Strategic agenda and roadmap

Welcome to our strategic roadmap—finalised January 2023—which sets out Crossref’s priorities through 2025 so everyone can see our focus areas and upcoming projects.

Like others, we envision a rich and reusable open network of relationships connecting research organizations, people, things, and actions; a scholarly record that the global community can build on forever, for the benefit of society.

Crossref makes research objects easy to find, cite, link, assess, and reuse. We’re a not-for-profit membership organization that exists to make scholarly communications better. We rally the community; tag and share metadata; run an open infrastructure; play with technology; and make tools and services—all to help put scholarly content in context.

This page presents all our high-level activities, from open governance and sustainability, collaborative projects with different parts of the ever-diversifying scholarly community, work to expand metadata, and delivery of tools and APIs to retrieve works, entities, and their relationships—all while fostering a strong global team.

Read on to learn more about where Crossref is heading and let us have your thoughts by starting or joining a discussion in the strategy section of our community forum. Review the archived strategic narratives for 2020-2022 and 2018-2020, and read background on our strategic planning approach on our blog.

View our live and detailed product roadmap at the bottom of this page

Crossref’s role in the scholarly landscape

Governments, funders, institutions, and researchers—groups who once had tangential involvement in scholarly publishing—are taking a more direct role in shaping how research is recorded, shared, contextualised, and assessed.

We now have more members that self-identify as universities or research institutions than as publishers, and we have seen a rise in library- and academic-led publishing. Many research funders are playing their part by supporting open infrastructure, registering their records with Crossref as members, and seeing this as a direct way of measuring reach and return on their grants and awards.

As more people contribute to an evolving scholarly record, Crossref must capture provenance and relationships through metadata, and broaden it’s scope even further to collect, clean, and deliver metadata in context.

We are scaling our systems, tools, and resources to manage this and we are doing it in the open, to demonstrate our committment to POSI and add some assurance that research is being properly supported, and so we can more easily integrate and co-create with other open infrastructures, whilst making it easy for members to participate and share as much metadata as they have.

With a more complete picture of the scholarly record available in the open, everyone will be able to examine the integrity, impact, and outcomes of our collective efforts to progress science and society.

We want to contribute to an environment in which the scholarly research community identifies shared problems and co-creates solutions for broad benefit

We do this in all teams through research and engagement with our expanding community.

Some problems benefit from collective action. As scholarly communications changes, we need to be proactive within our community to understand how we can help solve shared problems. We continue to focus on collaboration with new and long standing partners, and our R&D team allows us to move nimbly, try new things, and involve the community as we do.

Recently completed

In focus

Up next

Under consideration

  • Exploring: How do we more efficiently gather metadata corrections and notify the community?
  • Exploring: Monitoring research integrity community developments and tools we could align with

We want to be a sustainable source of complete, open, and global scholarly metadata and relationships

We are working towards this vision of a ‘Research Nexus’ by demonstrating the value of richer and connected open metadata, incentivising people to meet best practices, while making it easier to do so.

Building a more complete picture of the scholarly record means thinking about our metadata outside the more rigid structures once provided by content containers. In line with community needs, we are building a flexibile, clearer assertions of metadata provenance, and charge ourselves with improving the accuracy, transparency, and downstream usage of the metadata we collect and ingest from a range of sources. We will support our members in improving the provision of key metadata fields so that they can easily contribute to the growing network of metadata and relationships.

Recently completed

In focus

  • Adoption activities to focus on top participation priorities which are for members to add: references; abstracts; grants; ROR

  • Broad adoption of the GEM Program to include more of the world’s metadata

  • Extend grants registration form to accept articles and other research objects; retire Metadata Manager tool as a result

  • Build new content system and move or deprecate as we go

  • Implement ‘item graph’ to reflect nuanced relationships and to ensure future schema flexibility

  • Develop clear metadata development strategy, priorities, and roadmap

  • Build a test environment for metadata schema updates

  • DOIs for static site generators

  • Co-create interactive resources for using metadata e.g. demos and tutorials for working with our API

  • Prototyping a new format for participation reports

Up next

Under consideration

  • Further work on the relationships endpoint

We want to be held publicly accountable to the Principles of Open Scholarly Infrastructure (POSI) practices of governance, insurance, and sustainability

We do this by focusing on broad community governance, organisational resilience, open forkable code, and transparent operations.

We invest time and resources in embedding open and transparent practices in our organisation so that you know what we know. We use POSI as a decision framework to help evaluate and prioritise work and improve our ways of working. We revisit POSI frequently, together with the other adoptees, and we’re uncovering more ideas for openness as we evolve.

Recently completed

In focus

  • 2023 POSI self-assessment update
  • Drafting patent non-assertion policy
  • Move from data center to cloud
  • Deprecate closed code and open-source more/all code (see: Insurance)
  • Prepare and release the 2024 public data file

Up next

Under consideration

  • Exploring: Is our governance structure representative and are the processes efficient? (see: Governance)

We want to foster a strong team—because reliable infrastructure needs committed people who contribute to and realise the vision, and thrive doing it

We do this through fair policies and working practices, a balanced approach to resourcing, and accountability to each other.

Our commitment to collaboration and transparency in the community is reflected in how we operate as a team as well. By making our operations more transparent, we can ensure that our approach is applied consistently and equitably; potential candidates can get a sense of how we operate; and other organisations can adapt and reuse policies if they wish.

Recently completed

In focus

  • Goal planning and aligning team priorities
  • Automating membership processes to support continued growth
  • Developing a framework to better track our carbon emissions
  • Surveying small members to better understand fee accessibility, as part of the resourcing project
  • Planning 2024 all-staff retreat in person

Up next

Under consideration

Live product roadmap

See the full link at Productboard.

Page owner: Ginny Hendricks   |   Last updated 2024-February-23