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.
Recording data citations supports data reuse and aids research integrity and reproducibility. Crossref makes it easy for our members to submit data citations to support the scholarly record.
TL;DR Citations are essential/core metadata that all members should submit for all articles, conference proceedings, preprints, and books. Submitting data citations to Crossref has long been possible. And it’s easy, you just need to:
Include data citations in the references section as you would for any other citation Include a DOI or other persistent identifier for the data if it is available - just as you would for any other citation Submit the references to Crossref through the content registration process as you would for any other record And your data citations will flow through all the normal processes that Crossref applies to citations.
At Crossref, we care a lot about the completeness and quality of metadata. Gathering robust metadata from across the global network of scholarly communication is essential for effective co-creation of the research nexus and making the inner workings of academia traceable and transparent. We invest time in community initiatives such as Metadata 20/20 and Better Together webinars. We encourage members to take time to look up their participation reports, and our team can support you if you’re looking to understand and improve any aspects of metadata coverage of your content.
What’s in the metadata matters because it is So.Heavily.Used.
You might be tired of hearing me say it but that doesn’t make it any less true. Our open APIs now see over 1 billion queries per month. The metadata is ingested, displayed and redistributed by a vast, global array of systems and services that in whole or in part are often designed to point users to relevant content. It’s also heavily used by researchers, who author the content that is described in the metadata they analyze.
Typically, when an editorially significant update is made to a document, the publisher will not modify the original document, but will instead issue a separate document (such as a correction or retraction notice) which explains the change. This separate document will have a different DOI from the document that it corrects and will there have different metadata.
In this example, article A (with the DOI 10.5555/12345678) is eventually retracted by a retraction notice RN (with the DOI 10.5555/24242424x). Each document has Crossmark metadata, but the fact that RN updates article A is only recorded in the RN’s Crossmark deposit. The Crossmark internal API has to tie the two documents together and indicate in metadata of the original document (A), that it has been updated_by the second document (RN).
Example 1: simple retraction
This is a simple example of article A being retracted by a retraction notice RN where both A and RN have Crossmark metadata deposited.
First, the PDF is produced and the XML deposited to Crossref.
This is a simple example of article B being corrected by a correction notice CN where both B and CN have Crossmark metadata deposited. The only real difference between this and the previous example is that we are creating a different kind of update.
When a member does not issue a separate update/correction/retraction notice and instead just makes the change to the document (without changing its DOI either), this is called an in-situ update. In-situ updates or corrections are not recommended because they tend to obscure the scholarly record. How do you tell what the differences are between what you downloaded and the update? How do you differentiate them when citing them (remember, we are only talking about “significant updates” here)? However, some members need to support in-situ updates, and this is how they can be supported.
Example 4: correction of article that has no Crossmark metadata deposited
If you deposit Crossmark metadata for a retraction or and update notice which, in turn, points at an article that does not have Crossmark metadata assigned to it, we will generate a “stub” Crossmark for the item being updated. The stub metadata will simply copy essential Crossmark metadata (crossmark_domains and domain_exclusive) from the updating metadata. This metadata can be queried via our API, but won’t activate anything on your site unless you add the Crossmark widget to the corresponding page of the item being updated.
Example 5: correction notice that corrected multiple documents
Sometimes members issue correction or clarification notices which provide corrections for multiple documents. This too can be supported by Crossmark. In the following example, one correction/clarification document provides updates to two documents (F and G)