All titles deposited with Crossref are "locked" to a specific owner prefix. When content moves to a new publisher the metadata records associated with the title may also be moved to the new publisher. Once a DOI is assigned to an item the DOI should remain unchanged - please do not create new DOIs for acquired content that already has DOIs assigned!
See Title and DOI name ownership/control policies and transfer procedures for more details.
Steps for transferring a title
Here are the basic steps involved in transferring ownership:
- The acquiring publisher contacts Crossref to initiate an ownership transfer.
When requesting a DOI ownership transfer, the acquiring publisher must send us confirmation that the disposing publisher is aware of and agrees with the ownership transfer. Title transfers that have been posted to the Transfer notification list or the ISSN portal will be accepted. Otherwise, the confirmation may be an email from the disposing publisher to the acquiring publisher that is forwarded to email@example.com.
- Crossref updates the title and DOI ownership in the system.
At this point, the acquiring publisher is able to update any existing metadata records and create register new records.
- The acquiring publisher updates existing metadata records and / or redirects the DOIs to their content.
The acquiring publisher can redirect the existing DOIs by providing a URL update file or by redepositing your metadata records with the new URLs included. If needed, we can supply a list of all the DOIs associated with the publication, but we prefer that the acquiring publisher also obtains a list of DOI names from the disposing publisher. This helps identify discrepancies between deposited and published DOIs.
Once the DOIs have been transferred to you, the existing metadata may be updated and appended as needed. Be sure to review the full metadata records provided by the previous content owner, and remove or update any publisher-specific pieces of metadata such as text and data mining license and full text URLs, Similarity Check as-crawled URLs, or Crossmark data. If the metadata supplied by the previous publisher is acceptable you only need to update URLs to direct DOIs to your content.
Note: It’s also important to remember that we bill for deposits quarterly, so any DOIs that were registered in the previous quarter will be billed to the owner of those DOIs at the quarter’s end. Thus, acquiring publishers may be financially responsible for DOIs recently registered by the disposing publisher. If you have questions about this policy, please let us know before the title transfer.