Are my landing pages ready for takeoff? 🚀 - Membership Ticket of the Month - June 2024

Hi there, it’s Collin from the Membership team!

One of the requirements to join Crossref is that each of your citable items (that is, each book, chapter, article, report, dataset, or other item for which you will be registering a DOI) must have a suitable landing page designated by a unique URL.

A landing page is simply a webpage with basic details about the digital object in question. We have some guidelines about creating these pages on our site but I wanted to take a little time to answer some frequently asked questions about landing pages and provide a few examples. If you’re a prospective Crossref member (or a current member looking to improve your landing pages) I encourage you to drop a link to your landing pages in the comments to this post and I’ll be happy to take a look and let you know if your landing pages meet our standards or if there are changes you’ll need to make before joining.

What should a landing page include? Landing pages should include three elements: 1) basic bibliographic information about the digital object, 2) the DOI itself (once you’ve joined and registered it), and 3) some means to access the full text of the content. Let’s break this down a little further:

  1. Basic bibliographic information: the whole point of landing pages to let the reader know that they are in the right place after clicking on a DOI. Upon opening the landing page, it should be immediately apparent what the title of the article/book/chapter is, who wrote it, and when it was published. Other useful details you might consider including are: page numbers, volume/issue numbers, license information, the abstract/introduction, and the publisher name, depending on what type of object the DOI corresponds to.

  2. The DOI itself: once you’ve joined Crossref, you will be able to register a DOI for each material you publish. As soon as you’ve registered the DOI, please add it to the landing page in URL form (https://doi.org/10.####/abcd) - this helps others identify and cite the object in question! (Note: obviously you cannot include a DOI on your landing page before you’ve joined, since you need to join in order to register a DOI. We don’t require you to have a DOI present on your landing pages when you apply, and we especially discourage the inclusion of any sort of placeholder “DOIs” as these may be accidentally picked up by web crawlers or other scholars! If you want to include something on your landing pages indicating where the DOI will go, a simple “DOI:” followed by a blank space is plenty suitable.)

  3. Some means to access the full text: What this means depends heavily on how readers are intended to access your materials. If your books/articles/reports/etc. are open-access then a simple link to the fulltext PDF is perfect! If your materials are closed-access/paywalled, then there should be a link to log in or purchase/rent access to the fulltext. It is also acceptable to have the entire article fulltext appear on the landing page, either as HTML (example) or as an embedded PDF (example). Note that a landing page should not be the article PDF itself except in extremely limited cases.

In the example below, you can see a variety of bibliographic details (1), the DOI itself (2), and a way to access the article fulltext (3): the PDF link near the middle of the landing page.

Can I create a landing page before I’ve registered a DOI? You sure can! You’ll need landing pages to register your DOIs but you don’t need DOIs to have landing pages. Many publishers create landing pages before joining Crossref or before even considering assigning DOIs; they’re a welcome tool for readers when accessing your published content. Here’s an example of a landing page from a publisher who doesn’t assign DOIs (yet!).

What if I have one landing page for my book; do I need a DOI for each chapter? The short answer is that if you’re going to register a DOI for a material then it will need its own landing page with a unique URL. If you’re registering DOIs for monographs where it makes less sense for each chapter to have its own DOI (since the book is likely to be cited as a whole, rather than chapter by chapter) then sure, one book-level landing page is completely suitable. However, in a work like a conference proceeding, an edited anthology, or an encyclopedia, where each chapter is assigned its own DOI and liable to be cited individually then a unique landing page is necessary for each proceeding article, chapter, or encyclopedic entry.

My materials are only available to members of my society; do I need to make my landing pages available to people who aren’t members? Yes! Regardless of whether your materials’ fulltexts are open-access or paywalled/behind a members-only wall, the landing pages MUST be available worldwide to anyone at all times.

How do I create a landing page? This is a tough question because there is no single answer. How you implement landing pages for your articles/books/grants/peer reviews/etc. depends on which platform you’re hosting your materials on and how familiar you are with web design. Tools like Open Journal Systems (OJS), Digital Commons, or Scholastica’s OA Publishing Platform may make the creation of landing pages easier, but there is no set single way to create landing pages. We have members who host their landing pages via the Blogger platform, and others who host their landing pages and content on wiki platforms.

Where should my landing page be hosted? It’s your choice! You are responsible for maintaining your landing pages somewhere online, but it doesn’t matter from our perspective where they are hosted online. If you publish 10 journals then your landing pages could all be on one central domain or on ten different domains. What’s important is that the landing pages include the three key elements described above and that they be accessible to anyone.

Can my landing page be a commercial publisher’s item listing page? Sometimes we get questions about publishers who sell their ebooks or other materials via commercial publishers like Amazon. Can an Amazon item page be a landing page? The answer is maybe, depending on the content type. Amazon item pages contain 1) the bibliographic information about the work in question and 3) a way to access the material’s fulltext (i.e., by purchasing it). So long as the Amazon item page can be updated by the publisher to also display the DOI (thus meeting criterion 2) then it may be used as a landing page for a book. However, an Amazon item listing would not be a suitable landing page for a chapter, as Amazon does not generate individual item pages for each chapter.

What have I missed? If you have any questions about your organization’s landing pages, or if you want us to take a look at your prospective landing pages to ensure they’ll meet our guidelines before applying to join Crossref, please let us know in the comments!

Kindly,
—Collin

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