This blog post is from Lettie Conrad and Michelle Urberg, cross-posted from the The Scholarly Kitchen.
As sponsors of this project, we at Crossref are excited to see this work shared out.
The scholarly publishing community talks a LOT about metadata and the need for high-quality, interoperable, and machine-readable descriptors of the content we disseminate. However, as we’ve reflected on previously in the Kitchen, despite well-established information standards (e.g., persistent identifiers), our industry lacks a shared framework to measure the value and impact of the metadata we produce.
When Crossref began over 20 years ago, our members were primarily from the United States and Western Europe, but for several years our membership has been more global and diverse, growing to almost 18,000 organizations around the world, representing 148 countries.
As we continue to grow, finding ways to help organizations participate in Crossref is an important part of our mission and approach. Our goal of creating the Research Nexus—a rich and reusable open network of relationships connecting research organizations, people, things, and actions; a scholarly record that the global community can build on forever, for the benefit of society—can only be achieved by ensuring that participation in Crossref is accessible to all.
In August 2022, the United States Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) issued a memo (PDF) on ensuring free, immediate, and equitable access to federally funded research (a.k.a. the “Nelson memo”). Crossref is particularly interested in and relevant for the areas of this guidance that cover metadata and persistent identifiers—and the infrastructure and services that make them useful.
Funding bodies worldwide are increasingly involved in research infrastructure for dissemination and discovery.
Preprints have become an important tool for rapidly communicating and iterating on research outputs. There is now a range of preprint servers, some subject-specific, some based on a particular geographical area, and others linked to publishers or individual journals in addition to generalist platforms. In 2016 the Crossref schema started to support preprints and since then the number of metadata records has grown to around 16,000 new preprint DOIs per month.
Continuing our blog series highlighting the uses of Crossref metadata, we talked to David Sommer, co-founder and Product Director at the research dissemination management service, Kudos. David tells us how Kudos is collaborating with Crossref, and how they use the REST API as part of our Metadata Plus service.
At Kudos we know that effective dissemination is the starting point for impact. Kudos is a platform that allows researchers and research groups to plan, manage, measure, and report on dissemination activities to help maximize the visibility and impact of their work.
We launched the service in 2015 and now work with almost 100 publishers and institutions around the world, and have nearly 250,000 researchers using the platform.
We provide guidance to researchers on writing a plain language summary about their work so it can be found and understood by a broad range of audiences, and then we support researchers in disseminating across multiple channels and measuring which dissemination activities are most effective for them.
As part of this, we developed the Sharable-PDF to allow researchers to legitimately share publication profiles across a range of sites and networks, and track the impact of their work centrally. This also allows publishers to prevent copyright infringement, and reclaim lost usage from sharing of research articles on scholarly collaboration networks.
How is Crossref metadata used in Kudos?
Since our launch, Crossref has been our metadata foundation. When we receive notification from our publishing partners that an article, book or book chapter has been published, we query using the Crossref REST API to retrieve the metadata for that publication. That data allows us to populate the Kudos publication page.
We also integrate earlier in the researcher workflow, interfacing with all of the major Manuscript Submission Systems to support authors who want to build impact from the point of submission.
More recently, we started using the Crossref REST API to retrieve citation counts for a DOI. This enables us to include the number of times content is cited as part of the ‘basket of metrics’ we provide to our researchers. They can then understand the performance of their publications in context, and see the correlation between actions and results.
A Kudos metrics page, showing the basket of metrics and the correlation between actions and results
What are the future plans for Kudos?
We have exciting plans for the future! We are developing Kudos for Research Groups to support the planning, managing, measuring and reporting of dissemination activities for research groups, labs and departments. We are adding a range of new features and dissemination channels to support this, and to help researchers to better understand how their research is being used, and by whom.
What else would Kudos like to see in Crossref metadata?
We have always found Crossref to be very responsive and open to new ideas, so we look forward to continuing to work together. We are keen to see an industry standard article-level subject classification system developed, and it would seem that Crossref is the natural home for this.
We are also continuing to monitor Crossref Event Data which has the potential to provide a rich source of events that could be used to help demonstrate dissemination and impact.
Finally, we are pleased to see the work Crossref are doing to help improve the quality of the metadata and supporting publishers in auditing their data. If we could have anything we wanted, our dream would be to prevent “funny characters” in DOIs that cause us all kinds of escape character headaches!
Thank you David. If you would like to contribute a case study on the uses of Crossref Metadata APIs please contact the Community team.