Crossref updates DOI display guidelines

In late September, Crossref announced an upcoming change to their DOI display guidelines. In short, the recommended format for displaying DOIs will be as follows:

  • Display the full URL
    Why? Because a URL can be easily shared with colleagues who just want to access the content
  • Format the URL as a clickable link
    Why? So that readers can simply click the hyperlink to access the content
  • Use HTTPS instead of HTTP
    Why? HTTPS enables a more secure web browsing experience
  • Drop “dx”
    Why? As Crossref explains, “Originally the “dx” separated the DOI resolver from the International DOI Foundation (IDF) website but this has changed and the IDF has already updated its recommendations so we are bringing ours in line with theirs.”

Putting these changes together, a DOI displayed according to the above guidelines will look like this:

As Crossref summarizes:

So–it’s simple–always make the DOI a full link – – even when it’s on the abstract or full text page of the content that the DOI identifies – and use “”.

What does this mean for eXtyles?

eXtyles Crossref Reference Checking inserts a DOI link in references that eXtyles locates in Crossref. Currently, eXtyles inserts DOI links whose underlying URLs (or displayed URLs, depending on your configuration) that do not meet Crossref’s new guidelines. For example, most eXtyles configurations use the previous recommendation, These URLs will continue to be valid after Crossref officially switches to the new URL format. As Crossref explains,

An important point about backwards compatibility is that “” and “” are valid and will continue to work forever–or as long as Crossref DOIs continue to work–and we plan to be around a long time.

Update: As of January 20, 2017, the underlying URL in DOIs inserted by eXtyles Crossref Reference Checking will use the format. This update will be automatically included in your next full eXtyles update. Please note this update only affects the underlying URL of the DOI and not how the DOI looks in your Word document. The visual format of the DOI can be changed to meet new best practices on request, but whether this change is required depends on your workflow. (updated January 20, 2017)

Do I need to update my custom eXtyles configuration?

Whether this change directly impacts your eXtyles configuration depends on your workflow.

If you create PDF files from the eXtyled Word file, then our configuration team will need to make some updates to your eXtyles setup to align the inserted DOI format with the new guidelines.

If, on the other hand, you export well-formed XML from eXtyles and then use that XML to drive your subsequent production operations (PDF, HTML), it may be possible to make the necessary changes in an XSLT transform after the eXtyles export. You may also choose to have the configuration team make adjustments to the DOI format in your eXtyles configuration, but it may not be required.

If you export NLM, JATS, or BITS DTD XML from eXtyles and then use that to drive down-stream production processes, you have little to worry about. In these formats, DOIs are exported as <pub-id> elements that only contain the DOI itself, not the full URL; for example:

  • <pub-id pub-id-type=”doi”>10.1016/j.ridd.2011.03.014</pub-id>

You may have to adjust the processes that transform XML into the final product, but little to no change to your eXtyles configuration is required.

If you would like to discuss how the new Crossref DOI display guidelines may affect your eXtyles configuration and workflow, please contact [email protected]. We will be happy to advise on how to implement the updated Crossref presentation guidelines.