This blog post is from Lettie Conrad and Michelle Urberg, cross-posted from the The Scholarly Kitchen.
As sponsors of this project, we at Crossref are excited to see this work shared out.
The scholarly publishing community talks a LOT about metadata and the need for high-quality, interoperable, and machine-readable descriptors of the content we disseminate. However, as we’ve reflected on previously in the Kitchen, despite well-established information standards (e.g., persistent identifiers), our industry lacks a shared framework to measure the value and impact of the metadata we produce.
When Crossref began over 20 years ago, our members were primarily from the United States and Western Europe, but for several years our membership has been more global and diverse, growing to almost 18,000 organizations around the world, representing 148 countries.
As we continue to grow, finding ways to help organizations participate in Crossref is an important part of our mission and approach. Our goal of creating the Research Nexus—a rich and reusable open network of relationships connecting research organizations, people, things, and actions; a scholarly record that the global community can build on forever, for the benefit of society—can only be achieved by ensuring that participation in Crossref is accessible to all.
In August 2022, the United States Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) issued a memo (PDF) on ensuring free, immediate, and equitable access to federally funded research (a.k.a. the “Nelson memo”). Crossref is particularly interested in and relevant for the areas of this guidance that cover metadata and persistent identifiers—and the infrastructure and services that make them useful.
Funding bodies worldwide are increasingly involved in research infrastructure for dissemination and discovery.
Preprints have become an important tool for rapidly communicating and iterating on research outputs. There is now a range of preprint servers, some subject-specific, some based on a particular geographical area, and others linked to publishers or individual journals in addition to generalist platforms. In 2016 the Crossref schema started to support preprints and since then the number of metadata records has grown to around 16,000 new preprint DOIs per month.
A DOI may refer to a journal or book (a title-level DOI), or to a specific article or chapter.
Journals and DOIs
Like a set of nesting dolls, a journal may be made up of volumes, each containing a number of issues, each containing a number of articles. You can assign a DOI at each level, for example:
journal-level-DOI (sometimes called the title-level-DOI) 10.5555/QYPF2031. Like an ISSN, it refers to the whole journal
The role of the journal-level-DOI, volume-level-DOI, and issue-level-DOI is to link persistently to a point in the journal structure. These DOIs do not have any associated content, and it does not cost anything to register these DOIs.
However, article-level-DOIs do have associated content, and therefore a fee applies to register these DOIs.
Books and DOIs
Like a set of nesting dolls, a book may be made up of chapters. Again, you can assign a DOI at each level, for example:
book-level-DOI (sometimes called the title-level-DOI) 10.5555/ZAAR1365. Just like an ISBN, it refers to the whole book.
Both book-level-DOIs and chapter-level-DOIs have associated content, and therefore a fee applies to register these DOIs.