Frequently Asked Questions

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Q: What is a DOI?
DOI stands for Digital Object Identifier. It is a uniquely-assigned internationally-recognized text code that is already widely-used within the scientific community to identify published research articles. The use of DOIs has recently been expanded to include data sets. Here is an example of a DOI: 10.1594/IEDA/324420

Q: What data sets are appropriate for a DOI?
Derived data sets that support a publication. Examples: The data tables, grids and maps that appear in a journal article.

Q: I have a data DOI. How do I find the data?
Append the data set DOI to this base URL: For example, for the DOI “10.1594/IEDA/324420 “, the URL that links to the data is:

Q: When registered with a DOI, is a data set considered “published”?

Yes. The data set becomes citable as a stand-alone entity, according to international standards, just like a published paper.

Q: What is the difference between data publication and citation?
Publication makes the data formally available and, following the definition of Mooney and Newton (2012 – see citation below), citation provides the “tool for scholarly acknowledgement” of that publication.

Q: Who is listed as the author of the data set?
The investigator who contributed the data.

Q: What are the benefits of registering data with a DOI?

  • Provides a simple, effective method for data citation.
  • Promotes a scholarly framework that recognizes and rewards data producers.
  • Endorses data sets generated from research as legitimate, citable contributions to the scientific record.
  • DOI-tagged data sets have their own identity that is no longer associated only with specific publications.
  • Assigns a permanent, citable URL to the data set.
  • Facilitates data visibility, access, re-use and tracking.
  • Helps assess the impact of data.

Q: What is the cost of data set DOI registration?
Nothing: It is free when data sets are registered through IEDA.

Q: Who assigns the DOI to my data set?
When a data set is registered with IEDA, a DOI can be requested. IEDA works with the international DataCite consortium to automatically generate specific DOIs.

Q: Will a DOI expire or become obsolete?
No. Every DOI is permanent and rigourous standards ensure that it is recognized around the world.

Q: What if I have a new version of the data?
DOIs are permanent. So, if an updated data set is submitted for publication its DOI can be linked to the original DOI.

Q: How many data set DOIs are already registered within IEDA?
This web page can be used to search DOI-registered data sets archived with IEDA. Links on the right of the page take you to information and data.

Q: What is an example of a full citation that involves a DOI?
DataCite recommends the following format for citation: Creator (PublicationYear): Title. Publisher. Identifier

  • Mooney, H, Newton, MP. (2012). The Anatomy of a Data Citation: Discovery, Reuse, and Credit. Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication 1(1):eP1035.
  • Arnulf, Adrien, et al., (2018), Three-dimensional P-wave velocity structure of Axial volcano on the Juan de Fuca ridge (investigators: Adrien F. Arnulf, Alistair Harding, Graham Kent, William Wilcock). Interdisciplinary Earth Data Alliance (IEDA). doi:10.1594/IEDA/324420


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