Joe Wass

Joe Wass works in Crossref Labs, cooking up new products and services and finding new things to do with Crossref’s data. He is technical lead on the Crossref Event Data project, a system for collecting and distributing events that occur around scholarly publications, our contribution to the altmetrics space. He was part of the NISO Altmetrics Code of Conduct group, producing guidelines for producers of altmetrics data. He has collaborated closely with members of the Wikimedia community to improve the linking of articles in Wikipedia, and has an interest in finding article citations in unexpected places. He writes on the Crossref Blog from time to time.He is also responsible for the technical side of Crossmark, a widget to show readers information and updates about articles and the Linked Clinical Trials project, which collects and shows links between trials and the thread of articles that describe them. He also contributes to Crosref’s Distributed Usage Logging and Text and Data Mining services. Before Crossref, Joe worked an agency that built applications for ethical organisations, with clients including Oxfam, WWF and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. Joe has spoken at the British Library on ‘Text and Data Mining with Crossref’, CSV Conference on ‘analyzing DOI logs for HTTPS’, the Altmetrics Conference on Crossref Event Data and the Altmetrics16 workshop on ‘capturing context in altmetric data’.

Read more about Joe Wass on their team page.

PIDapalooza is back and wants your PID stories

Now in its second year, this “open festival of persistent identifiers” brings together people from all walks of life who have something to say about PIDs. If you work with them, develop with them, measure or manage them, let us know your PID adventures, pitfalls, and plans by submitting a talk by September 18. It’ll be in Girona, Spain, January 23-24, 2018.

You do want to see how it’s made — seeing what goes into altmetrics

There’s a saying about oil, something along the lines of “you really don’t want to see how it’s made”. And whilst I’m reluctant to draw too many parallels between the petrochemical industry and scholarly publishing, there are some interesting comparisons to be drawn. Oil starts its life deep underground as an amorphous sticky substance. Prospectors must identify oil fields, drill, extract the oil and refine it. It finds its way into things as diverse as aspirin, paint and hammocks.

URLs and DOIs: a complicated relationship

As the linking hub for scholarly content, it’s our job to tame URLs and put in their place something better. Why? Most URLs suffer from link rot and can be created, deleted or changed at any time. And that’s a problem if you’re trying to cite them.

Using AWS S3 as a large key-value store for Chronograph

One of the cool things about working in Crossref Labs is that interesting experiments come up from time to time. One experiment, entitled “what happens if you plot DOI referral domains on a chart?” turned into the Chronograph project. In case you missed it, Chronograph analyses our DOI resolution logs and shows how many times each DOI link was resolved per month, and also how many times a given domain referred traffic to DOI links per day.

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

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.

Crossref Labs plays with the Raspberry Pi Zero

If you’re anything like us at Crossref Labs (and we know some of you are) you would have been very excited about the launch of the Raspberry Pi Zero a couple of days ago. In case you missed it, this is a new edition of the tiny low-priced Raspberry Pi computer. Very tiny and very low-priced. At $5 we just had to have one, and ordered one before we knew exactly what we want to do with it. You would have done the same. Bad luck if it was out of stock.

DOIs in Reddit

Skimming the headlines on Hacker News yesterday morning, I noticed something exciting. A dump of all the submissions to Reddit since 2006. “How many of those are DOIs?”, I thought. Reddit is a very broad community, but has some very interesting parts, including some great science communication. How much are DOIs used in Reddit?

(There has since been a discussion about this blog post on Hacker News)

We have a whole strategy for DOI Event Tracking, but nothing beats a quick hack or is more irresistible than a data dump.

Coming to you Live from Wikipedia

Joe Wass

Joe Wass – 2015 May 20

In Wikipedia

We’ve been collecting citation events from Wikipedia for some time. We’re now pleased to announce a live stream of citations, as they happen, when they happen. Project this on your wall and watch live DOI citations as people edit Wikipedia, round the world.

View live stream »

In the hours since this feature launched, there are events from Indonesian, Portugese, Ukrainian, Serbian and English Wikipedias (in that order).

Real-time Stream of DOIs being cited in Wikipedia


Watch a real-time stream of DOIs being cited (and “un-cited!” ) in Wikipedia articles across the world:


For years we’ve known that the Wikipedia was a major referrer of Crossref DOIs and about a year ago we confirmed that, in fact, the Wikipedia is the 8th largest refer of Crossref DOIs. We know that people follow the DOIs, too. This despite a fraction of Wikipedia citations to the scholarly literature even using DOIs. So back in August we decided to create a Wikimedia Ambassador programme. The goal of the programme was to promote the use of persistent identifiers in citation and attribution in Wikipedia articles. We would do this through outreach and through the development of better citation-related tools.