Digital Object Identifier Services (DOI)

Digital Object Identifiers (DOI’s) are used to provide a permanent and unique digital identification for any object, digital or physical.  The science community has long recognized the importance of citing data in published literature to encourage replication of experiments and verification of results. Authors who try to cite their data often find that publishers do not accept Internet addresses. These addresses are viewed as transient references, frequently changed by the data provider after the paper is published. Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) were created to avoid this problem by providing a unique and persistent reference to online data. An indicator of the value of DOIs is the fact that they have emerged as the most accepted data identifier in the publishing community.

CDS provides the ability to generate or “mint” a Digital Object Identifier for NASA climate data sets.  CDS will also create and maintain a Landing Page that contains high-level metadata describing the data set and provides links to the data.

What is a DOI?

A DOI is a unique alphanumeric character string used to identify any entity, i.e., a physical or digital object. The identification occurs via the DOI System—a resolution service that works much the same way a uniform resource locator (URL) is resolved to a specific Web site by the Internet’s domain name system resolver. The DOI System was developed by the International DOI Foundation (IDF) to support the publishing industry, and first placed into operation in 2000.

A DOI is permanent, such that when it is assigned and registered, it can always be used to locate the data object it refers to. In published citations, DOIs are used in place of Internet addresses (or URLs) along with other information arranged in accordance with the publisher’s requirements. For example, a typical data citation would include the author (creator), publication year, (data product) title, publisher (distributer), DOI, and Internet access date.

What Datasets are assigned a DOI?

Climate Data DOI’s are most commonly generated for datasets that are well-defined and unlikely to change in the future.  CDS will assign DOI’s to climate model data that is hosted within the CDS.  DOI’s can be assigned to:

  • An entire project’s data products, at the conclusion of the project
  • A version of a project’s data products, at the conclusion of the use of that version
  • Data defined and used in a peer reviewed, published paper

What information is required for the Landing Page?

The Landing Page Meta data could include (Example CDS DOI landing page):

  • A brief description of the dataset.
  • How to access the data.
  • Data provider contact information.
  • Summary, to include a short name, version, data format, spatial and temporal coverage, resolution (latitude, longitude and temporal), and dataset size.
  • A link to documentation.
  • A description of the variables.

What happens if a DOI Datasets needs to be changed?

Occasionally errors in datasets are discovered and the data must be updated. In this case, a new DOI must be issued to be in compliance with the DataCite standard.  CDS will work with the data provider to generate a new DOI and update the Landing Page.

To obtain your DOI or if you have additional questions contact: support@cds.nasa.gov