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.

Event Data enters Beta

We’ve been talking about it at events, blogging about it on our site, living it, breathing it, and even sometimes dreaming about it, and now we are delighted to announce that Crossref Event Data has entered Beta.

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 the Crossref Metadata API. Part 2 (with PaperHive)

We first met the team from PaperHive at SSP in June, pointed them in the direction of the Crossref Metadata API and let things progress from there. That’s the nice thing about having an API - because it’s a common and easy way for developers to access and use metadata, it makes it possible to use with lots of diverse systems and services.

So how are things going? Alexander Naydenov, PaperHive’s Co-founder gives us an update on how they’re working with the Crossref metadata:

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 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.