On October 6 at ~14:00 UTC, our data centre outside of Boston, MA went down. This affected most of our network services- even ones not hosted in the data centre. The problem was that both of our primary and backup network connections went down at the same time. We’re not sure why yet. We are consulting with our network provider. It took us 2 hours to get our systems back online.
We are pleased to share the 2021 board election slate. Crossref’s Nominating Committee received over 60 submissions from members worldwide to fill five open board seats. It was a fantastic group of applicants and showed the strength of our membership community.
There are five seats open for election (three small, two large), and the Nominating Committee presents the following slate.
The 2021 slate Candidate organizations, in alphabetical order, for the Small category (three seats available):
Crossref Similarity Check news: iThenticate v2.0 ready for launch
Last year, we announced the upcoming launch of a new version of iThenticate, the product from Turnitin that powers Crossref Similarity Check. We know some of you have been waiting a long time for this upgrade and we are very happy to share with you that we are now ready to release it.
We will be rolling out this new version in stages, so not everyone will be able to upgrade to the new version immediately.
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 is a not-for-profit 501(c)(6) organization. We are governed by a board of directors that our members elect. One of the critical roles of the board is to approve our annual budget and monitor our financial performance.
Time-limited funds are used only for time-limited activities – day-to-day operations should be supported by day-to-day sustainable revenue sources.
Goal to generate surplus – it is not enough to merely survive. Producing a small surplus allows us to respond nimbly to opportunities or weather economic downtimes.
Goal to create a contingency fund to support operations for 12 months – generating an operating surplus also allows us to create a separate fund that could support operations for a year.
Mission-consistent revenue generation – any revenue we generate must be mission-aligned and not run counter to the aims of the organization.
Revenue based on services, not data – data related to the running of the research enterprise should be community property. Appropriate revenue sources might include value-added services, consulting, API Service Level Agreements, or membership fees.
In recent years, we operate on a budget of around $10 million (USD). About one-third of our revenue comes from annual dues (e.g., membership fees, subscriptions) and two-thirds from services (e.g., Content Registration, Similarly Check document checking). Our fees are set and reviewed by the Membership & Fees committee, which includes our staff, board, and community members. This group also created a set of fee principles which were approved by the board in 2019.
About two-thirds of our expenses are related to people - staff, benefits, and contracted support. One-third of our costs are everything else - hosting costs, licensing fees, events, and costs to do business like banking fees and insurance.
Each year we strive to generate a small operating net and have been able to do so nearly every year.
We also maintain a reserve fund to support long-term sustainability. An Investment Committee was formed in 2021 to update our investing policies, and we will share more later this year.
Below is a look at how our operations have changed over time.
As a not-for-profit, we are tax-exempt, and to maintain that status, we undergo a financial audit each year by an independent accounting firm. Our auditors prepare our Form 990, which the US IRS requires and is made publicly available. It gives an overview of what we do, how we are governed, and detailed financial information.