Understanding our billing

As a not-for-profit membership organization we have a duty to remain sustainable and manage our finances in a responsible way. Financial sustainability means we can keep the organization afloat and keep our dedicated service to scholarly communications running.

This billing page should answer any questions you might have about our billing processes and the invoices you receive.

How the invoice schedule works

Our annual membership invoices are sent out each January, and our Content Registration invoices are generated four times a year, one per quarter. All invoices are emailed to the billing contact for your organization (so, please be sure to update us with any contact changes) and have a due date of net 45 days.

When you receive invoices from us you will see a “pay now” link in the body of the email. This link takes you to our payment portal where you can pay in a fast and convenient way, and it also allows you to view all your invoices as PDFs.

An important part of our accounting process is the automated invoice reminder schedule. There are three billing reminders we send by email:

  1. The day immediately after the invoice due date;
  2. 21 days past the invoice due date; and
  3. 45 days past the invoice due date.

We don’t want to see you go!

We understand there are many factors that can make prompt payment a challenge for some people: international transfer delays or fees; funding for your publishing operations may end; change of contacts; problems receiving our emails, etc.

When an account is 90 days past due, a further email will be sent to all the contacts we hold on your account (Billing Business, Voting, Technical and Metadata Quality) to notify you that your service is at risk of suspension. If an account becomes suspended for non-payment it then becomes at risk of being ‘terminated’. Once an account has been terminated, you will need to contact our membership team to rejoin Crossref. Please note that we send numerous notifications/reminders before suspension or termination takes place (we don’t want to see you go!). We can always be reached at billing@crossref.org for any invoice inquiries you may have.

Tips that work for other members and users

Here are some things you can do to help speed up, or simplify payments:

  • Pay with a credit card, using our online payment portal. This is fast, convenient, and lower in fees.
  • Always reference an invoice number on the payment to ensure that it’s applied to your account efficiently.
  • Be sure to make billing@crossref.org a ‘safe’ email address, so that you receive our invoices and reminders.
  • Always keep us up-to-date with any contact changes at your organization, to ensure that we have accurate information for invoicing and other communication.
  • We recommend giving us a generic email address for your accounts payable team, such as accounts@publisher.com so that if somebody leaves that job, invoices can still get through.

Frequently asked questions

+- I’ve just received the membership order for my first year of membership. It’s less than the amount I expected - is this a mistake?

Don’t worry, this isn’t a mistake.

When you first apply to join Crossref, you’ll receive a pro-rated Membership Order for the remainder of that calendar year. So—depending on when you join—you’ll only pay for the remaining months of that year.

The calculation will also reflect whether you apply in the first or second half of the month. For example, if you join before the middle of July (the 15th), your membership order will be for six months. If you join after the middle of July, your membership order will be for five months.

Then, in the following January, you’ll receive an invoice for the whole of that calendar year, and will continue to receive invoices every subsequent January.

+- I’ve just received the invoice for my first year of membership. It’s titled “membership order” rather than “invoice”. Can you change it so it’s called an invoice?

Unfortunately, no, we cannot change the document type. We have hundreds of organizations that apply for membership with good intentions, but then decide that timing, or other factors, delay them from completing the joining process. For this reason we issue a Membership Order vs a Membership Invoice—as an order more accurately reflects the status of the joining process in our accounting system.

+- When will I be billed?

There are two different types of invoice that you’ll receive from us:

Your annual membership fee invoice

This allows you to remain a member of our organization, and you’ll receive this invoice in January each year. If you participate in Similarity Check, your annual fee for Similarity Check will also be included in this invoice.

