Rank beginner here - help!

Hi everyone. First-time poster here - please bear with me.

In April I began a full-time role managing my institution’s IR. We are a CrossRef member. The person who registered us and got us set up is long gone; before they left I had access to the admin site as a backup person, but little reason to actively use it.

Part of my new job is to create and register DOIs for our IR content. (We use Digital Commons, if it matters.) Quite a few of our already-existing DOIs are erroring out, and I’m quite sure I’ve used the web deposit form incorrectly for the few I’ve personally registered, so I have a lot of fixing to do.

The problem: I know next to nothing about XML and little enough about CrossRef and the registration process that I don’t even know where to start asking questions. No one else at my institution deals with DOIs; the only people here that might have simply decided not to register any DOIs because the process is so daunting. It looks like I don’t even have access to the full range of options in the admin site - quite a few of the tabs are grayed out and unclickable.

So: Where do I start? Should I be able to do more in the admin site? Do I need to learn XML? Is there a way I can download a full list of the DOIs we’ve registered and update them? Is there a CrossRef 101 course I’m missing? Please, someone explain like I’m 5 or point me to a resource that can. :slight_smile:

Thank you!

Hello @julieshedd ,

Thanks for your message, and welcome to the Community Forum! Let me start with the greyed-out tabs in the admin tool and then go to constructing DOIs and using our web deposit form to register new DOIs (you do not need to learn XML if you do not want to, our web deposit form will help you build the XML, so you need no knowledge of XML to use it). We also have a targeted method for updating the resolution URLs of your existing DOIs that I’ll conclude this message with. Please do follow up with any questions or comments below.

Greyed-out tabs in the Admin Tool
Those greyed out tabs in the admin tool are for Crossref staff’s internal use only.

We’ve put in a request to our developers that they remove those tabs entirely for members, because having them present but unavailable is confusing for a lot of people. They’ve had to prioritize other development work in the meanwhile, but it’s on our radar to improve.

You can rest assured that there’s nothing there that would be helpful for you!

If you’re interested in knowing more about our admin tool, there’s a recording of a webinar we ran on that topic up here.

And, if there’s anything in particular you’re trying to accomplish in the admin tool, please let me know.

Constructing your DOIs
Crossref doesn’t assign DOIs to your content for you. Instead, we assign you a DOI prefix (a string of numbers beginning “10.” and followed by a slash “/”) and you assign your own DOIs by using that prefix and creating a suffix (any string of numbers, letters, and/or certain allowed punctuation marks following the prefix and “/”). Your DOI suffix can be any alphanumeric string, using the approved characters “a-z”, “A-Z”, “0-9” and “-._;()/”.

To review our suggested best practices for establishing DOI suffix pattern, please see the following document:


Registering new journal articles using our web deposit form (can also be used to update existing DOIs)
Broadly speaking, assuming you have recently published a new issue of your journal and you want to register DOIs for all articles in the issue, the steps to take to use the web deposit form are:

  1. Select the Journal data type
  2. Enter the Journal and Issue level metadata on the first page of the form. At minimum this includes: Journal title, abbreviated journal title, ISSN(s), and at least one publication year (print or online). If applicable, also enter issue number, volume number, and full publication dates.
    [Journal DOI and Issue DOI are optional. If you don’t wish to deposit Journal-level and Issue-level DOIs, simply leave these fields as well as Journal URL and Issue URL empty. Keep in mind that, if you do deposit a Journal DOI, it refers to the journal as a whole, and therefore cannot change in future deposits]
  3. Select ‘Add Articles’
  4. On the second page of the form, enter the metadata for your first article (article title, authors, page numbers if available), the article DOI, and article URL
  5. Click ‘Add Another Article’
  6. Continue to enter article metadata, DOIs, and URLs until you’ve entered all articles for the given issue.
  7. Click ‘Finish’
  8. Enter your username and password and click Login
  9. Enter your email address and click ‘Deposit’

We also have a web deposit form video tutorial and full instructions for using the web deposit form in our documentation.

Self-service bulk update of resolution URLs
You can update resolution URLs associated with your DOIs by either resubmitting your metadata with the new URLs, or by using the process below for self-service bulk resolution URL updates (using a simple .txt upload).

I can send you a list of DOIs and their current URLs if needed.

Full documentation on updating your resolution URLs is also available here: https://0-www-crossref-org.library.alliant.edu/documentation/register-maintain-records/maintaining-your-metadata/updating-your-metadata/

If you have a long list of URLs that need updating (for example, you’ve just finished a platform migration, or you’ve acquired a new title), you can do a bulk resolution URL update. Create a tab-separated list (formatted as a text (.txt) file) of DOIs and their new URLs, and apply the following header:

H: email=youremail@email.com;fromPrefix=10.xxxx

where youremail@email.com is your email address and 10.xxxx is the owner prefix (this should be the prefix associated with the username you’ll be processing this request with) for the DOIs you’re updating.

