The Crossref Nominating Committee invites expressions of interest to join the Board of Directors of Crossref for the term starting in March 2024. The committee will gather responses from those interested and create the slate of candidates that our members will vote on in an election in September.
Expressions of interest will be due Monday, June 26th, 2023.
About the board elections The board is elected through the “one member, one vote” policy wherein every member organization of Crossref has a single vote to elect representatives to the Crossref board.
We were delighted to engage with over 200 community members in our latest Community update calls. We aimed to present a diverse selection of highlights on our progress and discuss your questions about participating in the Research Nexus. For those who didn’t get a chance to join us, I’ll briefly summarise the content of the sessions here and I invite you to join the conversations on the Community Forum.
You can take a look at the slides here and the recordings of the calls are available here.
We have some exciting news for fans of big batches of metadata: this year’s public data file is now available. Like in years past, we’ve wrapped up all of our metadata records into a single download for those who want to get started using all Crossref metadata records.
We’ve once again made this year’s public data file available via Academic Torrents, and in response to some feedback we’ve received from public data file users, we’ve taken a few additional steps to make accessing this 185 gb file a little easier.
In 2022, we flagged up some changes to Similarity Check, which were taking place in v2 of Turnitin’s iThenticate tool used by members participating in the service. We noted that further enhancements were planned, and want to highlight some changes that are coming very soon. These changes will affect functionality that is used by account administrators, and doesn’t affect the Similarity Reports themselves.
From Wednesday 3 May 2023, administrators of iThenticate v2 accounts will notice some changes to the interface and improvements to the Users, Groups, Integrations, Statistics and Paper Lookup sections.
We believe in Persistent Identifiers. We believe in defence in depth. Today we’re excited to announce an upgrade to our data resilience strategy.
Defence in depth means layers of security and resilience, and that means layers of backups. For some years now, our last line of defence has been a reliable, tried-and-tested technology. One that’s been around for a while. Yes, I’m talking about the humble 5¼ inch floppy disk.
This may come as surprise to some. When things go well, you’re probably never aware of them. In day to day use, the only time a typical Crossref user sees a floppy disk is when they click ‘save’ (yes, some journals still require submissions in Microsoft Word).
Let me take you back to the early days of Crossref. The technology scene was different. This data was too important to trust to new and unproven technologies like Zip disks, CD-Rs or USB Thumb Drives. So we started with punched cards.
Punched cards are reliable and durable as long as you don’t fold, spindle or mutilate them. But even in 2001 we knew that punched cards’ days were numbered. The capacity of 80 characters kept DOIs short. Translating DOIs into EBCDIC made ASCII a challenge, let alone SICIs. We kept a close eye on the nascent Unicode.
In 2017 the change of DOI display guidelines from http://dx.doi.org.turing.library.northwestern.edu to https://doi-org.turing.library.northwestern.edu shortened each DOI by 2 characters, buying us some time. But eventually we knew we had to upgrade to something more modern.
So we migrated to 5¼ inch floppy disks.
At 640 KB per disk these were a huge improvement. We could fit around 20,000 DOIs on one floppy. Today we only need around 10,000 floppy disks to store all of our DOIs (not the metadata, just the DOIs). Surprisingly this only takes about 20 metres of shelf space to store.
The move to working-from-home brought an unexpected benefit. Staff mail floppy disks to each other and keep them in constant rotation, which produces a distributed fault tolerant system.
Persistence Means Change
But it can’t last forever. DOIs registration shows no sign of slowing down. It’s clear we need a new, compact storage medium. So, after months of research, we’ve invested in new equipment.
Today we announce our migration to 3½ inch floppies.
If it goes to plan you won’t even notice the change.