From the Executive Director

As we usher in 2009 in these somewhat troubled times I’m happy to report that CrossRef has had a great year and had no money invested with Bernard Madoff. Growth in membership, DOI clicks and other metrics has continued at a healthy rate but with backfile deposits declining more quickly than expected there has been a small impact on the budget (see the updates below). In a big step we launched a non-reference linking related service, CrossCheck, in mid-2008 and it is going very well. We were very pleased that it won the ALPSP Publishing Innovation award in September. Please read the update below and consider joining this optional service.

On the staff front Amy Brand left us to become Program Manager at the Harvard University Office of Scholarly Communications – a loss for CrossRef but a good opportunity for Amy. She was with CrossRef for over seven years and played a major role in CrossRef’s success during its formative years so I would like to express my thanks for all she did for CrossRef and wish her well in the future. We also had a couple of great additions to our staff. Kirsty Meddings joined at the end of October as Product Manager, focusing initially on CrossCheck, and Carol Meyer joined as Business Development and Product Manager in November.

The CrossRef Annual Meeting on November 18th, 2008 in Boston was our most successful yet with over 120 attendees and great speakers. The presentations are available online ( We will be doing something special in November 2009 because it will be our 10th Annual Meeting so save the date – it’s November 10th, 2009 at the Charles Hotel, Cambridge, MA.

CrossRef staff members are involved in a number of industry organizations including ALPSP, STM, SSP, NISO and UKSG. At the beginning of this year I took on the role of Chair of the UKSG TRANSFER Working Group, which issued a Code of Practice for journal transfers in September 2008 – see below for more information on this important initiative.

We have a number of interesting projects underway in 2009 including Contributor ID (author IDs) and CrossMark – more on these projects soon.

The 2007-2008 Annual Report is available online in an “e-book” format - As always, please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns (

January 2009 Stories

DOIs in Use

It has become common for researchers to blog about published articles and there are a number of interesting blog aggregator sites. One site run by Seed Media is Research Blogging ( where you can see examples of DOIs being used to point to the published articles referred to in the blog posts. You can also see DOI use in the original blog post. They make use of the CrossRef Citation Blog Plugin (WordPress and Moveable Type plug-ins for searching for citations and getting DOIs mentioned on CrossTech) released in 2008.


The CrossCheck plagiarism detection service is gathering pace, with 40 publishers now participating and contributing 7730 titles to the database against which manuscripts can be checked for originality.

This database is central to the service, and the effectiveness of CrossCheck grows in direct proportion to the number of participating publishers. We would encourage you to join and enable indexing of your content even if you aren’t ready to start verifying manuscripts; just adding your publications will allow others to check that they are not re-publishing your content.

As more publishers use the iThenticate system to check submissions, the integration work undertaken by EJPress, Editorial Manager, ScholarOne and other manuscript tracking systems is proving extremely beneficial, giving editorial staff the option to submit and check documents as part of their established workflow.

Pricing for 2009 will continue at the same level as 2008, with an annual fee that comprises 20% of your annual CrossRef fee, and per-document checking fees that start at $0.75 per document with volume discounts applied. Further details about CrossCheck including webinar dates, current members and application forms can be found on our website:

Reference Linking and the Non-Linking Fee

CrossRef’s success is based on effective collaboration and the fact that everyone benefits when all publishers link to one another on an equal basis. One of CrossRef’s goals is to maximize linking. Because of the importance of reference linking in journals, in particular, an obligation of membership is to link from journal references using CrossRef DOIs. If members are not linking journal references within 18 months of joining CrossRef then a Non-Linking Fee is imposed. The fee was put in place by the board a few years ago not to raise revenue but to highlight the importance of linking to CrossRef’s mission and to keep the system fair. Publishers who register DOIs and metadata are linked to by other publishers but if they in turn aren’t linking out from their own references the linking is not reciprocal.

Recently a notice about the Non-Linking Fee was sent to all those members who have not reported to CrossRef that they are linking out from journal references (there is strong encouragement to link from other types of content but no requirement to do so). In some cases publishers are linking and we just don’t know about it and in others technical issues prevent publishers from linking. CrossRef provides full information on how to link and a number of online tools to aid linking. In order to be fair CrossRef can’t waive or suspend this fee.

CrossRef Metadata Services for Citation Metrics

At its November meeting the board approved developing a license for third parties to use references obtained via CrossRef Metadata Services (CMS) - - for citation analysis and metrics. There is a group of publishers who are interested in using CMS to provide references for new metrics to be developed and they specifically asked the board to approve this. CrossRef itself will not be developing any metrics. The usual CrossRef Metadata Services procedures will apply so it is optional for publishers to deposit references with CrossRef and publishers will have the chance to opt out of having their references delivered to any particular third party on a case-by-case basis.


