Planning a platform migration

We know migrating your hosting platform is an extremely stressful time. There’s so much to think about and plan for, and the last thing you want to be worrying about is whether your DOIs will resolve after the move and what this will mean for the quality of your metadata.

Members often ask us for advice on the best way to handle a platform migration. This handy guide should help you prepare for the move, and gives hints and tips for managing the actual process as smoothly as possible. It also includes a very useful checklist to include in your RFP to make sure you’re asking the right questions of your vendors and making life easier for everyone involved.

1. Selecting your new service provider

A key element in selecting your new service provider will be ensuring they can do everything you need them to do - and this is particularly important when it comes to how they’ll be working with us.

There’s a big difference between just registering skeleton content and registering full, rich metadata and participating in all our services. And there’s sometimes a big difference in cost from different providers. You’ll want to be clear on what you need up front so your providers know what you’re expecting and you don’t get any surprises further down the line. This also means you’ll be able to accurately compare the different service providers, and have a smoother working relationship with your chosen service provider in the future. So where do you start?

1.1 Make sure you know how you’re participating in Crossref today

The first place to start is to be clear on how you’re participating with us right now. This means your starting point is a metadata audit. We know you probably won’t want to do this with everything else that’s going on with a platform move. However, members who haven’t done this up front have said that they wish they had. They ended up having to do one anyway but further down the process and with less time, adding to the stress. It’s definitely better to start this early.

The easiest way to see what metadata you’re already registering with us is to use our new Participation Reports service. It may surprise you to see what you are and aren’t currently registering, or what you current platform provider is or isn’t registering on your behalf.

1.2 Think about how you want to participate in Crossref in the future

Once you’re clear on how you’re participating currently, think about what you may want to do in the future.

What content types are you registering with us right now, and what you might want to register in the future? Perhaps you’re only registering journal articles right now, but are planning to register pre prints in the future.

What metadata elements are you registering with us right now, and what you may want to register later? Are you registering references? They’re a key addition for discoverability and will be vital if you want to use the Cited-by service in the future. Are you registering full text urls and license information for text and data mining? What about full text urls for the Similarity Check service?

Here’s a full list of services with more detail.

1.3 Ask the right questions of your service providers up front

Members in the community have told us that even when service providers have confirmed in their contract that they “Support Crossref Content Registration” or “Deposit metadata with Crossref” there have still been surprises when working together in terms of the amount of metadata the service provider can actually register, or costs for expanding this.

It’s important to ask the right questions up front before you make your selection. It helps to avoid these surprises, and will also make life easier for your service provider once you’re working together.

To help with this, we’ve created this handy checklist. This contains specific questions to ask about content registration. You can add the checklist into your RFP so you’re absolutely clear on what your prospective service providers can and can’t provide. Your metadata audit and your thinking about what you want to do in the future will help you to select the right sections from the checklist.

2. Planning the changeover process

Once you’ve selected your new provider and are starting to think about the changeover process and timings, let us know.

Confirm with us which platform you’re moving to, and who we’ll be working with when you actually migrate. The best model for success is for us to work with a single contact. It doesn’t matter if that contact works for you or your new service provider, the key thing is that we keep the same contact consistently through your migration process.

If you need to update a lot of urls (over 50k) please let us know as soon as possible when you’re planning on doing this. This will slow down our deposit queue for other members, and we’ll need to avoid doing any maintenance while your update is running, so we’ll need to carefully coordinate with you on this.

This is a great opportunity to review the other contacts we hold for you, and make sure our billing, voting, technical, metadata quality and business contacts are up to date.

3. The changeover process itself

3.1 Login details and permissions

You need to think carefully about how your service provider will register (and update) content on your behalf.

  • If your service provider will be using their own login details with us, do let us know in advance so we can give permission to update your prefix on that login.

  • If your new service provider will be using your login details, do you want to change the password to ensure your old service provider doesn’t accidentally update anything in future?

3.2 Updating your urls

You’ll probably need to update the urls for all your existing DOIs when you move.  Updating multiple DOIs at a time in our system is a process, and can’t happen at a single moment in time. Do make sure that your platforms can coordinate redirection while this is happening.

The good news is that this update won’t cost you anything extra with Crossref - you’re only charged registration fees the first time you register a DOI. Although if you’ve uncovered backlist DOIs that were never registered as part of your metadata audit you will need to pay registration fees on them.

Don’t forget that you may have other types of urls in the metadata that will need updating as well as the main url where the DOI resolves to. If you’ve previously registered text and data mining urls, or full text urls for Similarity Check, these will also need updating.

If you’re planning on updating your urls, let us know and we can give you an estimate for how long this will take and help you manage the process through efficiently.

3.3 Updating contacts for reports

We send out a range of reports to help our members manage their metadata. Please confirm with us which named contacts (and email addresses) should receive Crossref reports going forward. These reports include:

  • Conflict report

  • DOI error report

  • Preprint version of record report

  • Resolution report

  • Title report

Don’t forget you may already have reports set up to go to your existing service provider, so do ask us to delete these.

4. After the migration

Once your migration is complete, do keep an eye on your Participation Reports to make sure everything is happening as you think it should be.


Contact our support team to learn more.

Last Updated: 2018 August 20 by Amanda Bartell