February 2015: CrossRef deploys Co-Access Functionality for Books
Co-Access functionality has been set up by CrossRef address the issues caused when there are multiple organisations involved in the hosting and distribution of a given book.
Co-Access is effectively an extension of CrossRef's Multiple Resolution (MR) functionality which allows multiple URLs to be assigned to a single DOI. MR functionality relies on title ownership to try to avoid conflicts and maintain the uniqueness of DOIs so that they can be queried effectively.
MR has worked well for journals, but because many book publishers outsource the hosting of their content to multiple aggregators and platforms, they need a separate process that allows independent transactions on the part of the primary publisher and any secondary content hosts, rather than interactions having to be co-ordinated by the primary publisher (who may not be depositing DOIs and metadata with CrossRef at all).
Co-Access will allow multiple parties to deposit DOIs for a single publication, and have the CrossRef system automatically resolve overlaps (we call them conflicts) and establish MR for any DOI where multiple target URLs exist for the same book or part of a book (e.g. chapters). This arrangement would be set-up between the primary publisher of a work and a set of approved participants who could also deposit (and update) DOIs for a publication. This relationship can be enabled either between prefixes or within a single prefix.
This change would allow Co-Access members to operate independently of one another when assigning DOIs to book content, and aims reduce the amount of coordination required between the primary publisher and the secondary content hosts.
CrossRef is currently embarking on a pilot of this functionality - we've done our own testing based on some known scenarios - but now need publishers to trial this on some of their own publications and provide feedback on how well it works for them. CrossRef would need publishers to be able to identify a title that will need a Co-Access arrangement set up with another party (and who the party or parties would be) to commence the testing process. If your organisation would like to be involved, please contact email@example.com for further information.