Distributed Usage Logging (DUL) public-key registry

The Distributed Usage Logging (DUL) framework offers a standardized way for content hosting platforms that surface peer-reviewed research articles to report the usage of such content to the associated publisher in a COUNTER-compliant way. This makes it possible for researchers, publishers, librarians and funders to get a much more accurate and comprehensive picture of the impact and value of their publications across the scholarly ecosystem. DUL is an initiative between COUNTER, Crossref members, and scholarly technology & service providers.

At its core, DUL is a standard that is utilised to encode and exchange usage data underpinned by central infrastructure components to guarantee security and integrity. In combination, this enables secure, peer-to-peer exchange and processing of COUNTER-compliant private usage records from hosting platforms to publishers. All data provided back to the original publisher is anonymized, preserving individual user privacy. For more information about the DUL initiative and its participants, please visit https://www.crossref.org/community/project-dul/ 

What is the DUL public-key registry?

One of the central pieces of infrastructure required for the DUL system is a trusted, authoritative registry of public keys which a publisher can query to validate the authenticity of DUL messages containing usage information. This provides some of the central underpinning needed to ensure quality and integrity within the DUL system. 

Since the end of 2021, the DUL public-key registry has been hosted and maintained by STM Solutions, on behalf of the STM publishing industry.

How to get involved?

If you’re interested in joining the DUL initiative, please contact Martyn Rittman at Crossref: dul@crossref.org