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DUL key registry moves to STM solutions

Back in 2015, we announced that we would support the provision of a service to allow members to collect and share COUNTER-compliant usage data privately, to support organisations and authors in assessing the impact of research publications. This service is Distributed Usage Logging (DUL), which we have developed alongside COUNTER, and with the participation of an active Working Group.

Through 2020, we have re-evaluated the progress of DUL and how it fits with other Crossref services. While technically we have reached the stage of releasing a proof-of-concept service, it has become clear to us that Crossref is not best placed to expand the project in the future and increase participation. At the November 2020 Crossref Board meeting a motion was passed “that the Crossref Board supports another organization’s taking ownership of the Distributed Usage Logging (“DUL”) initiative.” We have therefore been seeking other partners to take DUL forward.

We are delighted that STM Solutions has agreed to take on a crucial part of the infrastructure for DUL: maintaining a registry of public keys that can be used to authenticate messages. From the end of 2021, the registry will be fully transferred to STM and Crossref’s version of the registry will be removed in early 2022.

Crossref will continue to collect DUL endpoints for individual works, as part of the metadata deposited by our members.

Actions for producers and receivers

If you receive DUL messages, you will need to change the namespace of the registry from https://dul.crossref.org to https://dul.stm-solutions.org/. Platforms that intend to send data via DUL can contact Hylke Koers at STM Solutions to apply for a producer ID. For general questions about DUL, please contact Martyn Rittman.

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It’s great to see DUL find a new home. Hopefully, though, Crossref members begin to openly share usage information through Event Data and other means. Auditable usage metrics have been part of the schol comms space for decades. Time to stop defaulting to closed sharing.

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