Revised Crossref DOI display guidelines are now active

We have updated our DOI display guidelines as of March 2017, this month! I described the what and the why in my previous blog post New Crossref DOI display guidelines are on the way and in an email I wrote to all our members in September 2016. I’m pleased to say that the updated Crossref DOI display guidelines are available via this fantastic new website and are now active.

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.

New Crossref DOI display guidelines are on the way

TL;DR Crossref will be updating its DOI Display Guidelines within the next couple of weeks. This is a big deal. We last made a change in 2011 so it’s not something that happens often or that we take lightly. In short, the changes are to drop “dx” from DOI links and to use “https:” rather than “http:”. An example of the new best practice in displaying a Crossref DOI link is: https://doi.

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

Did you know that we have a shiny, not so new, API kicking 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.

Interested? This is the kickoff a series of case studies on the innovative and interesting things people are doing with the Metadata API. Welcome to Part 1.

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.

We’ve released a new version of Chronograph. This post explains how it was put together. One for the programmers out there.

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.

Beyond the DOI to richer metadata

April Ondis

April Ondis – 2016 June 15

In DOIsMetadata

****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:

  1. The owner of the content would like to be formally cited if the content is used in a scholarly context.
  2. The owner of the content considers that it is worthy of being made persistent.

Beyond the DOI

For Crossref, a DOI is just one of several types of metadata we register, albeit an important one.  

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.

This information is interesting because it shows not only where DOI hyperlinks are found across the web, but also when they are actually followed. This data allows us a glimpse into scholarly citation beyond references in traditional literature.