October 2011

From the Executive Director

Greetings from Oxford where the days are getting shorter and chillier  - but this means that the CrossRef Annual Meeting isn’t far away. We have a great agenda lined up for the meeting in Cambridge, MA, USA on November 15th as well as great sessions for the CrossRef Workshops on November 14th – please register to come if you haven’t already done so. Things are very busy at CrossRef as we approach our 50 millionth DOI and get nearer to the launch of CrossMark, which I expect to be a transformative service for scholarly communications.

In case you missed the announcement a couple of months ago we are again highlighting that CrossRef updated its DOI Display Guidelines to make CrossRef DOIs more user friendly and more clearly a permanent link to content. Also highlighted below are some best practice guidelines about ISSNs and journal titles. We recently had a case where a publisher changed the title of a journal and then they re-deposited all the metadata for older content with the new journal title. This is very bad practice because of course all the citations to older content use the title of the journal when the content was published – and researchers notice when this happens!

I look forward to seeing many members at the Frankfurt Book Fair and at the CrossRef Workshops and Annual Meeting.

CrossRef DOIs in Use: Book Titles and Book Chapters

Discoverability, increased usage, traffic—are some of the benefits publishers get from assigning CrossRef DOIs to their content. More and more publishers are now assigning DOIs to their books and book chapters. Below please see two examples; one of a title level DOI of Fordham University Press’ Crossover Queries — Dwelling with Negatives, Embodying Philosophy's Others and the other of a chapter level DOI from de Gruyter‘s Textual Patterns of Ore Minerals and Metallurgic Processes.


Fordham University Press


De Gruyter



For more information on assigning DOIs to books, please see our Best Practices for Books page.
If you are interested in joining CrossRef's Books Interest Group, please contact Anna Tolwinska.


The ORCID (Open Researcher and Contributor ID) initiative continues to move forward with CrossRef and scholarly publishers playing a big role along with universities, funders and other organisations like CERN (the European Organization for Nuclear Research). In August ORCID issued a press release - highlighting that ORCID has raised $244,000 from 44 founding sponsors and started development of Phase 1 of the system (under the guidance of CrossRef's Geoffrey Bilder as part-time, interim technical director for ORCID) using the ResearcherID code from Thomson Reuters under a royalty free, perpetual license. The license also allows ORCID to build on the code base under an open source model. Harvard, MIT and Cornell received a $45,000 Mellon grant to help develop a business plan for a sustainable ORCID service and organization and the National Science Foundation in the US providing $260,000 of funding for ORCID research. In addition, ORCID also passed an important milestone with its 250th Participating Organization.

ORCID held an Outreach meeting at CERN in Geneva in September. Videos of the talks are available from CERN.


The CrossMark version identification service continues with its pilot program in preparation for launch. crossmark logoPilot participants include Elsevier Science, IEEE, Oxford University Press, The Royal Society, Vilnius Gedeminas Technical University and Wiley. Several publishers participating in the pilot have begun to deposit CrossMark metadata, and we hope to hear from one or more at the upcoming CrossRef annual meeting to share their experiences. See below for more information on the Annual Meeting.

A recording of our recent Introduction to CrossMark webinar, conducted by Product Manager Kirsty Meddings, is available for those who want more information. Both audio and slides are available. If you are planning to attend the Charleston Conference in November, Carol Anne Meyer will present a session on Saturday morning entitled "End User Tools for Evaluating Scholarly Content" in the Innovations track that will cover CrossMark. More information is also available on our web site.


Plagiarism continues to be a hot topic in scholarly publishing. This past summer Helen Zhang, editor of CrossRef member Journal of Zhejiang University-Science was featured on US National Public Radio (NPR) discussing the problems her publication encounters with plagiarized submissions.

The NPR story came out hot on the heels of a Nature News piece citing plagiarism as one of several types of increasing fraudulent research practices. 

In a growing attempt to counter these problems, more and more publishers are joining CrossCheck and using the iThenticate system to screen submissions for originality. Feedback shows the system to be intuitive and easy to learn, but sometimes distinguishing outright plagiarism from genuine error or poor citation practice can be trickier. CrossCheck product manager Kirsty Meddings explained some of the more subtle aspects of iThenticate report interpretation in a short article for the August ISMTE newsletter, emphasising the need for editorial knowledge alongside sophisticated technology. And earlier this year, COPE published an excellent discussion paper: How should editors respond to plagiarism that covers the different types of plagiarism and their relative severity.

If you're not already participating in CrossCheck, why not consider making this valuable resource a part of your editorial workflow? Using the iThenticate technology you can screen submissions against a unique database of 30 million journal articles, book chapters and conference proceedings. Find out more at one of our webinars, or join the CrossCheck session at our Annual Meeting Workshops

DOI Display Guidelines

The CrossRef Board of directors has approved a change to the CrossRef DOI display guidelines. Effective immediately, CrossRef Member Publishers and Affiliates are encouraged to use the linked URL form http://dx.doi.org/doi wherever a DOI appears, whether on a landing page, table of contents, blog entry, or in a citation reference list. This action represents a change from the older recommendation to use the form doi:doi. The DOI display guidelines and help documentation has been has been updated with the new format, please visit the DOI display guidelines page and begin to use the new format as soon as possible.

Presenting the DOI as a linked URL has a number of benefits. Readers will be able to recognize DOIs as resolvable web links, whether or not they know what a DOI is. They will be able to easily copy and paste DOI links into their reference managers and authored papers. Machines will easily be able to crawl and resolve DOIs, and ebooks with DOI links will be able to support those links easily.

