Content Registration

view content registration factsheet

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Academic and professional research travels further if it’s linked to the millions of other published papers. Crossref members register content with us to let the world know it exists, instead of creating thousands of bilateral agreements.

They send information called metadata to us. Metadata includes fields like dates, titles, authors, affiliations, funders, and online location. It also includes digital object identifiers (DOIs) that stay with the work even if it moves websites.

Richer metadata makes content useful and easier to find. Participation Reports (beta) give a clear picture for anyone to see the metadata Crossref has. See for yourself where the gaps are, and what our members could improve upon. Understand best practice through seeing what others are doing, and learn how to level-up.

Through Crossref, members are distributing their metadata downstream, making it available to numerous systems and organizations that together help credit and cite the work, report impact of funding, track outcomes and activity, and more.

Members maintain and update metadata long-term, telling us if content moves to a new website, and they include more information as time goes on. This means that there is a growing chance that content is found, cited, linked to, included in assessment, and used by other researchers.

This is Crossref infrastructure. You can’t see infrastructure, yet research—and researchers all over the world—rely on it.

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How it works

All our members are encouraged to register and update the fullest possible metadata. Metadata can be registered either by members themselves, or agents acting on their behalf—such as hosting platforms. Content can be registered manually or by machine in the following ways:

For manual metadata registration

  • Our web deposit form accepts manually entered information as well as JATS-formatted XML files. Get started with the web deposit form.
  • Our new Metadata Manager tool (currently in beta and just for journal deposits) supports both single and multiple journal deposits, automatically validates the format of certain metadata elements, and processes your deposits immediately, in real time. The help documentation walks you through how to get started.

For machine metadata registration

  • XML registration of metadata via HTTPS POST
  • Bulk .csv upload of metadata, such as funding and full-text URLs
  • The Crossref plugin for OJS (Open Journal Systems) will automatically (if you have configured the plugin to work automatically) deposit your metadata without your intervention.

It is important to note that while we collect, preserve and make metadata available for the scholarly community, we do not correct, edit, or change submitted metadata.

Common tasks

  • Different schemas exist for different content types. For example, the preprints schema is different from the journals schema. So, deposits in XML must be prepared according to each schema. See more on content types below.
  • Corrections and enhancements of submitted metadata are very much encouraged! There is no charge for re-depositing existing metadata.

Content types

We store metadata and DOIs for many types of research-related content. The content types that we currently accept are below. If you have a content type that isn’t listed please contact us. At the moment we’re developing schemas for conferences and projects.

  • Journals and journal articles: at the journal title and article level and includes supplemental materials.
  • Books, chapters, and reference works: book title and/or chapter-level records, books can be deposited as a monograph, series, or set. Read our best practice for book content.
  • Conference proceedings: information about a single conference and records for each conference paper/proceeding.
  • Reports/working papers: this includes content that is formally published and is published with an ISSN or ISBN.
  • Standards: includes publications from Standards Development Organizations and Standards Setting Organizations.
  • Datasets: includes database records or collections. (See also DataCite).
  • Dissertations: includes single dissertations and theses - not collections.
  • Preprints: consists of preprints, eprints, working papers, reports, and other types of content that has been posted but not formally published.
  • Grants: for research funders to register awarded grants including use of facilities or equipment, salary awards, etc.
  • Peer reviews: any number of reviews, reports, or comments attached to an associated article.
  • Components: typically assigned to parts of a whole, most commonly including figures, tables, and supplemental materials for a journal article or book chapter.

If you’re new to Content Registration we encourage you to verify and test your XML prior to submission.

How to participate

Please see the Get started guide for details.

As this summary shows, the process of registering content and depositing metadata is relatively straightforward:

  • Step 1: Each new member receives a DOI prefix and account information.
  • Step 2: Members (or agents acting on their behalf) create DOIs by using the assigned prefix and by adding their own unique suffix (Prefix + Suffix = DOI).
  • Step 3: Members (or their agents) prepare their deposit by gathering all DOIs, the URLs where the content sits and all metadata associated with the content.
  • Step 4: Members (or their agents) deposit their metadata according to the Crossref schema. Our support site offers sample formatted deposits for all content types.

Once processed, the DOI is live and clickable after the deposit has been processed (usually within minutes) and the metadata is available for use in systems throughout scholarly communications.

Best practice

To make publications discoverable—and to derive the greatest benefit from Crossref membership—we ask our members to deposit as much rich metadata as possible.

Richer metadata includes information such as journal title, article author, publication date, page numbers, ISSN, references, abstracts, ORCID iDs, funding information, clinical trials numbers, license information (access indicators for text and data mining) and more. Please see our support site for detailed information about content registration.

Obligations & fees

Member terms cover in detail the important work of depositing metadata.

Content Registration fees are different for different types of content and sometimes include volume discounts for large batches or backfile material.


Please see our FAQs for more information on Content Registration.

Additional help is provided in our extensive support pages, to assist you with the important work of registering content.

Please contact our member services team with any questions or to get set up, or contact our technical support specialists for any technical or troubleshooting questions.

Last Updated: 2019 September 17 by Patricia Feeney