info for researchers

CrossRef is the citation-linking backbone for online publications. Established in 2000 by scholarly publishers as an independent, non-profit entity, it enables researchers to navigate electronic journals, across publishers, based on open-standards technology (the Digital Object Identifier, or DOI, system).

Citations represent the evolution of ideas, as one author builds on or challenges the research of another. CrossRef allows the user to move from one article to another at the citation level, regardless of journal or publisher. Without full-text citation linking, the user who discovers a desired resource while reading usually has to switch to a different search interface to locate and ultimately access that resource. With CrossRef, it only takes a click or two to get to the full text, either as an authenticated user or through pay-per-view services.

The costs of the CrossRef system are borne by publishers - hence free to the end-user - because publishers recognize the necessity of adding links from references to full text. When you see a reference hyperlink identified as "CrossRef", "article", or "full text" (CrossRef does not insist on branding its links), you'll know it was built using the CrossRef system.

Take a tour of the CrossRef system. View sample articles and links in the gallery, and gain access to the system at our free DOI look-up interface. Our "fast facts" area provides answers to frequently asked questions. If you have a DOI and want to resolve it, please go to our DOI resolver page. Or you can read about how to find DOIs using our experimental search tools here (PDF 140 KB) .

CrossRef-enabled articles are easier to find and link to. Make sure all your electronically published work is registered in CrossRef, and that your library uses CrossRef to facilitate article-level linking to its locally held resources.

CrossRef also provides the CrossCheck plagiarism screening service powered by iThenticate. Please visit this page to find out what scholars need to know about CrossCheck.

Another service from CrossRef called CrossMark allows scholars to easily identify instances of documents that are being actively maintained by their publishers. The appearance of a CrossMark logo on a HTML, PDF or ePub document indicates that the publisher is taking care of or stewarding it through any updates, corrections, enhancements, retractions, or other changes. Learn more.

For more information please contact:

For a print-friendly summary please see our DOIs, the Library and the Researcher handout (PDF).

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Updated June 6, 2012

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