Geoffrey Bilder

Geoffrey Bilder is Director of Strategic Initiatives at Crossref, where he has led the technical development and launch of a number of industry initiatives including Similarity Check (formerly CrossCheck), Crossmark, ORCID and the Open Funder Registry (formerly FundRef). He co-founded Brown University’s Scholarly Technology Group in 1993, providing the Brown academic community with advanced technology consulting in support of their research, teaching and scholarly communication. He was subsequently head of IT R&D at Monitor Group, a global management consulting firm. From 2002 to 2005, Geoffrey was Chief Technology Officer of scholarly publishing firm Ingenta, and just prior to joining Crossref, he was a Publishing Technology Consultant at Scholarly Information Strategies.

Read more about Geoffrey Bilder on their team page.

Taking the “con” out of conferences

Geoffrey Bilder

Geoffrey Bilder – 2017 February 15

In DOIsIdentifiers

TL;DR Crossref and DataCite are forming a working group to explore conference identifiers and project identifiers. If you are interested in joining this working group and in doing some actual work for it, please contact us at and include the text conference identifiers WG in the subject heading. All the times I could have gone to Walt Disney World… Back around 2010 I added a filter to my email settings that automatically flagged and binned any email that contained the word “Orlando.

Linking DOIs using HTTPs: the background to our new guidelines

Geoffrey Bilder

Geoffrey Bilder – 2017 January 17

In DOIsStandardsWeb

Linking DOIs using HTTPS: The background to Crossref’s new guidelines Recently we announced that we were making some new recommendations in our DOI display guidelines. One of them was to use the secure HTTPS protocol to link Crossref DOIs, instead of the insecure HTTP. Some people asked whether the move to HTTPS might affect their ability to measure referrals (i.e. where the people who visit your site come from). TL;DR: Yes Yes.

DOI-like strings and fake DOIs

TL;DR Crossref discourages our members from using DOI-like strings or fake DOIs. Details Recently we have seen quite a bit of debate around the use of so-called “fake-DOIs.” We have also been quoted as saying that we discourage the use of “fake DOIs” or “DOI-like strings”. This post outlines some of the cases in which we’ve seen fake DOIs used and why we recommend against doing so. Using DOI-like strings as internal identifiers Some of our members use DOI-like strings as internal identifiers for their manuscript tracking systems.

Distributing references via Crossref

Known unknowns If you follow this blog, you are going to notice a theme over the coming months- Crossref supports the deposit and distribution of a lot more kinds of metadata than people usually realise. We are in the process of completely revamping our web site, help documentation, and marketing to better promote our metadata distribution capabilities, but in the mean time we think it would be useful highlight one of our most under-promoted functions- the ability to distribute references via Crossref.

Members will soon be able to assign Crossref DOIs to preprints

Geoffrey Bilder

Geoffrey Bilder – 2016 May 05

In 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) 

Community responses to our proposal for early content registration


We will proceed with implementing the proposed support for registering content before online availability. Adopting the workflow will be optional and will involve no extra fees.


At the end of January, Crossref issued a “request for community comment” on a proposed new process to support the registration of content including DOIs before online availability. We promised that we would summarize the results of the survey once we had received and analyzed all the responses.

Support for Crossref implementing the proposed new workflow was overwhelming. Of the 104 responses, 90 were positive, 7 were neutral and 7 were negative. As such we will proceed to make the necessary changes to better support registering content before online availability. We aim to enable this functionality in the second half of 2016.

We received survey responses varying in length from one or two sentences to multiple pages. A lot of the responses also interspersed questions and observations about entirely different issues that were of interest to respondents. As such, it has taken a while for us to analyze the results. We also found it was pretty much impossible for us to tabulate a summary of the responses to the direct questions. Instead we’ll summarize the responses at a high level and then drill down into some of the nuances in the answers and issues that were raised from the responses.

Rehashing PIDs without stabbing myself in the eyeball

Anybody who knows me or reads this blog is probably aware that I don’t exactly hold back when discussing problems with the DOI system. But just occasionally I find myself actually defending the thing…About once a year somebody suggests that we could replace existing persistent citation identifiers (e.g. DOIs) with some new technology that would fix some of the weaknesses of the current systems. Usually said person is unhappy that current systems like

January 2015 DOI Outage: Followup Report


On January 20th, 2015 the main DOI HTTP proxy at experienced a partial, rolling global outage. The system was never completely down, but for at least part of the subsequent 48 hours, up to 50% of DOI resolution traffic was effectively broken. This was true for almost all DOI registration agencies, including Crossref, DataCite and mEDRA.

At the time we kept people updated on what we knew via Twitter, mailing lists and our technical blog at CrossTech. We also promised that, once we’d done a thorough investigation, we’d report back. Well, we haven’t finished investigating all implications of the outage. There are both substantial technical and governance issues to investigate. But last week we provided a preliminary report to the Crossref board on the basic technical issues, and we thought we’d share that publicly now.

Crossref’s DOI Event Tracker Pilot


Crossref’s “DOI Event Tracker Pilot”- 11 million+ DOIs & 64 million+ events. You can play with it at:

Tracking DOI Events

So have you been wondering what we’ve been doing since we posted about the experiments we were conducting using PLOS’s open source ALM code? A lot, it turns out. About a week after our post, we were contacted by a group of our members from OASPA who expressed an interest in working with the system. Apparently they were all about to conduct similar experiments using the ALM code, and they thought that it might be more efficient and interesting if they did so together using our installation. Yippee. Publishers working together. That’s what we’re all about.

Problems with on January 20th 2015- what we know.

Hell’s teeth.

So today (January 20th, 2015) the DOI HTTP resolver at started to fail intermittently around the world. The domain is managed by CNRI on behalf of the International DOI Foundation. This means that the problem affected all DOI registration agencies including Crossref, DataCite, mEDRA etc. This also means that more popularly known end-user services like FigShare and Zenodo were affected. The problem has been fixed, but the fix will take some time to propagate throughout the DNS system. You can monitor the progress here:

Now for the embarrassing stuff…