Publish Project Applications with DOIs

Taking openness a step further, field stations could consider publishing the project applications with a digital object identifier (DOI). This is a new idea, as publishing projects with a DOI uses the Global Research Infrastructure. It then connects these projects and the field station to the PIDGraph!

Publishing a DOI requires structured metadata for the project. This structured metadata does three things—it provides FAIR, rich metadata about the project, creates key connections, and leverages existing, common infrastructure, thus keeping costs to a minimum.

Here are nine reasons to publish project DOIs with DataCite:

  1. DOIs provide a persistent identifier for the project. This allows for unambiguous identification of the project.
  2. DOIs support consistent citation, so the project becomes a citable research object. Researchers can cite the project in downstream papers to connect it to the upstream work.
  3. DOI metadata includes elements that describe the project as a FAIR research object. This DataCite blog describes the relationship between FAIR and the schema.
  4. DOI metadata makes connections to people like researchers and their affiliations with ORCIDs and RORs.
  5. DOI metadata connects to the field station through the contributor type sponsor and the station’s ROR. (See our blog on this approach.)
  6. DOI metadata makes connections to funders and grant award numbers.
  7. DOI metadata connects to related work—like downstream physical samples, datasets, or journal articles.
  8. DOI metadata makes connections to Local Context notices and labels. DataCite and Local Context have guidelines on connecting Local Context project IDs, notices, and labels.
  9. DOIs take advantage of the bibliographic infrastructure. Building on this infrastructure means you can use visualizations like the DataCite Commons as an organizational dashboard.
DataCite Commons Dashboard for the Tetiaroa Ecostation.

Field Station Action Steps:

  1. Do you publish your project applications with DOIs?
    • Yes! That is awesome. The next step is ensuring your DataCite metadata records are as complete as possible.
    • Not yet. The next step is to identify a service provider or institution that supports DataCite DOI registration or become a DataCite member yourself. Details are on the DataCite website.
  2. Is your home institution a DataCite Member? Do they offer support for publishing project metadata?
    • Yes! You are good to go.
    • Not sure. (Check here)
    • No. If your home institution doesn’t offer this service, your station could join DataCite or choose an existing repository—iPlaces is a field station-specific project publishing platform, and Open Science Framework (OSF) is the most common project metadata creator in DataCite (as of June 2024). Some researchers are creating projects to associate with publications (Field station adjacent example: