Metadata Retrieval

Analyse Crossref metadata to inform and understand research

Crossref is the sustainable source of community-owned scholarly metadata and is relied upon by thousands of systems across the research ecosystem and the globe.

Diagram depicting many types of users and uses of Crossref metadata

Some of the typical users (outer) and uses (inner) of Crossref metadata

People using Crossref metadata need it for all sorts of reasons including metaresearch (researchers studying research itself such as through bibliometric analyses), publishing trends (such as finding works from an individual author or reviewer), or incorporation into specific databases (such as for discovery and search or in subject-specific repositories), and many more detailed use cases.

All Crossref metadata is open and available for reuse without restriction. Our 160104382 records include information about research objects like articles, grants and awards, preprints, conference papers, book chapters, datasets, and more. The information covers elements like titles, contributors, descriptions, dates, references, connecting identifiers such as Crossref DOIs, ROR IDs and ORCID iDs, together with all sorts of metadata that helps to determine provenance, trust, and reusability—such as funding, clinical trial, and license information.

Take a look at a list of some of the organizations who rely on our REST API and read some of the case studies from a selection of users. Download the metadata retrieval fact sheet or read more about the types of metadata and records we have.

Anyone can retrieve and use 160104382 records without restriction. So there are no fees to use the metadata but if you really rely on it then you might like to sign up for Metadata Plus which offers greater predictability, higher rate limits, monthly data dumps in XML and JSON, and access to dedicated support from our team.

Options for retrieving metadata

All Crossref metadata is completely open and available to all. Whatever your experience with metadata, there are several tools, techniques, and support guides to help—whether you’re just beginning, exploring occasionally, or need an ongoing reliable integration.


You’ve heard Crossref metadata might be useful and want to know where to start.

We recommend you start with metadata search, funder search, or simple text query for matching references to DOIs. Also take a look at the tips for querying our REST API in a browser which only needs you to get a JSON plugin to view the results. We are also building up tutorials to demonstrate the possibilities, starting with a funder metadata workbook. If it’s retractions and corrections that you need, check out the frequently-updated csv file of the Retraction Watch dataset that we acquired and opened in 2023.


You have some specific queries and want a lightweight way to use Crossref metadata.

Take a look at the in-depth interactive documentation for our REST API at If you’re comfortable with tar data files you can download our latest annual public data file. You may be interested in how relationships between research objects are represented, so have a look at the Colab notebook of the upcoming endpoint for relationship metadata, currently in beta at


You rely on Crossref metadata and need to incorporate it into your product at scale.

You might want to jump straight to subscribing to Metadata Plus, which is our premium service for the REST API that comes with monthly data dumps in JSON and XML, higher rate limits, and fast support. But we always recommend that you try out the public version first to make sure it will work for your product. If you’re looking for a single DOI record in multiple formats (e.g. RDF, BibTex, CSL) you can use content negotiation.

Watch the animated introduction to metadata retrieval

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Page owner: Patrick Polischuk   |   Last updated 2024-February-03