What content can be registered with the Crossmark service?
At minimum the Crossmark button should be applied to version of record copies of content hosted on the publisher’s own site. It may also be applied to publish-ahead-of-print or “early release” copies that the publisher has made available and is committed to maintaining under the same DOI.
The Crossmark button can also be applied to version of record copies hosted by licensed third parties such as aggregators.
What content should not be registered with the Crossmark Service?
Pre-prints or author manuscripts or other versions that the publisher will not be maintaining should not be registered with Crossmark.
Does the presence of a Crossmark button on a scholarly document indicate that the document is up to date?
No – it doesn’t. A Crossmark button indicates that the publisher is maintaining the document somewhere. In order to determine whether a particular copy of a document is up–to-date and get a persistent link to the publisher-maintained copy, a user will need to click on the button and read the status information.
What is a Crossmark domain?
A Crossmark domain is a domain name/website address (URL) where the content associated with the Crossmark metadata is hosted and maintained by the publisher. The Crossmark domain is an optional field in Crossmark metadata only to be supplied if you wish your content to be “domain exclusive”.
When a user clicks on the Crossmark button, the system will check whether the content is located on one of the specified Crossmark domains, and it will display the appropriate status message. If the content is on the publisher’s site or a third party site that the publisher has committed to updating (a Crossmark domain), the known status will appear in the box. If the content is on a non-Crossmark domain the Crossmark message will state that the particular copy of the content is not being maintained by the publisher and may not be up to date, and will advise that the user should follow the Crossref DOI link to the publisher-maintained copy.
If you do not supply any Crossmark domains the user will see the latest status in the Crossmark box regardless of where they have located the content. This is the recommended setting as it allows readers to see the current status of a content item wherever they are, and to follow the DOI link to the publisher copy.
Do I have to supply Crossmark domains?
No. If your content is likely to legitimately appear in many places on different websites then you can choose to be “non domain-exclusive” and not register any Crossmark domains. When a reader clicks on the Crossmark button on any of these other websites the Crossmark metadata will be retrieved from Crossref and displayed to the reader. If there are updates available, the reader will be directed to the publisher’s website (via the Crossref DOI) to view the updates.
How does the Crossmark button work on copies hosted on sites other than the publisher’s site?
PDF copies of content.
PDFs should display the Crossmark button. Researchers often download PDFs and store them on local devices or in paper management systems for significant periods of time before they access them again. In this case, the “domain” will be irrelevant. When a reader clicks (and is online) he or she will be told the current status of the document based on any updates since the PDF was downloaded, and will be provided with a link to any updates on the publisher’s site.
Version of record copies that are hosted by third parties can also display the Crossmark button. When the reader clicks he or she will be told the current status of the document and directed to any updates on the publishers site
Does the widget work with HTTPS / SSL?
Yes. Versions 1.5 and 2.0 support HTTPS. For maximum security, as of version 1.5 and later you should always use the HTTPS version, even if your pages are still HTTP.
What is “additional record metadata”? Do I have to supply this?
Additional record metadata is any information about the content that the publisher wishes to include. Examples might include any of the following:
- Key publications dates (i.e. submission, revision, acceptance)Peer review information
- Content type
- Plagiarism screening status
- Location of research data
Additional Crossmark metadata is entirely optional, and determined by the publisher. Crossref is not setting any particular guidelines for types of additional record metadata, although it is expected that guidelines and best practices may emerge from within communities of interest or within disciplines.
We would, however, recommend that you do not repeat the bibliographic metadata already appearing in the “Status” part of the Crossmark box.
I use vendors for production and/or hosting. How will my participation in the Crossmark service change my relationship with these vendors?
Vendors who are Crossref Affiliates will receive information and support about the Crossmark service and will have the information to work with you to implement Crossmark.
Why are you asking publishers to upgrade to Crossmark v2.0?
Crossmark v2.0 is the most up-to-date version of the service. The Crossmark buttons have been updated with a cleaner, modern look. Most importantly, v2.0 is fully responsive. Earlier versions of Crossmark do not scale on mobile devices. v2.0 does.
Is there a deadline for moving to v2.0?
We are asking all publishers to move to v2.0 by the end of March 2017. This gives a period of six months for testing and scheduling the work. After March 2017 v1.5 and earlier will continue to work on publisher sites, but Crossref will not be supporting or maintaining them.
Does the Crossmark service work as a Digital Rights Management (DRM) solution?
No. Crossmark will not stop the distribution of your content, legitimately or otherwise. It has nothing to do with DRM. It will, however, allow readers who locate your content on other websites to follow the DOI link to publisher-hosted version of record copy.
