The Crossref Curriculum

Setting up as a member

After you’ve applied for membership and paid your pro-rated membership fee for the remainder of the current year, we set you up with your own Crossref DOI prefix, plus a username and password that you’ll use to access our systems and register your content.

If you work with a third party (such as a platform provider or typesetter), they will be able to use these details too.

If you’ve joined through a Sponsor, we’ll send these details to your Sponsor.

There are three key steps to getting started, and you can even start step one before you’ve received your new prefix.

  1. Prepare to register your content
  2. Register and verify
  3. Display your DOIs

Step 1: Prepare to register your content

a) Choose your content registration method

Your DOIs and metadata are stored with us as XML, and there are different ways to register them with us depending on whether you are comfortable creating XML, or if you would prefer to use a helper tool that lets you type text into an online form.

Find the best option for you.

b) Decide how you’ll construct your DOI suffixes

A DOI has several sections, including a prefix and a suffix. A DOI will always follow this structure:[your prefix]/[a suffix of your choice]

We provide you with your prefix, but you decide what’s in the suffix for each of your DOIs when you register them with us. Your DOIs will look something like this:

The structure of a DOI: resolver, prefix, suffix

If you use the Crossref XML plugin for OJS, they can provide suffixes for you by default, but otherwise you’ll need to decide on your own suffix pattern.

Learn more about constructing your DOIs.

c) Ensure your landing pages meet the guidelines

You’ll need a live, unique landing page on your website for each item you register and this landing page will need to contain specific information

Learn more about landing pages.

Step 2: Register and verify

a) Register your content

You should assign Crossref DOIs to anything that’s likely to be cited in the scholarly literature - journals and journal articles, books and book chapters, conference proceedings and papers, reports, working papers, standards, dissertations, datasets, and preprints.

Working with Crossref is about more than just DOIs. When you register content with us, you do register the DOI and the resolution URL, but you also register a comprehensive set of metadata - rich information about the content. This metadata is then distributed widely and used by many different services throughout the scholarly community, helping with discoverability of your content.

We store metadata and DOIs for many types of research-related content, and we currently accept these content types:

  • Books, chapters, and reference works: book title and/or chapter-level records. Books can be registered as a monograph, series, or set.
  • Conference proceedings: information about a single conference and records for each conference paper/proceeding.
  • Datasets: includes database records or collections. Registering datasets? Learn more about whether Crossref or DataCite is right for your needs.
  • Dissertations: includes single dissertations and theses, but not collections.
  • Grants: grants include both direct funding, and other types of financial support, such as the use of equipment and facilities. Registering a grant includes assigning it a DOI (or grant ID), which can be referenced in all resulting research activities, linking funding with outputs.
  • Journals and journal articles: at the journal title and article level, and includes supplemental materials.
  • Peer reviews: any number of reviews, reports, or comments attached to any other work with a Crossref DOI.
  • Preprints: includes preprints, eprints, working papers, reports, and other types of content that has been posted but not formally published.
  • Reports and working papers: this includes content that is formally published and is published with an ISSN or ISBN.
  • Standards: includes publications from Standards Development Organizations and Standards Setting Organizations.
  • It is also possible to create a DOI for a pending publication by depositing metadata before the content is made available.
  • If you have a content type that isn’t listed, please contact us.

You can also establish relationships between different research objects (such as preprints, translations, and datasets) in your metadata.

Learn more about metadata for funding, license, Crossmark, JATS-formatted abstracts, and components.

To register your content, follow the instructions below for your chosen registration method.

Content registration instructions for helper tools:

Content registration instructions for direct deposit of XML:

b) Verify your registration

When you register your content, you’ll receive a message telling you whether your submission has been successful, or whether there are any problems.

Learn more about how to verify your registration.

Step 3: Display your DOIs

Don’t forget to display your DOI on the landing page of each item you register - this is an obligation of membership. You’ll need to display your DOI as a link like this:

Learn more about Crossref DOI display guidelines.

What happens next?

Our support team is available to help if you have any problems, and you may find help from others in the Crossref community on our Crossref Forum. We also run regular “Ask Me Anything” webinars for new members - learn more about our webinars and register to attend.

Once you’ve started registering your content with Crossref and displaying your DOIs on your landing pages, it doesn’t stop there. You need to continue to register your new content, and make sure you keep your metadata updated for existing DOIs. It’s particularly important to update your resource resolution URLs if your content moves. You need to make sure to link your references by adding the DOIs of other members against relevant content on your reference lists. There are also a range of other services that you can use. Learn more about how to level up your membership and ensure that you are meeting the membership obligations.

Page owner: Laura J. Wilkinson   |   Last updated 2020-April-08