TL;DR We missed an error that led to resource resolution URLs of some 500,000+ records to be incorrectly updated. We have reverted the incorrect resolution URLs affected by this problem. And, we’re putting in place checks and changes in our processes to ensure this does not happen again.
How we got here Our technical support team was contacted in late June by Wiley about updating resolution URLs for their content. It’s a common request of our technical support team, one meant to make the URL update process more efficient, but this was a particularly large request.
Crossref Conversations is an audio blog we’re trying out that will cover various topics important to our community. This conversation is between colleagues Anna Tolwinska and Rosa Morais Clark, discussing how we can make research happen faster, with fewer hurdles, and how Crossref can help. Our members have been asking us how Crossref can support open science, and we have a few insights to share. So we invite you to have a listen.
We’ve just added to our input schema the ability to include affiliation information using ROR identifiers. Members who register content using XML can now include ROR IDs, and we’ll add the capability to our manual content registration form, participation reports, and metadata retrieval APIs in the near future. And we are inviting members to a Crossref/ROR webinar on 29th September at 3pm UTC.
The background We’ve been working on the Research Organization Registry (ROR) as a community initiative for the last few years.
We’re excited (and a little nervous) to launch a new research project designed to assess the effects of metadata on research communications. We’re expecting this effort to be a significant contribution to the existing research on the topic and we’re really looking forward to getting started. We’re also a little nervous because of course we don’t know what the conclusions will be (after all, if we did, we wouldn’t be starting this project).
Our friend and colleague Christine Hone (née Buske) passed away in May from a short but brutal illness. Here is our attempt at ‘some words’, which we wrote for her funeral book and are posting here with her husband Dave’s permission.
We are devastated to lose Christine as a colleague and friend. It’s hard to put into words the effect she had on our small organization in such a short time, and how much we’re already missing her. But here it goes.
It was 2015 when some of us first met Chris, and we immediately saw how much of an asset she could be to our organization. She was very active in the community and well-known in many academic and publishing circles around the world. And she had an enviable combination of technical skills, a scientific mind, and a natural ability to engage people.
We tried to recruit her back then but she was in demand by others and it wasn’t until early 2018 that we succeeded. We finally got her! She became the Product Manager for a very advanced and complex system but she took to it perfectly, with real excitement and a complete understanding of how we (and therefore she) could help the research community all over the world see and make connections.
With colleagues spread around the world, she joined an organization that had exciting opportunities and its share of challenges. Chris engaged with all of this head-on. She handled a constant stream of queries from people spread across time zones, whilst at the same time getting to grips with a service that was difficult to pin down. She balanced these tasks which were at very opposite ends of the spectrum. She added so much and with such energy and intelligence to everything she got involved in, always bringing human attention and creativity.
In her talk at the 5:AM altmetrics conference she brought together technical detail, big-picture ideas, and her own particular passion. Her opening words were “My name is Christine and I’m a recovering fish scientist”. Never afraid to bring her personal brand of humour into the workplace, her opening slide was a photograph of her covered in rats. That presentation was the first time that much of the audience really understood our service. Having cracked the messaging for us, she was due to give the same talk at our annual meeting in Toronto a few months later…
Many of us were in Toronto for that meeting; it was two weeks after we’d heard the news of her diagnosis. Some of us were able to visit her in the hospital where she told us of her and Dave’s decision to bring forward their wedding plans. It was a bittersweet announcement but, clearly, they adored each other and were determined to be happy together despite the challenging times ahead.
Over the last few months, even when she had little energy to spare, Chris popped in (virtually) to chat and update us, share pictures and, selflessly, to see how we were doing. Even people who never met or worked closely with her started to follow her vlog and exchange notes and news directly.
We have all been rocked by the news and there is a lot of sadness and grief among the Crossref staff and community. Even in the last moments we shared together Chris always asked about how her projects were going. Her passion for her products was a big part of what animated her when she first joined. Throughout her late-stage illness, this remained constant. She yearned to return to work. This zeal will forever be an inspiration to us all at Crossref.