Who should read this?
guide is intended for researchers and eResearch infrastructure support
providers. It explains the Digital Object Identifier system and the
advantages of using a DOI Name to cite and link to research data. This
guide should be read in conjunction with the ANDS Guides on Persistent identifiers and Data citation.
What is the DOI System?
Digital Object Identifier system is used for identifying intellectual
property in the digital environment. It is used principally by
publishers, and is an implementation of the Handle System for persistent
identifiers. The International DOI Federation (IDF) appoints
Registration Agencies who allocate DOI prefixes, register DOI Names, and
provide the necessary infrastructure to allow registrants to declare
and maintain metadata.
citations in scholarly materials (journal articles, books, etc.)
through CrossRef, a consortium of around 3,000 publishers;
data sets, through DataCite, a consortium of leading research
libraries, technical information providers, and scientific data centres;
- European Union official publications, through the EU publications office.
promote the citation and reuse of Australian research data, ANDS
provides a DOI Service for research datasets as a free service to
DOIs (Digital Object Identifiers)
DOI Name (DOI) is a specific type of Handle and can be assigned to any
object that is a form of intellectual property. DOI should be
interpreted as 'digital identifier of an object' rather than 'identifier
of a digital object'.
DOI consists of a unique, case-insensitive, alphanumeric character
sequence that is divided into two parts, a prefix and a suffix,
separated by a forward slash. The prefix is assigned by a DOI
Registration Agency and always starts with '10.' This distinguishes it
as a DOI as opposed to other types of Handle. The suffix is assigned by
the publication agent, the agency supplying the information about the
object, and must be unique within a prefix.
Ivan (2012): Monthly drought data for Australia 1890-2008 using the
Hutchinson Drought Index. The Australian National University Australian
Data Archive. DOI :10.4225/13/50BBFD7E6727A http://dx.doi.org/10.4225/13/50BBFD7E6727A
is a complete DOI Name. The prefix 10.4225 consists of the directory
code '10' (always 10 for a DOI Name) and the registrant's code '4225'
which is allocated by the German National Library of Science and
Technology for scientific datasets in its role as a registration agency.
What is the difference between a DOI and other Persistent Identifiers?
DOI is a Persistent Identifier (PID), but also provides extra benefits.
A DOI can be used to uniquely identify either digital or non-digital
objects, whether or not they have any internet presence.
DOI persistently identifies an object itself through listing it in a
DOI Registry, while a PID persistently identifies only an object's
location. DOIs are supported by the International DOI Federation (IDF)
and Registration Agencies infrastructure, which provides ongoing DOI
services and allows for a high level of confidence in the quality and
accuracy of DOIs.
object may have multiple DOIs and multiple PIDs assigned to it as it
moves through the publishing process. If an object has an internet
location, it will have either a URL or other persistent identifier (such
as Handle, PURL or ARK) in addition to a DOI. Each DOI and PID will
confer a different benefit on the dataset.
What are the advantages of DOIs for datasets?
assignment of DOIs through the international DOI infrastructure has
associated costs. Accordingly, DOIs are unlikely to be issued on an ad
hoc or unmanaged basis, but will be assigned by authorised agencies or
institutions to datasets that are well described and managed archivally
for long-term access.
assignment of a DOI therefore indicates that a dataset will be well
managed and accessible for long-term use. It also brands published data
as a first-class research output in the publishing world, since datasets
will be assigned DOIs regularly as is done for existing scholarly
DOIs in this way will establish easier access to research data on the
Internet, increase the acceptance of research data as legitimately
citable contribution to the scientific record, and support data
archiving that will permit results to be verified and re-purposed for
What is ANDS doing?
is a member of the DataCite consortium, a group of leading research
libraries and technical information providers that aims to make it
easier for research datasets to be handled as independent, citable,
unique scientific objects. ANDS runs a DOI Local Handle Server, minting
and managing DOIs on behalf of DataCite.
has its own DOI prefix and research institutions, consortia and
agencies are able to obtain DOIs for scholarly outputs such as:
- datasets and collections
- associated workflows
- grey literature
ANDS Cite My Data DOI minting service is available as a machine to
machine or manual service. It is free to use for publicly funded
Australian research organisations and government agencies.
is also been working with Thomson Reuters and data providers to track
and record dataset use through DOIs, and making that information
available through the Data Citation Index.
- CrossRef-DOI Registration Agency for scholarly and professional publications
- DataCite - International Initiative to Facilitate Access to Research Data
- DOI Handbook
Digital Object Identifier System and DOI Names (DOIs) Guide - ANDS