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DOI Assignment


Research data constitute the essential basis for new scientific knowledge. A lack of access to these data is often an obstacle to international research.
The DOI (Digital Object Identifier) plays a key role in ensuring long term access to scientific objects such as research data, images, videos etc.

As a member of the DataCite consortium, Inist-CNRS provides a new service: DOI assignment to the objects of research work.


What is DataCite?

DataCite is an international consortium for which the German National Library of Science and Technology (TIB) is the managing agency.
More specifically DataCite works as an official DOI registration agency.
It is a member of the International DOI Foundation (IDF), governing body for the DOI system worldwide.
It works in collaboration with its member institutions all over the world.
These institutions in turn work with data centres like research institutions or libraries to assign DOIs to research work.

Inist-CNRS is DataCite’s member institution for France.

What are its aims?

  • To facilitate access to research data and its integration into information services
  • To increase recognition of research data as legitimate contributions to the scholarly record
  • To promote norms and best practices relative to data citation
  • To support data archiving to make it possible to control research results and how they are reused.

DataCite services

  • DataCite Metadata Store (MDS)

DOI minting and registration of the associated metadata:

  • DataCite Metadata Search

Search for the metadata associated to the datasets registered on MDS:

  • DataCite Statistics

DOI registration and resolution statistics:

  • DOI Citation Formatter

In collaboration with CrossRef, creation of different citation formats for the DataCite and CrossRef DOI:

  • Content Negotiation

Possibility to obtain metadata in various formats and/or get automatic, direct access to an object rather than via the "landing page":

  • DataCite OAI Provider

Metadata exposure for harvesting (OAI-PMH):


What is a DOI?

A DOI - or Digital Object Identifier - is a persistent identifier which provides unique identification and a citation for a physical or digital object along with a stable link to online resources like research data.
DOIs are based on the Handle system, an established mechanism for managing identifiers (“handles”) for resources in the digital environment. Through this system DOIs can easily and quickly be resolved, thanks to DataCite’s handle service.
An example:

What are DOIs for?

  • Persistent identification of a digital object
  • Reliable long-term citation
  • Facilitating access to, sharing and reuse of contents
  • Cross-linking through various objects, in particular between publications and underlying data

What kind of data are DOIs for?

A wide variety of scientific data…
Audiovisual material, collections, sets of data, events, images, interactive resources, models, physical objects, services, software, sound material, texts, workflows

DOIs have been associated with journal articles through CrossRef for a long time.

DOI Syntax

  • A DOI is unique and made up of two parts:

  • The prefix is assigned by the DOI agency (in this case Inist-CNRS) and the suffix is chosen by the data centre (research establishment, library, publishing body, etc.)
  • The authorized characters are A-Z ; a-z ; 0-9 ; - ; . ; _ ; : ; /
  • Different strategies are possible
    • Human choice: 10.5072/datacenter.area.1
    • Arbitrary machine choice: 10.5072/1234.abcz.56789:12-y
    • Mixed: 10.5072/datacenter.1234zz-y.5

For more information, see the International DOI Foundation’s recommendations.


  • Before assigning a DOI, the type of object involved, the DOI name and the workflow need to be defined.
  • Regarding the object: Does the research work merit citation? What type of object may be assigned a DOI and to what level of granularity?
  • Quality of data and metadata The data need to comply with the rules on best practices in the scientific community concerned. The metadata should be sufficient in quantity and quality and correctly described.
  • There are certain obligations
    • Stable URL
    • Long-term preservation of the object
    • Access to the objects (or at least information about access conditions) through the "landing pages".

URL and metadata can be updated at any time.

Registering a DOI

The following are required to create a DOI:

  • A DOI name
  • A stable long-term URL
  • A metadata file

If you wish to attribute DOIs to your data, Inist-CNRS will provide you with:

  • Access to a test space where you can save temporary DOIs and check the compatibility of the service with your workflows
  • A unique DOI prefix
  • Access to the DataCite Metadata Store platform (MDS) You will then be able to start creating DOIs.

How much does DOIs assignment cost?

For members of the French Higher Education and Research community, this costs a 180€ annual subscription fee for an unlimited number of DOIs.

For all other users, this costs a 180€ annual subscription fee for up to 500 DOIs assigned. A descending cost scale is applied above 500 DOIs.

Documentation and links

Technical Documents

  • Metadata schema You can consult the DataCite metadata schema for current information. This schema contains a list of the metadata properties necessary for the precise identification of data for citation purposes along with user instructions and examples.
  • API DataCite has created an API for users who wish to automate the registration process (minting DOIs and adding metadata). For detailed technical information on the API, please consult DataCite’s documentation.

How to contact us?

If you need more information or wish to assign DOIs to your data, please contact us at: datasets