This month, I’d like to address a couple of common questions we, the Crossref technical support team, have received about Participation Reports, one of our more popular reports. Here’s the link to our documentation on Participation Reports should you like to learn more (I’ve also included introductory information below).
What is a Participation Report?
Participation Reports are a visualization of the metadata that’s available via our free REST API. There’s a separate Participation Report for each member, and it shows what percentage of that members content includes nine (previously ten - see more on that below) key metadata elements. As a member, you can use Participation Reports to see for yourself where the gaps in your metadata are, and perhaps compare your performance to others. Participation Reports are free and open to everyone.
Member questions about Participation Reports
There are three common questions that the technical support team receives about Participation Reports:
- References versus open references.
What’s the difference between references and open references in the Participation Report?
Let’s look at the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) as an example. Prior to last week, the Participation Reports included an open references display:
We’ve recently removed open references from the display within Participation Reports, since references, like other metadata elements registered with Crossref, are now set to open.
So, here’s what PNAS’s Participation Report looks like today:
- The second question we receive about Participation Reports deals with updates to the report itself. These questions are typically expressed in a form similar to:
I just sent in a metadata update to you, why aren’t my percentages higher?
The important thing to know is: there is a lag. When metadata is registered or updated with us, the DOI link itself is typically resolvable within minutes of the successful registration. But, it takes more time for the metadata to be indexed in our APIs.
Typically, the metadata appears in our XML API first. Later, it is indexed and available in the REST API, but this can take up to 24 hours. And, Participation Reports, like search.crossref.org, runs on the REST API and the metadata therein, so expect a short delay. We’re working on it! If it’s been 24 hours since your registration and your updates are still not appearing, let us know about it here on the forum or send us an email to email@example.com.
- The third question we receive about Participation Reports is specifics about how to improve the percentages in the report.
What can I do to improve my scores (percentages) in the report?
These key elements add context and richness, and help to open up content to easier discovery and wider and more varied use, so we understand why you want to improve your percentage. You may improve the percentages in any of the nine metadata elements in your Participation Report by updating the metadata of your existing content registered with us. Instructions on how to update your metadata records to improve your percentage are available in our documentation for each element under the heading “How can I improve my percentage.” If you have additional questions about improving your percentages, let us know by following up with a message here in the community forum or with an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for reading,