DOI ownership and multiple publisher owned journals

Sometimes members contact us as they are not able to update metadata against DOIs and they are getting an error “The user does not have permission to add or modify records for the prefix: 10.XXXX” in a submission log.

This will mean that the DOI has a background permission which the username uploading the deposit against does not have permissions for.

Each DOI in the Crossref system has a prefix which it is currently assigned to in the background. This does not always correlate with the prefix at the start of the DOI. Individual DOIs can transfer ownership along with the journal titles those DOIs are registered within. Sometimes our members transfer titles to a new publisher member but they do not transfer the existing DOIs, they would remain with themselves and would continue to be maintained by that publisher member.

Some journals within our database have seen one or two title transfers where the DOIs have not followed over as well. This means there can be multiple owners of DOIs against a title.

Cambridge University Press came to me recently with an issue of not being able to update certain DOIs against a newly transferred title. After some investigation, I realised that this was because during the transfer from the previous publisher and Cambridge University Press there were some existing DOIs which were under the ownership of one of the previous owners of the title.

In this instance, the new owner might not be aware of the multiple owners for a title and due to how our system makes the transfer, even if all of the existing DOIs are agreed in the transfer it would only transfer those from the last owner of the title.

In the example from Cambridge University Press there were actually two older owners of the title which DOIs had not been transferred over from. More often than not the previous owners now want to transfer the DOIs over to the new owner to maintain moving forward so I had to make contact with the two previous owners of some of the DOIs, University of Illinois and JSTOR.

Thankfully Cambridge University Press already had contact with JSTOR and so we had permission from them to make the transfer of those remaining DOIs. I then reached out to our contacts at University of Illinois from whom I had a really quick reply also permitting the transfer of those DOIs over to Cambridge University Press.

So I manually transferred all of those DOIs which were not against the ownership of CUP’s prefix over to them so that they can maintain all of the DOIs against that journal moving forward.

You can find out all of the DOIs currently registered against a title and the prefixes they are against by checking through our depositor report.

Here is an example of the report using the title CUP were working with as above:

It is also a fantastic resource to find out timestamps against each DOI as well, but that is a post for another time (check here for more information on timestamp issues).