join crossref

Do you suffer from fear of XML? Does the mention of metadata give you hives? If you would like to assign CrossRef DOIs to your articles or books, but think you’re over your head – think again.  A group of simple tools can help small publishers assign CrossRef DOIs, link out from references, and provide Cited-by links. Watch our Introduction to CrossRef webinar to get acquainted with CrossRef.

Assigning CrossRef DOIs with CrossRef’s Web Deposit Form

We call assigning CrossRef DOIs “depositing”. Create CrossRef DOIs for your content without the need for XML.  CrossRef’s easy-to-use Web Deposit Form allows small publishers to fill out the required items on a simple form here:

Putting Outbound Reference Links in Your Content

CrossRef has tools that make it very easy to look up CrossRef DOIs to link your references.  (CrossRef members are required to put outbound CrossRef DOI links in journal article references.) With the tools below you’ll easily look up CrossRef DOIs. We call this process “querying”. After you query CrossRef, you can add the resulting CrossRef DOIs to your references to provide the value and convenience of reference links for your readers.

CrossRef Guest Query
For a small number of citations, just type your bibliographic information (like author/title/issue/page number) for each one into this fielded search form: The form will query the CrossRef database and return the CrossRef DOI, which you can use to create a link in the reference.

CrossRef Simple Text Query
Another option is the Simple Text Query (STQ), created for us by Inera. Copy and paste your formatted citations, and the form returns CrossRef DOIs. The STQ form is free, but has a monthly query limit. It is not intended for use by publishing vendors. See

CrossRef Cited-by Linking Made Easy

Wouldn’t it be great if you could easily display to your readers who is citing your content? CrossRef Cited-by Linking provides that service. In order to participate, publishers must deposit their references to the CrossRef database. 

Depositing Your References
The easy way to deposit references is through the same Simple Text Query form you use to get the CrossRef DOIs for reference linking. After you submit formatted citations, on the screen where you get the results of your query, you have the opportunity to deposit your references.

Retrieving Cited-by Links
The Open Journal Systems (OJS) from the Public Knowledge Project offers a CrossRef Cited-by Linking plug-in, developed by Tadas Pocius of Vilnius Gediminas Technical University. The tool allows journals that have signed up for CrossRef Cited-by Linking and that use OJS to display links to other content from CrossRef publishers that cite a particular article.  The plug-in is available for free on the PKP website. Learn more about the plug-in:  To learn more about CrossRef Cited-by Linking please visit:

New CrossRef DOI Display Guidelines

The best way to display the Crossref DOI in your publications or reference lists is to format them as a URL like this: For more information, see the revised CrossRef DOI Display Guidelines here:

For information about CrossRef or to become a member please contact:

Sign up for CrossRef updates.

Updated July 23, 2012

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