To date, we have collected around 740 million from 12 different source since we launched our Event Data service service in 2017. Each event is an online mention of the research associated with a DOI, either via the DOI directly or using the associated URL. However, we know that there is much more out there. Because of this, we would like to explore where we could expand.
We invite proposals to conduct a gap analysis for Event Data sources, looking at what we currently collect and seeing what more could be added.
We are delighted to announce the formation of a new Advisory Group to support us in improving preprint metadata. Preprints have grown in popularity over the last few years, with increasing focus brought by the need to rapidly disseminate knowledge in the midst of a global pandemic. We have supported metadata deposits for preprints under the content type ‘posted content’ since 2016, and members currently register a total of around 17,000 new preprints metadata records each month.
It is time to put the ‘R’ back into R&D.
The Crossref R&D team was originally created to focus on the kinds of research projects that have allowed Crossref to make transformational technology changes, launch innovative new services, and engage with entirely new constituencies. Some Illustrious projects that had their origins in the R&D group include:
DOI Content Negotiation Similarity Check (originally CrossCheck) ORCID (originally Author DOIs) Crossmark The Open Funder Registry The Crossref REST API Linked Clinical Trials Event Data Grant registration ROR And for each project that has graduated, there have been several that have not.
This announcement has been in the works for some time, but everything seems to take longer when there is a pandemic going on, including finding time and headspace to plan out our strategy for the next few years.
Over the last year or so we have had our heads down addressing how to scale our 20-yr-old system and operation – and adapting to new ways of working. But we’ve also spent time talking to people, forging alliances, looking ahead, and making plans.
Crossref is a not-for-profit 501(c)(6) organization. We are governed by a board of directors that our members elect. One of the critical roles of the board is to approve our annual budget and monitor our financial performance.
Time-limited funds are used only for time-limited activities – day-to-day operations should be supported by day-to-day sustainable revenue sources.
Goal to generate surplus – it is not enough to merely survive. Producing a small surplus allows us to respond nimbly to opportunities or weather economic downtimes.
Goal to create a contingency fund to support operations for 12 months – generating an operating surplus also allows us to create a separate fund that could support operations for a year.
Mission-consistent revenue generation – any revenue we generate must be mission-aligned and not run counter to the aims of the organization.
Revenue based on services, not data – data related to the running of the research enterprise should be community property. Appropriate revenue sources might include value-added services, consulting, API Service Level Agreements, or membership fees.
In recent years, we operate on a budget of around $10 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 two-thirds of our expenses are related to people - staff, benefits, and contracted support. One-third 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.
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.