Take this 4 minute survey if you’re a Crossref member who registers book content

This one is for the book publishers.

If you are a Crossref member and register online or digital books with us, we would like to know how you handle reference lists. Do you include DOIs that link out to other books and articles in your reference lists?

Please take our 4-minute survey: http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/3008801/f46898b8751c

To thank you for taking the time to respond, we’ll enter you in a drawing to receive this book lovers’ “Bookworm” candle with apple fragrance, a delightful autumn accompaniment to your favorite digital edition.

Your survey response will help us plan future tools for book publishers, improve our best practice guide for depositing book references, and keep us informed about current developments in digital book publishing.

Please take a few minutes to respond now, or forward to a colleague who can respond by Thursday, 9 November.

Thank you in advance for your help!

One member, one vote: Crossref Board Election opens today, September 30th

Watch for two important emails on September 30th – one with a voting link and material, and one with your username and password.

Running Crossref well is a key part of our mission. It’s important that we be as neutral and fair as possible, and we are always striving for that balance. One of our stated principles is “One member, one vote”. And each year we encourage each of our members–standing at over 6000 today–to participate in the election of new board members.

It is hard to believe that November 2nd will be Crossref’s 17th annual meeting and our 16th annual Board of Directors election. How time flies, and oh, how we have grown!

Crossref's Truths, taken from our forthcoming new website.
Crossref’s Truths, taken from our forthcoming new website.

I am hoping that we can rally the membership to participate in this important process!

Candidates will be elected at Crossref LIVE16 for three-year terms to fill five of the 16 Board seats whose terms expire this year.  The slate of candidates was recommended by the Nominating Committee, which consisted of three Board members not up for re-election, and two Crossref members that are not on the Board.

This year, Jasper Simons, APA; Paul Peters, Hindawi; Jason Wilde, AIP; Chris Fell, Cambridge University Press; and Rebecca Lawrence, f1000 served on the Nominating Committee.  The Committee met to discuss the process, criteria, and potential candidates, and put forward a slate which was required to be at least equal to the number of Board seats up for election. The slate may or may not consist of Board members up for re-election.

Crossref members are welcome to run as independent candidates, as long as they have ten member endorsements sent to lhart@crossref.org with the intent to run. We sent a notification of the process in advance (this year on August 26th), so any nominations could be included in the voting materials that will be sent via email on September 30th.

You can access online voting from today at:

+https://eballot4.votenet.com/PILA/admin. Watch your inbox today for emails with your username and password!

New Crossref DOI display guidelines are on the way


Crossref will be updating its DOI Display Guidelines within the next couple of weeks.  This is a big deal.  We last made a change in 2011 so it’s not something that happens often or that we take lightly.  In short, the changes are to drop “dx” from DOI links and to use “https:” rather than “http:”.  An example of the new best practice in displaying a Crossref DOI link is: https://doi.org/10.1629/22161

Hey Ho, “doi:” and “dx” have got to go

The updated Crossref DOI Display guidelines recommend that https://doi.org/ be used and not http://dx.doi.org/ in DOI links.  Originally the “dx” separated the DOI resolver from the International DOI Foundation (IDF) website but this has changed and the IDF has already updated its recommendations so we are bringing ours in line with theirs.

We are also recommending the use of HTTPS because it makes for more secure browsing.  When you use an HTTPS link, the connection between the person who clicks the DOI and the DOI resolver is secure.  This means it can’t be tampered with or eavesdropped on.  The DOI resolver will redirect to both HTTP and HTTPS URLs.

Timing and backwards compatibility

We are requesting all Crossref member publishers and anyone using Crossref DOIs to start following the updated guidelines as soon as possible.  But realistically we are setting a goal of six months for implementation; we realize that updating systems and websites can take time.  We at Crossref will also be updating our systems within six months – we already use HTTPS for some of our services and our new website (coming very soon!) will use HTTPS.

An important point about backwards compatibility is that “http://dx.doi.org/” and “http://doi.org/” are valid and will continue to work forever–or as long as Crossref DOIs continue to work–and we plan to be around a long time.

