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DOI registration for research data

In the data management portal, you can register a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) for the datasets deposited and already archived. You can also add to and change the metadata for your registered DOI.

Things to know about DOIs at UFZ

The DOI is a Digital Persistent Identifier (PID) used to uniquely identify an object in the digital world, thus providing permanent and unique access to the object. In the scientific environment, DOIs are primarily assigned to journal articles, books and book contributions, dissertations, research data, research software, and others. Since the identifier is not limited to the digital world, it is also possible in principle to obtain a DOI for certain physical tools, machines, experimental setups, and the like.

DOIs can be used in a variety of ways. If the data used are to be specified or cited in a publication, access to the data is made much easier for other scientists by specifying a DOI. Registered DOIs automatically end up in the search of DataCite (the DataCite search entry of one of the first DOI-registered datasets at UFZ) or CrossRef and, through them, in the common search engines and information systems used in science. In literature management programs, it is often sufficient to specify a DOI and the software automatically obtains the metadata for a publication. DOI allocation can also be used to give greater visibility and recognition to products of scientific activity that have received less attention to date, such as research data or research software.

In addition to DOI, there are other PIDs that are relevant to science. An ORCID (Open Researcher and Contributor ID) is used to identify authors in the scientific community. A ROR (Research Organization Registry) identifies organizations in the scientific system (000h6jb29 - the ROR id of UFZ).

At the beginning of October 2021, the UFZ joined the TIB DOI Consortium as a new member. Through the DOI Consortium, the German National Library of Science and Technology (TIB) offers DOI registration services to members. By joining the TIB DOI Consortium, it is now possible at UFZ to assign DOIs for research data that have been made accessible in the archive component of the Data Management Portal (DMP).

Requirements for DOI registration via DMP

Your dataset must meet the following requirements to obtain a DOI:

  • A DOI is not already assigned to the dataset by another repository (e.g. Pangaea, Zenodo, TERENO DDP or similar). The idea behind a Persistent Identifier (PID) is the one-to-one relationship between DOI and identified object (in our case the data set). The assignment of multiple objects to one DOI is technically prevented by the system. However, it is possible, for example, to register a data set several times, so that it can receive several DOIs. To maintain the validity of the DOI system, this must be avoided. If it happens, you will find a description of how to deal with it in the FAQ.
  • The data set is technically and organizationally in a state that allows easy subsequent use by third parties. This criterion relates to the quality of the content of the data set and can sometimes be assessed subjectively in different ways. Ideally, subsequent use should not be restricted by technical criteria such as proprietary formats, proprietary software tools or software tools that are difficult to obtain. The structure of the data should also be easily accessible.
  • The data set is of sufficient technical interest and has the potential for subsequent use by third parties. This is also a subjective criterion and aims at the general usefulness of the data. To avoid registering all possible data - regardless of granularity and quality - you should ask yourself whether a scientific subsequent use is principally conceivable.
  • The data set should be available for subsequent use by third parties and should not be subject to any legal or ethical restrictions that prevent subsequent use. Only data that are actually accessible can be re-used and reproduced in research processes. If this access is not possible under any circumstances, we do not recommend obtaining a DOI for it.
  • The data set has already been archived. How to archive your data in the DMP is explained under Procedure for archiving files.

Register a DOI for your data set

To register a DOI, the requirements for DOI allocation via the DMP (see previous menu item) must be met. Above all, the data set must already be archived.

As soon as your data set is archived, you can register a DOI. All you have to do is select the checkbox provided for this purpose at the bottom of your data set's page:

Register a DOI

The following metadata is required to register a DOI:

  • Name/Title
  • Publication date
  • Author
  • Publisher (Automatically set: Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research)

In addition, in the 'Provisions for Data Reference', the visibility of the metadata must be set to WORLDWIDE visible, as this is mandatory as part of our DOI registry, DataCite. This means that anyone can view the metadata for the data set - your individual choice to access the data itself is independent of this.

If any additional information is required from you, the system will notify you:

Missing metadata

A successful registration will be confirmed:

Successful registration

You can also check the status of your data set via the assigned DOI by using the DOI Resolver from However, you can also check the status of the data set via DataCite Search.

Adding and changing metadata to an already registered data set

If you have already registered a DOI for your dataset via DMP, the metadata can be changed at any time via DMP. These changes will be synchronized with the metadata for the DOI registered with DataCite as soon as you save the changes in DMP.

Please note: Although the metadata can be changed at any time, the DOI and also the registration cannot be undone afterward. Only the visibility of the record can be restricted. If you wish to do so or have any questions, please contact:

You can see whether you have already registered a DOI for the data set by the DOI entry in the Dublin Core metadata:

Registered DOI

You can edit the metadata using the Edit metadata button:

Edit metadata

Once you are done with the changes you have made, please save them to your record via Save Changes at the bottom of the page.

FAQ about DOI registration

A DOI was accidentally registered for my data set from another data repository. What now?

A data set should always have only one DOI assigned to it. However, it can sometimes happen that a DOI has also been registered for the same data set from another repository. A DOI that has already been assigned cannot be deleted afterwards; it can only be restricted in terms of visibility. Thus, you cannot simply delete the second DOI.

If this case occurs, we recommend the following procedure:

  • Decide which of the two DOIs is the preferred one.
  • The other, second DOI can be restricted in visibility:

    • If this DOI has been assigned via the DMP, please contact us. A change in visibility can only be made by administrators. In this case, the visibility of the DOI will be restricted and, in addition, the metadata will refer to your preferred DOI.
    • If this DOI has been assigned via another repository, you will have to ask the admins of this repository how to proceed.
My data set is part of a larger aggregate of research data. What should I keep in mind when registering a DOI?

In principle, it is possible to link related resources with each other via information in the metadata. There is an overview of all relationship types in the metadata documentation at DataCite. In principle, it is possible to specify record hierarchies, but this is not yet implemented in the DMP. We are currently working on this.

If you would like to have such a link in advance, please contact us with your request and we will try to implement the link manually. Such links are also possible, among other things, for the specification of software versions used, predecessors and successors of data sets or the use of the data in publications.