Towards a connected and dynamic scholarly record of updates, corrections, and retractions

Our preprint Towards a connected and dynamic scholarly record of updates, corrections, and retractions is now published. We (@mrittman, @rlammey and I) seek both action and advice!

Below is the abstract. Please add your thoughts here on the forum or within the preprint itself using the annotation tool. Thanks.

The scholarly record is evolving. As a community, we are very good at convening and acting on new research objects, especially container outputs—preprints, data, software, and reviews, to name a few. We’re less good at linking those objects together. And we usually focus on the act of citation, with many excellent community-created guides for citing different types of objects. If the objects are now largely very well identifiable and citeable, Crossref, with its members and integrators, now needs to turn our collective attention to building the evidence trail. This is made up of the relationships between objects and the acts that are performed on them over time, which could be by the original creators or those reusing and building on the work in later generations. It’s all about metadata and relationships, and we call it the Research Nexus.

Together with our governing board—comprising members that include publishers, funders, institutions, and tool-makers—we are exploring Crossref’s role in maintaining trust in the scholarly record. With this discussion paper, we seek advice on better managing a particular and critical area of relationship metadata: corrections, retractions, and errata (CRE metadata). Crossmark is a set of relationship metadata and a button on article pages and PDFs that alerts readers to the currency and accuracy of the object they’re looking at. Responding to the recent workshops and initiatives in the community, we discuss possible strategies for the future of Crossmark, present adoption trends and usage data, and set out some ideas and dilemmas for community advice.