Annual Meeting Reports

New Standards in Science Publishing

Several organizations—such as the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), CrossRef, the National Library of Medicine (NLM), and the newly formed Open Researcher and Contributor ID (ORCID)—are putting forth ideas to standardize various aspects of scholarly publishing. This session gave an update on the initiatives.

Jeffrey M Drazen discussed events in the disclosure arena. In 2009, all ICMJE journal editors accepted a common form for their journals; an updated form is now available. The Physicians Payment Sunshine Act, effective this year, is changing things. It aims to ensure that physicians declare everything that they receive from companies. The ideal situation would be to have a central database to perform this adjudication on disparities between how much physicians declare that they have received and how much a company declares, but it does not currently exist.

Laurel Haak discussed how the research community has lacked the ability to link researchers and scholars with their professional activities. Embedding of ORCID identifiers provides a way to link existing researcher identifiers and research works to a persistent ID that can travel with a researcher throughout his or her career. ORCID provides a free registry of unique and persistent identifiers for researchers, more than 130,000 of whom have already registered at Nature will soon be publishing authors’ ORCID IDs with their articles. In addition to the registry, ORCID provides a public and member application programmer interface to support interoperability. For ORCID to succeed, researchers need to register and use their identifiers, and organizations throughout the research community need to embed them into their systems and ensure that they become part of the metadata on articles and other research works.

Bruce Rosenblum summarized new metadata standards for publishers. JATS (Journal Article Tag Suite) is the new moniker for the National Library of Medicine (NLM) document type definition. It is now a National Information Standards Organization (NISO) standard; details can be found at JATS provides support for contributor IDs similar to ORCID and author names in multiple scripts to support name alternatives. JATS is backward compatible with NLM 3.0, but publishers using earlier versions will need to talk to their vendors before migrating.

The Book Interchange Tag Suite (BITS) is a version of JATS that is designed to work with books and is a better structural model for them. It exists as a draft but contains useful information for publishers.

Publishers should also consider MathJax (, a new way to represent mathematics on the Web, and a NISO standard, PIE-J (Presentation & Identification of E-Journals). NISO has a document, Recommended Practices for Online Supplemental Journal Article Materials(, to help journal editors to think about how they want to handle article supplemental materials.

Carol Anne Meyer presented FundRef, which was launched by CrossRef in May 2013. FundRef addresses the concern that funder information is required in journal articles but is difficult to find consistently. Funding agencies are under pressure to be able to accurately report that funder information is included in the articles.

FundRef is a funder–publisher collaboration that will provide a standard way to capture funding data by using a controlled taxonomy and depositing the data with CrossRef in a standard format; there will be no charge to deposit these data. Funding metadata will be freely available through all the methods that CrossRef uses to distribute metadata, and publishers can also display this information through the CrossMark system. Publishers can see the FundRef workflow, sign up for a Webinar, and get more information at