February 2011

From the Executive Director

Welcome to the latest CrossRef newsletter. On the staff front I’m happy to welcome Paula Dwyer as Controller and Vaishali Patel as Technical Support Analyst. I would also like to congratulate Lisa Hart who was recently promoted to Associate Director of Finance and Operations. Lisa has been with CrossRef since 2000 (she was the second employee) and she has continued to take on more responsibilities as CrossRef has grown.

CrossRef had an excellent year in 2010. CrossRef DOIs were clicked 464 million times during the year (a fantastic number when you think about it and 36% higher than 2009) and the number of members grew by 26% to over 1,000. This newsletter has updates on CrossCheck, CrossMark and the ORCID initiative, all very important developments for scholarly communications. CrossRef is also starting up a Book Interest Group (details below) since books are the fastest growing content type for CrossRef.

In an interesting development the Open Bibliographic Data Working Group of the Open Knowledge Foundation published the “OpenBiblio Principles” – four principles designed to ensure that bibliographic data is made openly available to aid in the advancement of science. The principles are relevant to CrossRef as a large source of authoritative bibliographic data so we will be looking into the issues raised by the principles and considering whether we need to make any changes – feedback from members on these issues is welcome.

Finally, the CrossRef Annual Meeting will be in Cambridge, MA on November 15th at the Charles Hotel and the CrossRef Workshops will be on November 14th so please save the dates. Agenda details will follow in a couple of months.

CrossRef DOIs in Use: Article Level Metrics from PLoS

CrossRef members and Affiliates understand the value of CrossRef DOIs for reference linking, but the Public Library of Science has gone a step further. CrossRef DOIs are an important part of the article level metrics PLoS displays. CrossRef DOIs are used to display CrossRef Cited-by links, they are used to count the level of downloads and links to an article, and they also flag blog posts and social networking links made using DOIs. An example is the following article from PLoS Biology, http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pbio.0050077. When users click on the Metrics tab, they see a breakdown of article downloads for this DOI, Cited-by statistics from other CrossRef Cited-by participants, and non-quantifiable links from blogs and social bookmarking sites. When scholars cite this article using its CrossRef DOI, PLoS can aggregate the traffic in these article level metrics.

ORCID Update

ORCID (Open Researcher and Contributor ID) - ORCID is dedicated to solving the name ambiguity problem in scholarly communications by creating an open, independent registry to assign unique identifiers to researchers. A broad range of stakeholders including publishers, universities and funders are participating in ORCID, which in August 2010 officially incorporated as a US not-for-profit charity and elected its first board of directors. CrossRef is very involved with ORCID developments because the initiative is of vital strategic importance for our member publishers (unique author identification was identified as a priority by the CrossRef board and a survey of members in 2008).

To help ORCID get off to a good start, CrossRef is making its Director of Strategic Initiatives Geoffrey Bilder available to be part-time, interim Technical Director for ORCID from February-July 2011. Geoffrey will fully remain a CrossRef employee but will spend up to half his time on ORCID matters for the fixed period. The CrossRef board approved this temporary arrangement as a way to support the ORCID initiative.

Many CrossRef member publishers are participating directly in ORCID, but for those who aren't CrossRef can represent them. Ed Pentz, CrossRef Executive Director, is on the ORCID board, which is chaired by Howard Ratner, Nature, who is also a CrossRef board member. Bernard Rous, ACM, and Craig Van Dyck, Wiley, also serve on both the CrossRef and ORCID boards. At the moment organizations can sign up as "Participating Organizations"  (over 150 organizations have done so to date) and can become "Founding Sponsors" by donating to ORCID by 15 February 2011. Please consider a donation to get this important initiative off the ground. 

In October 2010 the ORCID board announced a set of 10 Principles which include statements that the organization will be open and transparent; that researchers will be able to claim records and control privacy settings for their data; that any software developed by ORCID will be Open Source; that data contributed or claimed by researchers will be made openly available, subject to privacy settings.

In 2011 ORCID will develop a full business plan and operating model and a beta version of the ORCID registry following up on the successful ORCID alpha system developed in 2010 using the Thomson ResearcherID code as a starting point. ORCID is currently evaluating a range of technologies and is talking to ISNI (International Standard Name Identifier) about how the two initiatives might work together.

DOI is Now an ISO Standard

The International DOI Foundation (IDF) announced in November that the DOI System was approved as a Final Draft International Standard (ISO/DIS 26324, Information and Documentation — Digital Object Identifier System) - an important step that recognizes the importance of the DOI System. In addition, the IDF also reported on the launch of the Entertainment Identifier Registry (EIDR), a non-profit global independent registry lead by MovieLabs that provides a uniform approach to cataloging movies, television shows, and other commercial audio/video assets with unique identifiers (IDs). The EIDR is the first major use of the DOI System outside of scholarly and professional publishing.

New CrossRef Book Interest Group

Judging from the growing volume of book content deposited at CrossRef (see article below) CrossRef members are making a big push into eBooks. To harness that growth and share best practices for depositing book content and linking book references, CrossRef is creating a new Book Interest Group. Our plan is to hold regular teleconference calls among interested members. Our first meeting will be March 1, 10am EST. Please register here or share this information with the appropriate contacts at your organization. We will explore issues relevant to the group’s participants.

Optimizing CrossRef DOIs for Mobile Devices

Mobile apps and mobile-optimized websites are much on publishers’ minds, judging from the preconference and annual meeting program at the recent American Association of Publisher/Professional and Scholarly Publishing (AAP/PSP). Although many issues are still to be worked out, here are a few tips to make sure that the investment you have made in CrossRef DOI resolution pays off in the mobile environment.

