1.2.1 • Public • Published


A client for the CrossRef API, for Node and browsers.

The CrossRef API is relatively simple, but rolling access by hand is never fun; and it has its little inconsistencies that can bite you. This thin module wraps it so that you don't have to worry about that too much. (I say “too much” because it does not remove inconsistency down to the object level, e.g. things sometimes being uri and sometimes URL.)


The usual:

npm install --save crossref


Details for the API and the objects can be obtained from the official CrossRef documentation. It isn't very thorough (to say the least) but accessing various endpoints with ?sample=10 tacked onto the URL should give you a decent idea of what the objects look like. (If you want to know which fields are optional and which are guaranteed to occur you're out of luck, though, there is no documentation whatsoever — and I know no better).

You can load the CrossRef object like this:

import CrossRef from 'crossref';

If you're somehow reading this before 2015, you can also do:

var CrossRef = require('crossref')

In the browser you load crossref.min.js, then access the global CrossRef object.

This module exposes two types of methods: item methods, that only ever return one object, and list methods that return a list of objects followed by several bits of information that can be used to work with the list, notably with pagination. They differ in their callbacks:

  • The item method callbacks receive (err, obj) where err is an Error (if there was one), and obj will be a simple JSON data structure.
  • The list method callbacks receive (err, objects, nextOptions, isDone, message). That may seem like a mouthful, but you rarely need them all. As usual err is an Error if there was one, and objects is a list of simple JSON data structures. When you are paginating through the results (which is not uncommon since CrossRef is a relatively large database) you will want to use nextOptions and isDone. The former is an options object that captures the same search options you passed to the method, but with the offset adjusted such that it will get the next page. Basically, if you call the same method again with nextOptions you will get the next page of the same query. And the latter is a boolean that is true if you have reached the last page. Finally, message is just the list wrapper without its objects; it is only really useful if you need some obscure metadata, for instance if you are doing a facet query (if you don't know what that is you probably don't need it).

Root Listing Methods

These query the root endpoints from the CrossRef API and return a list. They all take an optional options object. If it is empty you just list everything, if it is defined it will translate to the API's parameters. Only minimal process is done to map your JS object to the query string:

  • If you have a query, it is properly escaped.
  • You can specify filter as an object, and the correct string is built for you. If you want to specify a given filter key multiple times to OR it, just put all the values in an array.
  • If you set facet to any truthy value it will come out as facet=t.

Other options are just past through as key-value pairs. The options object can always be omitted. You might want to be cautious with options on the types() method: the API tends to behave differently for that endpoint, and while we try to make it more consistent we probably haven't caught everything yet.

The methods are documented in the API:

  •[options], listCB)
  • CrossRef.funders([options], listCB)
  • CrossRef.members([options], listCB)
  • CrossRef.types([options], listCB)
  • CrossRef.licenses([options], listCB)
  • CrossRef.journals([options], listCB)

Item Methods

These methods retrieve a single item for a given key (or return an Error if not found). They are documented in the API

  •, itemCB)
  • CrossRef.funder(funderID, itemCB)
  • CrossRef.prefix(doiPrefix, itemCB)
  • CrossRef.member(memberID, itemCB)
  • CrossRef.type(typeID, itemCB)
  • CrossRef.journal(issn, itemCB)

Works Listing Methods

These methods are listing methods, but they list the works that correspond to a given item (e.g. the works funded by a given funder). They all take a key like the item methods and optional options. They are documented in the API.

  • CrossRef.funderWorks(funderID, [options], listCB)
  • CrossRef.prefixWorks(doiPrefix, [options], listCB)
  • CrossRef.memberWorks(memberID, [options], listCB)
  • CrossRef.journalWorks(issn, [options], listCB)



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