CrossRef Member Update
Ed Pentz, Executive Director (email@example.com)
Welcome to the first Member Update of 2006. CrossRef just passed the sixth anniversary of its founding and you'll see from the statistics and financials that CrossRef is in very good shape. I'm very happy to say that 2006 is the second year in a row that fees have not increased, or been lowered as in the case of book chapters (from $1 to $0.17). With 18.5 million DOIs assigned and an average of over 10 million DOI clicks per month CrossRef plays an important role in scholarly communications. However, there is a lot to do to improve CrossRef's current services and there are still many new opportunities. I think CrossRef has untapped potential to foster publishing innovation and to improve the experience of users of online scholarly content. In particular, CrossRef has shown that there are benefits to publishers working collectively to do things that they can't do individually and that innovation by publishers can bring big benefits to all participants in scholarly communications. CrossRef is currently drawing up a strategic plan to address this area. More information will be provided in future but I would be happy to discuss this in more detail with any members.
I would like to highlight some very important projects (more detail is available below in the Update). Three very important projects that are connected are the metadata quality initiative, CrossRef Web Services and the Search Partner program. CrossRef Web Services will make member content more discoverable and better indexed in search engines and the Search Partner program will help publishers have more impact on how search engines and others use publisher data and link to content. However, the value of CrossRef Web Services, indeed all CrossRef services, is dependent on members depositing good quality metadata. CrossRef provides extensive reporting on metadata and we are regularly in content with members about metadata quality issues. We would appreciate all members paying close attention to the issue of metadata quality - more specifics are below. Another exciting development is that a test Free Text Query service is now live (http://www.crossref.org/freeTextQuery- username: cr_member password: ref-linking). This service enables DOI lookup with references formatted in common bibliographic styles - i.e. you can cut and paste a reference list from a PDF file to lookup DOIs. Interested members should try out this service and provide feedback on it.
Finally, the board approved some important revisions to the Membership Agreement which are outlined below. The new Membership Agreement version 3.0 is now in effect.
2005 Annual Meeting - the meeting on 15 November 2005 was a great success with well over 100 attendees. With a lively session on search, a keynote from Lynne Brindley of the British Library and updates on many CrossRef projects the meeting was very well received. The presentations from the meeting, a meeting summary and presentations from the technical workshop on 16 November 2005 are available - http://www.crossref.org/06members/40meetings.html.
2006 Annual Meeting, Wednesday, 1 November 2006, Charles Hotel, Cambridge, MA, USA - Save the Date!
CrossRef has issued two important documents outlining guidelines for DOI use. The first document (http://www.crossref.org/08downloads/CrossRef_Ref_Guide_1_0.pdf) is directed not just at CrossRef members but at a wider audience, including the producers of style guides (who will be sent a copy of the guidelines), editorial boards, researchers, etc. CrossRef would like to encourage broader and more consistent use of DOIs and distribution of these Guidelines by members will help, so we are asking that all members not only follow these guidelines but also promote them to editorial staff, editorial boards and authors. A note of thanks to Bruce Rosenblum at Inera for his help in reviewing these guidelines.
The second document (http://www.crossref.org/08downloads/ref_export_1_0.pdf) describes how CrossRef member publishers should use DOIs in their reference export/citation download services. We encourage all members to update their reference export services to follow these guidelines. CrossRef has been in contact with reference manager software producers about how DOIs are handled. EndNote is considering adding a dedicated DOI field to the 2006 release of the software, RefWorks has already done so and we hope to make some headway with BibTex. EndNote will be more likely to add the DOI field if publishers start using DOIs more consistently.
Two Multiple Resolution pilots have been moving forward and there are now live examples of DOIs with Multiple Resolution. The Institute of Physics has deposited multiple resolution information for one issue of the New Journal of Physics. To see an example go to http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/1367-2630/6/1/122 and click on "References". Go to references 52, 57 and 58 and you'll see the pop up Multiple Resolution box.
GeoScienceWorld is using CrossRef MR to point to different copies of an article hosted on different sites. Rather than have a pop up box, GSW is using an interim page to show the user the available options. For an example go to http://dx.doi.org/10.2136/vzj2004.0029. The interim page can be customized for each journal.
CrossRef Web Services and the Search Partner Program were announced in December 2005 (http://www.crossref.org/01company/pr/press113005.htm) and work is well underway on developing these projects. CrossRef staff and a committee chaired by Howard Ratner from Nature are hard at work. The CrossRef metadata database contains records for more than 18 million items from over 1,500 publishers and CrossRef Web Services will enable efficient distribution of this metadata (including DOIs) to third parties making CrossRef member content more discoverable. CrossRef Web Services policies and procedures are being developed at the moment and, when they are complete, members will be notified and provided the chance to review the terms and conditions that will apply before any metadata delivery gets underway. The Search Partner Program will establish terms and conditions for search engines to agree to get access to the metadata. CrossRef Web Services is an optional service for CrossRef members.
