Read more about Geoffrey Bilder on their team page.
TL;DR A year ago, we announced that we were putting the “R” back in R&D. That was when Rachael Lammey joined the R&D team as the Head of Strategic Initiatives.
And now, with Rachael assuming the role of Product Director, I’m delighted to announce that Dominika Tkaczyk has agreed to take over Rachael’s role as the Head of Strategic Initiatives. Of course, you might already know her.
We will also immediately start recruiting for a new Principal R&D Developer to work with Esha and Dominika on the R&D team.
So here I am, apologizing again. Have I mentioned that I hate computers?
We had a large data center outage. It lasted 17 hours. It meant that pretty much all Crossref services were unavailable - our main website, our content registration system, our reports, our APIs. 17 hours was a long time for us - but it was also an inconvenient time for numerous members, service providers, integrators, and users. We apologise for this.
Just over a year ago, Crossref announced that our board had adopted the Principles of Open Scholarly Infrastructure (POSI).
It was a well-timed announcement, as 2021 yet again showed just how dangerous it is for us to assume that the infrastructure systems we depend on for scholarly research will not disappear altogether or adopt a radically different focus. We adopted POSI to ensure that Crossref would not meet the same fate.
In my blog post on October 6th, I promised an update on what caused the outage and what we are doing to avoid it happening again. This is that update.
Crossref hosts its services in a hybrid environment. Our original services are all hosted in a data center in Massachusetts, but we host new services with a cloud provider. We also have a few R&D systems hosted with Hetzner.
We know an organization our size has no business running its own data center, and we have been slowly moving services out of the data center and into the cloud.
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.
It is time to put the ‘R’ back into R&D.
The Crossref R&D team was originally created to focus on the kinds of research projects that have allowed Crossref to make transformational technology changes, launch innovative new services, and engage with entirely new constituencies. Some Illustrious projects that had their origins in the R&D group include:
DOI Content Negotiation Similarity Check (originally CrossCheck) ORCID (originally Author DOIs) Crossmark The Open Funder Registry The Crossref REST API Linked Clinical Trials Event Data Grant registration ROR And for each project that has graduated, there have been several that have not.
Some of you who have submitted content to us during the first two months of 2021 may have experienced content registration delays. We noticed; you did, too.
The time between us receiving XML from members, to the content being registered with us and the DOI resolving to the correct resolution URL, is usually a matter of minutes. Some submissions take longer - for example, book registrations with large reference lists, or very large files from larger publishers can take up to 24 to 48 hours to process.
On November 11th 2020, the Crossref Board voted to adopt the “Principles of Open Scholarly Infrastructure” (POSI). POSI is a list of sixteen commitments that will now guide the board, staff, and Crossref’s development as an organisation into the future. It is an important public statement to make in Crossref’s twentieth anniversary year. Crossref has followed principles since its founding, and meets most of the POSI, but publicly committing to a codified and measurable set of principles is a big step. If 2019 was a reflective turning point, and mid-2020 was about Crossref committing to open scholarly infrastructure and collaboration, this is now announcing a very deliberate path. And we’re just a little bit giddy about it.
TL;DR Many organizations are doing what they can to aid in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Crossref members can make it easier for researchers to identify, locate, and access content for text mining. In order to do this, members must include elements in their metadata that:
Point to the full text of the content. Indicate that the content is available under an open access license or that it is being made available for free (gratis).
TL;DR On Wednesday, October 2nd, 2019 we discovered that we had accidentally pushed the main Crossref system as part of a docker image into a developer’s account on Docker Hub. The binaries and configuration files that made up the docker image included embedded passwords and API tokens that could have been used to compromise our systems and infrastructure. When we discovered this, we immediately secured the repo, changed all the passwords and secrets, and redeployed the system code.