Some of you who have submitted content to us during the first two months of 2021 may have experienced content registration delays. We noticed; you did, too.
The time between us receiving XML from members, to the content being registered with us and the DOI resolving to the correct resolution URL, is usually a matter of minutes. Some submissions take longer - for example, book registrations with large reference lists, or very large files from larger publishers can take up to 24 to 48 hours to process.
TL;DR: We have a Community Forum (yay!), you can come and join it here: community.crossref.org.
Community is fundamental to us at Crossref, we wouldn’t be where we are or achieve the great things we do without the involvement of you, our diverse and engaged members and users. Crossref was founded as a collaboration of publishers with the shared goal of making links between research outputs easier, building a foundational infrastructure making research easier to find, cite, link, assess, and re-use.
Event Data uncovers links between Crossref-registered DOIs and diverse places where they are mentioned across the internet. Whereas a citation links one research article to another, events are a way to create links to locations such as news articles, data sets, Wikipedia entries, and social media mentions. We’ve collected events for several years and make them openly available via an API for anyone to access, as well as creating open logs of how we found each event.
2020 wasn’t all bad. In April of last year, we released our first public data file. Though Crossref metadata is always openly available––and our board recently cemented this by voting to adopt the Principles of Open Scholarly Infrastructure (POSI)––we’ve decided to release an updated file. This will provide a more efficient way to get such a large volume of records. The file (JSON records, 102.6GB) is now available, with thanks once again to Academic Torrents.
After you’ve applied for membership and paid your pro-rated membership fee for the remainder of the current year, we set you up with your own Crossref DOI prefix. We also help you set up the Crossref account credentials that you’ll use to access our systems and register your content.
There are three key steps to getting started, and you can even start step one before you’ve received your new prefix and credentials.
In order to get working DOIs for your content and share your metadata with the scholarly ecosystem, you need to register your content with Crossref.
Your metadata is stored with us as XML. Some members send us XML files directly, but if you’re not familiar with writing XML files, you can use a helper tool instead. There are three helper tools available - these are online forms with different fields for you to complete, and this information is converted to XML and deposited with Crossref for you.
A big decision to make as a new member is which of our content registration methods to use.
A DOI has several sections, including a prefix and a suffix. A DOI will always follow this structure:
https://doi.org/[your prefix]/[a suffix of your choice]
We provide you with your prefix, but you decide what’s in the suffix for each of your DOIs when you register them with us. Your DOIs will look something like this:
If you use the Crossref XML plugin for OJS, they can provide suffixes for you by default, but otherwise you’ll need to decide on your own suffix pattern. It’s important to keep this opaque.
An opaque identifier does not encode or describe any information about the work, such as publication name, date, or ISSN. It’s important to avoid encoding any human-readable information, so if any of the metadata associated with the DOI changes, there is no confusion between the information encoded in the DOI and that found in its metadata.
For example, 10.5555/njevzkkwu4i7g is opaque, but 10.5555/ogs.2016.59.1.1 encodes information which may change and therefore could be confusing or misleading in future.
a) Set the password on your Crossref account credentials
You’ll need a set of Crossref account credentials to access our content registration tools. We’ll send you an email so you can set your password.
b) Register your content
You should assign Crossref DOIs to anything that’s likely to be cited in the scholarly literature - journals and journal articles, books and book chapters, conference proceedings and papers, reports, working papers, standards, dissertations, datasets, and preprints.
Because DOIs are designed to be persistent, a DOI string can’t be changed once registered, and DOIs can’t be fully deleted. You can always update the metadata associated with a DOI, but the DOI string itself can’t change, and once it’s been registered, it will be included in your next content registration invoice. It’s important that you only register a DOI that you definitely want to use.
Working with Crossref is about more than just DOIs. When you register content with us, you do register the DOI and the resolution URL, but you also register a comprehensive set of metadata - rich information about the content. This metadata is then distributed widely and used by many different services throughout the scholarly community, helping with discoverability of your content.
Content registration instructions for helper tools:
Our support team is available to help if you have any problems, and you may find help from others in the Crossref community on our Crossref Forum. We also run regular “Ask Me Anything” webinars for new members - learn more about our webinars and register to attend.
What happens next?
Once you’ve started registering your content with Crossref and displaying your DOIs on your landing pages, it doesn’t stop there. After you first join, we send you a series of onboarding emails to help you through the next stages. If you want to get started straight away, here are the next steps.
Link your references: Be sure to link your references by adding the DOIs of other members against relevant content on your reference lists.
Participate in more Crossref services: There are other services available. Many members participate in Similarity Check (a cost-effective and user-friendly tool to help detect plagiarism) and Cited-by (which gives you full access to citations, helping you to build a picture of how research has been received by the community). Both Similarity Check and Cited-by require deposit of additional metadata fields.
Register even richer metadata: Richer metadata makes your content even more discoverable: include not just bibliographic information, but also funding data, ORCID iDs, license information, abstracts, clinical trial numbers, references, and full-text links.
Steward your metadata for the long term: The persistence of your DOIs and metadata relies on your continued care. It’s particularly important to update your resource resolution URLs if your content moves. Keep the community informed about updates, corrections, or retractions using Crossmark.