CrossRef's ability to provide valuable services to its member publishers is dependent on member publishers depositing good-quality, authoritative metadata with CrossRef. To date CrossRef has been very effective at enabling its core DOI matching and reference linking service but as we move forward with new services it has become increasingly clear that the CrossRef metadata must be improved. The payoff from improved metadata quality for CrossRef members is efficient services that disseminate the metadata for your content, including DOIs, ensuring that your content will be visible in many different locations and services around the Internet. CrossRef has a number of initiatives underway to improve metadata quality.
The collective benefits that CrossRef members see through the use of DOIs and the core reference linking service can be expanded to bring even greater benefits, but only if metadata quality is improved. Some key areas for metadata quality are (also see the CrossRef System section below):
Failed Query Report. All members should make a point of checking the Failed Query Report at http://www.crossref.org/06members/failed_query.html (cr_member, ref-linking) on a monthly basis. This report provides information about whether attempts to link to specific publications have failed and why. In future, CrossRef plans to offer publisher-specific reports and recommendations based on the Failed Query Report, but for now publishers must make proactive use of this resource on their own.
Browseable Title List/Coverage Information (http://www.crossref.org/titleList): This list has been substantially updated. It is available to browse and search and also to download as a CSV file. This service has been augmented with MARC data and includes coverage information for every title in CrossRef (year, volume, issue, MARC subjects). Publishers should check this data to see if there are any gaps in coverage for their CrossRef-deposited content.
Participating Publishers: 1,541 (http://www.crossref.org/01company/06publishers.html)
Deposit and query stats are regularly updated at http://www.crossref.org/06members/53status.html.
CrossRef’s financial performance was favorable-to-budget throughout 2005. Revenue was $119,000 (4%) over budget and operating expenses were $45,000 (2%) over budget. The positive revenue was due to a high level of backfile deposits which is not expected to continue. The $150,000 contingency in the 2005 budget was not used leading to an Operating Income of $498,000 which is $224,000 better than the budget.
The full year cash generated was $379,000---favorable to budget by $287,000. The favorable results stemmed from operating income (mostly the $150,000 contingency not being released), capital expenditures ($141,000), lower than budgeted due to some projects moving into 2006 and other projects costing less than budgeted. $200,000 of loan principal was repaid to lenders in 2005.
Looking to the 2006 budget, revenue is projected to be $3,075,000, a decrease of 2.1% from 2005 due to the fall off in backfile deposits and loss of local host revenue (1 member and 2 affiliates stopped local hosting). Expenses will rise 9% based on increased resources for the metadata quality initiative (including an extra staff position for the middle of the year), investments in CrossRef Web Services, ongoing system improvements and growth in administrative work due to the increase in members. However, CrossRef's surplus will be lower in 2006 which is positive with regards to tax efficiency and will not adversely affect repayment of the loans and continued investment in the system and new services.
CrossRef’s application for tax-exempt status is still pending with the IRS. There are two possible outcomes to the situation: 1) if the application for tax exempt status is denied CrossRef can continue as is and take steps to minimize taxes in future years; 2) if the application for tax exempt status is approved, CrossRef will be tax exempt from a particular date. Since CrossRef is operating efficiently at the moment there is no need to make any changes to CrossRef’s incorporation status.
Membership Agreement Revisions - At their most recent meeting on January 26-27, the CrossRef Board of Directors approved four changes to the CrossRef/PILA Membership Agreement to bring it in line with current services, such as Forward Linking, and new metadata delivery services being planned as part of the CrossRef Web Services project.
CrossRef Web Services policies and procedures are being developed at the moment and, when they are complete, members will be notified and provided the chance to review the terms and conditions that will apply before any metadata delivery gets underway. The changes to the Membership Agreement make it clear that participation in CrossRef Web Services is optional for CrossRef members. Therefore, CrossRef will only distribute metadata for those members who actively decide to participate. Members will be offered the opportunity to opt out of particular metadata delivery to users of CrossRef Web Services on a case-by-case basis, with a minimum 30-day notice from PILA required (see new clause 9B). More information will be provided on the opt out procedures when the Web Services policies and procedures are finalized over the next 6-8 weeks.
The membership agreement changes were proposed to the Board by the Membership & Fees Committee, whose members are:
Tim Ingoldsby, AIP, Chair
Note that the Board is granted the right to revise the membership agreement by the following language in clause 2c of the agreement: "The Board shall have the power to modify the terms of this Agreement by publishing amended versions that will automatically supercede prior versions, and shall further establish or amend supplemental policies and procedures governing membership from time to time. The PILA Member agrees to periodically review the membership terms and conditions at a designated location on the PILA Site for revisions and modifications."
