In The February Issue:

CrossRef Member Update

Ed Pentz, Executive Director ( )
February 27, 2008

Member Update (110kb PDF)

Message from the Executive Director

Even though we are well into 2008 I wanted to provide a short review of 2007 which was very successful for CrossRef in a number of areas. In May CrossRef repaid all of its start up loans (plus interest) which retired all of the organization's long term debt. At the start of 2007 the Royal Society registered its archive back to 1665 and we passed the 25 million DOI mark. At the end of 2007 BSI British Standards joined and we passed the 30 million DOI mark. This shows that CrossRef is not only continuing to expand coverage of journal content but also moving into new areas including books, reference works, technical reports and standards. The number of DOIs is still increasing relatively quickly. Looking at the Key Statistics section of this report, which compares 2005, 2006 and 2007, we can see that growth is continuing in all areas (deposits, resolutions, new members) and the only decrease is the expected one in backfile DOI deposits. In August CrossRef launched the CrossCheck Pilot ( to investigate whether we could create a service to help publishers ensure that the content they publish is original.

CrossRef has had a good start to 2008. I'm very happy to report that the board approved going forward with the CrossCheck service so we are working towards a June launch - more information on the new service will be available over the next couple of months. This service is important because it doesn't directly involve reference linking but takes advantage of the collaborative nature of CrossRef to enable publishers to do something more effectively together than they could do individually.

In another exciting development we launched a beta version of the CrossRef Citation Plugin for WordPress ( a couple of weeks ago. This is a new tool to make it easy for science bloggers to insert formatted, DOI-linked citations into posts. Using the plugin bloggers on the WordPress software (a Moveable Type version is in the works) are able to search CrossRef metadata using citations, or partial citations, identify the correct DOI and then pull a formatted citation into their post without leaving the WordPress authoring environment. In just a couple of weeks there have been over 100 downloads of the plugin and we've received a lot of positive feedback and suggestions for improvements. This is a demonstration of the power of putting up beta services and responding quickly to user feedback with rapid development.

Science blogging is becoming more important and it is very common for published articles to be cited and discussed in blog posts - a perfect application for CrossRef DOIs.  One critical factor is that publishers need to deposit complete metadata with CrossRef including all authors and article titles - this will make your content more discoverable and citeable. One comment about the plugin requested that CrossRef  "hassle" publishers to provide all authors - so consider yourself hassled (after all, they want to link to your articles!). I highlight some examples from blogs in the DOIs in Use section below.

In January CrossRef's Amy Brand attended the North Carolina Science Blogging Conference ( now in its second year where she presented a preview of the CrossRef Citation Plugin and raised the profile of CrossRef and DOI among researchers.

Scholarly communications is changing and as publishers confront this rapidly changing environment CrossRef is constantly looking at areas where we can build on the collaborative approach that has made reference linking so successful.  On that note I would like to call your attention to three new Working Groups being set up and the call for participation below.

Remember that you can keep up-to-date with the latest CrossRef news and information on the CrossRef Blog - and the CrossTech Blog -

As always please feel free to contact me with any issues/concerns/problems at

Upcoming Meetings

Annual Meeting 2008 - Save the date -18 November 2008, Boston, MA at the Lenox Hotel ( We are already at work on a great agenda for this meeting.

DOI names in Use

Sites like Chemical Blogspace ( and Postgenomic ( aggregate blog posts and track which articles are being discussed and have other Web 2.0 features like user tagging, commenting and sharing. CrossRef DOIs play an important role in these sites - here is a record for an article with the DOI as the persistent link to the article and here is the original post - - also with a DOI link.

In the Chemistry space see a journal club using a blog to communicate -

Even publishers are using blogs - - but it's frustrating to see a DOI used in a citation but not have it linked! - (see the sad, unlinked DOI at the end of the post).

Services Update

CrossCheck - the board has approved moving forward with a production service. More information will be provided over the next couple of months. We are currently planning for a June launch of the service.

