ANDS Community

DOI Governance questions
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Author:  Susannah Sabine [ Thu Nov 24, 2011 1:40 pm ]
Post subject:  DOI Governance questions

At the recent eResearch conference in Melbourne ANDS conducted a workshop on data citation (details can be found here: ). At the workshop the ANDS Cite My Data service was launched

Griffith University has been one of the earlier adopters of the ANDS Cite My Data service for the minting of DOIs (Digital Object Identifiers) and Natasha Simons shared with the workshop participants Griffith's journey. She also posed many questions about the institutional use of DOIs. Her power point slides can be accessed from the workshop page linked to above.

We have looked at this list of questions and attempted to answer many of them here: This page is a living document and we will add to it as more questions (and answers) arise.

If there are any other questions that people have around DOIs please post them here and we will do what we can to answer them.

The questions Natasha asked that have not yet been answered on the Q and A page are:

● How have others approached the question Q: What about digital objects we hold that already have a publisher-issued DOI? Should we mint one as well because it will point to our landing page and not the publisher’s landing page? as CAL does not act as a DOI registration agency anymore…

● Who reviews the requests? What do we decide to do for pre-existing digital objects?
● What about an automatic check of whether a DOI already exists for the digital object or not before requesting that one be minted?

Please feel free to add your thoughts on the answers to these (and other DOI & data citation) questions.


Author:  rparker [ Fri Dec 02, 2011 11:09 am ]
Post subject:  Re: DOI Governance questions

What about the question of who mints the DOI? Say Swinburne and Griffith were to share a dataset, ie it was created by some researchers located at each of the two universities. Does the university of the first-named researcher mint the DOI, or just the first university who catalogues the dataset?

Author:  nsimons [ Tue Dec 13, 2011 11:15 am ]
Post subject:  Re: DOI Governance questions

Rebecca raises a scenario that will likely be common to many institutions. My (admittedly rather scrappy) notes from the Data Citation workshop at eResearch indicate that Jan Brase (DataCite) mentioned you could use a Relation Type such as ‘IsAlsoPublishedAs’ to refer to the same data at different locations. I interpret that as one DOI is issued, both institutions can use it, and the location relationship is shared via the metadata kernel. Presumably there would have to be a communication channel between the institutions regarding the DOI for the dataset, especially if the DOI minting process is automated, as otherwise two would be minted as a matter of course. Can anyone else clarify or add to this?

Author:  nsimons [ Tue Dec 13, 2011 11:17 am ]
Post subject:  Re: DOI Governance questions - versioning

Thanks very much to those ANDS staff who have answered my (very many) questions about DOIs. Another question that has come up at Griffith is versioning and I think it will be relevant to others as well. That is, where a dataset which has already got a DOI, is updated or expanded (or changed in any way really), should a new DOI be issued for the updated/expanded dataset? Would you then, with the new version DOI, use the ‘RelatedIdentifier‘ property of the DataCite Metadata Kernel and select a value like ‘IsNewVersionOf’ to refer to the DOI of the original dataset? And add something like ‘IsPreviousVersionOf’ to the original DOI? This is important to clarify because my understanding is that the RelatedIdentifier property is not included in the minimal metadata required for minting a DataCite DOI (so we would have to build in support for that).

Author:  nsimons [ Tue Dec 13, 2011 11:25 am ]
Post subject:  Re: DOI Governance questions

By the way, I highly recommend reading How to Cite Datasets and Link to Publications by Alex Ball and Monica Duke from the UK Digital Curation Centre, 2011. Available to download from
Cheers, Natasha

Natasha Simons
eResearch Senior Specialist, Scholarly Information & Research
Griffith University
Nathan QLD 4111

Author:  Susannah Sabine [ Thu Dec 15, 2011 11:38 am ]
Post subject:  Re: DOI Governance questions

Keep the questions coming!

We (ANDS staff) will endeavour to answer them as best we can - all answers will be posted here on the bulletin board as well as on the ANDS web site on the DOI Governance Q & A page:

Natasha - In response to your questions about versioning Stuart Hungerford has provided this answer:
A: Yes -- many datasets will change in version, scope and content over
time so it's important to have a strategy for dealing with change. In
most cases the data owner will want to issue a new DOI for the changed
dataset and use the metadata ‘RelatedIdentifier‘ (and other metadata
as needed) to refer to the previous versions of the dataset.

rparker - your question about who mints the DOI:
A:"There are no hard and fast rules for these kind of arrangements--it
may be easiest to have a prior agreement on who mints the DOI just as
the institutions might have for who is lead author on a publication or
submits a publication."

and the one about how can we be sure that only DOI is minted?

A: You can't. To ensure that only one is minted it is best to have agreement
between the collaborating institutions as to which one will be responsible
for minting the DOI.

These answers will also be posted on the above mentioned web page.


Author:  nsimons [ Mon Mar 05, 2012 2:56 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: DOI Governance questions

Hi Susannah,

Thanks for your responses to the DOI questions to date. I'm in the process of formulating the Griffith Uni DOI minting guide which is mostly concerned with determining a framework that can answer the governance questions. The question about who mints the DOI when you have a data collection that is the result of collaboration between researchers at different institutions is a tricky one. It's not so much a technical problem as a governance problem. I've posted below how I *think* we will answer the question, though it needs expansion and clarification still, perhaps based on different scenarios.

Is the intellectual content of the material the result of collaboration with staff or students from other institutions?

It is increasingly the case that research is the result of collaboration between researchers across institutions and across state and international borders. Therefore it’s important to resolve the question of who, in a collaborative research project, mints the DOI for a data collection, publication or dataset.

This is not a technical question, as it is possible to mint multiple DOIs for the one data collection, each with a different landing page. Rather, this is a policy question because minting more than one DOI for the same data collection goes against the basic concept of the DOI system. So even where more than one institution stores the data collection, and each have their own landing page to the collection, only one DOI should be minted for the collection. Each institution then refers, in the metadata record about the collection, to the same DOI.

Unfortunately there is no national policy or similar to provide guidance on this question. Instead, it will need to be a question that is worked out between the researchers working on the collaborative project, or failing that, between the data administrators of their respective research institutions.

If the material is a collaborative effort with those external to Griffith then those involved in producing the material need to decide who mints the DOI and whose landing page the DOI will be linked 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?

Where another institution has already minted a DOI for the jointly-produced material, then that DOI should be stored and displayed in the Griffith record rather than minting a new DOI. This is applicable even where the DOI landing page points at the other institution.

DOIs minted by Griffith should only point to Griffith-held material.

I'm not so sure about the last statement there. It's logical but we have a situation with the Australian National Corpus Project in that we are managing the project but the data collections are actually based at other institutions. Any feedback from ANDS staff or people from other institutions would be most welcome.


Project Manager/ eResearch Specialist
Scholarly Information & Research
Griffith University
Nathan QLD 4111
T: +61 (0)7 373 54695

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