The new agreement is posted in the members' area of the website at http://www.crossref.org/10meetings/pila_membership_3_0_final.pdf (username: cr_member password: ref-linking) and a copy of the new membership agreement will be sent to the Business Contact for each member later this week.
The approved changes are:
(I) In clause 1, the addition of the word "discovery" to the description of CrossRef's role - ".to promote linking among and discovery of Original works on the Internet." reflects CrossRef's mission to enhance the discoverability (not just linking) of member content. In other official documents, CrossRef's core mission is given as "To provide services that bring the scholar to authoritative primary content, focusing on services that are best achieved through collective agreement by publishers."
(II) In clause 7, permissive use of CrossRef metadata by PILA members is explicitly extended to encompass re-display of metadata in Forward Linking for those members who opt into Forward Linking.
(III) Clause 9 becomes 9a and is revised to cover local hosting by both members and affiliates, where the use of locally hosted metadata is explicitly limited to facilitating linking to published works.
(IV) A new clause 9b is proposed to cover other metadata services that CrossRef may offer eligible partners under separate contract. Members will be offered a "blanket" opt-out for participating in metadata services as a whole. In addition, members will be presented with the option to participate in any metadata partnerships that PILA contracts on a case-by-case basis.
Board Meeting, January 26-27 2006
As outlined above the board approved changes to the Membership Agreement. Some other key decisions were to continue with the CrossRef Web Services project (the committee working on this is being chaired by Howard Ratner from Nature) as an optional service for members and to include $100K in the 2006 budget for the project. The Institutional Repositories Committee, chaired by Bernie Rous from the ACM, presented a thorough report to the board and the recommendations were adopted by the board (more information about this will be sent later) but include a glossary of terminology and recommended language for publishers to use in their self-archiving policies. The Institutional Repositories Committee will stay in existence and continue its engagement with the IR community. The 2006 budget was approved as were the financial operating policies which were revised based on recommendations from the Audit Committee (chaired by Linda Beebe from the APA).
2005 was a very active year for CrossRef recruitment, with 65 publishers joining and 11 new affiliate organizations. During the first month of 2006, six publishers joined CrossRef as new members: the Soil and Water Conservation Society, English Literature in Transition, California State University, East Bay Foundation Inc., University of Washington Radiology Case Reports, Central European Science Journals (CESJ) c/o Internet Investors Sp. z o. o., and the American Journal of Science (AJS). We welcome them, and are also very pleased to welcome Portico as a new affiliate member.
So far in 2006, CrossRef has committed to sponsorships of ALA Midwinter, AAP/PSP, NFAIS, JISC, the SSP Annual Meeting, and SLA-Science Tech Annual Conference. Staff did/will attend several of these meetings.
Forthcoming end-user survey
In coming weeks you will be invited to post a link from your journal homepages to a short web-based survey intended to gauge user awareness of the DOI and CrossRef. Responses to the survey will help us refine our strategies to promote the value of our services directly to users.
Free Text Queries are now available on a trial basis at http://www.crossref.org/freeTextQuery. This form accepts references formatted in common bibliographic styles and returns the DOI for the article if one is found in CrossRef. Use of this form is currently restricted to CrossRef members (a login to the member’s area of our Web site is required). The underlying technology (refXpress) provided by Inera is derived from their eXtyles product which normally works with an entire article. During this pilot phase we will be adapting this technology for use in stand alone reference parsing and appreciate your comments and observations (a comment link is provided on the form).
Extended Content Types (ECTs) is now enabled on the CrossRef system. This means that deposits can now be taken for dissertations/thesis, reports/papers and standards. The deposit schema is available at http://www.crossref.org/schema/deposit/crossref4.0.0.xsd and an update to the query schema at http://www.crossref.org/schema/querySchema/crossref_query_input2.0.7.xsd . Queries that search ECT content must contain one of the two new fields added to the query schema, <institution> or <identifier>. Sample XML files are available at http://www.crossref.org/08downloads/CrossRef_Deposit_Schema_4.0.0.zip
Missing Metadata Reports - Detailed missing metadata reports are now available for each publication title. These can be accessed via the depositor report at http://www.crossref.org/06members/51depositor.html (follow the little green arrows), just click on the publication titles listed on any publisher’s Missing Metadata Report.
The November 2005 DOI News (http://www.doi.org/news/DOINewsSep05.html) highlights that there has been some consolidation among the Registration Agencies as the IDF moves forward with its restructuring. Existing RAs are taking over management of the DOIs for those RAs leaving showing that the mechanisms that IDF has in place to ensure persistent are working.