Thinklab Meta [meta]

Citation metadata refreshing

How frequently do citations update their metadata in the Thinklab database?

I occasionally run into the problem where a DOI reference isn't in CrossRef, primarily because the article was just published. Therefore when I add the citation to a discussion, the citations displays as "Citation not found" (example). Eventually, the metadata is populated in CrossRef, but Thinklab does not update.

For cases where "citation not found", frequent automatic updates should be occurring in the background. A manual refresh button on a paper's page would be one approach. However, I think automatically updating metadata for all papers on a schedule is a good idea.

I experienced this issue again when adding my recently publication [1]. Interestingly, the record was returned by the online crossref search prior to me adding the DOI citation in Thinklab. However, the citation still failed. Is crossref's API database that Thinklab uses different than the crossref online search database?

I have a ticket open with Crossref regarding this exact issue. Will post here when it's resolved.

While not found citations have appeared to update in the Thinklab database, they still render as not found on proposal and discussion pages. I am not sure whether this only applies to references entered before the metadata resolved. The next paragraph will diagnose.

See these two studies with the issue: [1, 2]

Outdated citation metadata persists

It appears that when a citation's metadata is not found, the process is repeated in the future until the metadata resolves. However, there is still an issue with citations that originally contained metadata but are now outdated.

For example, the citation to my project [1] is very outdated. While the metadata for most DOIs, especially for traditional journal articles, will be more stable than evolving Thinklab projects, there will still be this problem.

I think it makes sense to:

  • periodically refresh citations with existing metadata
  • add a control on each citation page, to allow a logged-in user to request a metadata refresh.

One or both of these solutions would help address the problem.

All Thinklab DOIs will no longer need metadata refreshes from Crossref. We are the source of this metadata so we don't need to query Crossref for it. You can see the metadata for your project is now correct above.

Non-Thinklab DOIs can now have their metadata updated by clicking the More > Update Metadata from the publication's Thinklab page.

For now we haven't added the periodic metadata refresh, but this could be considered later.

For now we haven't added the periodic metadata refresh, but this could be considered later.

With the manual refresh, this probably isn't super necessary. In fact you could imagine some instances where metadata was originally correct, but it somehow gets corrupted or deleted from crossref. In these cases, auto-refresh would be undesirable.

Status: Completed
  Technical Issue
Cite this as
Daniel Himmelstein, Jesse Spaulding (2015) Citation metadata refreshing. Thinklab. doi:10.15363/thinklab.d86

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