Become a member

You need to be a member of Crossref in order to get a DOI prefix so you can create Crossref DOIs and register content. You don’t need to be a member to use others’ metadata; head over to read more about our open metadata retrieval tools.

Membership allows you to connect your content with a global network of online scholarly research, currently over 17,000 other organizational members from 140 countries. It’s so much more than just getting a DOI.

Are you eligible?

Many types of organizations register their research objects with us. You could be a research institution, a publisher, a government agency, a research funder, or a museum! In order to become a member, you need to meet the criteria set out in our membership terms approved by our governing board:

Membership in Crossref is open to organizations that produce professional and scholarly materials and content.

Essentially, if your content is likely to be cited in the research ecosystem and you consider it part of the evidence trail, then you’re eligible to join.

NB Due to international sanctions, we are currently unable to accept membership applications from organizations based in Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Syria, or the Donbas or Crimea regions of Ukraine. There’s more information on our sanctions page. But do still get in touch if you are based in one of these countries so we can make a note of your interest and let you know if the situation changes.

Member obligations and benefits

When you join as a member, you’ll commit to the Crossref membership terms, giving you access to all the benefits of Crossref membership. You’ll join a community of publishers who are all linking to each other persistently through their references. Your metadata will be shared with hundreds of organizations in the scholarly ecosystem, helping to make your content more discoverable and benefiting the entire scholarly community. You’ll be able to vote for (and stand for) our board, giving you a voice in Crossref governance. You’ll also be able to take advantage of our services (content registration, the Funder Registry, Similarity Check, Cited-by and Crossmark). And, of course, you’re able to create a persistent identifier for each citable object that you publish.

But it also means that you have obligations to your fellow members and the wider scholarly community. Joining Crossref is much more than just getting a DOI - you’re committing to a long term relationship with your content and metadata, and to the rest of the community.

When you accept the terms, you commit to these obligations:

You’ll need to do this for all content published after joining. If you host and publish your journals using the OJS platform from the Public Knowledge Project, use the dedicated OJS plugins. Otherwise, registering your content can be done by direct deposit of XML (perhaps using a vendor) or, if you can’t supply XML, simply use our online web deposit form.

Our terms (3 (c)) stiipulate that “The Member will not deposit or register Metadata for any Content for which the Member does not have legal rights to do so”.

3. Maintain and update your metadata and landing pages for the long term

You’ll need to maintain and update your metadata, including URLs if your content moves or changes, and adding rich metadata as you collect more. Metadata distribution through Crossref benefits you as well as the whole community.

4. Follow the Crossref DOI display guidelines

You’ll need to:

  • Ensure that your DOI links resolve to a landing page.
  • Use the DOI as the permanent link to the page.
  • Always display DOIs on your landing pages, PDFs, and elsewhere, close to the bibliographic citation information.

5. Undertake Reference linking

You’ll need to actively maximize persistent links with other Crossref members by linking out from your reference lists, databases, and tools, using DOIs. You can find other members’ DOI links using our reference linking tools.

6. Pay your invoices

As a not-for-profit membership organization, we are sustained by fees. We have a duty to remain sustainable and manage our finances in a responsible way. Financial sustainability means we can keep the organization afloat and keep our dedicated service to scholarly communications running, so it’s important that members pay their fees on time.

Please read the full membership terms before applying.

How much does membership cost?

All members pay an annual membership fee, which is tiered depending on your publishing revenue/expenses. The tiers start at USD 275.00 and are the same for both commercial and not for profit organizations. A pro-rated membership fee for the remainder of the current year is due before your account can be activated, meaning you’ll receive an invoice soon after applying, and then each and every subsequent year in January.

Once you’re a member, we give you a DOI (Digital Object Identifier) prefix which will form the stem of links to all your metadata records. You create the suffixes of your DOIs as you register your items in our system. There is a fee for each record you create. Fees vary per record type (books, research grants, preprints, etc.). Review the Content Registration fees for more detail. These fees are invoiced quarterly in arrears. Once you’ve registered a content record, there are no further fees to update the metadata associated with the record.

So you’ll get an annual invoice for membership—payable upfront—as well as quarterly invoices for the records you register with us.

If you have further questions about billing, do visit our billing FAQs page.

Help for small publishers

We know that cost and technical capabilities can be barriers to participation. There are some options specifically to enable smaller publishers to participate in Crossref, including joining as a member via a Sponsor.

Ready to apply as a direct member?

Apply here

NB: If you want to join via a Sponsor, don’t apply above. Instead find and contact a Sponsor and once you have agreed to work together, they will give you a dedicated link to join.

Please contact us if you have any questions about joining as a member.

Page owner: Amanda Bartell   |   Last updated 2021-May-10