Ticket of the month - December 2022 - Updating Similarity Check URLs with a .csv file

Hello all,

Are you a Similarity Check subscriber and need to update your full-text Similarity Check URLs, but aren’t sure how to go about it? Are you interested in subscribing to Similarity Check, but don’t fully understand how that full-text field gets updated? Have you tried to update your Similarity Check URLs, only to receive a confusing error message?

We often receive questions about how to update these full-text Similarity Check URLs, specifically about using our web deposit form’s supplemental metadata upload feature, so I’m going to share a few (hopefully) helpful tips and pointers on how to use this tool.

First, just a couple of things to keep in mind:

  • This process is used to update the URL found in the Similarity Check field of your DOI’s metadata. It is different from your resolution URL and cannot be used to update your resolution URLs. (That is a different process.)
  • This process is to update the Similarity Check URLs of your existing content. Don’t go trying to sneak in any new DOIs – it won’t let you!

Alright, now that we’ve established that, let’s go over a few tips to make this process easy and smooth.

It’s all in the template

The number one error that comes back after attempting to upload a .csv file through the supplemental metadata upload tool is a formatting error.

To avoid this, I would highly recommend using a spreadsheet to compile all your information, make all the changes and edits and additions you need, then take that information and copy and paste it directly into the template we provide.

The reason I recommend this is, because if you’re working in Microsoft Excel, sometimes it will add hidden formatting, which you won’t see, but will cause your file to fail. Making all your edits and then pasting directly into our template is the easiest way to avoid this error.

Registered content only, please!

The second most common problem that causes an upload to fail is including a DOI that hasn’t been registered with Crossref yet.

This process is used to update the Similarity Check field in the metadata of already-registered DOIs. If you try to sneak in a DOI that you haven’t registered with us yet, the whole file will get confused and fail, updating nothing!

So, please, take a good look at your list of DOIs before uploading and make sure that they are already registered.

All or nothing

And speaking of the whole thing failing, it is important to note that if you receive an error message after attempting to upload your .csv file, it means that nothing has been updated.

Unlike other errors you may receive when registering content, when attempting a supplemental metadata upload, if you have one error in your file, it will cause the entire upload to fail, and nothing will get updated.

A success or not a success?

Directly after uploading your .csv file, you will (in most cases) be presented with a screen that looks like this:

It will say SUCCESS Your batch submission was successfully received. What this means is that your .csv file has been successfully received into our queue. This does not mean that your DOIs have been successfully updated.

You will be alerted to the success or failure of your submission through an email. The email address you enter in the form will receive two emails. One will be a copy of the submitted XML, which you will receive almost instantly. The second will be your submission log, letting you know if your file was successfully uploaded and your content successfully updated.

Below is an example of what these two emails will look like in your inbox. You’ll notice the time difference between the two. My upload took about 15 minutes to process, so, depending on the size of your file and the busy-ness of the queue, you may need to be a bit patient.

Some additional tips and tricks

  • Double-check your content before copying it into the template. You’ll want it to be as clean as possible: no extra formatting, spaces, tabs, etc.
  • .csv files may be up to 45 MB in size. The system will automatically split the file into batches of 4,000 DOIs. If you have a particularly high volume of DOIs to update, I’d recommend splitting it up into groups of 4,000 yourself so you can match files to error or success messages. This can be helpful in case there is an error so you can more easily find which file contained the error.
  • If you decide not to split up a large file, you will receive two emails for each batch, so if you allow the system to split it for you, you may receive several emails.
  • There will be a bit of a delay while everything updates, so even if you’ve received a successful result from your upload, you may not see it instantly reflected on our Similarity Check eligibility website widget or in your Participation Report. If you’ve received the submission log with a success result, rest assured that they have been updated!

I hope this post helps clear up some of the confusion surrounding the supplemental metadata upload form and answers some of your questions about how to update Similarity Check URLs for your existing content. For complete documentation on this process, you can visit us here. And if you have any questions, please do add them below!