Call for participation: Membership & Fees Committee

Crossref was founded to enable collaboration between publishers.  As our membership has grown and diversified over recent years, it’s becoming even more vital that we take input from a representative cross-section of the membership. This is especially important when considering how fees and policies will affect our diverse members in different ways.

About the M&F Committee

The Membership & Fees Committee (M&F Committee) was established in 2001 and plays an important role in Crossref’s governance.  Made up of 10-12 organizations of both board members and regular members, the group makes recommendations to the board about fees and policies for all of our services. They regularly review existing fees to discuss if any changes are needed. They also review new services while they are being developed, to assess if fees should be charged and if so, what those fees should be. For example, the committee recently made recommendations to the board about the fees for a new service called Event Data that we’ll launch soon, and the deposit fees for preprints – our newest content type.  In addition, the board can also ask the committee to address specific issues about policies and services. Increasingly, the committee works with the outreach team to include research and survey insights.

About committee participation

The M&F Committee meets via one-hour conference calls about six times a year, although this can vary depending on what issues the committee is considering. Often proposals are developed by staff and then reviewed and discussed by the committee – so there is reading to do in preparation for the calls.Join a Crossref committee

This is very important work and in order to ensure that the committee is broadly representative of Crossref’s diverse membership we are seeking expressions of interest from members who would like to serve on the M&F Committee for 2017. Appointments are for one year and members can serve multiple terms.

About you

In view of our commitment to be representative of the membership we are refreshing the committee and want to have engaged and interested people from a diverse set of members join.

If you are interested in joining the committee and helping Crossref fulfil its mission please email feedback@crossref.org with your name, title, organization and a short statement about why you want to serve on the committee by December 19th, 2016.      

Scott Delman, Director of Group Publishing, ACM is the current Chair of the committee and will review the expressions of interest with me, Ed Pentz, Executive Director, to form the committee.

Thanks for your interest.

The Organization Identifier Project: a way forward

The scholarly communications sector has built and adopted a series of open identifier and metadata infrastructure systems to great success.  Content identifiers (through Crossref and DataCite) and contributor identifiers (through ORCID) have become foundational infrastructure to the industry.  The OI Project, organization identifierBut there still seems to be one piece of the infrastructure that is missing.  There is as yet no open, stakeholder-governed infrastructure for organization identifiers and associated metadata.

In order to understand this gap, Crossref, DataCite and ORCID have been collaborating to:

  • Explore the current landscape of organizational identifiers;
  • Collect the use-cases that would benefit our respective stakeholders in scholarly communications industry;
  • Identify those use-cases that can be more feasibly addressed in the near term; and
  • Explore how the three organizations can collaborate (with each other and with others) to practically address this key missing piece of scholarly infrastructure.

The result of this work is in three related papers being released by Crossref, DataCite and ORCID for community review and feedback. The three papers are:

  • Organization Identifier Project: A Way Forward (PDFGDoc)
  • Organization Identifier Provider Landscape (PDF; GDoc)
  • Technical Considerations for an Organization Identifier Registry (PDF; GDoc)

We invite the community to comment on these papers both via email (oi-project@orcid.org) and at PIDapalooza on November 9th and 10th and at Crossref LIVE16 on November 1st and 2nd. To move The OI Project forward, we will be forming a Community Working Group with the goal of holding an initial meeting before the end of 2016. The Working Group’s main charge is to develop a plan to launch and sustain an open, independent, non-profit organization identifier registry to facilitate the disambiguation of researcher affiliations.

Crossref Use Cases

Crossref has also been discussing the needs of its members over the last year and there is value in focusing on the affiliation name ambiguity problem with research outputs and contributors. In terms of the metadata that Crossref collects, something that is missing has been affiliations for the authors of publications. Over the last couple of years, Crossref has been expanding what it collects – for example, funding and licensing data and ORCID iDs – and this enables a fuller picture of what we are calling the “article nexus”. In order to continue to fill out the metadata we collect – and for our publisher members to use in their own systems and publications – we need an organization identifier.

Another use case for Crossref is identifying funders as part of collecting funder data to enable connecting funding sources with the published scholarly literature. In order to enable the reliable identification of funders in the Crossref system we created the Open Funder Registry that now has over 13,000 funders available as Open Data under a CC0 waiver. While this has been very successful, it is a very narrowly focused registry and is not suitable for a broad, community-run organization identifier registry that addresses the affiliation use case.  In future, our goal will be to merge the Open Funder Registry into the identifier registry that the Organization Identifier Working Group will work on.

By working collaboratively we can define a pragmatic and cost-effective service that will meet a fundamental need of all scholarly communication stakeholders.

