What is the difference between Members, Providers, and Clients?


DataCite's strength is rooted in its active membership. DataCite’s global community includes data centers, libraries, government agencies, research universities and more. DataCite Members are the voting body of the organisation. Membership is open to all organisations that share our data sharing mission.

The vast majority of DataCite Members are also Providers of DataCite DOI services, acting as DOI allocating agents. Those Members who are not Providers are known as Non-Allocating Members.


Providers are a subset of DataCite Members. Providers are the managers of one or more Clients. Providers do not typically create DOIs on their own. Instead, they oversee and administer the DOI creation privileges and activities of the Clients under them.

Providers can:

  • Have one or many Clients
  • Administer Client accounts (e.g. create Client accounts and update Client account settings)
  • Assign prefixes to their Clients
  • Request additional Client accounts from DataCite


Clients are associated with a single parent Provider, through which they access DataCite's services. Clients use DataCite's services to create and manage their DOIs and the associated metadata. Administrative functions, such as assigning new prefixes to the Client, are handled at the Provider level.

Clients can:

  • Belong to only one Provider
  • Create DOIs
  • Manage their DOIs and the accompanying metadata
  • Request additional prefixes from their parent Provider