We need to do better

Reflecting on the 2011 update to the display guidelines it’s fair to say that we have been disappointed.  It is still much too common to see unlinked DOIs in the form doi:10.1063/1.3599050 or DOI: 10.1629/22161 or even unlinked in this form: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/poc.3551

What’s so wrong with this approach?  To demonstrate, please click on this DOI doi:10.1063/1.3599050 – oh, you can’t click on it?  How about I send you to a real example of a publisher page.  What I’d like you to do is click the following link and then copy the DOI you find there and come back – http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/poc.3551.

Are you back? I expect you had to carefully highlight the “10.1063/1.3599050” and then do “edit”, “copy”.  That wasn’t too bad but the next step is to put the DOI into an email and send it to someone.  But wait – what are they going to do with “10.1063/1.3599050”?  It’s useless.  If you want it to be useful you’ll have to add “http://doi.org” or https://doi.org/ in the front.

When publishers follow the guidelines it makes things easier – if you go to https://doi.org/10.1063/1.3599050 you’ll note that you can just right click on the full DOI link on the page and get a full menu of options of what to do with it.  One of which is to copy the link and then you can easily paste into an email or anywhere else.

However–putting a positive spin on the spotty adherence to the 2011 update to the DOI display guidelines–everyone has another chance with the latest set of updates to make all the changes at once!

More on HTTPS (future-proofing scholarly linking)

We take providing the central linking infrastructure for scholarly publishing seriously.  Because we form the link between publisher sites all over the web, it’s important that we do our bit to enable secure browsing from start to finish.  In addition, HTTPS is now a ranking signal for Google who gives sites using HTTPS a small ranking boost.

The process of enabling HTTPS on publisher sites will be a long one and, given the number of members we have, it may a while before everyone’s made the transition.  But by using HTTPS we are future-proofing scholarly linking on the web.

Some years ago we started the process of making our new services available exclusively over HTTPS.  The Crossref Metadata API is HTTPS enabled, and Crossmark and our Assets CDN use HTTPS exclusively. Last year we collaborated with Wikipedia to make all of their DOI links HTTPS.  We hope that we’ll start to see more of the scholarly publishing industry doing the same.

So–it’s simple–always make the DOI a full link – https://doi.org/10.1006/jmbi.1995.0238 – even when it’s on the abstract or full text page of the content that the DOI identifies – and use “https://doi.org/”.

The membership boom & why metadata isn’t like beer

You might recognize my name if you’ve ever applied for Crossref membership on behalf of your organization. It recently occurred to me that, since I’ve been working in our membership department for eight years, I’ve been a part of shepherding new members for half of our history. And my, how we’ve grown.

Membership growth by country

Though it may be easy to see our membership growth by looking at the numbers, I think it’s interesting to consider where we’ve grown.  The top ten member countries have dramatically changed since Crossref began sixteen years ago.  At the end of our first year of operations, our membership included 54 publishers and affiliated organizations.  The majority were from the US and the UK, with a small number from Germany, the Netherlands, and Japan.

In 2012, participation in our sponsoring organizations program began to increase. Sponsors are affiliated organizations that act on behalf of smaller publishers and societies who wish to register their content with Crossref.  Several organizations from Turkey and South Korea were among the first sponsors to join and were very successful in representing a large number of publishers and societies from their regions. Soon to follow were sponsors from India, Ukraine, Russia and Brazil. In 2014, the Public Knowledge Project (PKP) became a sponsoring affiliate, focusing on smaller publishers with the aim of increasing the quality and global reach of scholarly publishing.  With the introduction of our sponsor program, the past few years have seen a steady increase in the geographical diversity of our members.  

There are 194 countries in the world.  It’s pretty amazing that organizations in 112 of the world’s countries are now represented in our membership. Do I think we’ll see members joining from the other 82 nations? I don’t know but I hope so.

A look at our trending nations chart shows the diversity of our membership as we’ve grown, depicting the countries that produced the most new members over the last two years.  There has been tremendous growth from South Korea! What I find just as interesting is that we have new members from so many different nations that they form their own special bloc, shown here as “Other.” 

Our growth has taken place at a remarkable rate.  When I joined Crossref in 2008, we had over 1800 publishers and affiliates and we were adding about 300 new members per year.  In 2015, nearly 1500 members joined and we are seeing even larger numbers so far in 2016.  Counting all publishers, affiliates, libraries, sponsoring organizations and represented members, our new member total through the end of August is nearly 1200 and will most certainly overtake the 2015 figure.  

