Persistent Unique Identifier

Definition

Persistent unique identifiers provide a means of long-lasting identification of digital objects that are global, standardized, and widely used in the digital environment and can provide information on the object, regardless of where the object is located. Persistent unique identifiers include DOIs, ARKs, Handles, and ORCiDs. Assigning persistent unique identifiers to data helps to provide a method to locate data in the the vast amounts of research data generated on a daily basis. DataCite is one initiative that provides an opportunity for research organizations to assign DOIs to their datasets. Assigning DOIs allow for a particular dataset to be persistently identified so that it can always be located and cited appropriately. While information about a digital object may change over time, including where to find it, its DOI name will never change so it can always be found. Librarians can help researchers assign persistent unique identifiers to data by providing insight on the process of assigning and applying the identifiers.

Further Resources

Bazzanella B, Bortoli S, & Bouquet P. (2013). Can Persistent Identifiers Be Cool? International Journal of Digital Curation, 8(1), 14–28. doi.org/10.2218/ijdc.v8i1.246

Bide M. (2015). The DOI -- Twenty Years On. D-Lib Magazine, 21(7/8). doi.org/10.1045/july2015-bide

Simons N. (2012). Implementing DOIs for Research Data. D-Lib Magazine, 18(5/6).

Van de Sompel H, Sanderson R, Shankar H, & Klein M. (2014). Persistent Identifiers for Scholarly Assets and the Web: The Need for an Unambiguous Mapping. International Journal of Digital Curation, 9(1). doi.org/10.2218/ijdc.v9i1.320

Wimalaratne, S.M., Juty, N., Kunza, J., Janee, G., McMurry, J.A., Beard, N., ... Clark, T. (2018). Uniform resolution of compact identifiers for biomedical data. Scientific Data, 5, 180029. doi.org/10.1038/sdata.2018.29

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