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3,2,1… it’s ‘lift-off’ for Participation Reports

Metadata is at the heart of all our services. With a growing range of members participating in our community—often compiling or depositing metadata on behalf of each other—the need to educate and express obligations and best practice has increased. In addition, we’ve seen more and more researchers and tools making use of our APIs to harvest, analyze and re-purpose the metadata our members register, so we’ve been very aware of the need to be more explicit about what this metadata enables, why, how, and for whom.

Preprints growth rate ten times higher than journal articles

The Crossref graph of the research enterprise is growing at an impressive rate of 2.5 million records a month - scholarly communications of all stripes and sizes. Preprints are one of the fastest growing types of content. While preprints may not be new, the growth may well be: ~30% for the past 2 years (compared to article growth of 2-3% for the same period). We began supporting preprints in November 2016 at the behest of our members. When members register them, we ensure that: links to these publications persist over time; they are connected to the full history of the shared research results; and the citation record is clear and up-to-date.

How good is your metadata?

Exciting news! We are getting very close to the beta release of a new tool to publicly show metadata coverage. As members register their content with us they also add additional information which gives context for other members and for services that help e.g. discovery or analytics.

Richer metadata makes content useful. Participation reports will give—for the first time—a clear picture for anyone to see the metadata Crossref has. This is data that’s long been available via our Public REST API, now visualized.

Redirecting redirection

Crossref has decided to change the HTTP redirect code used by our DOIs from 303 back to the more commonly used 302. Our implementation of 303 redirects back in 2010 was based on recommended best practice for supporting linked data identifiers. Unfortunately, very few other parties have adopted this practice.

Metadata and integrity: the unlikely bedfellows of scholarly research

I was invited recently to present parliamentary evidence to the House of Commons Science and Technology Select Committee on the subject of Research Integrity. For those not familiar with the arcane workings of the British Parliamentary system, a Select Committee is essentially the place where governments, and government bodies, are held to account. So it was refreshing to be invited to a hearing that wasn’t about Brexit.

The interest of the British Parliament in the integrity of scientific research confirms just how far science’s ongoing “reproducibility crisis” has reached. The fact that a large proportion of the published literature cannot be reproduced is clearly problematic, and this call to action from MPs is very welcome. And why would the government not be interested? At stake is the process of how new knowledge is created, and how reliable that purported knowledge is.

Changes to the 2018 membership agreement for better metadata distribution

We are making a change to section 9b of the standard Crossref membership agreement which will come into effect on January 1, 2018. This will not change how members register content, nor will it affect membership fees in any way. The new 2018 agreement is on our website, and the exact wording changes are highlighted below. The new membership agreement will automatically replace the previous version from January 1, 2018 and members will not need to sign a new agreement.

Now put your hands up! (for a Similarity Check update)

Today, I’m thinking back to 2008. A time when khaki and gladiator sandals dominated my wardrobe. The year when Obama was elected, and Madonna and Guy Ritchie parted ways. When we were given both the iPhone 3G and the Kindle, and when the effects of the global financial crisis lead us to come to terms with the notion of a ‘staycation’. In 2008 we met both Wall-E and Benjamin Button, were enthralled by the Beijing Olympics, and became addicted to Breaking Bad.

Included, registered, available: let the preprint linking commence.

We began accepting preprints as a new content type last month (in a category known as “posted content” in our XML schema). Over 1,000 records have already been registered in the first few weeks since we launched the service.

Important changes to Similarity Check

New features, new indexing, new name - oh my!

Crossref Similarity Check logo

TL;DR The indexing of Similarity Check users’ content into the shared full-text database is about to get a lot faster. Now we need members assistance in helping Turnitin (the company who own and operate the iThenticate plagiarism checking tool) to transition to a new method of indexing content.

The article nexus: linking publications to associated research outputs

Crossref began its service by linking publications to other publications via references. Today, this extends to relationships with associated entities. People (authors, reviewers, editors, other collaborators), funders, and research affiliations are important players in this story. Other metadata also figure prominently in it as well: references, licenses and access indicators, publication history (updates, revisions, corrections, retractions, publication dates), clinical trial and study information, etc. The list goes on. What is lesser known (and utilized) is that Crossref is increasingly linking publications to associated scholarly artifacts.
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