Forward Linking - What are you missing? CrossRef Forward Linking (cited by links - has been growing steadily over the last year and there are now 110 publishers participating with tens of millions of references being matched. There is no charge for joining CrossRef Forward Linking. To participate publishers send the references for an article when the DOI is registered and then they can do a query for an article to get a list of the articles from other CrossRef publishers that cite their article. To see a live example from the New Journal of Physics (an open-access journal), click on doi:10.1088/1367-2630/1/1/006 and follow the "articles citing this article" link above the abstract. I did a quick spot check of some publishers who aren't yet participating in CrossRef Forward Linking and found links that they were "missing". One particular publisher's article had 34 "cited by" links in CrossRef, 12 in the system they were hosted on and none in Google Scholar - CrossRef Forward Links can add a lot of value.

mEDRA Collaboration - mEDRA (, a European DOI Registration Agency set up by the AIE (the Italian Publishers Association) and Cineca (a consortium of Italian universities providing technical services) and CrossRef have reached agreement for mEDRA to act as a reseller for CrossRef so that Italian publishers who are mEDRA customers can join CrossRef with mEDRA handling all the work and the DOI registration.  This is the first formal cooperation between DOI Registration Agencies and it is a model we are looking at to extend to other Registration Agencies where appropriate.

Key Statistics

Participating Publishers: 2,515 ( )
Voting Members: 519 ( )
Affiliates: 42 ( )
Agents: 7 ( )
Library Affiliates: 1,349 ( )

Dashboard Targets

Actuals '07

Actuals '06

06/'07 change

Actuals  '05

05/'07 change

Budget '08

07/'08 change

























Match %








Current Deposits








Backfile Deposits








Total Deposits








Total Records








# DOI Resolutions








# Members








# Depositing prefixes








# Linking prefixes








# Journals








# Book Titles








# Conference Titles








The total number of queries grew by 17% from 2006 to 2007 but from 2005 to 2007 there is only a 2% change.  The total number of queries is expected to decline due to many matches having been made and the use of stored queries (removing the need to resubmit unmatched references on a periodic basis).  The overall matching rate increased 34% to 40% - again, this is partly due to the use of stored queries but also to the fact that backfile digitization has made more content available. 

Total deposits are down 1% in 2007 compared with 2006.  This is due to a 6% decline in Backfile deposits.  Current deposits grew by a healthy 9% and are up 31% from 2005.  Backfile deposits are expected to drop off significantly in 2008 but this will be mitigated somewhat but continued growth in Current deposits. 

DOI Resolutions are up a healthy 18% from 2006 to 2007 and an impressive 60% from 2005 to 2007 - that's more links to your content!  Membership growth has continued at a steady trend (with most new members in the lower two annual fee categories).  The number of books with DOIs has increased greatly over the last two years and the number of journals has also gone up (a lot of this is due to backfile titles that are no longer active).  The one area where we would like to see more of an increase is in the number of linkers although about 95% of members are linking references.  Checking reference linking requires manual checks with members and this is done on a regular quarterly basis and the Non-linking fee imposed where appropriate.

Deposit and query stats are regularly updated at  

Financial Update

2007 4th Quarter and 2007 Full Year Financials

Income Statement:

2007 4th Qtr.

Full Year 2007







Last Yr.
















  Operating Income







New (Unbudgeted) Initiatives







  Oper. Inc. Incl. New Initiatives







Interest Income, Net







Inc. Tax Provision/ Exh. Gains (Losses)







  Net Income







Operating Income Margin







The full year (12-month) financial results led to the following financial highlights:

  • Revenues were $3,461,000---over budget by $153,000/4.6%)---due to high Current and Backfile deposits.
  • Expenses were $3,238,000---over budget by $147,000/4.8%---due to high spending on Contractor fees related to the second data center and data center bandwidth charges from the 2nd quarter.
  • Operating income including new initiatives/contingency was $212,000---favorable to budget by $157,000/35%.
  • Cash balances at December 31, 2007 were $1,136,000---slightly better than budget by $117,000.   

