License URIs: Technical Details

Providing Licensing Information to text and data mining tools

Providing the researcher with a link to full text of scholarly content is of limited value if the researcher has no means of automatically determining what they are permitted to do with the full text. The CrossRef Metadata API will also allow publishers to register URIs pointing to licensing information in their CrossRef DOI metadata using a new <license_ref> element. This URI can, in turn, be used by researchers to learn the conditions under which they are allowed to perform text and data mining on the content they retrieve. Open access publishers will be able to use this element to record the URIs of well-known open licenses like those of the Creative Commons.

<program name="AccessIndicators">
     <license_ref>
          http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/deed.en_US
     </license_ref>
</program>

Publishers who have proprietary licenses can use the URI to direct users to the click-through service where researchers can review and accept/reject the license using the mechanism described in the next section. The <license_ref> element also includes the ability to record simple embargo information through the mechanism of recording different licenses with different activation start dates. So, for instance, Annals of Psychoceramics B could indicate that an article was embargoed for a year by listing a proprietary license with a start date of the publication date and a Creative Commons license with a start date at the end of the embargo:

<program name="AccessIndicators">
   <license_ref start_date="2013-02-03">http://annalsofpsychoceramics.org/proprietary_license.html</license_ref>
   <license_ref start_date="2014-02-03">
      http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/deed.en_US
   </license_ref>
</program>

This metadata extension will provide text and data mining users with a clear way of determining what they are permitted to do with content identified by a CrossRef DOI.