TL;DR We missed an error that led to resource resolution URLs of some 500,000+ records to be incorrectly updated. We have reverted the incorrect resolution URLs affected by this problem. And, we’re putting in place checks and changes in our processes to ensure this does not happen again.
How we got here Our technical support team was contacted in late June by Wiley about updating resolution URLs for their content. It’s a common request of our technical support team, one meant to make the URL update process more efficient, but this was a particularly large request.
Crossref Conversations is an audio blog we’re trying out that will cover various topics important to our community. This conversation is between colleagues Anna Tolwinska and Rosa Morais Clark, discussing how we can make research happen faster, with fewer hurdles, and how Crossref can help. Our members have been asking us how Crossref can support open science, and we have a few insights to share. So we invite you to have a listen.
We’ve just added to our input schema the ability to include affiliation information using ROR identifiers. Members who register content using XML can now include ROR IDs, and we’ll add the capability to our manual content registration form, participation reports, and metadata retrieval APIs in the near future. And we are inviting members to a Crossref/ROR webinar on 29th September at 3pm UTC.
The background We’ve been working on the Research Organization Registry (ROR) as a community initiative for the last few years.
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).
Typically, when an editorially significant update is made to a document, the publisher will not modify the original document, but will instead issue a separate document (such as a correction or retraction notice) which explains the change. This separate document will have a different DOI from the document that it corrects and will there have different metadata.
In this example, article A (with the DOI 10.5555/12345678) is eventually retracted by a retraction notice RN (with the DOI 10.5555/24242424x). Each document has Crossmark metadata, but the fact that RN updates article A is only recorded in the RN’s Crossmark deposit. The Crossmark internal API has to tie the two documents together and indicate in metadata of the original document (A), that it has been updated_by the second document (RN).
Example 1: simple retraction
This is a simple example of article A being retracted by a retraction notice RN where both A and RN have Crossmark metadata deposited.
First, the PDF is produced and the XML deposited to Crossref.
This is a simple example of article B being corrected by a correction notice CN where both B and CN have Crossmark metadata deposited. The only real difference between this and the previous example is that we are creating a different kind of update.
When a member does not issue a separate update/correction/retraction notice and instead just makes the change to the document (without changing its DOI either), this is called an in-situ update. In-situ updates or corrections are not recommended because they tend to obscure the scholarly record. How do you tell what the differences are between what you downloaded and the update? How do you differentiate them when citing them (remember, we are only talking about “significant updates” here)? However, some members need to support in-situ updates, and this is how they can be supported.
Example 4: correction of article that has no Crossmark metadata deposited
If you deposit Crossmark metadata for a retraction or and update notice which, in turn, points at an article that does not have Crossmark metadata assigned to it, we will generate a “stub” Crossmark for the item being updated. The stub metadata will simply copy essential Crossmark metadata (crossmark_domains and domain_exclusive) from the updating metadata. This metadata can be queried via our API, but won’t activate anything on your site unless you add the Crossmark widget to the corresponding page of the item being updated.
Example 5: correction notice that corrected multiple documents
Sometimes members issue correction or clarification notices which provide corrections for multiple documents. This too can be supported by Crossmark. In the following example, one correction/clarification document provides updates to two documents (F and G)