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Fondren DOI Management Guide

Page history last edited by sk60@rice.edu 3 years, 6 months ago

Fondren DOI Management Guide

Adapted from Griffith University's Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs): Management Guide (version 1.0) 


A PDF version of this guide can be accessed by authorized Fondren staff in Rice Box (contact sk60@rice.edu).





The purpose of this document is to provide Fondren Library staff with information about the library’s DataCite membership and DOI assignment program. When possible, links to relevant DataCite guidelines are included. 


A shorter guide for data centers can be found at DataCite’s New Data Center's Reading List


DataCite provides detailed technical guides, training materials, and tips at https://datacite.readme.io/. Fondren DataCite users should consult both these resources and this guide when assigning DOIs.




Digital object identifiers


A digital object identifier (DOI) is a persistent and unique identifier of an object. It permanently identifies content and related metadata for an object over the course of its lifecycle. DOI names resolve to web locations where the objects they describe can be found. Information about a digital object may change over time, including where to find it and who owns it, but its DOI will not change.


The DOI is the most widely used naming standard for digital resources in the publishing world. DOI is an ISO International Standard and more than 120 million DOIs have been assigned worldwide.


Benefits of a DOI include greater discoverability and access to uniquely identified content, accessibility for long-term use and citation of publications and research data for impact analysis.


Additional information about DOIs can be found at https://datacite.readme.io/docs/doi-basics


Technical infrastructure


The DOI infrastructure makes use of the Handle System, which provides a means for assigning, managing, and resolving persistent identifiers for digital resources. The underlying system stores identifiers (names, or handles) of digital resources and the information (metadata) necessary to locate, access, and otherwise make use of the resources. Metadata such as the web location of a resource can be updated over time to reflect the current state, enabling a persistent identifier to resolve to the correct location.



A DOI is made up of alphanumeric characters and must be unique. It consists of a prefix and a suffix separated with a forward slash. The prefix always begins with a ‘10,’ as this distinguishes it from other implementations of the Handle System and then states the registrant code designating the creating organization or publisher that is registering the DOI. The suffix identifies the individual work and is also known as the ‘item id.’ It is assigned by the publisher/owner of the DOI.



Social infrastructure


The International DOI Foundation (IDF) registration authority manages ongoing support and maintains quality and accuracy of DOI names. Registration agencies are appointed to provide service, quality assurance, and overall integrity of the DOI system.


Social infrastructure in terms of policy and process is also required at the institutional level. DOIs differ from other persistent identifiers in that they require a minimal amount of metadata to be provided at the point of assigning (‘minting’) each DOI.


DOIs require a commitment from the provider to maintain the URLs associated with the DOI. When Fondren Library (or an affiliated data center) mints a DOI through DataCite, Fondren  becomes responsible for maintaining ongoing access to the digital resource over time and keeping metadata relating to the DOI up-to-date. The minting of the DOI does not in itself ensure any kind of persistence.


Registration agency and associated costs


Fondren Library mints DOIs through DataCite.


DataCite (https://www.datacite.org/) is an international non-profit organization that provides DOIs to research data and other types of digital scholarship. DataCite helps to facilitate the creation and allocation of DOIs and related metadata and helps to promote data discovery and citation (https://www.datacite.org/mission.html)


As a DataCite member, Fondren Library covers the annual DataCite membership fee and the creation of up to 10,000 DOIs annually. Those groups on campus seeking to mint their own DOIs cover the annual cost to support additional data centers (groups who leverage Fondren’s DataCite membership to mint and manage their own DOIs).


DOI management


This section  provides guidance on all aspects of assigning (‘minting’) and managing DOIs. 


Rules for assigning a DOI


A DOI can be minted where the digital object meets the following criteria:

  • The resource does not already have a DOI.
  • When possible, access to the resource is open, available upon request, or embargoed. 
  • The resource is a citable contribution to the scholarly record. 
  • As a contribution to the scholarly record, the resource will be stored and made accessible in the long-term via a repository, database, or system that is 
    • Managed by Rice University, or 
    • Managed by a third party which Rice University has an ongoing contractual relationship, or 
    • Recognized as a trusted digital repository.
  • High quality metadata is available that supports the provision of mandatory elements required for compliance with registration agency guidelines. 


Assigning DOIs to different types of material


Fondren Library encourages assignment of DOIs to a wide variety digital scholarship including, but not limited to: 

  • Journal articles
  • Research data (data sets) 
  • Gray literature (e.g. reports, working papers, technical reports, unpublished conference presentations) 
  • Creative works 


Fondren Library’s Digital Scholarship Services staff are happy to consult on DOI assignment. Please contact cds@rice.edu.   


