We’re excited (and a little nervous) to launch a new research project designed to assess the effects of metadata on research communications. We’re expecting this effort to be a significant contribution to the existing research on the topic and we’re really looking forward to getting started. We’re also a little nervous because of course we don’t know what the conclusions will be (after all, if we did, we wouldn’t be starting this project).
UPDATE, 13 July 2021: The first stage of the cutover is complete, so requests to the public pool are now being served by the new REST API. We took a slightly different approach to performing the cutover, so the “Documentation” and “Temporary domain” sections below have been updated.
Our REST API is the primary interface for anybody to fetch the metadata of content registered with us, and we’ve been working hard on a more robust REST API service that’s about to go live.
22 June 2021, London, UK and Boston, MA, USA — The future of global open access publishing received a boost today with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) and Crossref. The MOU formalizes an already strong partnership between the two organisations and furthers their shared pursuit of an open scholarly communications ecosystem that is inclusive of emerging publishing communities.
Both organisations aim to encourage the dissemination and use of scholarly research using open infrastructure, online technologies, regional and international networks, and community partners - all supporting local institutional capacity and sustainability around the world.
To date, we have collected around 740 million events from 12 different source since we launched our Event Data service service in 2017. Each event is an online mention of the research associated with a DOI, either via the DOI directly or using the associated URL. However, we know that there is much more out there. Because of this, we would like to explore where we could expand.
We invite proposals to conduct a gap analysis for Event Data sources, looking at what we currently collect and seeing what more could be added.
Many researchers want to carry out analysis and extraction of information from large sets of data, such as journal articles and other scholarly content. Methods such as screen-scraping are error-prone, place too much strain on content sites and may be unrepeatable or break if site layouts change. Providing researchers with automated access to the full-text content via DOIs and Crossref metadata reduces these problems, allowing for easy deduplication and reproducibility. Supporting text and data mining echoes our mission to make research outputs easy to find, cite, link, assess, and reuse.
In 2013 Crossref embarked on a project to better support Crossref members and researchers with Text and Data Mining requests and access. There were two main parts to the project:
To collect and make available full-text links and publisher TDM license links in the metadata.
To provide a service (TDM click-through service) for Crossref members to post their additional TDM terms and conditions and for researchers to access, review and accept these terms.
To date, 37.5 million works registered with Crossref have both full-text links and TDM license information. We continue to encourage all members to include full-text links and license information in the metadata they register to assist researchers with TDM. You can see how each member is doing via its Participation Report (e.g. Wiley’s).
Members are also making subscription content available for text mining (temporarily or otherwise) for specific purposes, such as to help the research community with its response to COVID-19. Back in April we highlighted how this can be achieved by including:
A “free to read” element in the access indicators section of publisher metadata indicating that the content is being made available free-of-charge (gratis)
An assertion element indicating that the content being made available is available free-of-charge.
To access Crossref’s click-through tool for text and data mining, users could log in via their ORCID iD. They could then review TDM license agreements posted by Crossref members and accept, reject or postpone their decisions until later. Having agreed to a publisher’s terms and conditions this action was logged against the user’s API token which they could use when requesting full-text from the publisher.
Since the pilot in 2014, only 2 publishers have continued with the tool and fewer than 300 API tokens have been issued.
Publishers have since developed their own mechanisms for managing TDM requests. The introduction of UK (2014) / EU (2019) copyright exceptions for TDM has significantly reduced the number of requests and at the same time, more and more content is published under an open access license.
Given the low take-up of the click-through by both publishers and researchers, its goals are no longer being met. Therefore we will retire the TDM click-through in December 2020. Until that date, it will still operate for the two publishers and various researchers who use it while they finish implementing their alternative plans.
Crossref will continue to collect member-supplied TDM licensing information in metadata for individual works, and researchers can continue to find this via the Crossref APIs.