Organisations need to be members of Crossref to create metadata records that identify, describe, and locate their work. You don’t need to be a member to retrieve metadata (read about our open metadata retrieval tools).
Benefits of membership
You can create and steward rich metadata records, adding relationships, provenance, contributor, and funding information, ensuring accuracy and persistence over time. By doing so, you are adding to and benefiting from reciprocal connections among a global network of research objects, co-creating a Research Nexus for the benefit of society including future generations.
Works are more likely to be discovered if they have a Crossref record. Your organisation will be joining the world’s largest registry of Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) and metadata for scholarly research; your work is connected with 150 million other records from >19,000 other members from ~151 countries. Crossref facilitates an average of 1.1 billion DOI resolutions (clicks of a DOI link) every month, which is 95% of all DOI activity.
Your metadata is freely and openly shared in a consistent, machine-readable way. You don’t have to duplicate the information for multiple parties as your metadata is discoverable by thousands of other systems in the global research ecosystem; there are over 1 billion calls to our API every month.
Your organisation can have access to unique tools that support research integrity, such as incorporating Crossmark status buttons on your landing pages and PDFs, and using Similarity Check to screen for text-based plagiarism.
You can vote in our board elections and/or stand for a seat, participating in the governance of Crossref. There are also many opportunities to get involved with the whole community, to co-create solutions to shared problems, help shape and influence our roadmap, and to join the discussions.
It’s so much more than just getting a DOI.
Are you eligible?
Many types of organisations register their research objects with Crossref. 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 which defines eligibility as:
Membership in Crossref is open to organisations that produce professional and scholarly materials and content.
(NB: We are bound by international sanctions so membership is restricted in certain countries; see our sanctions page for details.)
In most cases, if your work is likely to be cited in the research ecosystem and you consider it part of the evidence trail, then you’re eligible to join.
When you apply for membership, you agree to our membership terms which include several obligations. Some of the important ones to note, are:
1. Register only what you have the legal rights to
Our terms (3 (c)) stipulate that “The Member will not deposit or register Metadata for any Content for which the Member does not have legal rights to do so”.
All members join in order to create records with metadata and DOIs and share these throughout Crossref infrastructure for others to use. If you publish journals, you are obliged to create records for all articles going forward.
3. Maintain and update your metadata and landing page URLs over the long term
You’ll need to maintain and update your metadata, including updating URLs if your content moves or changes, and adding rich metadata as you collect more. Look into archiving or other preservation services to ensure your records live on after you.
4. Make sure you have a unique landing page for each metadata record/DOI and follow our DOI display guidelines
Make sure that your DOI links resolve to a unique landing page URL. For example, if you are registering journal articles, each article needs to have a unique landing page URL. It is the same if you are, for example, a funder: each DOI link needs to resolve to a page with information about the specific grant.
Follow our DOI display guidelines and position your DOI links on the page or PDF near the descriptive information such as title and contributors. Always use DOI links to communicate and share your work across the web whether in documents or databases.
5. Link references
Reference linking was the original reason that the community decided to start Crossref. It is so that members don’t have to establish bilateral linking agreements with each other and instead can create and exchange connections through the Crossref infrastructure. If your work is the kind that typically has a list of references (e.g. articles or preprints), you are obliged to retrieve and use the DOI links that your fellow Crossref members create. You can do this using our reference linking tools.
We also strongly encourage you to include references within your own metadata records. This benefits you and others by further maximising the network effect.
6. Pay your fees
Crossref is sustained by fees and not reliant on grant funding, which would conflict with our sustainability model, guided by our commitment to the Principles of Open Scholarly Infrastructure (POSI). Your fees keep the organization afloat and the system running. We are a not-for-profit organisation so any surpluses are invested back into improving the infrastructure and solving new problems for the community. Please pay your invoices on time 👍🏽
What are the fees?
All our fees are set out on the fees page.
Members pay an annual membership fee, which is tiered depending on your organisation’s revenue or expenses. After you apply, we will send you a pro-rated membership invoice for the remainder of the current year and this is due to be paid before your membership can be activated. You then pay the same annual membership fee each year, every January. Membership renews automatically unless you actively cancel.
There are also one-off registration fees for each new metadata record and DOI that you create. There are never any fees to add to and update the metadata. We send you this invoice quarterly, after calculating the quantity and type of records you have registered that quarter.
Organisations located in the least economically-advantaged countries in the world do not pay an annual membership fee and do not pay registration fees - find out more on our Global Equitable Membership (GEM) program page.
If you have further questions about billing, visit our fees page and our billing FAQs page.
The Sponsor Program is for members who do not have the resources or capabilities to work directly with and pay Crossref. More than half of our members have joined via a Sponsor, which means they don’t pay Crossref a membership fee, and they receive technical support and expertise locally, through their sponsor.
If a sponsored member is eligible for the Global Equitable Membership (GEM) program, we do not charge the sponsor any membership or registration fees. Find out more about working with a sponsor.
(NB: some Sponsors may charge you for their services, so it’s important that you clarify their terms before joining).
Ready to apply?
If you have questions, please consult our forum at community.crossref.org or open a ticket with our membership team where we’ll reply within a few days.