What are DOIs and ORCIDs? These unique identifiers support data citation, metrics for data and related research objects, disambiguation of people, accurate attribution and impact metrics. The FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable) data management principles highlight the necessity of rich metadata (see Thing 10), high quality open file formats, and use of persistent identifiers such as DOIs and ORCID. Having these elements in place allows for both sharing and long term preservation.
Why does the identifier need to be persistent?
When you publish online, other researchers will access it through a link. If the link doesn't work, they won't be able to do this. And normally—especially if what you're publishing is your research—you don't want the link to work just for a few months: people will be citing your research for years, and you expect people to get to your output in five years time the same way they will in five days time. This means it needs to be managed for long term access.
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Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) are unique identifiers that provide persistent access to published articles, datasets, software versions and a range of other research inputs and outputs. There are over 120 million Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) in use, and last year DOIs were “resolved” (clicked on) over 5 billion times!
Each DOI is unique but a typical DOI looks like this: http://doi.org/10.4225/08/50F62E0D359D5
DOIs can be used to collect citation metrics about the use of a dataset or article.
If you have time: Want to know more about DOIs? Flick through the ANDS DOI Guide page
Consider: should DOIs be routinely applied to all research outputs? Remember that DOIs carry an expectation of persistence (maintenance costs etc.) but can be used to collect metrics as well as link articles and data (evidence of impact).
What about identifiers for people? Think about the many forms a person’s name may take or common names. Is the author JK Rowling the same person as Joanne Rowling and Jo Rowling? More than 38,000 Americans have the name James Smith!
Universities, funders and publishers worldwide now use ORCID to differentiate between people with the same name by assigning individuals with a unique identifier.
1. Let’s start by going to ORCID. In the search box at the very top of the page, enter John David Burton to search the ORCID registry. Scan the list of results to find the entry for John David Burton. How many versions of his name do you see?
2. Now enter David J Bishop into the search box. Open his ORCID record to see a wonderful example of a rich ORCID record. Note he has integrated his Scopus Author IDs with his ORCID to enable it to capture everything indexed in Scopus. Scroll through his list of works and look closely at Source to see the wide range of sources of his publications.
You can now choose from 3 activities that will get you in touch with ORCID.
Option 1. Don’t have an ORCID record but would like one?
Use this time to create your ORCID profile and make it as complete as possible.
Option 2. Already have an ORCID?
When was the last time you logged in to update or enhance your profile? You may be surprised at the additional functionality now available.
For more information on the benefits of having an ORCID iD and how to import your research output into it check our ORCID LibGuide
Consider how ORCID can be used to enhance your online profile?
Challenge me: Identifiers and linked data
Identifiers are an important component of research data management. Computer applications use them for identifying datasets, for searching and retrieval, and for linking or connecting data. In this 'Thing' we have looked at Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) for identifying data and at ORCIDs for identifying people. So, how do identifiers fit with Linked Data?
The term Linked Data refers to a set of best practices for publishing and connecting structured data on the Web. Identifiers are an important component of Linked Data as URIs (or Universal Resource Identifiers), along with HTTP and RDF (Resource Description Framework) are the key technologies that underpin Linked Data. What is Linked Data and the Semantic Web and what is all the hype about?
1. Start by reading an introduction to these concepts from LinkedDataTools.
2. Have a go at completing some or all of the 5 short (5 min) Semantic Web Primer tutorials:
If you have time: Try out the free online RDF data validator in Tutorial 4 to describe research objects.
Consider: how these tools could be used to support linked data