Using EZID to obtain DOIs for your data – a pilot research data service

The University Library is undertaking a pilot for assigning DOIs to data resources created by researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  The pilot will take place during the spring and summer of 2014, and will be open to University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign students, faculty, and staff.

What is a DOI?

The Digital Object Identifier System (DOI) is an ISO standard (ISO 26324) which is well-established and in current use by more than 5,000 naming authorities, including most publishers of scholarly content. DOIs frequently appear in bibliographic citations, and can be used to access a cited work. For example, the article with the DOI 10.1016/j.egypro.2013.06.482 can be accessed using the URL The DOI standard is the foundation of CrossRef’s reference linking service, which allows location and tracking of both cited and citing references in the scholarly record.

Why are we doing this?

A critical component of data management is a “persistent approach to access, identification, sharing, and re-use” of data. DataCite was founded in 2009 with three fundamental goals:

  • establish easier access to scientific research data on the Internet,
  • increase acceptance of research data as legitimate, citable contributions to the scientific record, and
  • support data archiving that will permit results to be verified and re-purposed for future study.

DataCite allows the assignment of unique and persistent identifiers for data, in the form of Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs), by establishing a persistent association between a character string and a resource (e.g., data). Use of DataCite’s registry to mint DOIs for University of Illinois data resources was among the recommendations of the eResearch Services Task Force and the Campus Data Stewardship Committee’s proposal for our Campus Research Data Service.

How will we do it?

Libraries are using the EZID (easy-eye-dee, user interface and web Application Programming Interface (API), developed by the California Digital Library, to provide access to the DataCite metadata registry service.  EZID provides an easy way to add metadata to the DataCite registry to describe resources and obtain and manage persistent identifiers, and is a means of implementing the eResearch Task Force and Campus Data Stewardship Committee recommendations.

Who may participate?

Individual students, faculty and staff as well as research groups/programs at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign that have created data resources are eligible to participate in the pilot.

What types of resources are eligible for inclusion in the pilot?

Data resources such as simple data sets (e.g., spreadsheets, CSV files), visualizations, software/code, or collections are eligible.   We will exclude resources which already have DOIs, and resources that are not data resources (e.g., article preprints or reports).   As a requirement of the pilot, the resource must be accessible via the World Wide Web, and the creator must supply basic metadata about the resource to include in the DOI registry.  Where appropriate, participants will be strongly encouraged to deposit their data resources into our institutional repository, IDEALS, to ensure their long-term preservation.  If IDEALS deposit is not an option (e.g, for data sets that are actively growing), participants will be responsible for keeping the DOI registry up to date in the event the resource is moved to a new URL.

Apply to participate in the EZID Pilot!