Member perceptions

With such a range of new members each month it’s even more important that we help people understand the benefits of joining Crossref.  That it’s not just registering metadata and DOIs but maintaining and improving records over time, and participating in reference linking.  We are adding and improving some educational tools that will help everyone understand how our services can enhance the discoverability of content, and why sharing richer metadata supports their full participation in the scholarly community.  We are in the process of developing a new, cleaner website with videos that better explain our services–to be released in the next few weeks,–a new onboarding experience, and new and improved query and deposit tools. 

Connected metadata isn’t like beer 

Sometimes inviting more people to a party means there is less beer to go around.  Fortunately for everyone, metadata isn’t like beer. In fact, the more metadata you draw from the tap, the more useful it becomes.  So inviting new members to join Crossref makes our community better and more valuable for everyone.  Every member uses that metadata to link their content to every other member’s content.  This makes all members’ content easier to find, link, and cite, not just at the moment it is published, but over time.   

Members from around the globe join Crossref everyday and help guide our growing community.  If you are interested in joining please contact me at member@crossref.org.

Crossmark 2.0 – grab the code and you’re ready to go!

On September 1st we completed the final stage of the Crossmark v2.0 release and sent an email to all participating publishers containing instructions for upgrading. The first phase of v2.0 happened when we changed the design and layout of the Crossmark box back in May of this year. That allowed us to better display the growing set of additional metadata that our members are depositing, and saw the introduction of the Linked Clinical Trials feature.


Now all publishers have the opportunity to complete the upgrade by simply replacing the Crossmark button and the piece of code that calls the box. The new button designs are, we think, a much better fit for most websites, and are designed to look more like a button than a flat logo. The new buttons are also available
as .eps
files for placement in PDFs.
Continue reading “Crossmark 2.0 – grab the code and you’re ready to go!”

Using the Crossref Metadata API. Part 2 (with PaperHive)

We first met the team from PaperHive at SSP in June, pointed them in the direction of the Crossref Metadata API and let things progress from there. That’s the nice thing about having an API – because it’s a common and easy way for developers to access and use metadata, it makes it possible to use with lots of diverse systems and services.

So how are things going? Alexander Naydenov, PaperHive’s Co-founder gives us an update on how they’re working with the Crossref metadata:

Continue reading “Using the Crossref Metadata API. Part 2 (with PaperHive)”

Linking Publications to Data and Software


Crossref and Datacite provide a service to link publications and data. The easiest way for Crossref members to participate in this is to cite data using DataCite DOIs and to include them in the references within the metadata deposit. These data citations are automatically detected. Alternatively and/or additionally, Crossref members can deposit data citations (regardless of identifier) as a relation type in the metadata. Data & software citations from both methods are freely propagated. This blog post also describes how to retrieve the links collected between publication and data & software. Continue reading “Linking Publications to Data and Software”

Crossref’s Annual Meeting is now Crossref LIVE16

Everyone is invited to our free annual event this 1-2 November in London. (Register here)

In years past, only Crossref members typically attended the Crossref Annual Meeting. This year, we looked at the event with new eyes. We realized that we’d have even richer conversations, more creative energy, and the meeting would be even better for our members if we could rally the entire community together.  So we decided to re-develop our annual event from the ground-up. 

Logo for Crossref LIVE 16

The result is Crossref LIVE16, an event with a new format and a new focus on the entirety of the scholarly communications community.  We are opening doors for the whole community, welcoming publishers, librarians, researchers, funders, technology providers, and Crossref members alike.  Continue reading “Crossref’s Annual Meeting is now Crossref LIVE16”

Announcing PIDapalooza – a festival of identifiers

sideAThe buzz is building around PIDapalooza – the first open festival of scholarly research persistent identifiers (PID), to be held at the Radisson Blu Saga Hotel Reykjavik on November 9-10, 2016.

PIDapalooza will bring together creators and users of PIDs from around the world to shape the future PID landscape through the development of tools and services for the research community. PIDs support proper attribution and credit, promote collaboration and reuse, enable reproducibility of findings, foster faster and more efficient progress, and facilitate effective sharing, dissemination, and linking of scholarly works. Continue reading “Announcing PIDapalooza – a festival of identifiers”