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.
Reference linking enables researchers to follow a link from the reference list to other full-text documents, helping them to make connections and discover new things.
To link references, you don’t need to be a Crossref member. Reference linking means including Crossref DOIs (displayed as URLs) when you create your citation list. This enables researchers to follow a link from a reference list to other full-text documents, helping them to make connections and discover new things. And because it’s a DOI rather than just a link, it will remain persistent.
Soleimani N, Mohabati Mobarez A, Farhangi B. Cloning, expression and purification flagellar sheath adhesion of Helicobacter pylori in Escherichia coli host as a vaccination target. Clin Exp Vaccine Res. 2016 Jan;5(1):19-25.
Because Crossref is all about rallying the scholarly community to work together, reference linking is an obligation for all Crossref members and for all current journal content (published during this and the two previous years). It is encouraged for other content types (such as books and conference proceedings), and for backfiles (published longer ago).
Watch the introductory reference linking animation in your language:
Persistent links enhance scholarly communications. Reference linking offers important benefits:
Reciprocity: members’ content is linked together and more discoverable because all members link their references.
Crossref acts as a clearinghouse, negotiating reciprocal agreements among all its members so that individual members can avoid the inconvenience of signing bilateral agreements to link to persistent content on other platforms. The result is a scholarly communications infrastructure that enables the exchange of ideas and knowledge.
Discoverability: research travels further when everyone links their references. Because DOIs don’t break if implemented correctly, they will always lead readers to the content they’re looking for, including yours. When the DOIs are displayed, anyone can copy and share them.
This will enable better tracking of where and when people are talking about and sharing scholarly content, including in social media.
Obligations and fees for reference linking
There’s no charge for reference linking but it is an obligation of membership. Reference linking is required for all Crossref members and for all current journal content. We’d encourage you to also add reference linking for backfile journals, and for other content types.
To link references, you do not need to be a member, but reference linking is an obligation for Crossref members. When your organization becomes a Crossref member, look up the DOIs for your references, and add the DOI (as a URL) to reference lists for your content items.
Best practice for reference linking
Start reference linking within 18 months of joining Crossref
Link references for backfile as well as current journal content
Link references in non-journal content types such as books, and conference proceedings.