In the scholarly communications environment, the evolution of a journal article can be traced by the relationships it has with its preprints. Those preprint–journal article relationships are an important component of the research nexus. Some of those relationships are provided by Crossref members (including publishers, universities, research groups, funders, etc.) when they deposit metadata with Crossref, but we know that a significant number of them are missing. To fill this gap, we developed a new automated strategy for discovering relationships between preprints and journal articles and applied it to all the preprints in the Crossref database. We made the resulting dataset, containing both publisher-asserted and automatically discovered relationships, publicly available for anyone to analyse.
The second half of 2023 brought with itself a couple of big life changes for me: not only did I move to the Netherlands from India, I also started a new and exciting job at Crossref as the newest Community Engagement Manager. In this role, I am a part of the Community Engagement and Communications team, and my key responsibility is to engage with the global community of scholarly editors, publishers, and editorial organisations to develop sustained programs that help editors to leverage rich metadata.
STM, DataCite, and Crossref are pleased to announce an updated joint statement on research data.
In 2012, DataCite and STM drafted an initial joint statement on the linkability and citability of research data. With nearly 10 million data citations tracked, thousands of repositories adopting data citation best practices, thousands of journals adopting data policies, data availability statements and establishing persistent links between articles and datasets, and the introduction of data policies by an increasing number of funders, there has been significant progress since.
Have you attended any of our annual meeting sessions this year? Ah, yes – there were many in this conference-style event. I, as many of my colleagues, attended them all because it is so great to connect with our global community, and hear your thoughts on the developments at Crossref, and the stories you share.
Let me offer some highlights from the event and a reflection on some emergent themes of the day.
Over the past few years, I’ve been really interested in seeing the breadth of uses that the research community is finding for the Crossref REST API. When we ran Crossref LIVE Kyiv in March 2019, Serhii Nazarovets joined us to present his plans for the Open Ukrainian Citation Index, an initiative he explains below.
But first an introduction to Serhii and his colleague Tetiana Borysova.
Serhii Nazarovets is a Deputy Director for Research at the State Scientific and Technical Library of Ukraine. Serhii has a Ph.D. in Social Communication Science. His research interests lie in the area of scientometrics and library science. Serhii is the Associate Editor for DOAJ (www.doaj.org) and the Regional Editor for E-LIS (Eprints in Library and Information Science). Serhii has worked in different scientific libraries of Ukraine for more than 10 years. Tetiana Borysova is a Senior Researcher at the State Scientific and Technical Library of Ukraine. Her research interests are focused on topics such as research data management, journal management and scientometrics.
OUCI is intended to simplify the search of scientific publications, to attract the editors’ attention to the problem of completeness and quality of the metadata of Ukrainian scholarly publications, and will allow bibliometricians to freely study the relations between authors and documents from various disciplines, in particular in the field of social sciences and humanities. OUCI is open for every user in the world without any restrictions.
In Ukraine, we do not have a national citation database, and this significantly impedes the search and analysis of information about Ukrainian publications. According to preliminary estimates, more than 3,000 titles of scientific journals are currently published in Ukraine. At the same time, only around 100 Ukrainian journal titles are indexed in authoritative citation databases, such as Scopus and Web of Science Core Collection. Thus, researchers and managers lack this citation data to understand the impact of Ukrainian journals and their demand in the scientific communication system. Our approach is that OUCI database contains metadata from all publishers that use the Crossref’s Cited-by service and who support the Initiative for Open Citations by making the reference metadata they publish with Crossref openly available.
How is Crossref metadata used in OUCI?
A publication can only be indexed in OUCI if there is a DOI. At first glance, the idea of creating an index of national publications based on this condition may seem too optimistic. However, in January 2018, a new requirement was adopted by the List of scientific publications of Ukraine (a list of Ukrainian journals recognized by experts as qualitative for publishing their research results for a scientific degree), which listed a DOI as one of the requirements for inclusion. After that, the number of publishers who received the DOI prefix from Crossref has tripled, to 352 in November 2019.
Another important feature of OUCI is that publishers have to use Crossref’s Cited-by service and support the Initiative for Open Citations. We are working to build a new fair infrastructure where everyone who is interested in the dissemination of scientific knowledge can present their publications to the community, develop expert judgment skills and access citations to explore the links between documents. The philosophy of the index is to use only open resources to fill it.
In addition to standard filters from Crossref metadata (such as publisher, publication, type, year), OUCI offers to refine search results by:
indexation in Web of Science and/or Scopus,
journal category (A or B according to the List of scientific publications of Ukraine),
the field of knowledge and scientific specialties (according to the Ukrainian legislation) and other aspects important to Ukrainian users characteristics.
Beyond the ability to search articles, OUCI displays profiles for Ukrainian journals (the titles of these journals will include hyperlinks in the search results). Administrators can manage them, add and edit information about their journals: web-site, aims and scope, scientific fields of the journal according to the Ukrainian classification. Also, you can see some quantitative characteristics of journals: number of publications, number of citations, h-index, i10-index etc.
In addition, we have implemented an analytics module. Using the data about the number of articles and citations from Crossref, it allows users to analyze Ukrainian journals by field.
What are the future plans for OUCI?
In the near future, we plan to add:
the ability to export search results for further analysis;
In the ideal future for our index, every Ukrainian article will be registered with Crossref and have open references. We plan to promote the importance of reach and quality metadata in Crossref among Ukrainian publishers. We also encourage all publishers to support the Initiative for Open Citations.
What else would OUCI like to see in Crossref metadata?
One of the main problems we encountered when creating OUCI was the metadata about the authors. Very few publications contain data about the author’s ORCID iD. Focusing publishers on the need to transmit full metadata to Crossref, as well as monitoring their quality is a must for the resources like this. Also we look forward to the growing usage of ROR (Research Organization Registry) - identifiers for research organizations, similar to the way that ORCID offers identifiers for researchers. We believe that the ROR will help to obtain reliable data for analyzing the scientific activity of Ukrainian institutions.
Another issue we’ve identified in some Ukrainian journals that some of the small publishers that register content via Crossref Sponsors did not take care getting their own prefix, so it can be difficult to see their publications - this is something that showing the metadata via an index can help them see and therefore fix.
We’ve had lots of questions about OUCI in the run up to the launch and now that it’s live. Here is a selection of our FAQs, all available on our website. You can also get in touch directly if you have another question we haven’t answered yet.