In August 2022, the United States Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) issued a memo (PDF) on ensuring free, immediate, and equitable access to federally funded research (a.k.a. the “Nelson memo”). Crossref is particularly interested in and relevant for the areas of this guidance that cover metadata and persistent identifiers—and the infrastructure and services that make them useful.
Funding bodies worldwide are increasingly involved in research infrastructure for dissemination and discovery.
Preprints have become an important tool for rapidly communicating and iterating on research outputs. There is now a range of preprint servers, some subject-specific, some based on a particular geographical area, and others linked to publishers or individual journals in addition to generalist platforms. In 2016 the Crossref schema started to support preprints and since then the number of metadata records has grown to around 16,000 new preprint DOIs per month.
TL;DR One of the things that makes me glad to work at Crossref is the principles to which we hold ourselves, and the most public and measurable of those must be the Principles of Open Scholarly Infrastructure, or POSI, for short. These ambitions lay out how we want to operate - to be open in our governance, in our membership and also in our source code and data. And it’s that openness of source code that’s the reason for my post today - on 26th September 2022, our first collaboration with the JSON Forms open-source project was released into the wild.
Ans: metadata and services are all underpinned by POSI.
Leading into a blog post with a question always makes my brain jump ahead to answer that question with the simplest answer possible. I was a nightmare English Literature student. ‘Was Macbeth purely a villain?’ ‘No’. *leaves exam*
Just like not giving one-word answers to exam questions, playing our role in the integrity of the scholarly record and helping our members enhance theirs takes thought, explanation, transparency, and work.
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.