Deposit invoices

These are generated quarterly and cover the deposit fees for the content you register with us during that quarter, plus any extra charges for Crossmark:

  • Each April, you’ll receive an invoice for the content you registered in the first quarter of the year (January - March)
  • Each July, you’ll receive an invoice for the content you registered in the second quarter of the year (April - June)
  • Each October, you’ll receive an invoice for the content you registered in the third quarter of the year (July - September)
  • Each January you’ll receive an invoice for the content you registered in the fourth quarter of the previous year (October - December)

Please note: If your content registration charges are below USD $100 for a quarter, those charges will roll forward to the next quarter. You’ll be invoiced when your total charges exceed USD $100, or in the last quarter of the year, whichever occurs first.

+- What are your current fees?

Our current fees are always available on our fees page.

+- Can you make a change to my invoice after I’ve received it?

What we can change

If the invoice hasn’t yet been paid, we can make the following changes:

  • We can update your organization name or address if this has changed.
  • We can update the detail if there’s an error on the invoice. For example, if you’ve been charged for current content when you should have been charged for backfile content (due to an error in registering the publication date), we can amend the invoice once you’ve updated your metadata.

What we can’t change

  • We can’t change dates and due dates, so it’s important to pay the invoices as soon as you receive them.
  • We can’t add wire fees into the invoice. Wire fees are $35, so you’ll need to add this to your total if you’re paying by wire transfer.
+- I’ve received an email saying my service has been suspended due to unpaid invoices. Can you extend the payment deadline?

Unfortunately not. A suspension is not a termination of your membership, it just temporarily suspends your ability to register content with us. As soon as payment for past due balances is received, your service will be restored and you will be able to register content again.

+- I’ve deposited/registered content with you in the last quarter, but I haven’t received my latest quarterly deposit invoice.

We send invoices for the metadata you register with us on a quarterly basis. However, if the amount comes to less than USD $100, we’ll roll it on to the next quarter. If you haven’t reached USD $100 in fees by the last quarter of the year, we’ll send out an invoice anyway.

This is to avoid members having to pay lots of ‘small’ invoices. This is particularly important for members outside the US, who may incur international charges on each invoice.

+- What do CY and BY stand for on my invoice?

CY stands for current content (Current Year), and BY stands for backfile content (Back Year). You’re charged a different amount depending on the content type you’re registering, and also whether the content is current (CY) or backfile (BY).

Current content is anything registered with us with a publication date in the current year, or up to two years previously. For example, in 2019, current content is anything with a publication date in 2019, 2018 or 2017. In 2020, this will change to anything with a publication date in 2020, 2019 or 2019.

Backfile content is anything registered with us with a publication date older than this. So in 2018 backfile content is anything published in 2015 or earlier. In 2019 this will become anything published in 2016 or earlier.

+- Why was I charged the CY fee for BY articles?

Content Registration fees differ according to whether the content you register is current (this year and the previous two years) or backfile (older than that).

A record is determined to be either back year or current year based on the publication date in your metadata. If you use our web deposit form, the system looks at the information you’ve entered into the “publication date” field. If you deposit XML directly with us, the system looks at the date in the <publication_date> element. And we look at each individual item separately—so even if you’ve put a publication date at the journal level, you still need to put it at the journal article level too.

If you’ve been charged ‘current’ fees for content that is actually backfile, it’s probably because the wrong date was put in the publication date field. We have had instances where members have accidentally put the date they registered the content into that field, rather than the date of publication.

You can fix this by re-depositing your content with the correct publication dates. Let our support team know as soon as you’ve done this so we can provide you with an amended invoice.

+- I have more charges for Crossmark than I have for journal articles - how is this possible?

For ‘standard’ content registration, you’re only charged when you first register a DOI, and any subsequent updates are free. However, there’s an extra charge for adding Crossmark metadata into a record—even if you’re adding it as a later update to an existing DOI.

Because of this, you may see more charges for Crossmark than you do for journal articles. For example, if you registered 200 journal articles in the last quarter and added Crossmark into those 200 articles, plus you added another 50 Crossmark data to existing DOIs, you’ll see a journal article charges for 200 items and a Crossmark charge for 250 items.


If you still have a question about your invoices, we’d be happy to help.

Last Updated: 2018 December 12 by Amanda Bartell