CrossRef has announced a new initiative that is intended to enable users to search the full text of peer-reviewed journal articles, conference proceedings, and other resources covering scholarly research from nine publishers. Called CrossRef Search, this new pilot program uses the collaborative environment of CrossRef, the reference-linking service for scholarly publishing, and Google search technologies. CrossRef Search is available for free to users on the Web sites of participating publishers, and encompasses current journal issues as well as back files. The results are delivered from the regular Google index but filter out everything except the participating publishers' content, and will link to the content on publishers' Web sites via DOIs (Digital Object Identifiers) or regular URLs. CrossRef itself does not host any content or perform searches.
CrossRef works behind the scenes with Google to facilitate the crawling of content on publishers' sites and sets the policies and guidelines governing publisher participation in the initiative. As well as enabling CrossRef Search, the partnership with Google also means that full-text content from the publishers is also referenced by the main Google.com index in its more general searches. Participating publishers are: American Physical Society; Annual Reviews; Association for Computing Machinery; Blackwell Publishing; Institute of Physics Publishing; International Union of Crystallography; Nature Publishing Group; Oxford University Press; and John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
The CrossRef Search pilot will run through 2004 to evaluate functionality and to gather feedback from scientists, scholars, and librarians for the purpose of fine-tuning the program. Participating publishers are also investigating how DOIs can be used to improve indexing of content and enable persistent links from search results to the full text of content at publishers' sites. CrossRef is also in discussion with other search engines.