Thanks for your message, and for your interest in Crossref.
You need to be a member of the Crossref organisation in order to get a DOI prefix so you can register DOIs and metadata about your published content with us. We then share this metadata with the scholarly community through our free, open APIs.
Membership of Crossref is open to organisations that produce professional and scholarly materials and content - If your content is likely to be cited in the research ecosystem and considered part of the evidence trail, then you are eligible to join.
You need to apply in the name of the organisation that is responsible for your published content, rather than in the name of an individual journal or conference. You’ll then be able to use this single, central member account to register DOIs for all the content that your organisation publishes.
As a member, you have obligations to your fellow members and the wider scholarly community - these include registering your content with us (so registering a DOI, a resolution URL, and a lot of other metadata), keeping that metadata up-to-date, and displaying your DOIs on the landing page for your content items. You’ll need a unique landing page for each item that you register. This landing page needs to include full bibliographic information for the content you are registering and a way to access the full text of the content. You also need to ensure that you use DOIs in your article references. When you join, you agree to these membership terms.
In return, you join a community of publishers who are all linking to each other persistently through their references. Your metadata is shared with hundreds of organisations in the scholarly ecosystem, and you are able to take advantage of Crossref services (content registration, the Funder Registry, Similarity Check, Cited-by and Crossmark). And, of course, you’re able to create a persistent identifier for each citable object that you publish.
Membership options and fees
Independent members pay an annual membership fee, which is tiered depending on your publishing revenue/expenses. As a guide, the lowest tier is US$275 per year for organisations with annual publishing revenue lower than US$1m. If you don’t have revenue for your publishing, we look at your publishing expenses. These fees are the same for both commercial and not-for-profit organisations.
A pro-rated membership fee for the remainder of the current year is due before your account can be activated, meaning you’ll receive an invoice soon after applying, and then each and every subsequent year in January. You are responsible for paying these annual membership fees each year unless you actively cancel your membership.
There are also one-off fees for each item you register with us (but no further charges to update the metadata associated with these records once they are registered). We send out quarterly content registration invoices. Content registration fees vary depending on content type and whether the content is current or backfile but, as a guide, the cost to register a single, current journal article is US$1.
You can find more information on our fees page.
Please note - organisations located in the least economically-advantaged countries in the world do not pay an annual membership fee and do not pay content registration fees - find out more on our Global Equitable Membership (GEM) program page.
Membership via a Sponsor
We know that cost and technical capabilities can be barriers to participation, so we offer a sponsorship program for organisations in some regions. Members who join via a sponsor have the same benefits and obligations as other members, but they have someone to support their membership. Sponsors pay one membership fee for all the members that they work with, and they also pay content registration fees on behalf of their members. They also provide technical and local language support for their members.
Sponsors are able to charge for their services, so it’s important to discuss your agreement with your sponsor before joining. If a member is eligible for the Global Equitable Membership (GEM) program, we do not charge their sponsors membership fees or content registration fees, but again, the sponsor is able to charge for their services. Find out more about working with a sponsor.
How to join and what happens next
Once we receive your application, it usually takes a week or so to complete the process, depending on how many extra questions we have to ask you.
If you are applying as an independent member, we send you a pro-rated membership fee invoice to cover your membership fee for the remaining months of the current year. Once you have paid your prorated membership fee, we provide you with a DOI prefix.
If you are working with a sponsor, we provide you with a DOI prefix as soon as we have answers to any outstanding questions.
Once you have your Crossref DOI prefix, you then use this prefix to create full DOIs for your content, and register it with us by providing the URL for the content and a lot of other metadata. This can be done via an online form, or by submitting XML - you can read more about the options here. If you are working with a sponsor, they may register the content on your behalf - do make sure you understand the agreement with them.
To apply to join, please read through this page carefully and select the relevant option at the bottom of the page.
Do let us know if you have any further questions.