Having joined the Crossref team merely a week previously, the mid-year community update on June 14th was a fantastic opportunity to learn about the Research Nexus vision. We explored its building blocks and practical implementation steps within our reach, and within our imagination of the future.
Read on (or watch the recording) for a whistlestop tour of everything – from what on Earth is Research Nexus, through to how it’s taking shape at Crossref, to how you are involved, and finally – to what concerns the community surrounding the vision and how we’re going to address that.
TL;DR A year ago, we announced that we were putting the “R” back in R&D. That was when Rachael Lammey joined the R&D team as the Head of Strategic Initiatives.
And now, with Rachael assuming the role of Product Director, I’m delighted to announce that Dominika Tkaczyk has agreed to take over Rachael’s role as the Head of Strategic Initiatives. Of course, you might already know her.
We will also immediately start recruiting for a new Principal R&D Developer to work with Esha and Dominika on the R&D team.
As a distributed, global, and community-led organisation, sharing information and listening to our members both online and in person has always been integral to what we do.
For many years Crossref has held both in-person and online meetings and events, which involved a fair amount of travel by our staff, board, and community. This changed drastically in March 2020, when we had to stop traveling and stop having in-person meetings and events.
The Crossref Nominating Committee is inviting expressions of interest to join the Board of Directors of Crossref for the term starting in March 2023. The committee will gather responses from those interested and create the slate of candidates that our membership will vote on in an election in September.
Expressions of interest will be due Friday, June 24th, 2022.
About the our 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.
The ‘research nexus’ is the vision to which we aspire:
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.
The research nexus goes beyond the basic idea of just having persistent identifiers for content. Objects and entities such as journal articles, book chapters, grants, preprints, data, software, statements, dissertations, protocols, affiliations, contributors, etc. should all be identified and that is still an important part of the picture. But what is most important is how they relate to each other and the context in which they make up the whole research ecosystem.
The foundation of the research nexus is metadata; the richer and more comprehensive the metadata in Crossref records, the more value there is for our members and for others, including for future generations.
Metadata and relationships between research objects and entities can support the whole scholarly research ecosystem in many ways, including:
Research integrity: helping to provide signals about the trustworthiness of the work including provenance information such as who funded it (when and for how much), which organizations and people contributed what, whether something was updated or corrected, and whether it was checked for originality. All of these signals can be expressed through Crossref metadata.
Reproducibility: helping others to reproduce outcomes by adding relationships between literature, data, software, protocols and methods, and more. All of these relationships can be asserted through members’ ongoing stewardship of their Crossref metadata records.
Reporting and assessment: helping organizations such as universities, funders, governments, to track and demonstrate the outcomes of investment; provide benchmarking information; show compliance with funder mandates; and decide what other research to fund. This kind of information can be included in Crossref metadata.
Discoverability: helping people and systems identify work through multiple angles. Registering content with Crossref makes it possible for work to be found and used. Thousands of systems use Crossref metadata, therefore the richer the records are, the more visibility there is likely to be of your work. Including metadata like abstracts and references are very simple ways to increase the visibility of your records.
The importance of relationships
A big part of the research nexus is establishing connections between and among different research objects which establishes provenance over time. Adding relationships to your metadata records can convey much richer and more nuanced connections beyond traditional references.
These relationships may consist of versions, corrections, translations, data, formats, supplements, and components. There are no extra fees for including relationships in your metadata.
What types of records can be registered with Crossref?
We are working to make our input schema more flexible so that almost any type of object can be registered and distributed openly through Crossref. At the moment, members tend to register the following: