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LIVE19, the strategy one: have your say

With a smaller group than usual, we’re dedicating this year’s annual meeting to hear what you value about Crossref. Which initiatives would you put first and/or last? Where would you have us draw the line between mission and ambition? What is “core” for you? How could/should we adapt for the future in order to meet your needs? Striving for balance Different people want different things from us. As Aristotle said: “There is only one way to avoid criticism: do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing.

Funders and infrastructure: let’s get building

Human intelligence and curiosity are the lifeblood of the scholarly world, but not many people can afford to pursue research out of their own pocket. We all have bills to pay. Also, compute time, buildings, lab equipment, administration, and giant underground thingumatrons do not come cheap. In 2017, according to statistics from UNESCO, $1.7 trillion dollars were invested globally in Research and Development. A lot of this money comes from the public - 22c in every dollar spent on R&D in the USA comes from government funds, for example.

Big things have small beginnings: the growth of the Open Funder Registry

The Open Funder Registry plays a critical role in making sure that our members correctly identify the funding sources behind the research that they are publishing. It addresses a similar problem to the one that led to the creation of ORCID: researchers’ names are hard to disambiguate and are rarely unique; they get abbreviated, have spelling variations and change over time. The same is true of organizations. You don’t have to read all that many papers to see authors acknowledge funding from the US National Institutes of Health as NIH, National Institutes for Health, National Institute of Health, etc.

What if I told you that bibliographic references can be structured?

Last year I spent several weeks studying how to automatically match unstructured references to DOIs (you can read about these experiments in my previous blog posts). But what about references that are not in the form of an unstructured string, but rather a structured collection of metadata fields? Are we matching them, and how? Let’s find out.

License metadata FTW

More and better license information is at the top of a lot of Christmas lists from a lot of research institutions and others who regularly use Crossref metadata. I know, I normally just ask for socks too. To help explain what we mean by this, we’ve collaborated with Jisc to set out some guidance for publishers on registering this license metadata with us.

Rest in peace Christine Hone

Crossref

Crossref – 2019 June 09

In Staff

Our friend and colleague Christine Hone (née Buske) passed away in May from a short but brutal illness. Here is our attempt at ‘some words’, which we wrote for her funeral book and are posting here with her husband Dave’s permission.

We are devastated to lose Christine as a colleague and friend. It’s hard to put into words the effect she had on our small organization in such a short time, and how much we’re already missing her. But here it goes.

Similarity Check is changing

Tl;dr Crossref is taking over the service management of Similarity Check from Turnitin. That means we’re your first port of call for questions and your agreement will be direct with us. This is a very good thing because we have agreed and will continue to agree the best possible set-up for our collective membership. Similarity Check participants need to take action to confirm the new terms with us as soon as possible and before 31st August 2019.

Putting content in context

You can’t go far on this blog without reading about the importance of registering rich metadata. Over the past year we’ve been encouraging all of our members to review the metadata they are sending us and find out which gaps need filling by looking at their Participation Report.

The metadata elements that are tracked in Participation Reports are mostly beyond the standard bibliographic information that is used to identify a work. They are important because they provide context: they tell the reader how the research was funded, what license it’s published under, and more about its authors via links to their ORCID profiles. And while this metadata is all available through our APIs, we also display much of it to readers through our Crossmark service.

A simpler text query form

The Simple Text Query form (STQ) allows users to retrieve existing DOIs for journal articles, books, and chapters by cutting and pasting a reference or reference list into a simple query box. For years the service has been heavily used by students, editors, researchers, and publishers eager to match and link references.

We had changes to the service planned for the first half of this year - an upgraded reference matching algorithm, a more modern interface, etc. In the spirit of openness and transparency, part of our project plan was to communicate these pending changes to STQ users well in advance of our 30 April completion date. What would users think? Could they help us improve upon our plans?

Express your interest in serving on the Crossref board

The Crossref Nominating Committee is inviting expressions of interest to serve on the Board as it begins its consideration of a slate for the November 2019 election. The board’s purpose is to provide strategic and financial oversight and counsel to the Executive Director and the staff leadership team, with the key responsibilities being: Setting the strategic direction for the organization; Providing financial oversight; and Approving new policies and services.
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