Data citations and the eLife story so far

Melissa Harrison

Melissa Harrison – 2017 May 18

In DataCitationGuest

When we set up the eLife journal in 2012, we knew datasets were an important component of research content and decided to give them prominence in a section entitled ‘Major datasets’ (see images below). Within this section, major previously published and generated datasets are listed. We also strongly encourage data citations in the reference list.

Using the Crossref Metadata API. Part 1 (with Authorea)

Did you know that we have a shiny, not so new, APIkicking around? If you missed Geoffrey’s post in 2014 (or don’t want a Cyndi Lauper song stuck in your head all day), the short explanation is that the Crossref Metadata API exposes the information that publishers provide Crossref when they register their content with us. And it’s not just the bibliographic metadata either-funding and licensing information, full-text links (useful for text-mining), ORCID iDs and update information (via Crossmark)-are all available, if included in the publishers’ metadata.

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

Crossref Event Data: early preview now available

Crossref Event Data logo

Test out the early preview of Event Data while we continue to develop it. Share your thoughts. And be warned: we may break a few eggs from time to time!


Chicken by anbileru adaleru from the The Noun Project

Want to discover which research works are being shared, liked and commented on? What about the number of times a scholarly item is referenced? Starting today, you can whet your appetite with an early preview of the forthcoming Crossref Event Data service. We invite you to start exploring the activity of DOIs as they permeate and interact with the world after publication.

Event Data: open for your interpretation

What happens to a research work outside of the formal literature? That’s what Event Data will aim to answer when the service launches later this year. Following the successful DOI Event Tracker pilot in Spring 2014, development has been underway to build our new service, newly re-named Crossref Event Data. It’s an open data service that registers online activity (specifically, events) associated with Crossref metadata. Event Data will collect and store a record of any activity surrounding a research work from a defined set of web sources.

Crossref & the Art of Cartography: an Open Map for Scholarly Communications


In the 2015 Crossref Annual Meeting, I introduced a metaphor for the work that we do at Crossref. I re-present it here for broader discussion as this narrative continues to play a guiding role in the development of products and services this year.

Metadata enable connections

Cartography BorgesAt Crossref, we make content easy to find, link, cite, and assess through DOIs. Publishers register their publications and deposit metadata through a variety of channels (XML, CSV, PDF, manual entry), which we process and transform into Crossref XML for inclusion into our corpus. This data infrastructure which makes possible scholarly communications without restrictions on publisher, subject area, geography, etc. is far more than a reference list, index or directory.

Distributed Usage Logging: A private channel for private data

image 1907 forty wire telephone switchboard

Forty wire telephone switchboard, 1907, Author unknown, Popular Science Monthly Vol 70, Wikimedia Commons.

A few months ago Crossref announced that we will be launching a new service for the community in 2016 that tracks activities around DOIs recording user content interactions. These “events” cover a broad spectrum of online activities including publication usage, links to datasets, social bookmarks, blog mentions, social shares, comments, recommendations, etc. The DOI Event Tracking (DET) service collects the data and make it available to all in an open clearinghouse so that data are open, comparable, audit-able, and portable. These data are all publicly available from external platform partners, and they meet the terms of distribution from each partner.

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.

DOI Event Tracker (DET): Pilot progresses and is poised for launch

Publishers, researchers, funders, institutions and technology providers are all interested in better understanding how scholarly research is used. Scholarly content has always been discussed by scholars outside the formal literature and by others beyond the academic community. We need a way to monitor and distribute this valuable information.

DataCite supporting content negotiation

In April In April for its DOIs. At the time I cheekily called-out DataCite to start supporting content negotiation as well. Edward Zukowski (DataCite’s resident propellor-head) took up the challenge with gusto and, as of September 22nd DataCite has also been supporting content negotiation for its DOIs. This means that one million more DOIs are now linked-data friendly. Congratulations to Ed and the rest of the team at DataCite. We hope this is a trend.