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Parallel titles for a given ISSN

Hi. I wanted to provide some feedback on the following page:

Documentation > Content Registration > Descriptive metadata > Journal title management

Where it says:

A distinct ISSN should be supplied for each distinct version of a title. If a title changes significantly the publisher should obtain new ISSNs (both print and online). This rule is established by the ISSN International Centre, not us, but we support and enforce it. Minor title changes (such as changing ‘and’ to ‘&’) don’t require a new ISSN.

The docs could mention that ISSN does allow for a “parallel title” in addition to the “title proper” for a given ISSN, for example:

ISSN 1878-7304 (Online) | Canadian psychology | The ISSN Portal
Title proper: Canadian psychology
Parallel title: Psychologie canadienne

Furthermore, swapping parallel and proper titles would not affect the ISSN, as per ISSN Manual:

2.4 Changes in continuing resources not requiring a new ISSN assignment > 2.4.1 Minor changes in title proper of continuing resources

A new ISSN and a key title are not assigned in cases of minor changes in the title proper. In general, if a minor change occurs in the title proper, the later title is given as variant title. The following are to be considered minor changes:
(…)
g) The change is in the order of titles when the title is given in more than one language on the chief source of information, provided that the title chosen as title proper still appears as a parallel title;

e.g.
South African medical journal
Parallel title: Suid Afrikaanse tydskrift vir geneeskunde
becomes
Suid Afrikaanse tydskrift vir geneeskunde
Parallel title: South African medical journal

Fortunately, it seems it’s only a documentation issue, as the CrossRef Title List already recognizes title variants.

I’ve just asked the ISSN national authority to include a parallel title and now I wonder if they will get automatically reflected in the CrossRef Title List or if it should be requested separately?

Thanks,
-Felipe.

Hi Felipe,

Thanks for that insight and your questions.

We don’t import data from the ISSN Portal directly, nor do we send data to them. The way a journal’s title is reflected in Crossref’s systems is entirely dependent on how that journal’s publisher/registrant sends it to us in the metadata deposits used to register their DOIs.

When you first deposit metadata for a given journal, the journal-level metadata - including the journal title, ISSN(s), journal-level DOI if you choose to register one - are used to form a title record for that journal in our system. That record is also ‘locked’ to the particular DOI prefix used in that first deposit as well.

We require that all future metadata deposits for that journal must contain journal-level metadata that matches the record established in our system by the first deposit. So, if you submit a journal title one way in the first deposit and then later switch to using a “parallel” or alternate title, the metadata deposit will fail with an error message that goes like <msg>ISSN "[ISSN]" has already been assigned, issn ([ISSN]) is assigned to another title ([title we have in our records])</msg>

Our documentation references the ISSN Centre’s policies because our system supports the principle that a substantive title change requires a new ISSN. But, that’s as far as we go with that.

If it turns out that you made a mistake in that first deposit, or you changed your title in a relatively minor way that doesn’t require a new ISSN, or you want to use an existing parallel title, we can modify the title record in our system for you. Just send us an email at support@crossref.org with the ISSN and new title before you submit the next metadata deposit for that journal.

Best,
Shayn

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Thank you for the clarification @Shayn. It’s great that CrossRef is able to accomodate minor title changes, including swapping parallel and proper titles permanently. This supports nicely regional journals that are broadening scope for a more international audience.

Can you confirm if multilingual journals are supposed to stick with a constant title across all languages? That is, the metadata for <journal_metadata><full_title> is not supposed to be translated when <journal_article><title> is translated? For example, if a journal publishes some articles in French and others in English, then the article titles obviously will change but the journal title shouldn’t?

If the understanding above is correct, then the options for a constant journal title, regardless of the content language, would be:

  1. any of the content languages: in the example above, always the English version (e.g., Canadian Psychology) or always the French version (Psychologie canadienne)
  2. a compound bilingual version: always both English / French, as in Canadian Psychology/Psychologie canadienne, which seems to be what that particular journal has adopted.

I also noted the CrossRef Title List recognizes small variations such as Canadian Psychology-Psychologie Canadienne (with a hyphen instead of a slash). Can we inform such title variants when depositing a journal-level DOI or is it something better asked via email? And what about diacritics or accents (such as “é” or “ê”): should they be recorded in a simplified journal title variant (with just “e”) or is this character simplification something done internally?

Thank you,
-Felipe.

PS: the link to download the full title list file in the search form seems unreachable: http://0-ftp.crossref.org.lib.rivier.edu/titlelist/titleFile.csv

Can you confirm if multilingual journals are supposed to stick with a constant title across all languages? That is, the metadata for <journal_metadata><full_title> is not supposed to be translated when <journal_article><title> is translated? For example, if a journal publishes some articles in French and others in English, then the article titles obviously will change but the journal title shouldn’t?

Yes, that’s more-or-less correct. For practical purposes, based on the way our title record system is setup (the purpose of which is mainly to prevent duplicate records by duplicate publishers for the same journal) you need to pick one journal title and stick with it. And, the language of the journal title does not need to match the language of the article title.

That said, the schema allows up to 10 <full_title> tags within <journal_metadata>, so if you’re creating your own XML, you can choose to add additional titles, in other languages or as other variations, there. But whichever <full_title> comes first in the XML has to remain consistent from one deposit to the next.

If the understanding above is correct, then the options for a constant journal title, regardless of the content language, would be:

  1. any of the content languages: in the example above, always the English version (e.g., Canadian Psychology) or always the French version (Psychologie canadienne)
  2. a compound bilingual version: always both English / French, as in Canadian Psychology/Psychologie canadienne, which seems to be what that particular journal has adopted.

Yes, that’s correct as well. And the choice is really an editorial decision. There’s not a clear best practice we can recommend.

I also noted the CrossRef Title List recognizes small variations such as Canadian Psychology-Psychologie Canadienne (with a hyphen instead of a slash). Can we inform such title variants when depositing a journal-level DOI or is it something better asked via email? And what about diacritics or accents (such as “é” or “ê”): should they be recorded in a simplified journal title variant (with just “e”) or is this character simplification something done internally?

The title list is basically a reflection of all the title records we have at a given time. The variants are the result of both the additional <full_title> elements that are submitted via xml, and any past titles that were submitted before a title was manually changed by us at the request of a member. They’re mainly used for the purposes of citation matching, along with the title abbreviations which are also submitted in the xml.

Diacritics should remain in the titles you submit. We don’t simplify them on our end. The only characters we normalize out in those titles (only in the title records, not in the actual metadata) are the following:
’ { } ; : @ . , as well as line breaks, tabs, and page breaks. So, those characters won’t appear in the title list versions either.

Thanks for letting us know about the csv title list. I’ll alert our tech team.

Best,
Shayn

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Just as an update, one of our developers tested the title list csv, and the problem seems to be browser specific. It doesn’t work in Chrome, which he’ll continue to investigate. But it’s downloadable via Safari or Firefox.

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