Hello preprints, what’s your story?

The role of preprints

Crossref provides infrastructure services and therefore we support scholarly communications as it evolves over time. Today, preprints are increasingly discussed as a valuable part of the research story (beyond physics, math, and a small set of sub-disciplines). Preprints might play a positive role in catalyzing research discovery, establishing priority of discoveries and ideas, facilitating career advancement, and improving the culture of communication within the scholarly community.

As we shared in an earlier blog post last month, members will be able to register Crossref DOIs for preprints later this year. We will connect the full history of a research work, and ensure the citation record is clear and up-to-date. As we build out this new content type, we’d love to hear how the research community envisions what preprints will do.

What’s your story, preprint?

So we can develop a service that supports the whole host of potential uses for all stakeholders, we ask the entire research community to contribute preprints user stories. User stories are concrete descriptions of a specific need, typically used in technology development: As a [x], I want to [y] to that I can [z]. User stories take the “end-user’s” perspective as they focus on a discrete result and its value. They are essential when implementing solutions that must meet a wide range of needs, across a diverse set of constituents. For example:

As an author, I want to share results before my paper is submitted to a journal so that I can get rapid feedback on it and make improvements before publication.

As a researcher who is part of a tenure and promotion committee or funder review panel, I want to know the reach of early results published from the candidate so that I can more quickly track the impact of results, rather than relying only on journal articles that take much longer to publish.

As a journal publisher, I want to know whether a preprint exists for a manuscript submitted to me so that I can decide whether I will accept the submission based on my editorial policy.

We aim to assemble a full catalog that cuts across research disciplines and stakeholder groups. We want to hear from you: researchers, publishers, funding agencies, scholarly societies, academic institutions, technology providers, other infrastructure providers, etc.

Tell us your story here

To ensure that your needs are included, please send us your user stories via this user story “deposit” form. They will be added to the full registry of contributions from the community, which we hope will serve as a key resource for all those developing preprints into a core part of scholarly communications (e.g., ASAPbio, etc.).

Our memories of #SSP2016

Last week a bunch of Crossref’s staff traveled to the 2016 Society for Scholarly Publishing Annual Meeting in Vancouver, BC.  After we returned en masse, all nine of us put our heads together to share some of our personal memories of the event.   

Crossref’s Rosa and Susan at the Fun Walk/Run sponsored by High Wire. 5K before breakfast!

On Cybersecurity and the Scholarly World —“The session described the many and complicated security threats that IT systems face and how threat detection and defense is a constantly ongoing activity. Certainly system administrators are challenged with the technology issues that build firewalls, block intrusions and divert disruptive activity. But perhaps even more important are the social issues that must be managed to develop an informed user community that is immune to the less technical but probably more effective hacks like phishing for user passwords.” Continue reading “Our memories of #SSP2016”

HTTPS and Wikipedia

This is a joint blog post with Dario Taraborelli, coming from WikiCite 2016.

In 2014 we were taking our first steps along the path that would lead us to Crossref Event Data. At this time I started looking into the DOI resolution logs to see if we could get any interesting information out of them. This project, which became Chronograph, showed which domains were driving traffic to Crossref DOIs.

You can read about the latest results from this analysis in the “Where do DOI Clicks Come From” blog post.

Having this data tells us, amongst other things:

  • where people are using DOIs in unexpected places
  • where people are using DOIs in unexpected ways
  • where we knew people were using DOIs but the links are more popular than we realised

Continue reading “HTTPS and Wikipedia”

Where do DOI clicks come from?

As part of our Event Data work we’ve been investigating where DOI resolutions come from. A resolution could be someone clicking a DOI hyperlink, or a search engine spider gathering data or a publisher’s system performing its duties. Our server logs tell us every time a DOI was resolved and, if it was by someone using a web browser, which website they were on when they clicked the DOI. This is called a referral.

This information is interesting because it shows not only where DOI hyperlinks are found across the web, but also when they are actually followed. This data allows us a glimpse into scholarly citation beyond references in traditional literature. Continue reading “Where do DOI clicks come from?”

Clinical trial data and articles linked for the first time

It’s here. After years of hard work and with a huge cast of characters involved, I am delighted to announce that you will now be able to instantly link to all published articles related to an individual clinical trial through the CrossMark dialogue box. Linked Clinical Trials are here!

In practice, this means that anyone reading an article will be able to pull a list of both clinical trials relating to that article and all other articles related to those clinical trials – be it the protocol, statistical analysis plan, results articles or others – all at the click of a button. Continue reading “Clinical trial data and articles linked for the first time”

Members will soon be able to assign Crossref DOIs to preprints


By August 2016, Crossref will enable its members to assign Crossref DOIs to preprints. Preprint DOIs will be assigned by the Crossref member responsible for the preprint and that DOI will be different from the DOI assigned by the publisher to the accepted manuscript and version of record. Crossref’s display guidelines, tools and APIs will be modified in order to enable researchers to easily identify and link to the best available version of a document (BAV). We are doing this in order to support the changing publishing models of our members and in order to clarify the scholarly citation record.


Why is this news? Well, to understand that you need to know a little Crossref history.

(cue music and fade to sepia)  Continue reading “Members will soon be able to assign Crossref DOIs to preprints”

Crossref Brand update: new names, logos, guidelines, + video

It can be a pain when companies rebrand as it usually requires some coordinated updating of wording and logos on websites, handouts, and slides. Nevermind changing habits and remembering to use the new names verbally in presentations.

Why bother?

As our infrastructure and services expanded, we sometimes branded services with no reference to Crossref. As explained in our The Logo Has Landed post last November, this has led to confusion, and it was not scalable nor sustainable. 

With a cohesive approach to naming and branding, the benefits of changing to (some) new names and logos should help everyone. Our aim is to stem confusion and be in a much better position to provide clear messages and useful resources so that people don’t have to try hard to understand what Crossref enables them to do. 

So while it may be a bit of a pain short-term, it will be worth it!

What are the new names? Continue reading “Crossref Brand update: new names, logos, guidelines, + video”