The problem

Figures show that over recent years the number of academic papers being retracted due to fraud or suspected fraud is rising rapidly. We blogged last year about the effect this is having on the academic community; whether some authors were being painted (rightly or wrongly) as dishonest or unprincipled, vying to publish whatever the ethical cost; whether researchers were being misguided or misinformed when trying to access legitimate research.

So here’s the issue: with more and more research made available online, and retraction rates on the up, how can an academic be sure that the content they are reading is up-to-date, reliable and established?

The solution

Developed by CrossRef as an answer to this problem, CrossMark is designed to “[help] researchers decide what scholarly content to trust”*. CrossMark works by validating academic content with a unique stamp of approval – the CrossMark ribbon. Their ribbon logo operates as a live record of that article’s validity, displaying up-to-date publication information when clicked, including all publication history, the location of supplementary data and peer review processes.

This instantly notifies readers to the authenticity of an article by displaying a window showing whether the document is ‘current’, or whether ‘updates are available’:

Screen Shot 2014-01-27 at 10.22.23 Screen Shot 2014-01-27 at 10.22.32

CrossMark on CJO

We’re proud to introduce CrossMark across the majority of our journals on Cambridge Journals Online (CJO). Readers can benefit from this innovative feature simply by clicking on the CrossMark logo which will feature in the top corner of newly published articles on CJO.

CrossMark even extends across PDFs, meaning that documents saved on your desktop still include reliable verification. As long as you are connected to the internet, clicking the ribbon on your PDF will direct you to the up-to-date CrossMark summary page.

We encourage readers to make a habit of checking the CrossMark information where possible in order to save making unnecessary errors when researching or referencing. We hope this new feature will be beneficial for our many readers. For more information about CrossMark, please visit their website.

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* – http://www.crossref.org/crossmark/index.html

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