DataCite is a leading global non-profit organisation that provides persistent identifiers (DOIs specifically) for research data and other research outputs. Organizations within the research community join DataCite as members to be able to assign DOIs to all their research outputs. This way, their outputs become discoverable and associated metadata is made available to the community. DataCite then develops additional services to improve the DOI management experience, making it easier for our members to connect and share their DOIs with the broader research ecosystem and to assess the use of their DOIs within that ecosystem.
DataCite is an active participant in the research community and promotes data sharing and citation through community-building efforts and outreach activities.
Your organization must be a member of DataCite to register DOIs with us. If your organization is interested in joining DataCite please reach out to us by sending an email to email@example.com and expressing you interest.
DOI is an acronym for "digital object identifier", meaning a "digital identifier of an object". A DOI name is an identifier (not a location) of an entity on digital networks. It provides a system for persistent and actionable identification and interoperable exchange of managed information on digital networks. A DOI name can be assigned to any entity — physical, digital or abstract — primarily for sharing with an interested user community or managing as intellectual property. The DOI system is designed for interoperability; that is to use, or work with, existing identifier and metadata schemes. Read more.
A DOI name consists of a prefix and a suffix separated by a forward slash (e.g. 10.1234/56789). Each organization is assigned its own unique prefix(es), and decides its own suffix format. The most important property of a DOI suffix is that it should be unique within each prefix. Please consider the following points when creating your suffixes:
The optimum length of a DOI suffix is 8–10 characters. This is long enough to ensure uniqueness, but short enough to avoid typing or text wrapping errors. The DataCite system will not accept DOIs longer than 255 characters
DOIs are not case sensitive (10.1234/WXYZ and 10.1234/wxyz are the same DOI)
We strongly recommend that only the following characters are used within a DOI name: “0–9”, “a–z”, and “–._/”. Although the DOI name itself can accommodate a wider range of characters, some require encoding so that the DOI works correctly when used in URL form. If you need to use additional characters, please follow the recommendations on encoding provided by the International DOI Foundation (IDF)
We recommend avoiding human-readable information in a DOI suffix. Any meaning you put in to the DOI may change over time and become meaningless or even misleading.
For further advice on DOI syntax, please see this DataCite blog post.
If you you are new to DOI registration we recommend you practice registering DOIs in our test environment. The test environment works like sandbox and nothing you do there will go live. Check out our guide to testing here. Once you move into the production environment, we recommend you consider using the "draft" state for DOIs, to avoid a situation where unwanted DOIs are registered.
DOIs can be registered using DataCite's web interface DOI Fabrica or one of our APIs. You will find lots of information on the support site including information about DOI states, metadata examples, and best practices for landing pages.