Geoffrey Bilder will be focusing his talk at Crossref LIVE16 this week on this initiative, dubbed The OI Project. The talk is scheduled for 2pm UK time and will be live streamed along with the rest of that day’s program.

New Crossref DOI display guidelines are on the way

TL;DR

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/”.

Dr Norman Paskin

Dr Norman Paskin
Dr Norman Paskin

It was with great sadness and shock that I learned that Dr Norman Paskin had passed away unexpectedly on the 27th March. This is a big loss to the DOI, Crossref and digital information communities. Norman was the driving force behind the DOI System and was a key supporter and ally of Crossref from the start. Norman founded the International DOI Foundation in 1998 and ran it successfully until the end of 2015 when he moved to a strategic role as an Independent Board Member. Continue reading “Dr Norman Paskin”

PubMed Central Links to Publisher Full Text

A CrossRef Member Briefing is available that explains how PubMed Central (PMC) links to publisher full text, how PMC uses DOIs and how PMC should be using DOIs. The briefing is entitled “Linking to Publisher Full Text from PubMed Central” (PDF 85k).
CrossRef considers it very important the PMC uses DOIs as the main means to link to the publisher version of record for an article and we are recommending that publishers try to convince PMC to use DOIs in an automated way. Almost all of the PMC articles contain DOIs but they aren’t linked. This seems like a waste considering that publishers have invested a lot in CrossRef and DOIs as unique identifiers and persistent links.
This issue will be of interest to anyone who publishers journal articles that are the result of NIH funding and fall under the NIH Public Access Policy.

DOIs and PubMed Central – why no links?

Further to my previous post “NIH Mandate and PMCIDs” we’ve been looking into linking to articles on publishers’ sites from PubMed Central (PMC). There are a couple of ways this happens currently (see details below) but these are complicated and will lead to broken links and more difficulty for PMC and publishers in managing the links. CrossRef is going to be putting together a brieifing note for its members on this soon.
The main issue we are raising with PMC, and that we will encourage publishers to raise too, is why doesn’t PMC just automatically link DOIs? Most of the articles in PMC have DOIs so this would require very little effort from PMC and no effort from publishers and would give readers a perisistent link to the publisher’s version of an article.

Continue reading “DOIs and PubMed Central – why no links?”

NIH Mandate and PMCIDs

The NIH Public Access Policy says “When citing their NIH-funded articles in NIH applications, proposals or progress reports, authors must include the PubMed Central reference number for each article” and the FAQ provides some examples of this:
Examples:
Varmus H, Klausner R, Zerhouni E, Acharya T, Daar A, Singer P. 2003. PUBLIC HEALTH: Grand Challenges in Global Health. Science 302(5644): 398-399. PMCID: 243493
Zerhouni, EA. (2003) A New Vision for the National Institutes of Health. Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology (3), 159-160. PMCID: 400215
It’s interesting to note that on PMC itself both the PMCID and DOI are included – but the DOI isn’t linked. Two things occur to me – 1) should CrossRef map DOIs to PMCIDs and vice versa and make PMCIDs available in it’s query interfaces and 2) shouldn’t publishers ask that the PMC copy of the article link back to the publisher version? It would be very easy with the DOI.

BISG Paper on Identifying Digital Book Content

BISG and BIC have published a discussion paper called “The identification of digital book content” – http://www.bisg.org/docs/DigitalIdentifiers_07Jan08.pdf. The paper discusses ISBN, ISTC and DOI amongst other things and makes a series of recommendations which basically say to consider applying DOI, ISBN and ISTC to digital book content. The paper highlights in a positive way that DOI and ISBN are different but can work together (the idea of the “actionable ISBN” and aiding discovery of content). However, it doesn’t go into much depth on any of the issues or really explain how all these identifiers would work together and the critical role that metadata plays.
Nevertheless it’s great that the paper has been put forward as a discussion document – CrossRef plans to respond and be part of the ongoing discussion in this area.

Zotero and the IA

Dan Cohen at Zotero reports (Zotero and the Internet Archive Join Forces) on a very interesting tie up that will allow researchers using Zotero to deposit content in the Internet Archive and have OCR done on scanned material for free under a two year Mellon grant. Each piece of content will be given a “permanent URI that includes a time and date stamp in addition to the URL” ( would Handle or DOI add value here?) and be part of Zotero Commons (things can also be kept private within a group).
Zotero Commons is related to but different from Nature Precedings and WebCite in that it’s intended focus is on public domain stuff on researchers hard drives rather than someone else’s material or website that is cited (WebCite) or preprints, datasets, technical reports that are given at least an initial screening (Nature Precedings).