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An Advisory Group for Preprints

We are delighted to announce the formation of a new Advisory Group to support us in improving preprint metadata. Preprints have grown in popularity over the last few years, with increasing focus brought by the need to rapidly disseminate knowledge in the midst of a global pandemic. We have supported metadata deposits for preprints under the content type ‘posted content’ since 2016, and members currently register a total of around 17,000 new preprints metadata records each month.

Using the Crossref REST API. Part 12 (with Europe PMC)

As part of our blog series highlighting some of the tools and services that use our API, we asked Michael Parkin—Data Scientist at the European Bioinformatics Institute—a few questions about how Europe PMC uses our metadata where preprints are concerned.

Leaving the house - where preprints go

“Pre-prints” are sometimes neither Pre nor Print (c.f. https://doi.org/10.12688/f1000research.11408.1, but they do go on and get published in journals. While researchers may have different motivations for posting a preprint, such as establishing a record of priority or seeking rapid feedback, the primary motivation appears to be timely sharing of results prior to journal publication.

So where in fact do preprints get published?

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.

More metadata for machines-citations, relations, and preprints arrive in the REST API

Over the past few months we have been adding to the metadata and functionality of our REST API, Crossref’s public machine interface for the metadata of all 90 million+ registered content items. Much of the work focused on a review and upgrade of the API’s code and architecture in order to better support its rapidly growing usage. But we have also extended the types of metadata that the API can deliver.

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.

By extending our existing services to preprints, we want to help make sure that:

  • links to these publications persist over time
  • they are connected to the full history of the shared research
  • the citation record is clear and up-to-date.

Preprints are go at Crossref!

Rachael Lammey

Rachael Lammey – 2016 November 02

In PersistencePreprints

We’re excited to say that we’ve finished the work on our infrastructure to allow members to register preprints. Want to know why we’re doing this? Jennifer Lin explains the rationale in detail in an earlier post, but in short we want to help make sure that:

  • links to these publications persist over time
  • they are connected to the full history of the shared research results
  • the citation record is clear and up-to-date

Doing so will help fully integrate preprint publications into the formal scholarly record.

Preprints and Crossref’s metadata services

Chuck Koscher

Chuck Koscher – 2016 August 29

In Preprints

We’re putting the final touches on the changes that will allow preprint publishers to register their metadata with Crossref and assign DOIs. These changes support Crossref’s CitedBy linking between the preprint and other scholarly publications (journal articles, books, conference proceedings). Full preprint support will be released over the next few weeks.

Getting ready to run with preprints, any day now

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.

Hello preprints, what’s your story?

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.
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