Sanity checking content type

I came across a New Scientist article that has a DOI registered with type = ‘journal-article’, and I wonder if that’s a mistake.

  • For the original magazine article, visit archive[dot]ph/wHq7I
  • The ‘journal article’ representation (created by New Scientist without the author’s involvement) can be found on sciencedirect[dot]com/science/article/abs/pii/S0262407920319722.
  • And check the DOI registration by visiting search[dot]crossref[dot]org/search/works?q=10.1016/S0262-4079(20)31972-2.

Is ‘journal-article’ the correct type for this content? If not, what should it be?

Hi Dayne,

I can see why it would look a bit odd, but journal article is correct in this case.

Our metadata schema doesn’t differentiate between different types of content that might appear within a journal. The only ‘child’ element for journal content is journal article. So, book reviews, editorials, commentary, etc. are all classed as “journal articles” when they’re registered with Crossref.

You’ll find similar situations in book content, where ToCs, front matter, back matter, and indexes are sometimes registered. And when they are, they’ll appear as “chatpers” in the Crossref metadata.



Thank you for the prompt reply, Shayn!

Our metadata schema doesn’t differentiate between different types of content that might appear within a journal

Is New Scientist a journal? My understanding is that it is a science magazine rather than a journal, since it does not (as far I as I’m aware) publish peer reviewed academic papers.

Put another way, what are the criterial/requirements that make a publication a journal, such that it’s articles can register DOIs as “journal-articles”?

Thanks in advance!

There aren’t really hard-and-fast requirements. It’s just a matter of selecting the content type that has the most suitable metadata elements supported. Since New Scientist is a serial publication, structured in volumes and issues, the journal content type is most suitable.

There’s a broader question here of whether it’s valuable for Elsevier to be registering content from New Scientist at all, if it’s meant for a lay audience and not likely to be cited in the research ecosystem. But, that’s a decision we leave up to each publisher.

Since they have decided to register that content, it makes sense that they used the journal article content type.

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Oh I see. Thank you for enlightening me, Shayn!

For whatever it’s worth, it looks like the median article in New Scientist has no citations but some articles are cited as many as 50 times. A (very long) list of all the DOIs associated with this title plus their citation counts can be found here if you’re curious.


Wow, thanks the extra info, @collinks!

Excuse my ignorance, but do scholars benefit from citations they receive on articles they publish to New Scientist? I’m wondering how the value of these citations compares to citations of papers published in peer reviewed journals, and preprints.

It’s a good question @dayne, and not one that has just a single answer.

How these citations are valued depends of how different parties value them. Personally, I love to better understand the downstream effects of outputs I author, so to me there is value in being able to track this information through the DOI architecture. I imagine this it true for others, though I can only speak for myself. Some academic jobs consider popular press publications in hiring and tenure decisions; to these organizations (and their potential hires) the ability to track citations for lay articles may also be of value. This is in addition to the benefits of DOI usage other than citation-tracking, such as the ability to minimize linkrot in reference sections by updating the URLs that DOIs resolve to if the host website ever changes, for instance.


Very interesting. Thank you for the explanation, @collinks !