First, encourage your product development and technical development staff to use state of the art mobile devices. Have them browse other scholarly sites.  Here are a few to get you started.

Make sure that you look at your own publications sites on a mobile browser. Familiarity breeds innovation.

Second, (and this should go without saying), make sure you use CrossRef DOIs to link references and address your own content rather than other types of URLs. Regardless of how you display CrossRef DOIs in your mobile apps (and on any web page) ensure that they are always linked with http://dx.doi.org/ prepended. Mobile users are likely to be very annoyed if they have to cut and paste into a browser window to resolve a CrossRef DOI. You may want to consider employing IDF’s DOI shortening service to maximize scarce screen real estate.

Third, understand what platforms your readers use. Overall, smartphone operating systems are in a dead heat, according to Nielson statistics, divided among IOS (Apple), RIM (Blackberry), and Android devices, but your community may be different. Take a look at the platform stats from your server logs to understand your mobile users better.

Finally, consider creating a mobile optimized version of your landing page that automatically detects when users are coming from a mobile browser. This strategy will allow you to take advantage of incoming traffic from other mobile platforms without jarring a user who is navigating from a mobile-optimized environment to one that requires excessive panning and scrolling. Consider employing the WURFL standard to maximize the platforms you can support while minimizing development effort.

CrossMark Pilot Underway

The CrossMark service will allow publishers to mark the Version of Record documents they publish and maintain to distinguish them from the many copies available that may not be up to date. Researchers will be able to easily see if a document is current, or, if not, to locate any updates.

Several publishers have agreed to participate in the CrossMark pilot. From now until April, these publishers will work with the draft technical specs for CrossMark, including a revision to the deposit schema. For a few publications, they will gather the required status and optional record metadata, and will submit files for these publications. Then they will display live CrossMark logos on the publication pages. The pilot will provide additional information about the level of effort needed for publishers to participate in CrossMark and will validate some technical assumptions about the bandwidth required to support the service. More information about CrossMark is available on the CrossRef web site. Publishers interested in planning ahead for their own CrossMark implementation may wish to review the pilot support site.

CrossCheck Plagiarism Screening Service Gaining Traction

CrossCheck members collectively screened just over 100,000 manuscripts for signs of plagiarism in 2010.  Compared to 20,000 documents in 2009, this really demonstrates the pace with which the project is growing in its second full year. One hundred twenty-nine members have contributed over 50,000 full-text books, journal articles and conference proceedings to the database. 

Introductory webinars and demos of the iThenticate system are run on a monthly basis. Register on our web site or contact Kirsty Meddings to discuss the service in more detail.

Query System Update Completed

Our transition to the new query system was completed in late December 2010.  Many trial runs in the fall uncovered small to moderate differences with the old system, which have now been corrected. While our goal was to be as backward compatible as possible, in a few cases this lead to undesirable compromise.  Hopefully this effected a very small number of users all of whom we believe have resolved their issues. As was mentioned at the annual member meeting we are seeing significantly improved performance with the new system, which is more flexible and will offer greater opportunity for us to improve the service. We now have turned our attention to rewriting the deposit system.

New Penalty for Non-Linkers

The CrossRef Board of Directors has changed the penalty for members who have not implemented outbound reference linking. As a reminder, the membership rules require that members include CrossRef DOI links from the references in their current journal articles. Starting in 2011, instead of being charged a per-DOI non-linking fee, CrossRef members who do not begin outbound reference linking will have their accounts suspended. Members should begin linking as soon as possible, though penalties will not be imposed before a grace period of 18 months from the date of joining.

Please note that members must notify Anna Tolwinska when they begin linking. CrossRef does not have an automated way to tell if the outbound links have been added to publishers’ sites.

In order for the CrossRef system to work for all members, it is important that members provide traffic to other members from their references as well as receive traffic from the CrossRef DOIs they deposit.

Annual Meeting Update

We had another successful Annual Meeting last November thanks to a great turnout, fantastic speakers and a compelling program, balancing CrossRef-specific topics, views from the wider industry, and a spotlight on dealing with data. The Meeting Agenda includes links to presentations. We also recorded videos of the presentations, which are available from River Valley.

The new CrossRef Workshop day had a different format than Technical Meetings of the past. It was a daylong event with numerous hands-on sessions. Links to presentations are available on the agenda page. We will continue with this format going forward. Participants expressed an interest in seeing case studies from other publishers; so if you are doing something unique with CrossRef services and would like to share them, please let us know.

Election for Board of Directors

The election for CrossRef Board of Directors was held on November 16, 2010 at One Great George Street, London, UK.

The following individuals were elected to the Board for 3-year terms:

  • Karen Hunter, Elsevier
  • Steven Hall, IOP Publishing
  • Howard Ratner, Nature Publishing Group
  • Stuart Taylor, The Royal Society
  • Wim van der Stelt, Springer Science + Business Media

Billing Update

The 2011 Annual Fee Invoices and the 2010 Q4 deposit invoices have been sent by email. As we email all invoices by default, it is crucial that we have your most up-to-date electronic contact information. You may arrange to have your invoice sent by mail; please contact Susan Collins.

New Accounting System

Please bear with us as we transition to a new accounting system, as inevitably some glitches may occur. If there are any address or contact changes please contact Susan Collins and for payment contact Amy Wright.

CrossRef Deposits up 26% Over Last Year, Books Still Fastest Growing Content Type

CrossRef’s statistical dashboard shows continued growth and health of the system. In addition to query growth, current deposits are up 26%, and total deposits are up by 10%. DOI Resolutions are up 36% as compared to last year.

The number of book titles in the system also continues to grow. Book content now represents about 5% of CrossRef deposits.

dasboard Q3


Financial Results Continue Steady Growth

Income Statement Q22010