JATS 1.2 & CRediT markup explained

If you’ve been following the news on JATS development, you know that JATS 1.2d2 is out in the world, which means that JATS 1.2 is coming!

There’s a lot to be excited about in JATS 1.2d2, but we’ve also heard some questions from eXtyles users:

  • Will the CRediT markup we’re currently using translate to JATS 1.2?
  • Do we need to wait for JATS 1.2 in order to start tagging CRediT information in our JATS XML?
  • Can we use earlier versions (JATS 1.0, 1.1, or even NLM 3.0) for CRediT?

If any of these questions apply to you, read on! We’ll also explain how eXtyles can help you maintain or implement CRediT tagging in your XML.

What is CRediT?

To answer this question, here’s CASRAI (Consortium Advancing Standards in Research Administration Information):

The Contributor Roles Taxonomy project (Project CRediT) emerged to address recognition that the concept of “authorship” in producing scientific scholarly output is outdated and no longer fit for purpose. Project CrediT aims to provide transparency to the contributions of researchers to scholarly published work, to enable discoverability and to improve attribution, credit, and accountability. (Fact Sheet: CASRAI CRediT Standard)

But does CRediT really matter?

We think so, but you don’t have to take our word for it! An article published in PNAS in March 2018 by Marcia K. McNutt et al., “Transparency in Authors’ Contributions and Responsibilities to Promote Integrity in Scientific Publication,” makes a strong case for why journals should use CRediT (and ORCID!).

Tagging CRediT information in JATS 1.0 and 1.1

CRediT information is tagged using the <role> element in JATS, which was available even before JATS 1.0. Within the <role> element, though, there’s been some variation in which attributes are used to indicate that the content of the element comes from the CRediT taxonomy.

Below are two recommended practices for tagging CRediT information in JATS 1.1 and earlier, either of which is acceptable for JATS XML markup up to and including JATS 1.1.

One method was recommended by Evan Owens of Cenveo on the JATS listserv (July 23, 2015):

    <role content-type="CRediT Taxonomy">Data Curation</role>


The second method was recommended by Helen Atkins of PLoS on the CASRAI listserv (July 12, 2016):

  <contrib contrib-type="author">
    <role content-type="http://credit.casrai.org/">Conceptualization</role>
    <role content-type="http://credit.casrai.org/">Methodology</role>


Both methods encode the CRediT information in the <role> element; the difference between them is the value of the @content-type attribute. We consider either method acceptable, since both make it clear what’s intended.

→ Are you currently tagging CRediT information? Would you like to be? Contact us to let us know what markup method you’re using (or plan to use) so that we can discuss adjusting your eXtyles installation accordingly.

What’s new in JATS 1.2d2

What’s new in JATS 1.2d2 is a richer set of attributes for the <role> element that can better identify the CRediT taxonomy, and individual terms within it, for machine processing:

  • @vocab: vocabulary name (taxonomy, ontology, database)
  • @vocab-identifier: pointer to vocabulary (URI or DOI)
  • @vocab-term: canonical form of freeform prose content
  • @vocab-term-identifier: pointer to canonical term (likely URI directly to term in the vocabulary)
  • @degree-contribution: degree of contribution (lead, supporting, equal)

These five new attributes came out of a series of new requirements identified by the JATS and STS working groups, and they can also be applied in other contexts such as subject-matter and keyword taxonomies.

With these attributes, the markup proposed for JATS 1.2 is:

    <role vocab="CRediT"
      degree-contribution="lead">study designer</role>
    <role vocab="CRediT"


So what does this mean for you, and how can eXtyles help?

You’ve read this far, you’ve considered the arguments advanced by McNutt et al. in PNAS, and you’re ready to move forward with implementing CRediT and/or ORCID. Now what?

Inera is ready to help you get started!

If you’re using JATS, you can get rolling with CRediT in JATS 1.1 or earlier right now! Whenever you want to move to a newer version of JATS, simply update your use of the attributes for XML delivery to your online host(s) or any other partners who use your XML.

You may already be familiar with our eXtyles ORCID Integration Suite, which integrates with submission systems to collect authenticated ORCID iDs and pass them through to the article XML.

But did you know that in the past year, we’ve extended the eXtyles ORCID Integration Suite to handle both CRediT and author-specific funding information? This additional metadata can now be collected with ORCID iDs and passed through into the XML output.

As part of our ongoing commitment to helping content publishers meet the needs of authors and readers and comply with new internal and external directives, Inera keeps a close eye on new metadata requirements and will continue to expand our support for seamless metadata collection. Contact us to find out how we can help you meet your metadata collection requirements!