Setting up as a member

You need to be a member of Crossref in order to get your Crossref prefix and register your content with us. Membership of Crossref is about more than just registering DOIs - find out more on our membership page. You can apply to join there too.

After you’ve applied for membership and paid your pro-rated membership fee for the remainder of the current year, we set you up with your own Crossref DOI prefix. We also help you set up the Crossref account credentials that you’ll use to access our systems and register your content.

There are three key steps to getting started, and you can even start step one before you’ve received your new prefix and credentials.

  1. Prepare to register your content
  2. Register and verify
  3. Display your DOIs

Step 1: Prepare to register your content

a) Choose your content registration method

In order to get working DOIs for your content and share your metadata with the scholarly ecosystem, you need to register your content with Crossref.

Your metadata is stored with us as XML. Some members send us XML files directly, but if you’re not familiar with writing XML files, you can use a helper tool instead. There are three helper tools available - these are online forms with different fields for you to complete, and this information is converted to XML and deposited with Crossref for you. A big decision to make as a new member is which of our content registration methods to use.

Find the best option for you.

b) Decide how you’ll construct your DOI suffixes

A DOI has several sections, including a prefix and a suffix. A DOI will always follow this structure:[your prefix]/[a suffix of your choice]

We provide you with your prefix, but you decide what’s in the suffix for each of your DOIs when you register them with us. Your DOIs will look something like this:

The structure of a DOI: resolver, prefix, suffix

If you use the Crossref XML plugin for OJS, they can provide suffixes for you by default, but otherwise you’ll need to decide on your own suffix pattern. It’s important to keep this opaque.

As a DOI is a persistent identifier, the DOI string can’t be changed after it’s been registered. It’s therefore important that your DOI string is opaque and doesn’t include any human-readable information. This means that the suffix should just be a random collection of characters. It should not include any information about the work that could be changed in the future, to avoid a difference between the information in the DOI string, and the information in the metadata.

For example, 10.5555/njevzkkwu4i7g is opaque (and correct), but 10.5555/ogs.2016.59.1.1 is not opaque (and not correct); it encodes information about the publication name and date which may change in the future and become confusing or misleading. So don’t include information such as publication name initials, date, ISSN, issue, or page numbers in your suffix string.

Learn more about constructing your DOIs.

c) Ensure your landing pages meet the guidelines

You’ll need a live, unique landing page on your website for each item you register and this landing page will need to contain specific information

Learn more about landing pages.

Step 2: Register and verify

a) Set the password on your Crossref account credentials

You’ll need a set of Crossref account credentials to access our content registration tools. We’ll send you an email so you can set your password.

b) Register your content

You should assign Crossref DOIs to anything that’s likely to be cited in the scholarly literature - journals and journal articles, books and book chapters, conference proceedings and papers, reports, working papers, standards, dissertations, datasets, and preprints.

Because DOIs are designed to be persistent, a DOI string can’t be changed once registered, and DOIs can’t be fully deleted. You can always update the metadata associated with a DOI, but the DOI string itself can’t change, and once it’s been registered, it will be included in your next content registration invoice. It’s important that you only register a DOI that you definitely want to use.

Working with Crossref is about more than just DOIs. When you register content with us, you do register the DOI and the resolution URL, but you also register a comprehensive set of metadata - rich information about the content. This metadata is then distributed widely and used by many different services throughout the scholarly community, helping with discoverability of your content.

Content registration instructions for helper tools:

Content registration instructions for direct deposit of XML:

c) Verify your registration

When you register your content, you’ll receive a message telling you whether your submission has been successful, or whether there are any problems. If there are problems, your DOI may not be live so do check this message carefully.

Learn more about how to verify your registration.

Step 3: Display your DOIs

Don’t forget to display your DOI on the landing page of each item you register - this is an obligation of membership. You’ll need to display your DOI as a link like this:

Learn more about Crossref DOI display guidelines.

How to get help and support

Our support team is available to help if you have any problems, and you may find help from others in our community on our Crossref Forum. We also run regular “Ask Me Anything” webinars for new members - learn more about our webinars and register to attend.

What happens next?

Once you’ve started registering your content with Crossref and displaying your DOIs on your landing pages, it doesn’t stop there. After you first join, we send you a series of onboarding emails to help you through the next stages. If you want to get started straight away, take a look at Levelling Up.

Page owner: Amanda Bartell   |   Last updated 2020-December-08