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.
Pending publication is a way of creating a DOI and depositing metadata for a content item any time after a manuscript has been accepted but before it is published online. This is possible for all standard content types (such as articles, books, conference proceedings).
Because a pending publication has not yet been published, its DOI will resolve to a publicly-available Crossref-hosted landing page. Once the work is published online, this same DOI will resolve to the URL for that content.
The pending publication content type serves as a temporary placeholder for your content - like a “coming soon” or preview of the great work to come. For a pending publication, you register basic metadata for your content item before registering all the formal metadata that comes with a version of record. Take care not to share a DOI before it has been deposited with us, or it will not resolve for your readers, and will lead to a failed resolution in your resolution report. Learn more about the pending publication consultation.
Use cases for pending publication
Before the pending publication content type existed, we recommended you to register DOIs at the time content was published online, or shortly after. As the communication needs of our members (researchers, funders, institutions, and publishers) evolve, we have created this new solution to aid you and your work, and allow you to register DOIs before content is published online. With pending publication:
address timing issues related to press embargos
publicly establish scholarly precedence for their articles
meet the conditions in full for new funder policies and mandates, which focus on acceptance as a key event to report on
ensure that institutional repositories use the DOI to link to the member-stewarded copy
Researchers can provide formal evidence of all publications in employment and grant applications
Funders can fully track all publications funded by their research grants
Institutions can fully track the scholarly output of their faculty members
Technology vendors that support scholarly research management can account for all outputs
How does pending publication work?
When registering your publication as pending there are two things you need to do:
Register a subset of the metadata (as a minimum: member name, journal title, and accepted date) under the Pending Publication content type.
After you do this, the DOI will resolve to a Crossref-hosted landing page displaying your logo, a banner showing the manuscript has been accepted for publication, and the metadata you’ve provided. As with all registered content, pending publication metadata will be publicly available in our APIs (and updated as you update your metadata records).
Once your work is published, you need to register the full metadata for the work - this is not an automatic process. You must update the metadata for each pending publication DOI, so that each DOI will resolve directly to the content (and not the pending publication landing page).
Pending publication workflow diagram
Crossmark participants please note that you can deposit Crossmark metadata at any point, but during the Beta version of the pending publication rollout, the Crossmark badge will not be displayed to readers.
Fees for pending publications
Content Registration (metadata deposit) fees still apply, but there are no additional fees for using pending publication. So, you’ll be charged once when you register the pending publication, but any subsequent updates, including the update on publication, are not charged.
Pending publication has been supported since 2019 and was designed in response to community feedback: