Ticket of the month - October 2022 - Conflicts and how to resolve them

Hello forum fellows,

Have you ever received the warning message in your submission logs,

      <doi>***DOI you are trying to deposit***</doi>
      <msg>Added with conflict</msg>
      <conflict_id>***Conflict ID that has been created***</conflict_id>
         <doi>***The DOI that is conflicting with the deposited DOI***</doi>

and wondered what it means and what to do about it?

What is a conflict?

A conflict occurs when two (or more) DOIs are submitted with the same metadata.
The system will scan certain metadata and then create a conflict in the system based on that metadata being a match.

Why does this occur?

There are basically three different scenarios that can cause this to occur:

  1. You assigned two DOIs to distinct content items, but accidentally submitted the same metadata for both of them. In this case, one of the DOIs has incorrect metadata. If you resubmit an updated metadata deposit to correct that DOI’s metadata, the conflict will be resolved.

  2. You inadvertently assigned two DOIs to the same content item. In this case, you can resolve the conflict by assigning one of the DOIs (the one you intent to use for that content item in perpetuity) as ‘primary’ and the other as its ‘alias’. The alias will automatically redirect to the primary, and you’ll only need to maintain the primary going forward. There are two methods to assign primary and alias status, and both are described in detail here: https://0-support-crossref-org.pugwash.lib.warwick.ac.uk/hc/en-us/articles/215713363-Assigning-primary-and-alias-status

  3. The two DOIs refer to different content items, but their metadata is so similar that a conflict was flagged falsely. This often happens for items that have very minimal metadata included. In this case, you can accept the conflict as is, using one of the methods described here: https://0-support-crossref-org.pugwash.lib.warwick.ac.uk/hc/en-us/articles/214277106-Accepting-a-conflict-as-is

You would need to have a look at each conflict to decide how you might need to resolve it.


You can see all of the conflict reports from our members here: crossref.org : : conflict
Or you can access your prefixes conflict report in XML by adding the prefix to the below link:
There is also a thorough page in our education documents that also goes through conflicts: https://0-support-crossref-org.pugwash.lib.warwick.ac.uk/hc/en-us/articles/215655183-Resolving-conflicts

Next Steps

All members of Crossref would need to review each conflict that has been stored against their prefix and correct the content to resolve the conflict, create an alias relationship or manually accept the conflict as is.
Crossref cannot resolve the conflicts as we do not know the content itself, or the details around the content. Our members are the experts of their own content, we have just flagged a potential issue based on matching metadata.

Why fixing conflicts is important

We need to maintain just one DOI per work so we can link citations to and from it without the confusion of duplicate DOIs for one record.