How do I get a DOI for a dataset?

+15 votes
609 views
asked Aug 4, 2015 in Open Science by m0nhawk (270 points)

A DOI is a commonly used digital object identifier to refer to an electronic document. How do I secure a DOI for a research dataset, to help share and identify it?



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4 Answers

+17 votes
answered Aug 4, 2015 by Scott Chamberlain (410 points)

There area number of routes. They do cost money to create, so you want to get it via one of many providers:

  • Figshare gives DOIs to items you put in your account with them - this is the most DIY route
  • Zenodo gives DOIs to objects
  • Many data repositories assign DOIs, e.g., Dryad


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commented Aug 18, 2015 by Michael (140 points)
+1 for figshare

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commented Aug 18, 2015 by Thomas (915 points)
[Dataverse](http://dataverse.org/) will also issue DOIs.

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+13 votes
answered Aug 4, 2015 by Gavin Simpson (720 points)

There are a number of ways in which a DOI could be linked to a dataset:

  • Figshare will provide a DOI for any deposited work, which includes data.
  • Zenodo also provides DOIs for any kind of research output, including datasets
  • Dryad provides DOIs for data submissions linked to papers (for a fee, which includes storage, curation, archival, & checks for best-practice [HT @DaisieHuang for pointing out my lazy description of fee previously])

You might also look to see if a domain-specific repository provides a DOI for data. The journal Scientific Data maintains a good list of repositories you can look at.

Choosing a DOI provider will depend on particular circumstances. Both Figshare and Zenodo are both free to use services for example whereas Dryad charges for the service they offer to cover ongoing storage and archival costs.

Some points of comparison between Figshare, Dryad, and Zenodo, etc

Dryad accepts data relating to publications; if it isn't associated with a paper then they won't accept it. Figshare and Zenodo will accept any research output, whether linked to publication or not. In that sense Figshare and Zenodo are more broadly applicable to any research outputs.

Data may be more discoverable in Dryad or domain-specific repositories (DSRs) than in general purpose ones likes Figshare & Zenodo. Data is likely to be formatted in standard ways and more easily searched by online or other tools if they are archived in Dryad or DSRs. This is likely to encourage reuse.

Figshare is a for-profit commercial entity, Zenodo is run by CERN and was supported by the EU OpenAIRE project at one point, whilst Dryad is an not-for-profit entity supported by research grants and membership fees for organisations.



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commented Aug 18, 2015 by Gavin Simpson (720 points)
@SimonW You mean like what I've added? Anything else you want to know/have me comment on? Will do my best to answer.

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commented Aug 18, 2015 by Simon W (155 points)
Perhaps one or both of these answers could be improved by giving some informaton on the differences between the options, and why somebody might choose one over another? (I'm asking here rather than writing my own answer because I don't know, and I'm interested to learn :-))

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commented Aug 18, 2015 by Simon W (155 points)
@GavinSimpson great, thank you!

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commented Aug 18, 2015 by Daisie Huang (0 points)
To clarify: part of the Dryad fee is for curation; Dryad manually curates your datasets and does some checking for best practices.

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commented Aug 18, 2015 by Gavin Simpson (720 points)
@DaisieHuang Quite right & I know better too; didn't intend for this to look like Dryad was just asking for payment for disk space. Curation and archival extremely important and not without costs. I'll edit the above to reflect that.

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commented Aug 18, 2015 by Scott Chamberlain (410 points)
@GavinSimpson heh, seems unlikely it would happen again

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commented Aug 18, 2015 by Gavin Simpson (720 points)
@ScottChamberlain If we carry on like this, we might get banned for as a suspected dual account :-)

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commented Aug 18, 2015 by Scott Chamberlain (410 points)
wow, our answers were so similar, crazy :)- i swear I didn't copy you

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commented Aug 18, 2015 by HDE 226868 (320 points)
@ScottChamberlain I would be impressed if you had copied off of him, as you answered before he did!

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commented Aug 18, 2015 by Gavin Simpson (720 points)
@HDE226868 I'm quick but not 9 seconds quick ;-)

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+4 votes
answered Aug 4, 2015 by HDE 226868 (320 points)

This is a common question on the DOI FAQ:

You must use a service offered by a DOI Registration Agency (RA). RAs collect metadata, assign DOI names, and offer other services such as reference linking or metadata lookup. See the list of RAs, and contact the ones whose services best meet your needs. If you do not see an appropriate application listed, consider approaching an existing RA or developing a community to build the service you require (see the DOI Handbook, 8 Registration Agencies, for more information). You do not need to be a member of the International DOI Foundation in order to work with an RA.

This system is valid for data, as it can be applied to "any entity".

Lists are available:

  • Ariti, Inc.
  • CrossRef
  • China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI)
  • DataCite
  • EIDR (Entertainment Identifier Registry)
  • ISTIC (The Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China)
  • JaLC (Japan Link Center) mEDRA (Multilingual European DOI Registration
  • mEDRA (Multilingual European DOI Registration Agency)
  • OP (Publications Office of the European Union)


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0 votes
answered Aug 11, 2015 by Michael (140 points)

It is possible that your institution will provide a data repository for research conducted there. Some of them will also assign DOIs, but this is specific for the institution. If there is no DOI, usually there will be some other sort of permanent link you can use.



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