January 2012

Ed PentzFrom the Executive Director

Happy New Year! CrossRef had a great year in 2011. We passed the 50 million DOI mark and ended the year with 51.6 million DOIs, and there were 526 million clicks (resolutions) of CrossRef DOIs, which means a lot of users getting a lot of content. The CrossRef Annual Meeting in November was a great success and planning is already underway for the 2012 meeting at the Royal Society in London on 12-13 November – save the dates!

The big thing this year for CrossRef will be the launch of CrossMark, which is currently scheduled for April. The CrossMark Pilot is well underway, and there are now some CrossMark examples “live” on publishers’ sites. One of the things we’ve learned in the pilot is that it takes time for publishers to think about how best to use CrossMark and update their production workflow to implement it, so I recommend that publishers start thinking about it now – a link to the pilot technical support site is available (see the CrossMark update below).

Publishers are increasingly under pressure to justify what they do, and there are debates about what value they add to the scholarly communications process. Publishers add a lot of value and invest a lot of time, effort and resources in editorial, production and marketing in order to publish original, high quality, version of record content and make it discoverable and useful. But the story doesn’t end when the version of record is published. One area that is overlooked by non-publishers, and not emphasized enough by publishers, is that it is publishers who maintain and steward scholarly content by being responsible for corrections, retractions and withdrawals. When these things occur it is vital that readers know about them. This is where CrossMark comes in. 

CrossMark will provide a system for readers to easily check the status of a document and see if it is maintained by the publisher in a consistent, standard way on different sites. In addition publishers will be able to easily provide updates about corrections, retractions and withdrawals and to provide other non-bibliographic data that is useful to readers, such as whether the content was peer reviewed, what licensing terms apply or information about funding (CrossRef is not pre-determining what data can be included but we will work with publishers to decide what data would be most valuable).

DOIs in Use: DataCite

CrossRef has registered more than 51 million DOIs on behalf of scholarly publishers. But CrossRef DOIs are not the only DOIs available in the scholarly community. DOIs for datasets associated with scholarly research are being registered by institutions in the DataCite network. DataCite and CrossRef have committed to the interoperability of their DOIs. Ideally, scholarly content like journals will cite related data by the appropriate DataCite DOI, and in return, the data record will cite the relevant article’s CrossRef DOI. Here’s an example of how this works.


Fordham University Press


This record from the Dryad data repository cites the original article from Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

De Gruyter


(Note that this article is also displaying a live CrossMark logo. See the article below for more information about CrossMark.)

In turn, the Royal Society article cites the relevant dataset at Dryad.


De Gruyter

For publishers planning to reference datasets that have DataCite DOIs, CrossRef strongly recommends using the DataCite DOI in the citation, and also putting the citation in the reference section of the article (not just inline in the text). These practices will ensure that the data is permanently accessible via link and will make it easier to find data references within the journal and other scholarly literature.

CrossRef Labs

A couple of interesting experiments have been released by CrossRef Labs. One is the Citation Formatting Service where users can enter a DOI and output the CrossRef metadata into a wide variety of citationcrossref labs logoformats. Another is the Reverse Domain Lookup that lets users check if a domain name belongs to a CrossRef member. A list of all the CrossRef Lab experiments is available - http://labs.crossref.org/index.html

Board Election

The election for CrossRef Board of Directors was held on November 15, 2011 at One Bennett Street, Cambridge, MA.

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

  • Terry Hulbert, American Institute of Physics
  • Linda Beebe, American Psychological Association
  • Gerry Grenier, IEEE
  • Patricia Shaffer, INFORMS
  • Rebecca Simon, University of California Press
  • Chi Wai Lee, World Scientific Publishing

Annual Meeting

A record crowd of 133 individuals from 17 countries registered for the 2011 CrossRef Annual Meeting in Cambridge Massachusetts in November. charles hotelThe day started out with both CrossRef and industry updates from ORCID and DataCite. Ellen Ruppel Shell, Co-Director of the Science & Medical Journalism Program at Boston University, spoke about the significance of gender differences and bias in scientific reporting. Publishing Consultant Phil Davis reported on his study about retracted articles on the Internet. Helen (Y.H.) ZHANG, Managing editor of JZUS(A/B/C) summarized a global survey on detecting plagiarism funded by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). Ivan Oransky, co-founder of the Retraction Watch blog, concluded the meeting with his take on transparency in science and retractions and corrections in scientific papers. The links to presentations are available on the 2011 Annual Meeting web page, and video recordings of the presentations are available at River Valley TV.

Before the annual meeting, a full-day workshop provided attendees with in-depth information about CrossRef services and practices. The earlier part of the day was geared toward new CrossRef members. Later sessions helped more experienced CrossRef participants deepen their understanding of developments at CrossRef. Several publisher members presented their experiences with DOI workflow and assigning DOIs to books. Industry projects such as Pie-J, UKSG Transfer, COUNTER and Supplemental Materials were also discussed. The links to presentations are available on the 2011 Annual Meeting web page.