Update on Board Items

Action items from February 2008 board meeting

  1. A working group is to be formed to generate a proposed policy for dealing with situations in which a journal is "orphaned" and its content is only held in an archive.

  2. Suggestions for topics to be discussed at the July strategic planning meeting are to be made at the April Board meeting.

  3. A working group is to be formed to deal with the deposit of DOIs for e-books.

Summary of motions passed February 2008

  1. To approve the recommendations of the CrossCheck Committee, as follows:

    that CrossRef proceed with deliberate speed to a production launch of the CrossCheck Service;

    - that the two necessary pre-requisites to the launch of the service be delegated to the Executive Committee, with time allowed for distribution to and review and comment by the members of the Board. The two pre-requisites are:  execution of the final CrossRef/iParadigms Agreement (which includes as an attachment, the terms and conditions for CrossRef member participation in CrossCheck) and finalization of the model agreement between iParadigms and each Participating Publisher; and

    - that CrossRef staff be instructed to time the official launch of the CrossCheck Service with the release of the new iThenticate interface or soon thereafter.

  2. To approve going forward to Phase 2 for the "Version of Record Record" proposal.
  3. To establish a cash reserve fund, as recommended in Proposal 2 of the long-term financial planning report, in the amount of $500,000.
  4. To begin planning in 2008 for a possible rewrite of the CrossRef system in 2009.
  5. To approve the budget for 2008 as proposed.
  6. To approve Proposal 1 in the long term financial report, setting the following long term financial goals:

    - sustain core operations;

    - make necessary capital investments in core operations;

    - invest in new initiatives;

    - require all new services to be self-sustaining;

    - retain a minimum of 2 months operating cash plus next year's capital spending on hand at all times for operating case requirements (excluding Cash Reserve Fund);

    - maintain a credit line of at least $250,000 for current operations; and

    - maintain a Cash Reserve Fund for longer term investments.
  7. To instruct the Nominating Committee as follows:

    - in designating the slate of candidates, to take into account issues of Board composition and balance with the goal that the Board fairly represent the membership;

    - to look at the balance between large, medium and small members, the balance between non-profit and commercial organizations and the geographic location of Board members;

    - to look at issues such as Board meeting attendance, committee participation and serving as an officer when considering candidates for the slate;

    - to complete its work sufficiently in advance of the annual meeting to permit independent nominations.

A range of committees have been established to carry out important work for CrossRef. The list of current committees and the Chairs is at (username: cr_member password: ref-linking). Members of some of the committees can be from any CrossRef member and not just an organization on the board so we are looking for members who are interested in helping out. The meetings of committees are done by conference call and the meet on varying schedules but usually once a month so it is not too onerous. In particular, it would be very useful to have some new members for the Metadata Quality Committee and the Membership and Fees Committee. If you would like more information about the committees or are interested in participating then please contact Ed Pentz ( The Chair of each committee is responsible for the membership of each committee.

New Working Groups

CrossRef is starting a few working groups and we need your help.  If you are interested in participating in any of the groups below (or if you have someone from your organization who is interested) please contact me ( Help create some valuable new services!

Book Working Group - CrossRef needs to establish policies and guidelines to help increase book linking and appropriate use of DOIs with multiple versions and editions of e-books and reference works. With 1 million book/reference work DOIs registered (representing almost 50,000 titles) there is now a critical mass of book content to work with. Book reference linking is much less standardized then journal reference linking and this has an impact on authors willingness to become book authors (there isn't the same credit for authoring journal articles). This group will look at what policies can be established in the area of DOIs for online books and reference works and how reference linking can be improved.

Version of Record Record (VRR) Working Group - the goals of the initiative are to provide readers with an instant visual cue via a trademarked logo to the provenance and presumed trustworthiness of formally published content. In addition it will emphasize the value of the publisher's copy of an article as the one that will contain the up-to-date record of the article's status.

