Crossref holds metadata for approximately 150 million scholarly artifacts. These range from peer reviewed journal articles through to scholarly books through to scientific blog posts. In fact, amid such heterogeneity, the only singular factor that unites such items is that they have been assigned a document object identifier (DOI); a unique identification string that can be used to resolve to a resource pertaining to said metadata (often, but not always, a copy of the work identified by the metadata).
We’re equally sad and proud to report that Rachael Lammey is moving on in her career to the very lucky team at 67Bricks. Her last day at Crossref is today, Friday 16th February. Which is too soon for us, but very exciting for her!
It’s hard to overstate Rachael’s impact on Crossref’s growth and success in her 12 years here. She started as a Product Manager where she developed that role into a broad and central function, and soon moved into the newly-formed community team as International Outreach Manager where she grew important programs such as Sponsors, Ambassadors, a series of ‘LIVE’ events around the world, and she went on to manage her own team and establish some of the most important strategic relationships that Crossref now feels fortunate to have.
Great news to share: our Executive Director, Ed Pentz, has been selected as the 2024 recipient of the Miles Conrad Award from the USA’s National Information Standards Organization (NISO). The award is testament to an individual’s lifetime contribution to the information community, and we couldn’t be more delighted that Ed was voted to be this year’s well-deserved recipient.
During the NISO Plus conference this week in Baltimore, USA, Ed accepted his award and delivered the 2024 Miles Conrad lecture, reflecting on how far open scholarly infrastructure has come, and the part he has played in this at Crossref and through numerous other collaborative initiatives.
Metadata about research objects and the relationships between them form the basis of the scholarly record: rich metadata has the potential to provide a richer context for scholarly output, and in particular, can provide trust signals to indicate integrity. Information on who authored a research work, who funded it, which other research works it cites, and whether it was updated, can act as signals of trustworthiness. Crossref provides foundational infrastructure to connect and preserve these records, but the creation of these records is an ongoing and complex community effort.
In recent years, we operate on a budget of around $12 million (USD). About one-third of our revenue comes from annual dues (e.g., membership fees, subscriptions) and two-thirds from services (e.g., Content Registration, Similarly Check document checking). Our fees are set and reviewed by the Membership & Fees committee, which includes our staff, board, and community members. This group also created a set of fee principles which were approved by the board in 2019.
About 80% of our expenses are related to people - staff, benefits, and contracted support. 20% of our costs are everything else - hosting costs, licensing fees, events, and costs to do business like banking fees and insurance.
Each year we strive to generate a small operating net and have been able to do so nearly every year.
We also maintain a reserve fund to support long-term sustainability. An Investment Committee was formed in 2021 to update our investing policies, and we will share more later this year.
Below is a look at how our operations have changed over time.
Annual financial reporting
As a not-for-profit, we are tax-exempt, and to maintain that status, we undergo a financial audit each year by an independent accounting firm. Our auditors prepare our Form 990, which the US IRS requires and is made publicly available. It gives an overview of what we do, how we are governed, and detailed financial information.