25 March 2010

Publishers and citation managers

I use a citation manager. Currently, it’s EndNote X3. I ♥ EndNote, and have told more than one person it was one of the best purchases I’ve ever made as a career scientist. And nobody paid me to say that, incidentally. (Other reference managers are available. Please sing their praises, but don’t be disappointed if I don’t convert.)

But I’ve noticed something weird. Most journals have a “download to citation manager” or “export citation” option for their articles, and most will specifically give you the option of downloading to EndNote.

Almost none of them gets the friggin’ digital object identifier (DOI) right.

I love DOIs. I love the idea of each scientific article having a uniform and permanent ID number, so that I don't have to constantly update my links or go trolling through Google Scholar when publishers rearrange their websites.

ScienceDirect journals put the doi in the “Type of article” field instead of EndNote’s “DOI” field. And they put, “doi: DOI:” before the actual DOI number.

Nature Publishing Group journals put the DOI under "Type of article", and put the link to supplemental information in EndNote’s DOI field .

Wiley Interscience journals stick the DOI under the “legal note” field.

What about that bastion of new ways of publishing and article level metrics including citation downloads, the Public Library of Science? PLoS journals don’t export a DOI into any field in EndNote, making me have to go cut and paste from the webpage.

Highwire Press seems to be the only one who gets it right. So there – it is possible!

Next time: And what about those keywords...?

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