While preprints have been a formal part of scholarly communications for decades in certain communities, they have not been fully adopted to date across most disciplines or systems. That may be changing very soon and quite rapidly, as new initiatives come thick and fast from researchers, funders, and publishers alike. This flurry of activity points to the realization from these parties of preprints’ potential benefits:
Accelerating the sharing of results; Catalyzing research discovery; Establishing priority of discoveries and ideas; Facilitating career advancement; and Improving the culture of communication within the scholarly community.
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.
If you ever see me in the checkout line at some store do not ever get in the line I’m in. It is always the absolute slowest.
Crossref’s metadata system has a sort of checkout line, when members send in their data they got processed essentially in a first come first served basis. It’s called the deposit queue. We had controls to prevent anyone from monopolizing the queue and ways to jump forward in the queue but our primary goal was to give everyone a fair shot at getting processed as soon as possible.
Check out the events below where Crossref will attend or present in 2016. We have been busy over the past few months, and we have more planned for the rest of year. If we will be at a place near you, please come see us (and support these organizations and events)! Upcoming Events
SHARE Community Meeting, July 11-14, Charlottesville, VA, USA
Crossref Outreach Day - July 19-21 - Seoul, South Korea
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.
Rallying the community is a key Crossref role. Sometimes this means collaborating on new initiatives but it is also an ongoing process, a cornerstone of our outreach efforts. Part of rallying the community is bringing people together, literally, in a series of outreach days around the globe. It means we encourage dialog with us and among publisher members and non-publisher affiliates. We want to hear from the community and we hope to facilitate conversations in it.
The role of preprints Crossref provides infrastructure services and therefore we support scholarly communications as it evolves over time. Today, preprints are increasingly discussed as a valuable part of the research story (beyond physics, math, and a small set of sub-disciplines). Preprints might play a positive role in catalyzing research discovery, establishing priority of discoveries and ideas, facilitating career advancement, and improving the culture of communication within the scholarly community.
We now have linked clinical trials deposits coming in from five publishers: BioMedCentral, BMJ, Elsevier, National Institute for Health Research and PLOS. It’s still a relatively small pool of metadata - around 4000 DOIs with associated clinical trial numbers - but we’re delighted to see that “threads” of publications are already starting to form.
If you look at this article in The Lancet and click on the Crossmark button you will see that in the Clinical Trials section there are links to three other articles reporting on the same trial: two from the American Heart Journal and one from BMJ’s Heart.
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.
The act of registering a DOI (Digital Object Identifier) for scholarly content is sometimes conflated with the notion of conferring a seal of approval or other mark of good quality upon a piece of content. This is a fundamental misunderstanding.
A DOI is a tool, not a badge of honor.
The presence of a Crossref DOI on content sends a signal that:
The owner of the content would like to be formally cited if the content is used in a scholarly context.