Edifix uses the JATS specific-use attribute in four different contexts: mixed-citationpub-id@pub-id-type=“doi”annotation/p@content-type=“warning”, and source. This FAQ describes how Edifix uses specific-use in all four contexts.


The specific-use attribute in mixed-citation is used to indicate 

  1. reference status (used in determining which references are billable)
  2. the status of a reference (to an end processor of the JATS XML exported by Edifix)

mixed-citation specific-use attribute values

When used within mixed-citation, specific-use will have one of the following values:

  • restruct: the reference has been fully parsed (i.e., semantically meaningful tags have been applied to all significant text in the reference) and has been restructured with a reference template. This value will only appear in journal, book, and book chapter references, since those are the only reference types that Edifix can restructure according to a reference template.
  • parsed: the reference has been fully parsed but has not been restructured. This value will typically appear in references to preprints and data sets. It will also appear in references to conference proceedings, but only when they are fully parsed by Edifix. It may also appear in references to online sources if the content is fairly simple (e.g., author, title, URL, and access date) and has been fully parsed.
  • unparsed: the reference has been partially parsed (e.g., authors and year only) or not parsed at all. This value will typically appear in references to dissertations and legal documents, as well as in complex references to books or conference proceedings that include elements not expected or recognized by Edifix.
  • linked: the reference may be either parsed or unparsed, has not been restructured, and has been successfully linked to Crossref.

→ In many cases, Edifix cannot fully parse a reference but is able to tag the author(s), title, and year, and may be able to link the reference to Crossref using these 3 elements. When this happens, specific-use will have the “linked” value rather than the “unparsed” value.

mixed-citation specific-use values for billing

When counting billable references, Edifix uses these rules:

  • All templates except “No Format”: Edifix bills all references that are restructured or linked.
  • “No Format” template: Edifix bills all references that are parsed or linked. When using this template, references are never restructured, and so all references that are fully parsed have equal value.

→ Any reference with a DOI is considered “linked” because Edifix has either (a) retrieved the DOI from Crossref or (b) verified a DOI provided by the author, even if the DOI is registered with a service other than Crossref.

mixed-citation specific-use values for processing

These attribute values can be used to control the display or subsequent processing of references. For example, in the Edifix user interface, references that are “restruct” are displayed in black type and all other references in gray (except when the “No Format” template is used). This formatting indicates to the user that references displayed in gray may need additional copyediting. 

When the “No Format” template is used, any reference that is “parsed” is displayed in black, and all other references appear in gray, indicating that they may need additional tagging.


When a reference submitted to Edifix contains a DOI, the pub-id element applied to the DOI will have the additional attribute specific-use=“author” to identify it as an author-provided DOI. 

Originally, Edifix did not validate author-provided DOIs unless they could be successfully looked up on Crossref using reference metadata.

Starting in June 2020, Edifix now validates all author-provided DOIs, whether registered with Crossref or any other registration agency. All DOIs now fall into one of the following categories:

  • Verified as a Crossref DOI: no comment added 
  • Verified as registered with a registration agency other than Crossref: a comment is added identifying the registration agency (e.g., DataCite) 
  • Unverifiable with any registration agency: a comment is added indicating the DOI is invalid

→ If the original reference has no DOI, and a DOI is added to the reference via Crossref lookup, no specific-use attribute is added to the pub-id element.

annotation / p@content-type="warning"

Starting in June 2021, when Edifix adds a comment to a reference, the p element (@content-type=“warning”) containing the comment also has a specific-use attribute with a numeric code to indicate the specific comment that has been added. These numeric codes map one-to-one onto comments found in the Edifix configuration files.

By interpreting this number, a processor of Edifix XML can further post-process the comments (e.g., by dropping comments that may not be of concern to a specific audience, or by replacing the text of comments with text that may be more appropriate to a specific audience).

For a list of these comments and the associated numbers that Edifix may insert into the resulting JATS XML, please contact Inera.


Starting in May 2021, when a reference is flagged for having a journal title that appears in the Cabells Predatory Reports database, the source element will have the hash ID for the specific Cabells record in the specific-use attribute.

→ The initial implementation of Cabells reference processing in Edifix is available to all Edifix customers. Starting in late 2021, a Cabells account will be required to obtain detailed information about references that appear in the Cabells Predatory Reports database. At that time, the Cabells hash ID will only be available in the specific-use attribute if the Edifix account is associated with a valid Cabells account.

→ Occasionally, Edifix will match a journal name to more than one Cabells record. In these cases, 2 or more hash IDs will appear in the specific-use attribute, delimited with a “|”.