best practices for books

DOI Assignment and Reference Linking in Books

Scholarly and professional publishers are increasingly publishing book content online. CrossRef has a critical mass of more than 2.8 million book DOIs registered. This means that there are about 138,000 titles from more than 90 publishers available for reference linking.

CrossRef’s Book Working Group has examined current practices in reference processing and metadata deposit for book content, and has issued the following Best Practice recommendations, which will

  • Maximize reference linking among books, journals and conference proceedings
  • Enhance the discovery, visibility, and usage of book content
  • Enhance the user’s experience through improved functionality
  • Enable the creation of a book citation reporting mechanism which would give book content the visibility, credibility and metrics that journal content has

Best Practices For Depositing, Linking and CrossRef DOI Use

  1. Deposit DOIs at the title and chapter/entry level.
  2. Add outbound links from references in books as soon as possible.
  3. Deposit references from books with CrossRef to enable CrossRef Cited-by Linking.
  4. Instruct authors to cite specific chapters and entries using page numbers, chapter/entry titles and DOIs. Although at first authors may not have the DOIs or know what DOIs are, encourage DOI use by authors to build awareness. Add an example of what to put in author guidelines.
  5. Update editorial guidelines.

          a.     Ask copyeditors to look for page numbers and chapter titles in book citations.

          b.     Use CrossRef tools to check references as part of the production process so that references can be    
                  corrected and missing information added .


How to Handle Updates and Versions

This section divides updates into two types: major versions and minor versions.

Major version changes will refer to updates that may affect the interpretation of a work. Major version changes imply that the publisher will formally notify readers that content has changed (through errata, corrigenda, or new editions).

Minor version changes are unlikely to affect a reader’s interpretation of the work, and the publisher will not generally draw attention to the changes.

Just as publishers now decide when a new print edition or version is warranted, it is the publishers’ responsibility to distinguish between major and minor versions in online content.

Given the above definitions the recommend best practice is

  1. Assign new DOIs to new major versions or editions of books, chapters and entries. This practice will preserve the scholarly citation record. Older versions should remain available online with links to the latest version. In actual operation, a reader follows a link to the version cited and then has the option to link to the current version.
  2. Do not assign new DOIs to minor new versions of books, chapters and entries.
  3. Where book content is hosted on multiple platforms (e.g. NetLibrary, ebrary) and publishers wish to enable linking to those platforms they should use CrossRef Multiple Resolution. This enables multiple URLs to be associated with one DOI.


Best Practices for Citation Matching

  1. Book Title Queries
    • In order to enable citation matching at the title level, the minimum query needs to include the following elements:
      • book title
      • book author
      • book year
    • In order to increase the accuracy of matching, publishers should use as many of the following elements as possible in the query:
      • editor (where appropriate)
      • book title
      • year
      • publisher
      • location/city
  2. Book Chapters or Reference Entry Queries
    • In order to enable citation matching at the chapter or entry level, the minimum query needs to include the following elements:
      • book title
      • book year
      • chapter author
      • first page
    • In order to increase the accuracy of matching, publishers should use as many of the following elements as possible in the query:
      • editor (where appropriate)
      • book title
      • year
      • publisher
      • location/city
      • chapter author (where appropriate)
      • chapter title
      • chapter first page

Book Working Group (October 2008)

  • Michael Forster, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Publishing, Chair
  • Darla Henderson, ACS, Senior Editor
  • Joe Yurvati, ACS, Senior Scientist
  • Mike Bodinham, CABI
  • Ruth Hadfield, Elsevier, Technology
  • Lauren Schultz, Elsevier, Publishing
  • Chris Shillum, Elsevier, Technology
  • Fiona MacDonald, Informa UK, Publishing
  • Mark Majurey, Informa UK
  • Robert Morris, Informa UK, Technology
  • Mary Sweny, Informa UK
  • Ian Craig, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Biblimetrics
  • Kimi Sugeno, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Technology
  • Craig van Dyck, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Content/Technology
  • Sonke Adlung, OUP
  • John Campbell, OUP
  • John Shaw, Sage
  • Harry Blom, Springer, Publishing
  • Dirk Fernholz, Springer
  • Wim van der Stelt, Springer, Technology
  • Garrett Kiely, University of Chicago Press
  • Eric Gamazon, University of Chicago Press
  • John Muenning, University of Chicago Press
  • CrossRef Staff: Ed Pentz, Geoff Bilder.

A more in-depth look at the CrossRef Book Working Group Best Practices For Books is available here: http://www.crossref.org/06members/crossref_best_practices_books.pdf

Please direct comments to info@crossref.org.

Updated April 05, 2011
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