About us

Our mission

We are Crossref, a not-for-profit membership organization for scholarly publishing working to make content easy to find, cite, link, and assess. We do it in five ways: rallying the community; tagging metadata; running a shared infrastructure; playing with new technology; and making tools and services to improve research communications.

It’s as simple—and as complicated—as that.


Getting the scholarly community working together


Structuring and processing metadata



Engaging in debate and experimenting with technology to solve problems


Creating tools and services to improve research communications

What we stand for

in 2016 we created the Crossref ‘truths’, the principles that guide us. Read our truths in full.

  1. Smart alone, brilliant together
  2. If you publish, you’re a publisher
  3. One member, one vote
  4. Love metadata, love technology
  5. Politic, not political
  6. Here today, here tomorrow

How we started

We started in January 2000 with one employee, Ed Pentz, as Executive Director. Read the story of our history in Ed’s words. Since we started we’ve grown to (as of early 2017) around thirty people, more than 7000 members, coming from over 112 different countries. The fastest growing publishing countries are South Korea, Russia, Brazil, Turkey, India, Indonesia, and China.

How we are supported

We are a not-for-profit organization, registered in the United States of America as a 501©6 (a “trade association”). We are sustained by annual membership fees that are tiered according to size of publishing revenue. We also charge a content registration fee for each item of content whose metadata is deposited with us. We also provide both free and paid-for metadata delivery options for access to this metadata.

Members can and do participate in many ways and contribute to our global network of linked scholarly content.

We are governed by sixteen of our members that form our board serving three-year terms. We invite from each of the elected sixteen organizations, one main person as board member, and one alternate person. We also have other committees that help us set fees and policies, audit us, and an Executive Committee that meets more regularly and supports the Executive Director in making some decisions.

You can read more about our finances and governance as well as what we worked on most recently, by viewing our annual report.

 SOC 2 accreditation logo

We are accredited in handling your data

Crossref was awarded the SOC 2® accreditation in 2017 after an independent assessment of our controls and procedures by the American Institute of CPA’s (AICPA).

The SOC 2® accreditation is awarded to service organizations that have passed standard trust services criteria relating to the security, availability, and processing integrity of systems used to process users’ data and the confidentiality and privacy of the information processed by these systems.

The AICPA’s assessment also reviewed our vendor management programs, internal corporate governance and risk management processes, and regulatory oversight.

Find out more about the SOC accreditation structure

Please contact our outreach team with any questions.

Last Updated: 2017 September 6