As an example, use the new form

not the older form


We also suggest that publishers assign CrossRef DOIs that are as short as possible to minimize display problems (like bad line breaks) in PDFs and printed references. Members may want to look at the Short DOI service for help shortening DOIs that have already been assigned.

Tech Corner

Publishers often contact us about DOIs they believe have been deposited but are not resolving.  Here are some steps to help identify undeposited DOIs before they become a problem:

  1. After every deposit, be sure to review your submission history.
    A number of things can go wrong during DOI deposits. After your submission is processed, our system sends you a submission log with the details of your deposit (details here). You must review each submission log to ensure your DOIs have been deposited.  Submission logs are sent out via email with every deposit, and can also be tracked programmatically (more info here.)
  2. Review your monthly resolution report.
    The monthly resolution report contains a list of undeposited DOIs – be sure to review these closely. Troubleshooting tips are available in the help documentation.
  3. Review your DOI error reports.
    Every unsuccessful DOI resolution lands on a form which allows end users to submit comments to CrossRef. The DOI and comments are emailed daily to the technical contact for your organization.  
  4. Depositor reports
    Reports listing all DOIs deposited for each journal, book, and conference proceeding title are available.

We can provide DOIs and metadata on a title or publisher basis if needed. Contact support@crossref.org with any questions.

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.

Best Practices for Journal Titles

In recent years we’ve implemented title and ISSN comparison checks for all journal deposits. These checks have been very effective in preventing bad data from reaching our database.  They’ve also revealed some discrepancies between common and recommended practice for title changes. As publishers deposit more historical data, we’d like to clarify some title management basics:

All series (journal, book, conference proceedings) must have an ISSN.

The ISSN is crucial for identifying a serial. If you are supplying us with data for older titles that predate ISSN assignment, you should request ISSNs from your ISSN agency as they can be assigned retroactively.  This isn’t only for CrossRef’s convenience - libraries, database providers,  and other organizations using your data will welcome (and often require) an ISSN for anything defined as a journal.

A distinct ISSN must be supplied for each distinct version of a title.

If your title changes significantly, you need to get new ISSNs (both print and online).  This rule is established by the International ISSN Centre, not CrossRef, but we support and enforce it. Minor title changes (such as changing ‘and’ to ‘&’) don’t require a new ISSN.

Original title: Journal of CrossRef Metadata
Minor change (no new ISSN required): The Journal of CrossRef Metadata
Major change (new ISSN required): Journal of CrossRef Metadata Quality

Online versions of journals encompassing multiple historic print titles should each be assigned distinct print and online ISSNs.

It’s common practice for publishers to publish all versions of a title as an online journal with a single ISSN.  This isn’t recommended practice as it causes a lot of linking and citing confusion – you’ve essentially created two versions of a title. This is particularly confusing when volume and issue numbers overlap between title iterations.

Please contact support@crossref.org with any questions or comments.

Annual Meeting

The Annual Member Meeting will take place on Tuesday November 15th at the Charles Hotel in Cambridge, MA.  We have a compelling program planned for this year. Ellen Ruppel Shell, Co-Director of the Center for Science & Medical Journalism and Professor of Journalism at Boston University, will deliver the keynote. Ellen is also the author of Cheap and The Hunger Gene, writes for The Atlantic, and has been featured on National Public Radio. She will share her thoughts on the intersection of science and journalism.

Philip Davis, a postdoctoral associate in the Communications Department of Cornell University, will present the results of his research on the prevalence of corrections and retractions in the scholarly literature. Phil is also one of the voices behind the popular Scholarly Kitchen blog of the Society for Scholarly Publishing. charles hotel

Helen (Y.H) Zhang, Managing Editor of the Journal of Zhejiang University-Science in China will discuss the results of a survey sponsored by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) on plagiarism in scholarly publications. (See CrossCheck story above more more about Helen.)

Ivan Oransky of Retraction Watch will round out our guest speakers and will speak about retractions and scientific transparency. Retraction Wrounds a website that tracks retractions in scientific journals was also recently featured on National Public Radio.

The day will also include a panel of CrossMark pilot participants sharing their experiences, updates on the CrossRef system, ORCID, strategic initiatives, and a reminder of member obligations and the new DOI Display Guidelines.

CrossRef Workshops
The CrossRef Workshops will take place on Monday, November 14th at the Charles Hotel. The daylong workshops will be on technical and non-technical topics of interest to the membership. The sessions in the morning will be geared towards novice CrossRef members and will get more technical as the day progresses. More experienced members may want to come after the System Update session. Attendees may feel free to pick and choose those sessions of the most interest and relevance without attending the entire day.

Detailed meeting information including the draft agenda and hotel information is now available.

Please register for the Annual Meeting and Workshops as soon as possible to guarantee your space.

Billing Update

We still have many members that have not yet paid their 2011 annual fee.  Our policy is to temporarily disable access to the CrossRef system after 90 days past due.  Please email us if contacts and addresses change.

In order to accommodate the many international and smaller staffed members, we are holding back deposit invoices under $1,000. We bill deposits quarterly.  If you had deposits and did not receive a bill in Q2, it is likely that the deposit activity was under $1,000. If deposits reach $1000 at the end of Q3 an invoice will generate.  At Q4 (our year end) all unbilled deposits will be billed so you will receive the Q4 invoice around the same time as the annual 2012 membership fee invoice.

We will provide deposit info for unbilled deposits upon request.

CrossRef Statistics

Current deposits were slightly down in the third quarter of 2011 but total deposits were up by 11% from last year. Queries, on the other hand, continued to rise and are up 62% from the same time last year. Books have continued to trend upward and remain the fastest growing content type. Book deposits are up 34% over last year.

dasboard Q3


Financial Results

Income Statement Q22010