Is the metadata machine-readable?
Yes. Cross=mark metadata is available through our REST API where it can be accessed by search engines and specialized plug-ins or any other third parties that may wish to identify versions of record or reference additional metadata.
Can the Crossmark button be applied to ahead-of-print/online-early copies?
Yes, if these have Crossref DOIs and the publisher is committed to maintaining them by updating the Crossmark metadata if changes are made to the content that could change its interpretation or crediting. In the case of journal articles a publisher could register them in the Crossmark system on acceptance (if a Crossref DOI is assigned).
But what happens if changes then need to be made to that article during the production process? How does Crossmark work in that case?
As far as Crossmark is concerned, these changes can fall under two main categories:
i) Minor changes
For changes you would make during the standard production process – correcting formatting, spelling etc. – you would just keep the Crossmark status as ‘current’ as there are no major changes you’d need to flag up to the reader.
Nearly all publishers make some changes to an article between publishing it online-early and creating the ‘final’ version, but if those changes aren’t substantive i.e. they don’t affect the crediting or interpretation of the work, then the Crossmark status can remain as is.
This applies to article versioning too. If the changes between article versions are purely status updates and don’t reflect major changes in the content of the paper, then keep the Crossmark status as current. Changes in context can be reflected in the Crossref metadata (if you assign an online-first article to an issue) or in the Crossmark additional information section should you choose to do so.
ii) Major changes
Crossmark is geared towards letting readers know about significant changes to the published literature. So for substantive changes, say an article has been retracted due to an error that has been uncovered or is being corrected because you need to make a change to an author’s name, a Crossmark update should be displayed.
Different publishers will have different ways of issuing updates like errata and corrections, but here’s what we advise.
If an article is updated with a significant update then the correction/retraction/separate notice would have its own DOI and not be behind access control. This way, when a reader clicks on the article that is being updated by the separate notice then the Crossmark box shows that an update is available and the reader can link directly to the DOI to see how the article has been changed.
Could I just apply the Crossmark button to articles that have updates rather than to all content?
Not really. The issue in implementing Crossmark like this is that when an article is published you won’t know if it might need to be updated at some point in the future. Therefore, if a researcher downloads a PDF copy without a Crossmark button, then should you update that paper in future and then add the Crossmark, the researcher has no way of knowing that the article they’ve saved locally is no longer the most recent version. That’s why we recommend putting the Crossmark button on all data, whether it currently has updates or not.
Once assigned can the Crossmark button be removed by the publisher?
The most likely scenario in which a Crossmark button would need to be removed would be if content moved from a participating publisher to a non-participating publisher. In this situation the Crossmark button can be removed from the content, although Crossmark metadata will remain in the database to enable simple reactivation if the new publisher chooses to join.
It is likely that Crossmark associated content will continue to exist, for example on readers’ local drives. When these Crossmark buttons are clicked on a message will appear stating that the content is no longer being tracked in the Crossmark service and the current status of the document is unknown.
Can the Crossmark button be changed to suit my branding/website?
No. The CrossMark button is available in color and monochrome versions as .svg and .eps files. The button can be resized to suit your website or PDFs, but must not otherwise be altered or adapted. We recommend use of the color button on HTML pages and either the color or monochrome button on PDFs for maximum user recognition. Consistency of the button is critical to reader recognition and familiarity.
What are the costs?
There is no annual service fee for Crossmark, but up to the end of 2019 there were fees for each record that was updated or corrected, and these were included in the quarterly content registration invoices. From January 2020 onwards these fees have been removed, so the last time members will see these fees will be on their Q4 2019 content registration invoice.
Will I be required to include my archival content in Crossmark?
No, Crossref encourages publishers to deposit Crossmark metadata and apply CrossMark buttons to older content, but doing so is optional.
Crossref encourages the assignment of Crossmark buttons to items of archival content that have updates, even if the publisher does not intend to apply CrossMark buttons to its complete backfile.
If updates have been deposited that refer to backfile items for which no Crossmark metadata has been deposited, a stub record will be created for these backfile items. This way, third parties can be notified of the update, and publishers should then submit Crossmark metadata for any backfile item for which they are depositing an update.
Is there a test site for us to try out Crossmark deposits?
No, you will need to deposit Crossmark metadata straight into the live deposit system. There is no additional charge for updates to your Crossmark deposits, so your metadata can be replaced and updated as you test. Note that readers will not see Crossmark metadata until you place the buttons on your content.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org.