December 2009

From the Executive Director

Greetings from a chilly and festive-looking Oxford (the hint of the possibility of a little snow is getting everyone in a tizzy). CrossRef just passed a couple of important milestones: the 10th anniversary of the first meetings that lead to its creation, and its 10th Annual Meeting. To celebrate, over 130 people attended the CrossRef 10th Anniversary Dinner at the Museum of Science in Boston the evening before the Annual Meeting. It was a great event (ably organized by Anna Tolwinska and Susan Collins at CrossRef). I'm pleased to say we were joined by all current and past Chairs and Treasurers, current and former staff, board members, member publishers, representatives from other industry associations, librarians and other friends.

Current and past CrossRef Chairs and CrossRef Executive Director Ed Pentz. From left to right: Bob Campbell, Anthony Durniak, Ed Pentz, Pieter Bolman, and Eric Swanson.

In recognition of the 10th anniversary CrossRef commissioned a short history of its founding (The Formation of CrossRef: A Short History, PDF, 1.2Mb) based on interviews with some of the people closely involved with events at the time. In addition, we also produced a CrossRef 10th Anniversary Video (available on YouTube - Executive Producer, Carol Meyer) based on interviews conducted for the history document. Further details on the dinner and the Annual Meeting presentations are available below.

In a very important development, the Board of Directors approved a revised version of the PILA Membership Agreement that will come into effect for all current members on 1 January 2010. The changes were prompted by an ongoing review of how to ensure the long-term persistence of CrossRef as an organization. Persistence has both technical and organizational aspects.

On the technical front CrossRef has two data centers (Boston and Denver) with fully backed-up systems and data and a detailed disaster recovery plan. Our renewed partnership with long-term partner Atypon gives us IP ownership over the core functions of the CrossRef System. On the organizational front CrossRef has a sustainable business model, good governance and has established a Cash Reserve Fund to build up some assets outside of regular operating funds. In addition, CrossRef is a Registration Agency of the International DOI Foundation (IDF) which ensures the long term persistence of the DOI System. Please see below for the details of the changes to the PILA Membership Agreement.

At the Online Information meeting in London the first week in December CrossRef participated in a meeting on author name identification organized by Thomson Reuters and Nature (see full details on the CrossRef Blog ), this effort has a lot of momentum so much more information will be coming in 2010. CrossRef plans to be closely involved with the developments.

I recommend that everyone take a look at the new CrossRef Labs page, which has many interesting experiments and tests available (more information below). One example is the TOI DOI short DOI service. CrossRef DOIs in Twitter feeds are becoming more common (see these search results for examples)--but some CrossRef DOIs are very long. See http://www.shortdoi.org/ for a non-production, beta system.

Please join me in welcoming two new staff members: Andrew Gilmartin, Senior Programmer, working on the System Rewrite from the Lynnfield, MA office and Karl Ward, R&D programmer, working on strategic initiatives from the Oxford office.

As you can see from the stats and financials below CrossRef is finishing 2009 in great shape, and we have a number of initiatives underway for 2010. Best wishes to everyone for the New Year.

CrossRef DOIs in Use for Books

A growing number of publishers now deposit CrossRef DOIs and link references for book content. More than 2 million books chapters and reference entries from 93,000 book titles have been assigned CrossRef DOIs, and that number is growing fast. This example comes from the Royal Society of Chemistry Dictionary of Substances and their Effects: http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/9781847559371-00001, The title and entries all have their own CrossRef DOIs, making it possible for external content to link directly to the appropriate entries.


Another interesting book example links to English Funerary Elegy in the Seventeenth
Century
from Palgrave: http://dx.doi.org/10.1057/9780230554870.


For more information on using CrossRef DOIs for books, see our web page.

PILA Membership Agreement Changes

The new version of the PILA Membership Agreement will come into effect on January 1, 2010. The Board has made changes to enable the CrossRef service to more effectively ensure the long-term persistence of CrossRef DOIs and the scholarly citation record. The changes to the agreement are in Sections 3f, 12, and 17:

  • Members are asked to use commercially reasonable efforts to have archiving arrangements in place.
  • If member leaves PILA, PILA is permitted to retain and use metadata and DOIs to ensure persistent linking.
  • The members’ obligation to maintain links survives after leaving PILA.
  • If the former member doesn’t maintain the links, PILA has the right to redirect the former member’s CrossRef DOIs to an appropriate landing page.

A copy of the agreement with the revisions highlighted is available (See the Revised PILA
Membership Agreement, PDF 200Kb
).

CrossRef Celebrates 10 Years of Collaboration at Annual Meeting

CrossRef marked its 10th Anniversary with a celebration dinner at the Museum of Science in
Boston in November. More than 130 members, friends, and staff reminisced with colleagues,
explored the exhibits, and experienced an amazing (and loud!) electricity show. View photos
from
the dinner (and the Technical Working Group meeting and the Annual Meeting) on CrossRef’s Facebook page, and become a fan while you are there.

Board members elected for three-year terms at the Annual Business Meeting on Tuesday, November 10th included ACM, Informa UK, John Wiley & Sons Inc., Sage Publications, and Hindawi. Find further information on the current board terms on the CrossRef web site. Executive Director Ed Pentz delivered an update on CrossRef’s past, present and future, and Treasurer Linda Beebe reported that CrossRef remains financially healthy.

After the business meeting, Director of Technology Chuck Koscher discussed plans to work with Atypon to update the CrossRef query system. Geoffrey Bilder, Director of Strategic Initiatives, discussed CrossRef’s new projects, including CrossMark, and Carol Anne Meyer, Manager of Business Development and Marketing explored the guidelines for displaying CrossRef DOIs.

In the afternoon, philosopher Prof. Onora O’Neill broadened horizons and spurred an excellent discussion on trust and communication in academic publication. She urged publishers to honor their relationships with authors, and to remember the importance of two-way communication.

CrossRef Product Manager Kirsty Meddings moderated an informative CrossCheck panel and provided an update on the plagiarism screening service. Three CrossCheck participants shared their real-life experiences screening submitted content for plagiarism. Cathy Griffin, of Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, shared results of their screening efforts. She noted that authors’ understanding of plagiarism and proper citation is uneven. Phil Canuto of the Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine reported on the experience of using CrossCheck in a review journal. Finally, Howard Ratner of Nature Publishing Group, stressed the importance of educating authors, and noted while several cases of insufficient citation have come to light, they had not uncovered any overt cases of plagiarism. (See more CrossCheck news below.)

Librarian T. Scott Plutchak ended the day with a compelling presentation. He shared his perspective on the difficult issue of plagiarism among researchers. He noted a key distinction between the accepted culture of “borrowing” among jazz musicians and the necessity for proper citation practices and original expression among academic authors.


From left to right T. Scott Plutchak, Geoff Bilder and Lynn Fortney.

Mark your calendar now for next year’s Annual Meeting in London, November 15-16th 2010. We hope to see you there.

Strategic Initiatives: ticTOCS Progress and New CrossRef Labs Site

The CrossRef/ticTOCs working group responsible for drawing up best practice guidelines for scholarly publisher RSS feeds has finished the first release of its recommendations. The recommendations incorporate feedback from the CrossRef Technical Working Group (TWG), particularly on the issue of adding annotations to RSS channel/title elements. View the current recommendations here. The next revision of the recommendations will include advice on how to include discipline-specific extensions to metadata feeds. For instance, some chemistry publishers might want to include InChI metadata in their RSS feeds.

 Visit our new site, CrossRef Labs, to play with some of the prototypes and       experiments we've been developing. Here you can find links to various tools and services that either make it easier to locate CrossRef DOIs (e.g. Blog/Ubiquity plugins and OpenSearch Description files) or that serve to illustrate a concept that has been of interest to our members (InChI lookupTOI-DOIs). 