Process for assigning (‘minting’) a DOI


DataCite web interface


Most DOIs minted by Fondren are manually assigned using DataCite’s DOI Fabrica service. When logged in as a data center, you can use a webform or upload a file (xml, json, etc.) to generate a DOI. As of Summer 2018, Fondren takes advantage of DataCite’s auto generating DOI suffix capabilities; other data centers are encouraged to use it, as well.


DOI assignment workflow information and DataCite membership details for Fondren Library staff can be found here (restricted access–contact Shannon Kipphut-Smith for permissions).


DataCite API


The DataCite Metadata Store (MDS) API allows users to register DataCite DOIs and associated metadata. The API works as a REST API and requires authentication.


APIs are recommended if a data center wishes to integrate DOI with a publishing platform. Once integrated, the API can facilitate the assignment and registration of DOIs as records are created. Data centers will be responsible for integrating and maintaining the API integration with their systems/platforms.




DataCite maintains guidelines for the metadata that needs to be provided as part of the minting process.


DataCite metadata documentation: https://schema.datacite.org/


DataCite requires several metadata fields:

  • Creator(s)
  • Title
  • Publisher
  • Date [publication year]
  • Identifier/URL [web address]
  • Resource type 


DataCite can also accommodate additional metadata fields. Library staff will include additional metadata, when appropriate, and data centers are encouraged to consult the DataCite metadata documentation when integrating DataCite into their workflows and systems.


DOI landing page


A DOI should resolve to a landing page that contains metadata describing the object, not the object itself.


The landing page should be part of a system that is

  • Managed by Rice University, or
  • Managed by a third party which Rice has an ongoing contractual relationship, or 
  • Recognized as a trusted digital repository


When more than one landing page is available, the DOI should resolve to the source system used for long-term management of, and access to, the digital object.




The DOI should be included in any citation displayed on the metadata landing page for the collection (or item within the collection, as applicable).


DataCite’s DOI display guidelines should be followed when using DOIs in citations and elsewhere:

  • DOIs should always be displayed as a complete URL. For example: https://doi.org/10.7939/R3QZ22K64
    • use the secure HTTPS rather than HTTP 
  • DataCite DOIs should be displayed in the full URL when bibliographic information about content is displayed. DataCite encourages all members to display DataCite DOIs on members’ landing pages. DataCite recommends that DOIs be displayed anywhere users are directed to a permanent, stable, or persistent link to the content including: 
    • abstracts
    • tables of contents
    • full-text HTML and PDF articles, and other scholarly documents
    • citation downloads to reference management systems
    • metadata feeds to third parties 
    • “How to Cite This” instructions 
    • social media links 




While DOIs are intended for objects that are in their final format, some resources are subject to change over time. 


High-level changes include:

  • Metadata changes that would lead to a change in the citation, e.g., the addition or deletion of an author/contributor or a title change;
  • In the case of a dataset, the deletion or addition of data, e.g., new wave of data from a longitudinal study.


A low-level change would be a correction of a spelling error in a description or addition of a keyword.


If a DOI is minted for a resource that is later subject to a high-level change, then a new DOI should be minted for the later version of the material. In these cases, Fondren Library will maintain both versions, each with a separate DOI. The descriptive metadata for the resources should reflect the versioning that has taken place: the ‘RelatedIdentifier’ element can be used to refer to previous versions.


If a lower-level change is required, then a new DOI does not need to be minted.


Collaborative data collections


If resources are produced as a result of a collaboration with external parties, then those involved in producing the material need to decide who mints the DOI and which landing page the DOI will resolve to.


Considerations might include:

  • Who is the primary researcher or author?
  • Who is the lead institution? 
  • Who provides access to the material? 
  • Who is going to maintain access to the material in the long-term?
  • Which institution has the capacity to mint a DOI? 




When the location of a landing page changes or breaks, the DOI Identifier metadata element needs to be updated by Fondren Library or the affiliated data center so that the DOI continues to resolve to the resource.


Takedowns and withdrawls


When a resource assigned a DOI has been taken down or withdrawn (for whatever reason), the landing page the the DOI links to should be maintained.


The landing page should include reference to the withdrawn material so that users who click on the DOI can still find information about the resource.


This is part of the commitment to maintain persistence through use of the DOI infrastructure.





In the unlikely situation where the content of a DOI is no longer available and its Data Center or Member does not have the resources to create a tombstone page to detail the circumstances that lead to the current situation, DataCite provides a generic tombstone page: https://www.datacite.org/invalid.html 


This is part of the commitment to maintain persistence through use of the DOI infrastructure. 


Contact Digital Scholarship Services at cds@rice.edu if the content of a DOI is no longer available.


Additional help


Fondren Digital Scholarship Services staff are available for assistance on issues related to DOIs. Contact cds@rice.edu. 































Comments (1)

sk60@rice.edu said

at 4:32 pm on Oct 23, 2018

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