for your DOIs (Digital Object Identifiers). You create the suffixes and you begin to register content with us. You’re charged a fee for each content item whose metadata you register with us. Fees vary per content type and are lower for backfiles. Review the content registration fees for more detail. These fees are invoiced quarterly in arrears.

A promise

Joining Crossref is a promise to look after your content. For our part, we promise to maintain and develop the community infrastructure for the long-term. For your part, you commit to create and maintain your metadata. Membership therefore comes with a bit of work on your end. Among other things you agree to:

  • Assign Crossref DOIs and deposit metadata to all journal content published after joining Crossref.
  • Maintain and update your metadata and DOIs for the long term. DOIs are designed to be persistent in order to preserve the citation record, so should never be deleted. You’ll update URLs associated with all registered content, redepositing metadata if your content moves.
  • Ensure that your DOIs resolve to a page containing complete bibliographic information for the content with a link to—or information about—getting the full text of the content. You must include the DOI on the response page using Crossref DOI display guidelines, and use the DOI as the permanent link to the page. (Note that Crossref never gives (and cannot give) access to your full-text - your access policy remains at your own discretion.
  • Actively maximize links with other Crossref members by linking out from the references in your journal articles, (using DOIs retrieved from Crossref), and where possible from other content types too.

You can find the full details on these obligations in our terms and conditions of membership.

Ready to apply? What you’ll need

Once you’re sure you can meet the obligations of membership, you’re ready to apply.

Ready to apply? Start here.


Please contact us if you have any questions about joining as a member.

Last Updated: 2018 October 6 by Amanda Bartell