Case study: Adopting PIDs for publications at National and University Library in Zagreb

The core aim of the FREYA project is to extend the infrastructure for persistent identifiers (PIDs). Learning why publishers want to adopt identifiers for their content and register them might well be of interest to anyone thinking about taking this step. Technology plays a big part in adopting PIDs, but another key aspect is community support for and adoption of identifiers.

At Crossref, we work with a growing number of Sponsoring Organizations, entities that help provide technical, administrative and (potentially) language support to a range of Crossref members. This helps them register content and participate in other services when they might otherwise struggle to do so alone.

One such Sponsoring Organization is the National and University Library in Zagreb, Croatia. Danijela Getliher, Coordinator of Croatian ISBN, ISMN, ISSN & DOI Agency explains why they took on the role of sponsor, what their aims are and why they think it’s important to help support Croatian journals in adopting and using PIDs - in this case Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) - for their content:

1. Can you provide an overview of the service you provide as a Crossref Sponsoring Organization?

The Croatian DOI office was established as Crossref Sponsoring Organization in 2017 in the National and University Library in Zagreb’s Bibliography department, identifiers workflow.

It was established with financial support of the Ministry of Science and Education of the Republic of Croatia. This support covers the annual membership fees and content registration fees for Crossref but doesn’t cover the per-document checking fee for the Similarity Check service.

The Croatian DOI office registers content and assigns DOIs for Croatian current online scholarly journals and their articles and volumes and issues. For the time being we do not register DOIs for other scientific content such as conference proceedings, books, etc.

Every publisher that has decided to work with our office has an agreement with the National University Library (NUL) and with Crossref.

Membership through the Croatian DOI Office enables publishers to use a unique prefix or to keep using the existing prefix assigned when they were an individual member of Crossref.

2. How can organisations access these services? Which organisations are able to avail of them?

The Croatian DOI office intermediates in the assignment of DOIs and content registration for titles, volumes, issues and articles of Croatian current online scientific and professional journals whose publishers are interested in membership in the DOI system, or those that are already members of the system but wish to use the advantages available as part of the services provided by the Office.

The standards required for DOI assignment for journals are that they regularly publish full-text articles in the Croatian online environment, that their bibliographic data and other related details are available according to Crossref recommendations and that they have an ISSN.

Every Croatian publisher that decided to work with office has an agreement with the NUL and with Crossref. Every journal has their own password and login assigned to their contact person for entering the local system DOI-HR and technical support for the assignment, registration, depositing of new and updated metadata and objects (articles and issues).

3. Why did your institution decide to join Crossref as a Sponsoring Organization?

The main reasons for us joining Crossref were:

  • To increase of number of journals that register their content with Crossref and use DOIs

  • To increase the visibility of Croatian scholarly content

  • To support the publishers because they have a lack of staff and technical support for DOI registration

  • To save resources for memberships that publishers have to pay when they join Crossref as an individual member and register content

4. What impact have you seen since you joined Crossref? What do you think the benefits have been?

  • We have increased the number of journals that register content with Crossref. We have about 50 new Croatian publishers that register DOIs, and 24 Croatian publishers that have moved to work over us directly, saving them individual membership fees.

  • We have supported publishers that have lack of staff and technical support for DOI registrations and could not register DOIs on their own.

5. What are the benefits to your users? Were these users minting DOIs before they signed up with you?

As I mentioned previously, the benefits are the increased number of journals that register DOI, and the provision of support for the publishers that lack staff and technical support for DOI registrations. It also also ensures:

  • Permanent storage of metadata and objects (National and University Library in Zagreb is authorised archive).

  • Permanency of DOIs (In the case when an object disappears from the internet, DOI is redirected to its archived copy).

  • Inclusion of articles metadata in the Croatian national bibliography.

  • Publishing on the portal of digital collections of NUL

6. Are there any other routes available to you or your users to create DOIs or other persistent identifiers?

The Croatian ISSN, ISBN, ISMN and DOI agencies joined together make offices for Identifiers, or Identifiers workflow of the Bibliography department of NUL.

However, regardless of the existence of the Croatian DOI office each publisher has an opportunity to choose to sign agreement individually with Crossref. There are 74 publishers that work via office and 65 that work directly with Crossref or another DOI registration agency.

7. Is there a large technical overhead either for you or the publishers you work with? If so, how did you overcome that?

The local DOI System was built using the financial resources of National and University Library in Zagreb and thanks to its own library staff.

In the future we will have to consider other ways of financing IT support and maintaining and upgrading the local DOI system.