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Persistent Identifiers: DOI

What is a Digital Object Identifer (DOI)?

A Digital Object Identifier or DOIs is a specific type of Persistent Identifier or PID​.

  • A digital object identifier (DOI) is a unique alphanumeric string that identifies content and provide a persistent link to its location on the Internet. ​

  • A DOI name is a digital identifier of an object, any object — physical, digital, or abstract.

  • DOIs solve a common problem: keeping track of things. Things can be matter, material, content, or activities.​

  • They are designed to be used by humans as well as machines. DOIs identify objects persistently. They allow things to be uniquely identified and accessed reliably. You know what you have, where it is, and others can track it too.

  • You're probably familiar with DOIs already. Why? Publishers currently assign a DOI when an article is published and made available electronically. DOIs are also assigned to datasets by data repositories and publishers.

DOIs provide stability for citation

DOIs provide stability for citation​

They are an investment in the business of making data citable​.

A DOI is an online reference (digital), pointing to (identifying) a resource (object).

The DOI system links, through a directory, references and web addresses of an object to a “landing” page providing information on access and metadata about that object.

This allows DOIs to provide a stable, persistent, resolvable reference taking users to an object, even if web addresses or other references to the location of an object, or its content, change.​


Breakdown of a DOI

DOI is made up of 2 elements:

  1. prefix & 
  2. suffix
  3. separated by a slash​

DOIs always start with 10. Then the following 5 digits indicates the registrant of the ID.

In this case, it is Queen's – any DOI that starts 10.17034 will always be from Queen's. The remainder identifies the specific object associated with that DOI.

DOIs and datasets in Pure

Which types of Research Outputs can get a DOI at Queen's?

The University will assign DOIs with the numerical prefix (10.17034/) to selected Outputs, mainly Datasets in the Dataset module of Pure. This is owing to how the automation of DOIs are enabled in the dataset module of PURE (Repository) only.

When is a DOI not assigned?

  • This service is not suitable when:
  • The data is held by another institution
  • The availability of the data is always intended to be highly restricted
  • A DOI had already been created for that data (by another University, repository, publisher, or a Data Centre, for example)
  • The data linked to by a DOI will change significantly. A new DOI should be created for each new major version or update
  • There are unresolved legal, ethical, or contractual issues (at the time of registration).

Modifications to Outputs:

Once a DOI has ben assigned, modifications to Outputs (Datasets) are not normally accepted and any modifications to the Output (Dataset) will result in a new version of record with a new DOI.

Eligibility criteria for DOI:

  1. The dataset embraces FAIR principles
  2. There is high quality metadata in the dataset record
  3. The file formats are open
  4. The documentation for the dataset is of a sufficient quality too. This will include a readme file as a basic minimum standards.

Guidance for sharing your dataset in Pure can be found here. It is also advised to share data in the most appropriate discipline-specific repository. Funder requirements regarding location of data sharing may be relevant here.

Full details of Queen's policy/procedure for DOIs can be found here.