ISR Roundtable 2023: The future of preserving the integrity of the scholarly record together

Metadata about research objects and the relationships between them form the basis of the scholarly record: rich metadata has the potential to provide a richer context for scholarly output, and in particular, can provide trust signals to indicate integrity. Information on who authored a research work, who funded it, which other research works it cites, and whether it was updated, can act as signals of trustworthiness. Crossref provides foundational infrastructure to connect and preserve these records, but the creation of these records is an ongoing and complex community effort.

News: Crossref and Retraction Watch Crossref acquires Retraction Watch data and opens it for the scientific community Agreement to combine and publicly distribute data about tens of thousands of retracted research papers, and grow the service together 12th September 2023 —– The Center for Scientific Integrity, the organisation behind the Retraction Watch blog and database, and Crossref, the global infrastructure underpinning research communications, both not-for-profits, announced today that the Retraction Watch database has been acquired by Crossref and made a public resource.

ISR part four: Working together as a community to preserve the integrity of the scholarly record

We’ve been spending some time speaking to the community about our role in research integrity, and particularly the integrity of the scholarly record. In this blog, we’ll be sharing what we’ve discovered, and what we’ve been up to in this area. We’ve discussed in our previous posts in the “Integrity of the Scholarly Record (ISR)” series that the infrastructure Crossref builds and operates (together with our partners and integrators) captures and preserves the scholarly record, making it openly available for humans and machines through metadata and relationships about all research activity.

ISR part three: Where does Crossref have the most impact on helping the community to assess the trustworthiness of the scholarly record?

Ans: metadata and services are all underpinned by POSI. Leading into a blog post with a question always makes my brain jump ahead to answer that question with the simplest answer possible. I was a nightmare English Literature student. ‘Was Macbeth purely a villain?’ ‘No’. *leaves exam* Just like not giving one-word answers to exam questions, playing our role in the integrity of the scholarly record and helping our members enhance theirs takes thought, explanation, transparency, and work.

ISR part two: How our membership approach helps to preserve the integrity of the scholarly record

In part one of our series on the Integrity of the Scholarly Record (ISR), we talked about how the metadata that our members register with us helps to preserve the integrity of the record, and in particular how ’trust signals’ in the metadata, combined with relationships and context, can help the community assess the work. In this second blog, we describe membership eligibility and what you can and cannot tell simply from the fact that an organisation is a Crossref member; why increasing participation and reducing barriers actually helps to enhance the integrity of the scholarly record; and how we handle the very small number of cases where there may be a question mark.

ISR part one: What is our role in preserving the integrity of the scholarly record?

The integrity of the scholarly record is an essential aspect of research integrity. Every initiative and service that we have launched since our founding has been focused on documenting and clarifying the scholarly record in an open, machine-actionable and scalable form. All of this has been done to make it easier for the community to assess the trustworthiness of scholarly outputs. Now that the scholarly record itself has evolved beyond the published outputs at the end of the research process – to include both the elements of that process and its aftermath – preserving its integrity poses new challenges that we strive to meet… we are reaching out to the community to help inform these efforts.