The Crossref Curriculum


Our OpenURL service is used primarily by library link resolvers but can also be used to look up metadata records.

On this page, learn more about:

OpenURL accounts

The OpenURL interface is a free service but does require either a member or free query service account so that we may monitor and control usage. Account credentials are provided in the pid parameter of the OpenURL request.

Member account JOURNAL%20OF%20PHYSICAL%20OCEANOGRAPHY&volume=32&issue=3&spage=870&date=2002

Query service account JOURNAL%20OF%20PHYSICAL%20OCEANOGRAPHY&volume=32&issue=3&spage=870&date=2002

OpenURL metadata queries

The OpenURL query interface uses metadata to identify a matching DOI, and redirects the user to the target of the DOI. For example, this query contains an author name, a journal title, volume, issue, first page, and publication year: JOURNAL%20OF%20PHYSICAL%20OCEANOGRAPHY&volume=32&issue=3&spage=870&date=2002

The OpenURL Query Interface matches the query with a metadata record and redirect the user to the persistent identifier landing page at<0870:CT>2.0.CO;2.

The OpenURL Query Interface can accept these parameters:

Citation metadata parameters

  • issn
  • title (journal title)
  • aulast (family name, preferably of first author)
  • volume
  • issue
  • spage (first page)
  • date (publication year YYYY)
  • stitle (short title, which may be supplied as an alternative to title)

Other parameters

  • pid (your Crossref username and password). Note: pid (personal id) is different from PID (persistent identifier)
  • redirect (set to false to return the DOI in XML format instead of redirecting to the target URL. The default is true)
  • multihit (set to true to return DOIs for more than one content item if the Crossref system does not find an exact match. The default is false)
  • format (set to unixref to return metadata in UNIXREF format)

OpenURL results

By default, an OpenURL match will direct the user to the landing page registered for the matched metadata record.

In most instances, only a single identifier will be returned. If more than one identifier is returned, the user will be directed to a list of all available DOIs. For example, the query:ández&date=2009

will return multiple results.

Retrieving metadata

OpenURL may be used to retrieve metadata records by setting the redirect parameter to “false”. By default an OpenURL response uses the XSD XML format. The UNIXREF format may be requested by setting the format parameter to “unixref”.

Example metadata queries

This query will return an XSD-formatted XML metadata record:**&redirect=false**&pid=username:password

There are multiple matches for this query, when multihit=true the metadata record is returned for all results:

Setting multihit=exact will return no matches:

Example DOI queries

Crossref supports DOI queries formatted as OpenURL version 0.1 requests:

Open URL query

Crossref query

Like metadata queries, DOI query results are returned in XML format.

NISO 0.1 or 1.0 URLs

Crossref also supports NISO 0.1 and 1.0 URLs as well as some common deviations. In general it supports the San Antonio Profile #1, including in-line, by-value, and by-reference. In the presence of a url_ver= Z39.88-2004 parameter this service will operate on a info:ofi/fmt:kev:mtx:ctx context format with referent formats info:ofi/fmt:kev:mtx:journal or info:ofi/fmt:kev:mtx:book.

Simple reverse lookup

Retrieve metadata for a DOI

A journal article lookup of a common receptor for coxsackie B&rft.jtitle=Science&rft.aulast=Bergelson&rft.auinit=J&

Last Updated: 2020 April 8 by Laura J. Wilkinson