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Matchmaker, matchmaker, make me a match

Matching (or resolving) bibliographic references to target records in the collection is a crucial algorithm in the Crossref ecosystem. Automatic reference matching lets us discover citation relations in large document collections, calculate citation counts, H-indexes, impact factors, etc. At Crossref, we currently use a matching approach based on reference string parsing. Some time ago we realized there is a much simpler approach. And now it is finally battle time: which of the two approaches is better?

What does the sample say?

At Crossref Labs, we often come across interesting research questions and try to answer them by analyzing our data. Depending on the nature of the experiment, processing over 100M records might be time-consuming or even impossible. In those dark moments we turn to sampling and statistical tools. But what can we infer from only a sample of the data?

Linking references is different from depositing references

From time to time we get questions from members asking what the difference is between reference linking and depositing references as part the content registration process. Here’s the distinction: Linking out to other articles from your reference lists is a key part of being a Crossref members - it’s an obligation in the membership agreement and it levels the playing field when all members link their references to one another.

Included, registered, available: let the preprint linking commence.

We began accepting preprints as a new content type last month (in a category known as “posted content” in our XML schema). Over 1,000 records have already been registered in the first few weeks since we launched the service.

New Crossref DOI display guidelines are on the way

TL;DR

Crossref will be updating its DOI Display Guidelines within the next couple of weeks.  This is a big deal.  We last made a change in 2011 so it’s not something that happens often or that we take lightly.  In short, the changes are to drop “dx” from DOI links and to use “https:” rather than “http:”.  An example of the new best practice in displaying a Crossref DOI link is: https://doi.org/10.1629/22161

Linked Clinical Trials initiative gathers momentum

We now have linked clinical trials deposits coming in from five publishers: BioMedCentral, BMJ, Elsevier, National Institute for Health Research and PLOS. It’s still a relatively small pool of metadata - around 4000 DOIs with associated clinical trial numbers - but we’re delighted to see that “threads” of publications are already starting to form. If you look at this article in The Lancet and click on the Crossmark button you will see that in the Clinical Trials section there are links to three other articles reporting on the same trial: two from the American Heart Journal and one from BMJ’s Heart.

Where do DOI clicks come from?

As part of our Event Data work we’ve been investigating where DOI resolutions come from. A resolution could be someone clicking a DOI hyperlink, or a search engine spider gathering data or a publisher’s system performing its duties. Our server logs tell us every time a DOI was resolved and, if it was by someone using a web browser, which website they were on when they clicked the DOI. This is called a referral.

Getting Started with Crossref DOIs, courtesy of Scholastica

I had a great chat with Danielle Padula of Scholastica, a journals _platform with an integrated peer-review process that was founded in 2011. We talked about how journals get started with Crossref, and she turned our conversation into a blog post that describes the steps to begin registering content and depositing metadata with us. Since the result is a really useful description of our new member on-boarding process, I want to share it with you here as well.

The Wikipedia Library: A Partnership of Wikipedia and Publishers to Enhance Research and Discovery

Back in 2014, Geoffrey Bilder blogged about the kick-off of an initiative between Crossref and Wikimediato better integrate scholarly literature into the world’s largest knowledge space, Wikipedia. Since then, Crossref has been working to coordinate activities with Wikimedia: Joe Wass has worked with them to create a live stream of content being cited in Wikipedia; and we’re including Wikipedia in Event Data, a new service to launch later this year. In that time, we’ve also seen Wikipedia importance grow in terms of the volume of DOI referrals.

Linking clinical trials = enriched metadata and increased transparency

****We will shortly be adding a new feature to Crossmark. In a section called “Clinical Trials” we will be using new metadata fields to link together all of the publications we know about that reference a particular clinical trial. Most medical journals make clinical trial registration a prerequisite for publication. Trials should be registered with one of the fifteen WHO-approved public trial registries, or with clinicaltrials.gov, which is run by the US National Library of Medicine.
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