With the increase in online discoverability of different versions of a paper, it can be difficult for readers to identify which version of a paper they are looking at is it the submitted version, the accepted version, the published version? And has it been enhanced, amended, corrected, updated, withdrawn, or even retracted?
Once published, most scholarly content does not change, but when corrections, updates, enhancements, or retractions are needed it is important that the reader is made aware of them. Until now there has been no standard way to communicate these changes to the reader, or indeed to make it clear which version of the article is the Version of Record.
The CrossMark service from CrossRef is a multi-publisher initiative designed to provide a standard way for readers to easily identify and locate the publisher-maintained version of a piece of content. CrossMark provides a way for publishers to make a clear statement about the content of an article, verifying that it is the Version of Record and that they are committed to maintaining it. It allows the researcher to distinguish the Version of Record from other copies such as pre-prints hosted on institutional or subject repositories, and ensures that the copy on the publishers site is flagged as the one that readers should check for status updates.
In a previous issue of Publishing News (December 2011) we announced that eight Wiley Blackwell published journals would be participating in the pilot to launch CrossMark (Journal of Organizational Behavior, The World Economy, New Phytologist, Molecular Ecology, International Journal of Clinical Practice, International Journal of Laboratory Hematology, Macromolecular Bioscience, Statistics in Medicine).
The pilot process involves submitting CrossMark metadata to CrossRef and placing a logo on the online version of the article. Readers can then click on the logo to establish the status of the document they are looking at, while a separate dialogue box records whether or not there are any subsequent amendments or additions to the article (such as Corrigenda, Retractions, etc.).
We are now in the process of evaluating whether to implement the CrossMark logo more widely, including carrying out an assessment of user behavior, and determining whether or not the CrossMark logo gains traction within the scholarly community. Further updates will be appearing in Publishing News, and journal editors may also contact their Wiley representative for further information.
For general author guidelines and information on Wiley Blackwells policy on post-publication changes to content, please see our Author Services site.