Digital Object Identifiers

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Digital Object Identifiers

Postby gelfer » Tue Mar 07, 2006 4:33 pm


This is kind of off-topic, but is connected to publishers of OA journals.

My query is about DOIs (Digital Object Identifiers), which I would like to include in a journal I am establishing.

Crossref indicate that the smallest annual fee for registering for DOIs is $250, for publishers with an annual revenue of under $1m, which they describe rather amusingly as “nominal”.

Now I have managed to spend $0 on establishing my new journal, which is just as well as I have approximately $0 to spend. What I would like to know is if anyone knows of a way of piggybacking on a willing larger publisher already registered for DOIs. I might only need 20 DOIs in one year, so it seems quite ridiculous to register separately for that.

If no one knows of anyone doing this, perhaps it would be an idea to lobby Crossref to implement some kind of DOI prefix share for publishers/journals with small needs?

Happy to be corrected if I’ve misread Crossref in some way.


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CrossRef cost

Postby drjhf » Thu Mar 09, 2006 5:49 pm

Unfortunately, your interpretation of the fees is correct. And for a small journal, that cost - and the associated effort - is considerable. See my discussion with comments by John Willinsky here:

With the growth in search capability of Google and others, the need for the more traditional approaches, even recent ones like CrossRef, may become less need-ful.

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Re: Digital Object Identifiers

Postby webteach » Mon Oct 29, 2007 2:37 pm

Your discussion with comments by John Willinsky are no longer available. I'm just getting on board with the position as Project Manager and the editorial board is asking for me to investigate DOI. :!:

Since the earlier postings, has anyone invested in CrossRef and in using a DOI? I'll be learning what is involved and could use some technical and moral support. :?

Diane Kester, Executive Editor
Journal of Curriculum and Instruction

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Location: Windsor, Ontario, Canada

Re: Digital Object Identifiers

Postby yqg » Wed Jul 22, 2009 11:27 am

I would be interested in reading more about DOI and others' experiences with crossref.

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Re: Digital Object Identifiers

Postby jmacgreg » Tue Aug 11, 2009 3:17 pm

Hi all,

I'm posting this on behalf of Mike Nason, who works at the University of New Brunswick. He's a member of the forum, but is having trouble posting his response. I'll post it here on his behalf, and hopefully Mike can follow up with answers to any further questions:


We have only one journal here at the Electronic Text Centre (University of New Brunswick) who have taken up Crossref. While I'd like to say that they did so because of things like bibliographic impact and an eye towards the future of citation cross referencing (and they very well may have considered these things to be fringe benefits), I think they mainly caved to peer pressure. Since the publication is a science journal, and many other journals in their field were using DOIs, they felt as though they should also have them.

The journal pays $275 a year for their membership to Crossref.

The process for encorporating crossref into journal production certainly isn't trivial, but I also don't think it's as hard as everyone seems to think it might be. First of all, members of Crossref are, more or less, obligated to check the bibliographies of their upcoming articles against Crossref's database in order to flush out any DOIs those articles might have. There's a few ways journals can go about this. Primarily, people seem to recommend a program called "eXtyles" which will take your bibliography, transform it to XML, check it against any number of indexes, and extract DOIs for linking. I'm sure it does other things. It also costs over $20,000 or something ridiculous. I believe it's typically used by large publishing groups like the NRC Research Press.

However, Crossref itself has a small web-based version of eXtyles on their site that you can operate for free. In my experience it works fairly well with well-formatted biliographies.

So, our journal will run their references through that web-form and publish the resulting DOIs as part of the references. That's step one.

Step two is your own DOI. This involves assigning a DOI prefix (if you're using OJS 2.2.3 or above, you can have it generate this DOI for you) to the articles. After your articles are published - in order for CrossRef to begin indexing your articles - you have to send Crossref an XML file (one, or many, depending on how you publish). OJS can export Crossref XML from the Import/Export menu under Journal Manager.

I'd like to say that you can just log in to Crossref and submit your XML at this point, but the export won't necessarily catch everything you need to look out for. I'd advise opening that XML up and checking for validity. Crossref uses their own fairly intuitive DTD for their XML. You might want to double check your metadata as well.

Once this is all taken care of, then you can upload to Crossref. Their user interface is incredibly non-user friendly and it's hard to tell if you're actually doing the thing you're supposed to be doing. Their emails back to you don't help either. This is the email I received that indicated an error in the XML I submitted.

Code: Select all

<doi_batch_diagnostic status="completed" sp="">
  <record_diagnostic status="Failure">
     <doi />
     <msg>DOI: atlgeol.2009.004 , does not contain '/'</msg>

I know that this is basically telling me that I didn't have a prefix for my DOI, but these sorts of things might not be clear to everyone. In any event, once you get the file up in crossref then you can actually appreciate what the service offers.

For what it's worth (and despite the effort), I think that CrossRef is a great service. If you take the time to make those DOIs clickable, you can have entire bibliographies as clickable links (assuming those articles have been indexed). Furthermore, your journal would get more traffic from those referencing its material.

If anyone has any other questions about DOIs I can attempt to answer them. I basically became responsible for this stuff by default when the journal decided to pay the bill and asked us to sort it out. I'm certainly no expert.


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