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Digital Object Identifiers (DOI) for Data at UNAVCO

UNAVCO has implemented a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) assignment mechanism for suitably-archived, publishable data sets (including GPS/GNSS, TLS, and SAR data and products) in the UNAVCO Archive. The primary goal of UNAVCO's DOI process is to publish archived data sets using an accepted standard and to facilitate data set citation in publications using data obtained from UNAVCO. We believe that the ability to cite data sets using DOIs will encourage ethical use of the free and open data in the UNAVCO Archive, as described in the Pritchard et al. (2012) Eos article on open access to geophysical data sets and will facilitate data citation as envisioned by the NSF Geoscience Directorate. In addition to fostering data citation, DOIs are useful for accessing specific data sets or versions of data sets, and for tracking provenance.


The DOI system for data sets works analogously to the system for journal articles. For data, the DOI is a persistent identifier (e.g. 10.7283/T5MW2F2D) for the digital data set. It provides a globally unique, web compatible, alphanumeric string that allows access to data set metadata and the digital data. Integral to the functioning of this persistent identifier is the associated citation summary web page maintained by the data set publisher. UNAVCO, as the data set publisher, maintains the citation summary page referenced by each UNAVCO DOI. This page provides the user community with a basic citation and related metadata plus a link to the data and the observational metadata. If the URL for this page must be migrated at UNAVCO, or other DOI metadata changes, UNAVCO updates the URL and/or metadata within the DOI system; the overall system ensures that the DOI continues to lead the user to the correct page, and the identifier remains meaningful through time.

Our assignment mechanism utilizes DOI minting services available through the California Digital Library's (CDL) Curation Center; CDL's data set DOI minting system follows standards and practices developed by DataCite, an international consortium dedicated to helping researchers find, access, and reuse data. CDL in turn uses registry services from DataCite and the German National Library of Science and Technology, and resolver services from the International DOI Foundation (doi.org). Each publishable data set in the UNAVCO Archive has had (or shortly will have) a DOI minted using this mechanism. (The term "publishable data set" is further explained in the FAQ section.) Community contributors of data sets in the UNAVCO Archive and others can view the DOI information for published data sets through the UNAVCO Data Set Digital Object Identifier Search.

Users of data from the UNAVCO Archive should also familiarize themselves with the material in the Related Links at the left.

Last modified: Tuesday, 09-Jan-2018 01:33:52 UTC


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