Prefix Transfers and Aliasing

DataCite's prefix transfers and aliasing policy:

  • A prefix can only be assigned to one RA at any one time.
  • Prefix transfers and aliasing must be approved by the Member and by DataCite and the other RA.
  • Only the prefix is transferred - not the DOIs. All of the existing DOIs and metadata must be re-registered with the new RA.
  • Prefixes belonging to generalist repositories (e.g. Dryad, Figshare, Zenodo) cannot be transferred to a different Registration Agency.

DOI Registration Agency (RA) Transfers

It is possible to transfer prefixes (and the associated DOIs) between the different DOI Registration Agencies (RAs). Most transfers are between DataCite and Crossref or mEDRA.

Transfer a prefix and DOIs from DataCite to another Registration Agency

This process is coordinated by the new RA to which the prefix will be transferred.


To transfer a prefix from DataCite to Crossref, please contact Crossref first.

These are the steps to transfer a prefix from Crossref to DataCite:

  1. Crossref contact DataCite to request approval.
  2. DataCite contact the Member/Consortium Lead to request approval.
  3. If the prefix transfer is approved, DataCite will send an official form for the DataCite Member/Consortium Lead to sign.
  4. Once the signed form is received, DataCite will contact Crossref to confirm that the request is approved.
  5. The DataCite Repository account is deactivated and the transfer can begin.
  6. Crossref coordinate the transfer of the prefix with CNRI.
  7. Once the prefix is transferred, all existing DOIs must be re-registered in Crossref with Crossref metadata.
  8. Crossref send confirmation to DataCite once the DOIs have been re-registered.
  9. The prefix is removed from DataCite and the DataCite DOIs are set to registered state.


All existing DataCite metadata must be converted into the Crossref metadata format and re-registered with Crossref.

Transfer a prefix and DOIs from another Registration Agency to DataCite

This is coordinated by DataCite.


To transfer a prefix from Crossref to DataCite, please contact DataCite first.

These are the steps to transfer a prefix over to DataCite from a different RA. You will be asked to fill in this template:

  • Prefix:
  • Number of DOIs:
  • From (RA agency and specific member):
  • To: DataCite
  • DataCite Member:
  • DataCite Repository:

Once that information is provided, the transfer can be started. These are the steps to complete
the transfer:

  1. DataCite contact the previous registration agency to ask for permission to transfer the prefix and make sure the prefix is only used by that member.
  2. DataCite confirm the transfer request to CNRI.
  3. CNRI change admin and home the prefix to DataCite (only changing the the admin at this stage).
  4. DataCite import the prefix into Fabrica and assign it to a DataCite Repository.
  5. The Repository or DataCite Member (re-)register all DOIs in DataCite, including
  6. CNRI switch prefix resolution to DataCite.
  7. Previous RA performs system updates and cleanup (optional).


All existing metadata needs to be re-registered with DataCite. If the number of DOIs to re-register is large, we recommend using the DataCite REST API.

Aliasing DOIs between Registration Agencies

Aliasing is a redirect from one DOI to another so that clicking on DOI A (held by RA 1) resolves to DOI B (held by RA 2). It is set up by CNRI. Aliasing is normally the last option because it can create problems for citation. However, aliasing is an option if an organization wants to manage their DOIs and metadata with a different RA but the prefix cannot be transferred (for example, because it was shared with another organization or belongs to a generalist repository).


Aliasing is coordinated and set up by the Registration Agency that will hold the new DOIs.

These are the steps to set up aliasing from DataCite to Crossref:

  1. Crossref contacts DataCite to request the aliasing.
  2. DataCite contact the Member/Consortium Lead that the existing DOIs belong to request approval.
  3. The DataCite Member/Consortium Lead will be sent an official form to sign to confirm they approve the aliasing.
  4. DataCite contact Crossref to confirm that the aliasing can be set up.
  5. Crossref contact CNRI to request the aliasing.


Aliasing cannot be set up from DOIs that were registered by generalist repositories and platforms in DataCite.

These are the steps to set up aliasing from Crossref to DataCite:

  1. The DataCite Member/Consortium Lead contacts DataCite to request the aliasing.
  2. DataCite contact Crossref to request approval.
  3. Once approved, the DataCite Member/Consortium Lead coordinates the registration of the new set DOIs in DataCite.
  4. The Member/Consortium Lead provides a spreadsheet with a list of the old Crossref DOIs in the left column and the new DataCite DOIs in the right column (the number of DOIs must match exactly).
  5. DataCite contact CNRI to request the aliasing.
  6. Once CNRI confirms this is set up there, Crossref DOIs will redirect to the DataCite DOIs.