CrossRef is the official DOI registration agency for scholarly and professional publications, including journals, books, and other content types. CrossRef provides primary publishers with the organizational and technological backbone to facilitate linking by associating DOIs with publisher metadata. There is no centralized repository of abstracts or full text involved. Membership is open to publishers in all content areas.

CrossRef is about helping publishers innovate through shared technology, to meet the demand for better access to published scholarship. You can count on affordable, reliable links; increased traffic to your publications; and the opportunity to join forces with other publishers dedicated to enhancing resource discovery.

The DOI, or digital object identifier, serves as a persistent, actionable identifier for intellectual property online. DOIs can be assigned at any level of granularity, and therefore provide publishers with an extensible platform for a variety of applications. And DOI links don't break. Even if a publisher needs to migrate publications from one system to another, or if the content moves from one publisher to another, the DOI never changes. This means that all the links to that content that have already been made still function. Hence, one key insight of the DOI model is persistence; the other is actionability. One click on a properly implemented DOI gets the reader to the location of the material they want.

If you are interested in joining the CrossRef initiative, here are the steps you should take:

(1) Upon request, CrossRef will send a Membership Agreement for your consideration. Request membership forms. When you join CrossRef, you will be issued a DOI prefix automatically. (There is no need to pay a separate prefix fee to the IDF.)

(2) Familiarize yourself with the all steps and information resources highlighted in our help documentation.

(3) Feel free to take a flash tour of our system or visit our gallery of publisher websites that are already linking. Answers to many of your questions may also be found in our "fast facts" area.


The value of CrossRef linking for scholarly e-journals is by now well established. By joining this collaborative network, you will add reader utility to your digital content through outbound links to cited material, while augmenting access to your material through incoming links from other publishers.

CrossRef has also begun adding books and conference proceedings to its extensive linking network. If you are a book publisher:

Use the DOI to drive book sales. Whether they are published in print form only or they have been digitized, your books will benefit from being registered with a CrossRef DOI that points to the Internet bookselling platforms of your choice.

CrossRef gives your DOIs added exposure. CrossRef is the only DOI registration agency with a cross-publisher linking network. With your publications registered in the CrossRef database, over 4500 participating organizations – other publishers, A&I databases, aggregators, and libraries – will be able to link automatically to your content.

Leverage your content. Assigning DOIs to book chapters gives you a headstart in re-purposing your publications for course-packs, for derivative works requiring a subset or re-ordering of the original components, and for e-commerce at the chapter level.

Link your e-books. For electronic books such as reference works, CrossRef facilitates internal linking of components and references, as well as providing durable hyperlinks from citations to any other participating publishers material.

Get in on the ground floor. CrossRef is run by publishers. As a member, you can have real input into the development of new collaborative technologies and the policies underlying this collaboration.

One annual fee covers all types of content. If you are already a CrossRef member depositing journal DOIs, there is no additional membership fee to register your books or conference proceedings.

Don't publish online in the dark...just DOI it!

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Updated June 6, 2012

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