About us

Our mission

Crossref makes research outputs easy to find, cite, link, assess, and reuse.

We’re a not-for-profit membership organization that exists to make scholarly communications better. We rally the community; tag and share metadata; run an open infrastructure; play with technology; and make tools and services—all to help put scholarly content in context.

It’s as simple—and as complicated—as that.


Getting the community working together to make scholarly communications better


Structuring, processing, and sharing metadata to reveal relationships between research outputs


Operating a shared, open infrastructure that is community-governed and evolves with changing needs


Engaging in debate and experimenting with technology to solve our members’ problems


Creating tools and services to enable connections and give context

What we stand for

These are the Crossref ‘truths’, the principles that guide everything we do. Read our truths page, with full descriptions for each.

  1. Come one, come all
  2. Smart alone, brilliant together
  3. One member, one vote
  4. Love metadata, love technology
  5. What you see, what you get
  6. Here today, here tomorrow

How we started

We started in January 2000 with one employee, Ed Pentz, as Executive Director. Read about our history in Ed’s words. Since we started we’ve grown to (as of 2019) thirty eight people, 14321 members, coming from over 120 countries.

Read our background story, with an overview of our current services, in this document:

Read or download this background story as a PDF in English, Spanish or Brazilian Portuguese.

How we are supported

We are a not-for-profit organization, registered in the United States of America as a 501©6 (a “trade association”). We are sustained by annual membership fees that are tiered according to size of publishing revenue. We also charge a content registration fee for each item of content whose metadata is deposited with us. We also provide both free and paid-for metadata delivery options for access to this metadata.

Members can and do participate in many ways and contribute to our global network of linked scholarly content.

We are governed by sixteen of our members that form our board serving three-year terms. We invite from each of the elected sixteen organizations, one main person as board member, and one alternate person. We also have other committees that help us set fees and policies, audit us, and an Executive Committee that meets more regularly and supports the Executive Director in making some decisions.

You can read more about our finances and governance as well as what we worked on most recently, by viewing our annual report.

We are accredited in handing your data

Crossref was awarded the SOC 2® accreditation in 2017 after an independent assessment of our controls and procedures by the American Institute of CPA’s (AICPA).

The SOC 2® accreditation is awarded to service organizations that have passed standard trust services criteria relating to the security, availability, and processing integrity of systems used to process users’ data and the confidentiality and privacy of the information processed by these systems.

The AICPA’s assessment also reviewed our vendor management programs, internal corporate governance and risk management processes, and regulatory oversight.

Find out more about the SOC accreditation structure

Please contact our outreach team with any questions.


An archive of all our official news announcements since Crossref’s formation in 1999. Please also check out our blog, and contact our communications team with any questions. Latest news 05 June 2018, Crossref facilitates the use of essential peer review information for scholarly communications 15 November 2017, Crossref introduces new Metadata APIs ‘Plus’ service offering new features and richer metadata 02 November 2016, Crossref now accepts preprints 17 May 2016, Crossref Publishers deliver win for clinical trial openness 05 May 2016, Crossref to accept preprints in change to long-standing policy 29 October 2015, ORCID launches Crossref and DataCite Auto-Update 20 August 2015, Crossref Strengthens Product Focus with Appointment of Jennifer Lin to its Management Team 26 March 2015, Crossref Extends Management Team, Appoints Ginny Hendricks To Focus on Member and Community Outreach News archive +- News from 2013 to 2014 2014 12 November 2014, Inera and Crossref Win Top Prize at the NEPCo Awards 10 November 2014, Crossref and DataCite announce new initiative to accelerate the adoption of DOIs for data publication and citation 2 October 2014, The Public Knowledge Project and Crossref Collaborate to Improve Services for Publishers using Open Journal Systems 5 August 2014, Crossref and California Digital Library Agreement Extends Discoverability of Scholarly Publications 29 May 2014, Crossref Text and Data Mining Services Simplify Researcher Access 6 May 2014, Atypon Integrates Crossref’s Crossmark Service in Literatum 14.

Last Updated: 2018 July 12