Save the date for the 2012 Annual Member meeting and workshops in London on 12-13 November.

New CrossRef Office and Address Changes

On November 1, 2011 the US CrossRef staff moved to a new office.

new crossref office 1new crossref office 2

Please make a note of our new address:

50 Salem St. Building A, Suite 200, Lynnfield, MA, 01940, USA.

50 millionth DOI

The number of CrossRef Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) assigned to scholarly documents has surpassed 50 million. The 50 millionth DOI has been identified as http://dx.doi.org/10.3406/lsoc.1985.2030, a 1985 linguistics article from the journal Langage et Société, made available by the Persée Program, which has participated in CrossRef since 2007. See the news release for more information.


crossmark logoThe CrossMark pilot is now live on three publishers' websites: Proceedings B from the Royal Society, Vilnius Gediminas Technical University's Business Theory and Practice and several titles from the International Union of Crystallography. Additional publishers are depositing CrossMark metadata in preparation for implementation in the coming weeks, and the service will be launching in April 2012. Information on how to implement CrossMark can be found on the Pilot Support Site


CrossCheck membership is steadily growing. Over 283 publishers have joined CrossCheck so far and 59,000 thousand titles have been indexed.

To learn more about CrossRef’s plagiarism screening service please join us for an upcoming CrossCheck webinar, listed on our web site.

Please note that CrossCheck annual fees will now be billed in advance rather than in arrears. This change will make CrossCheck annual fees consistent with CrossRef's billing for other annual fees. This change will go into effect immediately. Previously, CrossCheck fees were paid in arrears. Existing participants were billed in December 2011 for the year 2011 and were billed in January 2012 for the year 2012.
Reminder: Checking fees invoiced by iParadigms will continue to be billed in arrears; these changes only apply to annual fees billed by CrossRef.

Tech Corner

While depositing DOIs, you may have noticed error "<msg>Added with conflict</msg>". This error occurs when there is not enough metadata to distinguish among multiple DOIs. Conflicts compromise query results. If the CrossRef system cannot identify a single DOI to match the metadata in a query, it returns multiple results, which may confuse researchers. To prevent this problem, you want to resolve conflicts as soon as possible. Publishers can retrieve a list of conflicts that belong to a certain prefix.

To view the report:
1. Go to the CrossRef web site
2. Click Members Area
3. Click 'conflict report' under 'Technical info'
4. Click on your organization name

  • To see details about all your organization's conflicts, click the name of the XML file, your CrossRef username and password is required.
    10.5555_conflicts.xml - This XML file will list every conflict for the selected prefix.
  • To see details about all conflicts for a specific title, click on the title.

Conflicts can be resolved manually using web interface; details are available here.
Resolve conflicts in bulk by uploading a special control file to the system; read more here.

Reminder:  Announcements regarding system status, changes, and enhancements are posted in the Announcements forum on our support portal, available here. You may subscribe to this form via RSS feed or email.

Title Transfers for 2012

If you have acquired a new title or titles for 2012, please notify CrossRef Support of the transfer in advance to ensure a smooth transition. Title transfer procedures are available in our help documentation. 

Please note that CrossRef DOIs already assigned by any previous title owner must be maintained, and new CrossRef DOIs should not be created for existing content. CrossRef DOIs for titles are available through the depositor reports. We are also able to provide CrossRef DOIs and metadata for acquired titles upon request.

Invoices and Billing

Annual membership fee invoices were emailed on December 16, 2011. The Q4 deposit invoices were emailed the first week in January. We will be holding back deposit invoices in 2012 that are under $100 and they will carry over until they reach $100, or be billed at year end.

CrossRef Statistics Dashboard

dasboard Q3

The CrossRef Board of Directors tracks the set of statistics in the table above since they are key metrics of success for the CrossRef System. The number of queries (references sent to CrossRef to find the DOI to create permanent links to the content) increased significantly to 783 million. The matching rate (the percentage of references submitted that matched a DOI in the CrossRef System) declined because some large submitters got very low matching rates. This isn’t a cause for concern because they had already done their initial matching in previous queries and were re-submitting unmatched references, so naturally the matching rate is lower. The number of members and the amount of content in the system continues to grow at a steady rate (with the number of book titles increasing 77%) so the CrossRef System is looking very healthy as it finishes its 11th year of operation.

Income Statement/Financial Results

Income Statement Q22010

CrossRef continues to be on a very sound financial footing. The table above is from the 3rd quarter operating report. The 2011 financials are being prepared at the moment and it looks like the full year forecast from the 3rd quarter was pretty accurate – both revenue and expenses will be close to budget for the year.