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Science Editing > Volume 5(1); 2018 > Article
Chang: Crossref LIVE17 annual meeting in Singapore
The Crossref LIVE17 annual meeting took place at the Fort Canning Hotel in Singapore on November 14 to 15, 2017. The meeting was held in Asia for the first time, considering the region’s rapidly growing membership, breaking away from the tradition of being hosted in Boston and London in alternate years. LIVE17 provided a fantastic opportunity for Asian members who had recently begun to take interest and to participate in content-linking services using digital object identifiers (DOIs) to ask questions and exchange opinions with the staff and other attendees in person.
The meeting was attended by around 250 publishers, editors, librarians, researchers, funders, tool-makers, and members, and the attendees exchanged their views on the relationships of metadata with research outputs and the scholarly community. The theme for this year’s meeting was “metadata+infrastructure+relations=context,” with the following key discussion topics for each section: who is using metadata and what are they doing with it; how research and infrastructure are changing; metadata enables connections; and contextual challenges in scholarly communications.
The first day of the meeting started with Executive Director Ed Pentz’s lecture, entitled “Year in review and strategy introduction.” This session presented a brief introduction to the organization, including its role, mission, and accomplishments in 2017, as well as projects carried out in cooperation with other organizations and new services to be launched in 2018. The following content was covered: the 2017 board member elections; a series of live events; projects with other organizations (Metadata 2020 initiative and the second PIDapalooza meeting); services for new types of content (preprints); statistics on Crossref DOI; statistics on the Cited-by service; setting up a working group for organization identifiers with DataCite, ORCID, and other organizations; restarting the funder advisory group; improving existing services (Metadata Manager, Similarity Check, and Crossmark); building new services (Participation Reports and Event Data); best practices and policies (updated Crossref DOI display guidelines and new reference policy). The first session provided an excellent overview of all the sessions to be delivered within the next two days, and was extremely helpful for planning which sessions to attend.
The lecture was followed by parallel sessions given by the Crossref staff. Four presentations were delivered, including: “How to win at being a Crossref member,” “Reaching our international community,” “Relations, translations, and versions,” and “This Metadata Manager will change your life.” Of these sessions, I attended “Reaching our international community,” presented by Rachael Lammey and Vanessa Fairhurst. Exchanges and collaborations among the member community are the key to Crossref’s operation, since it is a membership-based organization. It also dedicates considerable resources to providing members with education and organizational training. For instance, webinars are available on diverse topics ranging from basic concepts to training on each specific service, some of which are even offered in local languages. Moreover, responding to the recent dramatic increase in new members from Eastern European countries such as Russia and Turkey and Asian countries such as South Korea, Indonesia, China, and Japan, the organization has held local live events in those areas to support education and the exchange of ideas among local members. Moreover, a community ambassador program will begin in 2018 with the goals of raising awareness of certain audiences or countries, promoting outbound education to both existing members and new audiences, and improving communication with and between non-English speaking communities. The roles and responsibilities of ambassadors will span from regular check-ins, staying up to speed, and creating blog posts to helping with local live events, translating, running webinars, member training, participating in betatesting, representing Crossref at select pre-agreed conferences, and engagement in community forums.
The afternoon parallel sessions consisted of “ARIA: a scholarly metrics information system for universities,” “I4OC: the initiative for open citations,” “What does data science tell us about social challenges in scholarly publishing,” and “Exploring relationships with Event Data.” I attended the ‘‘Exploring relationships with Event Data” session presented by Madeleine Watson of Crossref, and found it very interesting. Discussions on scholarly research frequently occur outside of the publisher’s platform on blogs, sharing services, social media, and other similar resources, and Event Data is a service that plans to provide a raw data record of these activities. The service is under development in tandem with DataCite, and will allocate DOIs for content collected from web services such as Twitter, Facebook, Wikipedia, ResearchBlogging, and Reddit, showing when the content was saved, shared, liked, referenced, or commented on. Since the data will be collected in the raw format, publishers and publisher platforms, journal editors, Altmetrics and other service providers, funders, bibliometricians, and the research community will be able to process the data according to their goals. The beta version is now available on the Crossref website, and I cannot wait to try it out.
At the plenary sessions, I was intrigued by John Chodacki from the California Digital Library, who gave a lecture on “Metadata 2020: what could richer metadata enable?” Metadata 2020 is an initiative that is focused on helping publishers and other content providers and brokers not just to create deposits, but also to think more about the actual quality of the metadata that they are depositing. It is a collaboration across multiple communities such as publishers, funder organizations, service providers, librarians, and researchers. Its goal is to focus on three main areas to create richer, connected, and reusable metadata. In this initiative, each discussion group defines the characteristics of metadata and issues in depositing and using metadata, then develops best practices to resolve the issues.
My favorite morning session on the second day was a smaller interactive session where participants gathered into small groups and had a free discussion about topics of their own choice. Three main sample topics were suggested: “Bring your ethics issues to discuss with COPE,” “Your Similarity Check questions answered,” and “Use Crossmark to convey evidence of trust.” However, each group could select any topic of its members’ common interest and have an in-depth discussion. I joined the “Use Crossmark to convey evidence of trust” group led by Jennifer Lin, in which participants asked questions about the Crossmark service and made suggestions for improvements. I was also able to beta-test the new “Participation Reports for Publishers” service scheduled to be launched in 2018, with Vanessa Fairhurst, a Crossref staff member. Participation Reports will be provided on the ‘Dashboard,’ where publishers can see what metadata they are depositing and what metadata could be deposited to take advantage of this possibility and submit this richer metadata to Crossref. I suggested opinions on the screen design, user interface, menu, and improvements. I will be curious to see how many of my suggestions will be reflected in the final version and to hear members’ opinions about this service.
My favorite session in the afternoon was “The OI Project: disambiguating affiliation names” by Paul Peter of Hindawi, who is a working group member of the OI Project. OI means organization identifier. He introduced the ongoing OI Project. At the moment, Crossref can only collect institutional information from authors in free text format. This introduces errors and inconsistencies, making it hard to comprehensively track research output from different universities. To this end, Crossref is developing an identifier for the affiliations of organizations and researchers in cooperation with ORCID and DataCite that would be similar to DOI as an identifier for articles or ORCID for researchers. I believe it would be useful for researchers to describe their affiliations and to match organizations with articles they produced, and this would be facilitated by organizations and departments having their own standard identifiers. I enthusiastically look forward to the launch of this service.
One of the things I found most impressive in this annual meeting was the versatile and open arrangement of the conference space. Unlike the typical arrangement of rows of tables and chairs at conference or workshop settings, many different types of arrangements were used, ranging from formal round tables, casual tea tables, couches, and bean bag chairs with the Crossref logo, contributing to the comfortable and open atmosphere. In addition to these unique seating arrangements, I was also inspired by the friendly attitudes of the on-site staff. Around 15 staff members wearing black Crossref T-shirts were easily visible and accessible throughout the conference hall, making participants feel comfortable to ask for assistance whenever needed (Fig. 1).
Next year’s annual meeting is scheduled to be held on November 13 to 14 in Toronto, Canada. I am already looking forward to the many new services the meeting will bring about. I hope more people will attend next year to learn about the latest trends in the academic publishing field and to make full use of the opportunity to network within the community.

Conflict of Interest

No potential conflict of interest relevant to this article was reported.


This work was supported by a travel grant from Crossref.

The author, Vanessa Fairhurst, Susan Collins, and Rachael Lammey of Crossref’s Member and Community Outreach team (from left to right).

Fig. 1.

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