The Crossref Curriculum

Maintaining your metadata

Now that you have started depositing metadata with Crossref, maintaining it is key to keeping it clean, complete, and up-to-date:

  • Clean: identify and correct any errors.
  • Complete: add information for additional fields, and don’t forget to do this for your backfiles too.
  • Up-to-date: metadata may change over time, such as when a URL is updated, so make sure your metadata is updated with these changes.

Examples of metadata maintenance tasks

There’s no charge to update or add extra metadata to existing DOIs. These maintenance tasks will ensure that your metadata is accurate and complete. Richer metadata makes your content more discoverable, and allows you to make the most of your Crossref membership.

  • Go beyond basic bibliographic metadata, and deposit as much rich metadata as possible. Richer metadata includes information such as journal title, article author, publication date, page numbers, ISSN, references, abstracts, ORCID iDs, funding information, clinical trial numbers, license information (access indicators for text and data mining) and more.
  • Update URLs of landing pages or full-text content when necessary, for example: when a server is re-organized, a journal moves from one hosting platform to another, a journal ceases to publish and the content must be accessed through an archive.
  • Update or correct the title of a journal, book, or conference proceedings.
  • If you have omitted or provided any incorrect metadata, just update your metadata to make corrections or to provide missing data.
  • Add additional metadata when it becomes available, such as Funder IDs, references, or license information.
  • Our reports are tools to help you evaluate and improve your metadata - use them regularly to see what you’re doing well, and what needs attention.
  • Change the ownership of deposited DOIs when the ownership of the published content changes.
  • It is not possible to delete records or DOIs, as they are designed to be persistent. If you are considering this, learn more about changing or deleting DOIs, then contact us with the details of your situation so we can help.
  • Check that the quality of your metadata is good - don’t just focus on quantity.
  • Love your backfiles - add metadata for your backfiles, to make them as linked and discoverable as your current content.

It’s important to understand the difference between sections of metadata which are changed (replaced or overwritten) by an update, and sections of metadata which are added.

Some pieces of metadata may be added or updated independently using a resource-only deposit, including information about funders, license, Crossmark, relationships, and references.

Last Updated: 2020 April 8 by Laura J. Wilkinson