Documentation

Why Crossref?

As a community-governed and sustained nonprofit, we are accountable to many different groups involved in scholarly communications.

Our mission is to make research outputs easy to find, cite, link, assess, and reuse. Everything we do, we do specifically to help make connections: between content types; between countries; between disciplines; and between people.

Learn more about how we help you as a publisher, editor, researcher, research funder, librarian, developer, or research institution.

A DOI is just the start

You can register your content with any other DOI registration agency—and we work really closely with all of them to integrate and collaborate—but only members of Crossref can use our tools and services:

  • Content Registration: Crossref metadata specifically enables collection of essential information surrounding research outputs in a standard way across members: abstracts, references, funding data, ORCID iDs, license information, clinical trial numbers, and full-text links. That metadata can be registered for all to use in records about your articles, books, research grants, preprints, and more.
  • Reference linking: Joining us means that you’re entering into a reciprocal linking agreement with over 14,000 other Crossref members registering over 111231936 research objects from 140 countries around the world. Using DOIs to your reference lists is an obligation of membership and means that you are linking your content with the growing network of scholarly research. That collective responsibility is a key benefit of membership.
  • Cited-by provides members with a way to look at Crossref metadata to find out how your publications are being cited by other members and share that information with your readers and authors. Most citation data is also available openly via our public APIs.
  • Similarity Check for editorial originality. Our agreement with Turnitin offers our members reduced-rate access to iThenticate, a tool to check submitted or accepted works against the full-text of tens of millions of published research outputs.
  • Crossmark Crossmark gives members the ability to add a clickable button to their pages and PDFs to show if it’s been updated, corrected, or retracted. It shows readers that our members are committed to maintaining their content as well as giving them vital information to check that they are using the most recent and reliable version.
  • Metadata retrieval: All of the metadata that Crossref collects helps our members’ content be more discoverable. We make it available in a variety of formats (including an API) so that anyone can come to one place to get information from our thousands of diverse members. Information about your publications is being shared by and used in search engines, collaborative editing and authoring tools, discovery platforms, library databases and many, many other places.
  • Event Data: This is a new service aimed at tracking and providing evidence of what happens to research outside of the traditional scholarly tracking tools. News mentions, policy documents, social shares, and more, can be retrieved by anyone to analyse and the data is auditable and portable for any use.

We’re committed to maintaining this infrastructure and building on it in a sustainable way for everyone in the scholarly community, improving existing tools and services and building new ones as needs arise. All the while consulting and collaborating where we can.

Please see our strategic roadmap for what we’re working on. In 2020, our board adopted the Principles of Open Scholarly Infrastructure (POSI) and we published a self-assessment to benchmark where we are are track progress and maintenance of these commitments. We invite the community to hold us accountable to these open and sustainability goals.

Page owner: Rachael Lammey   |   Last updated 2021-April-23