Strategic agenda and roadmap

Welcome to our new strategic roadmap—finalised January 2023—which sets out Crossref’s priorities through 2025 so everyone can see our focus areas and upcoming projects on our roadmap. It encompasses all our high-level activities, from open governance and sustainability, our work collaborating with different parts of the ever-diversifying scholarly community, through to expansion of metadata and relationships.

Like others, we envision a rich and reusable open network of relationships connecting research organizations, people, things, and actions; a scholarly record that the global community can build on forever, for the benefit of society.

Crossref makes research objects easy to find, cite, link, assess, and reuse.

We’re a not-for-profit membership organization that exists to make scholarly communications better. We rally the community; tag and share metadata; run an open infrastructure; play with technology; and make tools and services—all to help put scholarly content in context.

It’s as simple—and as complicated—as that.


Getting the community working together to make scholarly communications better


Structuring, processing, and sharing metadata to reveal relationships between research outputs


Operating a shared, open infrastructure that is community-governed and evolves with changing needs


Engaging in debate and experimenting with technology to solve our members’ problems


Creating tools and services to enable connections and give context

Read on to learn more about where Crossref is heading and let us have your thoughts by starting or joining a discussion in the strategy section of our community forum. You can dig into our public roadmap too which shows the status and progress of all projects mentioned on this page, and more. Review the archived strategic narratives for 2020-2022 and 2018-2020, and read background on our strategy on our blog.

The strategic landscape

Governments, funders, institutions, and researchers—groups who once had tangential involvement in scholarly publishing—are taking a more direct role in shaping how research is recorded, shared, contextualised, and assessed.

We now have more members that self-identify as universities or research institutions than as publishers and we have seen a rise in library- and scholar-led publishing. Many research funders are playing their part by supporting open infrastructure, registering their records with Crossref as members, and seeing this as a direct way of measuring reach and return on their grants and awards.

As more people contribute to an evolving scholarly record, so Crossref must capture provenance and relationships through metadata.

We have to scale our systems, tools, and resources to manage this and we have to do it all in the open, demonstrating our committment to POSI, to add a level of assurance that research is being properly supported, and so we can more easily integrate and co-create with others.

With a more complete picture of the scholarly record available in the open, everyone will be able to examine the integrity, impact, and outcomes of our collective efforts to progress science and society.

We want to contribute to an environment in which the scholarly research community identifies shared problems and co-creates solutions for broad benefit

We do this in all teams through research and engagement with our expanding community.

Some problems benefit from collective action. Scholarly communications changes rapidly and we need to be proactive with our community to understand how we can help solve shared problems. We continue to focus on collaboration with new and long standing partners, and our revived R&D team allows us to move nimbly, try new things, and involve the community as we do.

Recently completed

In focus

Up next


Under consideration

  • How do we best gather changes and notify changes to metadata?
  • Monitoring research integrity community developments and tools

We want to be a sustainable source of complete, open, and global scholarly metadata and relationships

We are working towards this vision of a ‘Research Nexus’ by demonstrating the value of richer and connected open metadata, incentivising people to meet best practices, while making it easier to do so.

Building a more complete picture of the scholarly record means thinking about our metadata outside the more rigid structures once provided by record types. In line with community needs, we will build in more flexibility, clearer assertions of metadata provenance, and charge ourselves with improving the accuracy, transparency, and downstream usage of the metadata we collect and ingest from a range of sources. We will support our members in improving the provision of key metadata fields so that they can easily contribute to the growing network of metadata and relationships.

Recently completed

In focus

  • Adoption activities to focus on top metadata adoption priorities which are: references; abstracts; grants; ROR
  • Build new content system and move or deprecate as we go
  • Implement ‘item graph’ to reflect nuanced relationships in the API and to ensure future schema flexibility
  • Broad adoption of the GEM Program to include more of the world’s metadata
  • Develop clear metadata development strategy, priorities, and roadmap
  • Deliver data citation via the relationships API endpoint
  • Build a test environment for metadata schema updates
  • Exploring preservation coverage among Crossref membership
  • Extend new registration form to include articles and other record types and retire Metadata Manager tool
  • Automating membership processes to support continued growth

Up next


We want to be held publicly accountable to the Principles of Open Scholarly Infrastructure (POSI) practices of governance, insurance, and sustainability

We do this by focusing on broad community governance, organisational resilience, open forkable code, and transparent operations.

We will invest time and resources in embedding open and transparent practices in our organisation so that you know what we know. We use POSI as a decision framework to help us evaluate conversations, prioritise collaborations, plus improve our own way of working. We’ll keep revisiting these areas, and uncovering more as we evolve our own strategy and continue to evaluate the principles themselves as we work with POSI adopters and potential partnerships, prioritising those organisations who also commit to POSI.

Recently completed

In focus

  • 2022/3 POSI self-assessment update
  • Publishing openly all internal policies and documentation
  • Engaging with other POSI-adoptee infrastructures and drafting the next version of the principles together
  • Move from data center to cloud
  • Drafting patent non-assertion policy

Up next


  • Deprecate closed code and open-source more/all code (see: Insurance)
  • Build a bridge API that will enable transparent tools and information about billing

Under consideration

  • Is our governance structure representative and are the processes efficient? (see: Governance)

We want to foster a strong team—because reliable infrastructure needs committed people who contribute to and realise the vision, and thrive doing it

We do this through fair policies and working practices, a balanced approach to resourcing, and accountability to each other.

Our commitment to collaboration and transparency is reflected internally and externally. Collaboration is at the centre of everything we do – we find shared solutions that address the scholarly research community’s needs and benefit from a collective approach. This is reflected in how we operate as a team as well. By making our operations more transparent we can ensure that our approach is applied consistently and equitably; potential candidates can get a sense of how we operate; and other organisations can adapt and reuse policies if they wish.

Recently completed

In focus

  • Goal planning and aligning team priorities
  • Developing a framework to better track our carbon emissions
  • Reviewing recruitment and compensation practices
  • Undertake 2023 recruitment
  • Project underway to assess how our resourcing supports Crossref’s sustainability
  • Publish our employee manuals and policies publicly

Up next


  • All staff retreat

Under consideration

Page owner: Ginny Hendricks   |   Last updated 2023-June-16