The project is looking to create a proof-of-concept trial using a trademarked logo to be licensed by CrossRef for display on publisher copies of content. This logo would be accompanied by a flexible embedded metadata format that would allow publishers to consistently link (via DOIs) to documents providing a narrative outline of their acceptance and peer review policies. This will allow researchers to instantly ascertain the provenance and status of published content. Naturally, participation in the VRR program would be entirely optional and publishers would individually choose what to include in their own VRR records.

Contributor ID Working Group - CrossRef is in the project planning phase of "Contributor ID" service for the scholarly publishing community. This service would provide a mechanism for disambiguating the various people who have contributed to the creation of content that has been assigned a DOI. The service would be based on a social software architecture that exploits user-generated content and which implements a distributed authentication framework.

This architecture recommendation is based on an analysis of traditional attempts to provide name disambiguation and user authentication services. The analysis found that: (a) semi-automated techniques for name disambiguation are still too inaccurate to deploy on a large scale and would require an unacceptable amount of manual intervention; and (b) centralized and federated authentication systems have historically failed when deployed on a large scale across heterogonous Internet resources.

Business Development Update

New members and affiliates. As of February 2008, CrossRef dues-paying members total 518, accounting for over 2,500 publishers and societies. During 2007, CrossRef gained 127 publisher members and ten affiliates. Among these new participants are: John Benjamins Publishing Company, Lavoisier, the American Cancer Society, China Science Publishing Group, BSI British Standards, OECD, The Nature Conservancy, KISTI, The Psychonomic Society, Inera, and Seed Media Group.

We are particularly excited about one new member, who just joined this week, named the Encyclopedia of Life ( EOL is a joint undertaking by the Biodiversity Heritage Library, The Field Museum of Natural History, Harvard University, the Marine Biological Laboratory, the Missouri Botanical Garden, and the Smithsonian Institution. It is intended serve as an online reference source and database for every one of the 1.8 million species that are named and known on this planet, as well as all those later discovered and described. Encyclopedia of Life will be used as both a teaching and a learning tool, helping scientists, educators, students, and the community at large gain a better understanding of this planet and all who inhabit it. To start, DOIs will be assigned to each of the 1.8 million species pages being created within EOL, and CrossRef plans to collaborate with EOL on developing more granular and dynamic linking functionality going forward.

Please be sure to check for regular updates.

Animation. When your readers ask you..."what's a DOI? why CrossRef?": For a quick and lively intro to CrossRef and the DOI, go to

CrossRef@conferences. CrossRef staff attended the second annual Science Blogging Conference in North Carolina earlier this year, and gave a brief preview there of a new CrossRef reference plug-in for blogging environments. We just opened the plug-in up for testing (see the announcement at and expect lots of feedback from the science and technology blogging community. Looking ahead, CrossRef will be at several industry events around the globe during the next few months. Looks for us at NFAIS, UKSG, PNAS, and STM.

Strategic Partnerships. CrossRef has recently agreed to partner with Sermo (, the fast-growing online community and discussion environment for physicians. The new partnership will ensure that, where clinical discussions on Sermo refer to the published literature, the CrossRef DOI is used to link to cited medical articles. Our relationship with Sermo of course promotes the DOI as the linking standard for medical and other professional literature. CrossRef is also invested in making its members that publish medical journals aware of this new opportunity to link high-quality online discussions with their content in a very easy way.

Forward Linking continues to grow. Over 100 CrossRef members are participating in Forward Linking. If you haven't yet signed up, please go to You can even submit Forward Links in simple text format! Take a look, at

Acknowledgement of funders in journal articles

The Research Information Network (RIN -, working with funders in the UK, Wiley-Blackwell and CrossRef, has issued guidance on acknowledgement of research funders in scholarly journal articles (the full document is available on the RIN website - The document highlights the need for funders to assess the results of funding and provides very practical advice for publishers on how they can add value to the publishing process.  A number of publishers already include separate "Funding" sections in papers and the RIN guidance includes a number of examples for publishers on how to tag grant funder names and grant numbers in XML and how this information can be displayed in articles.  In turn the funders will provide authors guidance on providing consistent information to publishers in journal articles.