CrossCheck Publishers Screening Manuscripts

CrossCheck now has 72 members, and an impressive 24 million content items have been indexed and added to the database, from 42,000 journals, books and conference proceedings. (Download the updated Excel file of content or review our list of participating publishers.)

Most participating publishers are now regularly screening documents or running pilots to establish the best way to include the iThenticate plagiarism check in their workflows. A short survey in October revealed that practices are varying widely between publishers and publications at this stage, but that the tool is proving to be useful, with almost half of respondents reporting that they had detected suspicious content.

An overview of CrossCheck and a case study from the Journal of Zhejiang University appeared in the latest issue of Learned Publishing. The journal has been using CrossCheck since October 2008 and report on the results of running manuscripts through iThenticate.

Monthly introductory CrossCheck webinars are available for those interested to learn about how plagiarism screening can add value to their publications. Please join us to find out more.

Important Billing Information

Please submit your payments to CrossRef for any outstanding invoices by 31 December 2010.

Annual membership billings for 2010 have been mailed out earlier in December. They are dated 1 January 2010, so will not be due until 31 January. Fourth quarter deposit invoices cannot be generated or mailed until after system close on 31 December.

Any questions please contact Senior Finance Manager, Lisa Hart at lhart@crossref.org.

CrossRef Finances Remain Strong

CrossRef’s financial position continues to be strong. Both current and backfile deposits have continued to be higher than expected. Backfile deposits have declined over 2008, but not as much as budgeted. CrossRef’s query volume is up almost 40% since last year. Even more significantly are the number of matched queries, up 67%, bringing the match rate up over 50%. The total number of deposits in the CrossRef system is likely to reach 40 million by year-end or shortly thereafter.

Dashboard
Targets

Jan-
Nov '09

Jan-
Nov '08

08/'09 change

Pro-rated Budget '09

Budget +/-

Full Year Budget '09

Queries

389,944,359

280,012,253

39%

229,166,667

70%

250,000,000

Matches

200,970,659

120,425,798

67%

91,666,667

119%

100,000,000

Match %

52%

43%

20%

40%

29%

40%

Current
Deposits

2,205,036

1,994,399

11%

2,140,417

3%

2,335,000

Backfile
Deposits

2,004,278

2,171,649

-8%

1,100,000

82%

1,200,000

Total
Deposits

4,209,314

4,166,048

1%

3,240,417

30%

3,535,000

Total
Records

39,134,700

34,332,498

6%

39,855,570

# CrossRef
DOI Resolutions

310,917,619

238,270,220

30%

252,083,333

23%

275,000,000

# Members

789

639

23%

670

18%

700

# Depositing
prefixes

1307

1065

23%

1050

24%

1100

# Linking
prefixes

777

610

27%

690

13%

800

# Journals

21,002

20,194

4%

20,075

5%

23,000

# Book
Titles

92,378

73,352

26%

83,000

11%

99,700

# Conference
Titles

16,751

14,392

16%

15,000

12%

17,000


Key Operating Statistics


Income
Statement

2009
3rd Qtr.

2009
Year-to-Date

2009
Full Year

$000's

Actuals

Budget

Actuals

Budget

Forecast

Budget

Revenues

           1,005

                 995

         2,993

        2,816

         4,058

         3,862

Expenses

            820

               845

         2,555

         2,610

         3,495

         3,534

  Operating
Income

              185

                 150

           438

            206

            563

            328

Contingencies

               -

                    -

               -

               -

             (60)

             (60)

Interest
Income
(Expense)

              7

                     4

              25

                11

              35

              15

For.
Currency
Transl./Other

             (11)

                    -

              8

               -

              8

               -

  Net
Income

           181

                154

            471

              217

           546

            283


Sincerely,

Ed Pentz
Executive Director
CrossRef