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DOI and CrossRef Richard O’Beirne Blackwell Publishing Seminar on Linking Technologies Edinburgh, 6 March 2001. Blackwell Publishing. Blackwell Publishing (2001) Blackwell Science [STM] Munksgaard [Danish STM] Blackwell Publishers [Humanities, Social sciences]

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DOI and CrossRef

Richard O’Beirne

Blackwell Publishing

Seminar on Linking Technologies

Edinburgh, 6 March 2001

blackwell publishing
Blackwell Publishing
  • Blackwell Publishing (2001) Blackwell Science [STM] Munksgaard [Danish STM] Blackwell Publishers [Humanities, Social sciences]
  • Combined output 500+ journals 600 text and reference books p.a.
  • Publishes on behalf of 550 academic and professional societies
  • Online journals service: Synergy Also publish through 15+ aggregators and intermediaries
our involvement with crossref
Our involvement with CrossRef
  • One of twelve founder members
  • Represented on Board by John Strange
  • Represented on Technical Working Group and System Rewrite Group by Richard O’Beirne
crossref organization
CrossRef organization
  • Publishers International Linking Association (PILA) - independent, not-for-profit, incorporated January 2000
  • Board of Directors
    • AAAS (Science),Academic Press (Harcourt), AIP, ACM, Blackwell Science, Elsevier Science, IEEE, Kluwer, Nature, OUP, Springer, Wiley
  • Fees, member terms, technical infrastructure and standards established See
what problem does crossref solve

Publisher C

Publisher B

Publisher A

Publisher D

Publisher C

Publisher A

Publisher D

Publisher B

Publisher E

Publisher E

Publisher F

Publisher F

What problem does CrossRef solve?

15 bilateral relationships

6 network relationships

what is crossref
What is CrossRef?
  • A neutral, non-profit, independent membership organization
    • Members: publishers of original scholarly material
    • Users: publishers and any organization creating links to full text articles
    • No need for bilateral linking agreements
    • CrossRef System makes broad-based linking efficient and manageable
crossref s aims
CrossRef’s aims
  • Purpose 1: Enable persistent links from primary article references to the cited articles at other publishers’ sites
  • Purpose 2: Maximize links to full text articles from all information resources
  • Purpose 3: Enable links between all types of scholarly content (conference proceedings, books, encyclopedias, patents, etc)
current status
Current Status
  • 68 Member publishers (60% are non-profit)
  • Metadata deposited for 2.7 million articles from 6100 journals 2,735,247 records in CrossRef MDDB as of Mon Mar 5 00:52:20 EST 2001
  • System went live in June 2000: thousands of journals with links (Elsevier, Academic Press, Wiley, Springer, Blackwell Science)
  • 3 million+ articles in 2001
  • 0.5-1 million new articles per year
crossref system components
CrossRef System - Components
  • Persistent Identifiers
    • Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs)[]
  • Standardized Metadata
    • XML DTD[]
  • Resolution System (to get from Identifiers to Content)
    • DOI/Handle System[]
the article identifier
The Article Identifier
  • Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
    • unique, persistent, NISO standard
    • DOI System routes a DOI to a URL registered by publisher (and it can do a lot more besides…)
  • With a DOI -
    • linker doesn’t need to know publishers’ linking algorithms/systems
    • if a publisher changes their URLs (or a journal moves to another publisher), DOI-enabled links will still work
    • article is guaranteed to be online (only articles online get DOIs)
  • DOI Problem
    • how do you know what the DOI is for an article?
    • CrossRef provides a database of DOIs and a DOI Lookup service (telephone book and directory assistance)
the crossref process
The CrossRef Process
  • Publishers deposit article metadata (including DOIs) in CrossRef database
  • Publishers query references from articles against CrossRef MDDB to lookup DOIs
  • Publishers use DOIs to create reference links in their online journals
  • Users click on reference links and go to other Publishers’ site
crossref metadata
CrossRef Metadata

Admin Stuff

DOI Batch ID - uniquely identifies batch Time Stamp - uniquely identifies batch Depositor - name and email for error messages Registrant - DOI Prefix owner

Content Stuff

DOI - for the DOI Directory URL - where the DOI resolves Article Title (optional) Author - first author last name Publication Date - electronic/print date Enumeration (volume, issue, page) Journal Title, ISSN/Code

workflow for reference linking


Workflow for reference linking

3. Journal production systems export articles with DOIs

Publisher Online Journal System

Publisher Production System

2. DOI Lookup: a Journal production system requests a DOI based on citation metadata

4. Users may request

and retrieve articles via DOI resolution system

1. Journal production systems export metadata

to MDDB as new articles

are published

CrossRef MDDB

doi resolution idf system
DOI Resolution - IDF System

Online Journal 1

1. User Gets Article

2. User Clicks DOI

3. URL Returned

DOI Directory (Handle System)

End User

4. User Gets Cited Article

Online Journal 2

business rules governance
Business Rules/Governance
  • CrossRef Membership
    • Provide full bibliographic citation for incoming DOI links (‘response page’)
    • many publishers will give free abstracts
    • information on acquiring article (pay online, document delivery, subscription)
    • Access to abstracts and full text controlled by publishers - business model neutral
  • CrossRef guarantees links
crossref fees
CrossRef Fees
  • Principles
    • operate on a cost recovery basis
    • fees should be related to system usage
    • no charges to end users to click links
    • flexibility
  • Fees
    • Members: Annual Membership, Deposit, Retrieval (one-time for each DOI looked up)
    • Affiliates: Annual Admin Fee, Retrieval
    • See
issues for the future
Issues for the Future
  • Multiple Resolution
    • one DOI = one URL is starting point
    • multiple locations and multiple files
  • ‘Appropriate Copy’ Issue (a.k.a ‘Contextualization’)
      • Prototype with libraries (DLF, CNRI, IDF)
  • Access to “Non-subscribed” Content
  • Archive Repositories (JSTOR, ADS)
conclusion i
Conclusion I
  • CrossRef is a milestone
    • Without CrossRef broad-based linking is not feasible (high costs, business issues and technical problems)
    • DOIs and Metadata lay the groundwork for more sophisticated linking (URLs don’t)
    • CrossRef is a vehicle for publishers to work with libraries and others
conclusion ii
Conclusion II
  • Publishers need:
    • excellent, easy-to-use CrossRef system
    • technical support and information
  • Users want:
    • lots of links (to content and services)
    • personalized/localized links
    • easy (not necessarily free) access to full text
  • More work to do…
  • CrossRef –
  • DOI –

Richard O’BeirneBlackwell Publishing