At the beginning of 2008 I took on the role of Chair with the UKSG Project TRANSFER Working Group and I’m happy to report that the TRANSFER Code of Practice 2.0 was released in September and publishers are now being asked to endorse the Code. The text on the website explains the purpose of the Code the best so here it is –

The TRANSFER Code of Practice responds to the expressed needs of the scholarly journal community for consistent guidelines to help publishers ensure that journal content remains easily accessible by librarians and readers when there is a transfer between parties, and to ensure that the transfer process occurs with minimum disruption. Publishers are being asked to publicly endorse and follow the Code of Practice which is a set of voluntary “best practices” for the industry.

Complete information is available at the website - Libraries are going to start asking publishers whether they are “TRANSFER Compliant” so take a look and learn about this important initiative.

2008 Election Results

The following individuals were elected to the Board for 3-year terms: Tim Ingoldsby, AIP, Linda Beebe, APA, Paul Reekie, CSIRO, Anthony Durniak, IEEE, Patricia Shaffer, Informs, and Rebecca Simon, University of California Press.

I would like to thank Stewart Wills from AAAS for chairing the Nominating Committee for carefully looking at board composition and putting together a great slate of candidates. Full information on the current board terms is at

Key Operating Statistics

Full Year
Budget '08
Queries 308,583,655 173,183,843 78% 170,000,000
Matches 136,004,430 68,488,504 98% 67,000,000
Match % 44% 40% 4% 39%

Current Deposits 2,194,406 1,965,411 11% 2,122,644
Backfile Deposits 2,443,679 3,716,450 -34% 2,601,515
Total Deposits 4,638,085 5,681,861 -18% 4,724,159

Total Records 34,830,678 30,054,747 16% 34,675,773

# DOI Resolutions 259,525,515 178,006,039 46% 204,707,759

# Members 645 507 27% 583
# Depositing prefixes 1078 847 27% 974

# Linking prefixes 716 547 31% 656

# Journals 21,787 19,637 11% 22,583
# Book Titles 75,350 46,416 62% 64,982
# Conference Titles 14,583 11,820 23% 14,184

The above table provides a summary of the statistics in the Dashboard with comparisons against the same period last year along with pro-rated budget numbers to give a snapshot of how CrossRef is doing.

The number of queries has increased significantly this year, and the matching rate has stayed high, equaling last year but on more than twice as many queries with the result that 136,000,000 DOIs were delivered in response to queries through the end of December 2008.

Current deposits have grown 11% from 2007 to 2008 and are over budget by 2%. This is good growth considering the maturity of the CrossRef system. Backfile deposits dropped by 34% from 2007 to 2008 so the drop off has been a little quicker than expected. It’s clear that Current deposits will need to continue to increase to offset the decline in Backfile deposits.

DOI Resolutions increased 46% from 2007 to over 259 million through December 2008. This shows that DOIs are widely used and driving lots of traffic to publisher content, but more importantly, it reflects that DOIs are extensively embedded in scholarly journals and increasingly in other types of content like books and conference proceedings.

Membership growth has continued at a very good rate increasing 27% from 2007 to 2008. Linking prefixes is the one item that should be increasing more quickly.

The number of books in CrossRef has continued its rapid increase with a 62% increase from 2007 to 2008 in the number of book titles in the system.

Financial Information

3rd Qtr.
1-3 Qtr.
Full Year







Operating Income




Interest Income (Expense)

Foreign Currency Translation (Losses)
Net Income

Executive Summary:

PILA activities during the 3rd quarter of 2008 covering the months of June through September, led to the following financial highlights:

  • Revenues: $892,000 - under budget by $73,000 (7.6%)
  • Operating Expenses: $734,000 – under budget by $105,000 (12.5%)
  • Cash Used: $357,000 – better (by $67,000) against the budget of $424,000

The 2008 full year (12-month) financial forecast (prepared by staff) indicates that full year 2008 will be slightly unfavorable against budget. Key projections at December 31, 2008 include:

  • Revenues: $3,629,000 - $211,000 (5.5%) less than budget
  • Expenses: $3,456,000 – under budget by $79,000 (2.2%)
  • Operating income including contingency: $173,000 - unfavorable to budget by $72,000 (29.4%)
  • Cash balances forecasted at December 31, 2008: $1,224,000 – under budget by $112,000 (8.4%)

Revenues are under budget because the drop in back file deposits has been higher than projected last year. However, we have kept a careful eye on expenses and these will be under budget as well leaving CrossRef with a reasonable surplus and a good cash balance at the end of 2008.

Summary of Motions from November Board Meeting

At the November meeting the board elected the following officers:

    • Bob Campbell as Chairman and President
    • Linda Beebe as Vice Chairman and Treasurer
    • Ed Pentz as Executive Director and Secretary
    • Lisa Hart as Assistant Secretary

The board reviewed the current committees and appointed Chairmen where appropriate. A full list of the current committees and working groups is on the website - If any members are interested in joining a committee or working group then please contact me (

The board also approved setting the 2009 back file deposit fee at $.15 and the Membership and Fees Committee has been tasked with reviewing all fees in 2009 and recommend any changes to the fees for 2010 by July 2009.