Only DOIs of the same owning prefix may be updated together using this header. For example, if you have DOIs against two owning prefixes, you’ll need to separate your submissions and use the appropriate 10.xxxx prefix for each set of your DOIs.

This is what your tab-separated (not spaces) list should look like:

H: email=youremail@email.com;fromPrefix=10.5555
10.5555/doi1   http://www.yourdomain.com/newurl1
10.5555/doi2   http://www.yourdomain.com/newurl2
10.5555/doi3   http://www.yourdomain.com/newurl3

You can upload the file to the admin tool or use the upload tool. To use the admin tool, login and navigate to Submissions>Upload. Upload your file, choose Bulk URL Update as the Type, and click Upload.

If you have more than 3,000 URLs to update, you should break them into smaller files. The file upload size limit for this operation is 400 KB.

Warm regards,

Also, if you can send me a message to support@crossref.org with your DOI prefix, I can send you back a report of all of your existing (previously registered) DOIs and those DOIs current resolution URLs.


This is really helpful, Isaac - thank you! I’ll check out those resources, and get that report requested.

As far as actually creating the DOI suffixes, that seems to be the easiest part for me.
I think what’s tripping me up about the web deposit form is that most of the content I need to register isn’t represented there - it’s primarily presentations, datasets, and supplemental items to accompany submissions to journals. (We do have theses and dissertations as well, so assuming we can use the Dissertation template for Master’s theses as well, that part is simple enough.) Is there something I’m missing that would let me handle those items through the form?

We do host journals on our IR, but most of them have their own CrossRef memberships and Digital Commons automatically assigns and registers their DOIs (an option which I’m not sure is offered for the rest of the repository, but I’m checking with the provider).

Thank you again for your patience and help!

Ah. Thanks for following up @julieshedd .

Let me handle each of these additional content items separately:

  1. Presentations

Yes, you can register DOIs for your presentations.

If the slides are part of a conference, you could register them as a conference papers, which would necessarily have to be part of a conference proceeding.

If the slides are not part of a conference, you can register them as a Report.

You can register both conference papers and reports using our web deposit form. I suspect you’ll register this example as a report, so I’m including instructions for how you can do that using the web deposit form:

to register a DOI for a typical stand-alone report (aka working paper) on the web deposit form, use the following steps:

  1. Select the Report data type
  2. Leave the deposit type option set to the default “Report”
  3. Enter the Report-level metadata on the first page of the form. At minimum this includes Report title, Publisher name, and Publication year. If there are authors, they should be included in the “Person” fields.
  4. Select “Submit Report DOI”
  5. Enter your username and password and click Login
  6. Enter your email address and click ‘Deposit’

There are some other variations possible. If the report is one report in a Report Series, then you’d need to choose the Report Series deposit type and include series-level metadata (including a required ISSN). If the report has chapters or sections that you want to assign distinct DOIs to, then you would select ‘Add Content Item’ instead of ‘Submit Report DOI’ and proceed to enter the metadata for each chapter/section on a subsequent page of the form.

  1. Datasets

Unfortunately, we do not have a helper tool, like the web deposit form, to register datasets. Thus, you must register a dataset DOI using an XML submission. We do have a dataset XML sample that you can review: https://gitlab.com/crossref/schema/-/blob/master/best-practice-examples/dataset.5.3.0.xml. XML submitted to us must be formatted to the Crossref schema, so you’ll want to follow this example, if you decide to register these dataset DOIs. We can answer any questions you have about the XML as you work through it.

  1. Supplemental items

These could be registered as datasets, if the content was more like data, but we’d recommend that general supplements to journal articles be registered as posted content. Like datasets, we do not have a helper tool to assist in building posted content registrations, so if you’re looking to register posted content, you will need to send us XML. Here’s an XML sample you can review: https://gitlab.com/crossref/schema/-/blob/master/best-practice-examples/posted_content.5.3.0.xml. Again, we’re happy to help along the way as you work through this.

For the datasets and posted content (and any XML file that you are uploading to us) you’ll want to follow these steps to upload that XML to us and get your metadata registered. You can deposit these XML using the deposit admin tool:

  1. Log in with your Crossref account credentials
  2. Go to Submissions
  3. Click Upload
  4. Click Browse to locate the file you are uploading
  5. Select the file type:
  • Metadata: content registration XML
  1. Click Upload.

Warm regards,

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