Information for prospective clients

Question 1

How does the DataCite Canada service work?

Answer to question 1:

DataCite Canada provides access to automated services that allow you to easily register and manage your research data. All registrations require: the assignment of mandatory metadata elements; a URL that links to the data; and the creation of a unique long-term digital object identifier (DOI).

Question 2

What are DOIs?

Answer to question 2:

Digital Object Identifier (DOI) names are persistent identifiers used for citing and linking to resources such as research data. Registration of research data with DOIs makes data more visible and easier to access. DOIs are widely used in scientific publishing to cite journal articles. They provide long-term links to data and allow published articles to link to their underlying data. The DOI name is easily and quickly resolved using the International DOI Foundation resolver.


Question 3

How is the metadata used?

Answer to question 3:

The metadata assigned to the registered data is key to generating a citation for the data.

The metadata can also be used for other purposes such as searching data, and to further expose the data using Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH).

DataCite supports the registration of both mandatory and extended metadata elements.

Question 4

Why should I assign a DOI to my data?

Answer to question 4:

There are a number of benefits to assigning DOIs to your data:

  • ensures persistent access to your data by making it easier to update the location of the data
  • improves data visibility by:
    • facilitating its discoverability;
    • providing persistent links for use in published articles, presentations, websites, etc.
  • provides proof of research impact by:
    • allowing the tracking of data citations and other impact measurements.

Question 5

What can I assign a DOI to?

Answer to question 5:

DataCite Canada will provide DOI names to research data. In this case, research data is defined as:

  • data sets;
  • data papers;
  • grey literature.

Question 6

Who can use DataCite Canada services?

Answer to question 6:

Organizations that manage research data are eligible for an account with DataCite Canada. This includes universities, libraries, government departments and other research data centres. To receive a DataCite Canada account, data centres must have the authority and responsibility to store the data as well as to maintain access to the data to which the DOIs will be assigned.

Question 7

What do I need to register my data with DataCite Canada?

Answer to question 7:

  1. Access to one or more data sets
  2. A web-based landing page that either links to the data or gives information on how to get the data. This page may also contain information and links to tools for reading and interpreting the data.
  3. A URL to the landing page
  4. The mandatory metadata elements for each data set

Question 8

What are the definitions of the mandatory metadata elements required for data set DOI registration?

Answer to question 8:

All registered data must include the mandatory metadata elements. These are defined as:

  • DOI - When combined, the DOI prefix and suffix must uniquely identify the resource.
  • URL - The URL for the landing page of the resource.
  • Title - A name or title by which a resource is known.
  • Creators - The main researchers involved in producing the data, or the authors of the publication, in priority order.
  • Publisher - The entity that holds, archives, publishes, prints, distributes, releases, issues, or produces the resource. This metadata element will be used to formulate the citation, so consider the prominence of the role.
  • Publication Year - The year when the data was or will be made publicly available.

Question 9

What are the account holder's responsibilities?

Answer to question 9:

By requesting a DataCite account, data centres agree to be responsible for:

  • Ensuring that the data is stored and managed such that persistent access to the data can be provided.
  • Data registration using DataCite's Metadata Store system or APIs. This includes providing:
    • a unique DOI;
    • mandatory metadata elements as defined in the DataCite Metadata Schema;
    • a URL that links to a landing page.
  • Ensuring that any changes to the URLs associated with the DOI are updated accordingly within the DOI registration system.
  • Metadata integrity: ensuring that the metadata assigned to the data is, and remains, accurate, valid and complete.

Question 10

How do I set up an account?

Answer to question 10:

For organizations interested in creating a DataCite Canada account, please contact us at

We encourage individual researchers who are interested in DOIs to contact their own organizations about setting up an account with DataCite Canada. If we can provide further information or otherwise assist, please contact us.

Question 11

Will DataCite Canada store my data?

Answer to question 11:

No. Data centres are responsible for managing, preserving and providing access to their own data. DataCite stores only the metadata to the registered data set, the URL to the data set landing page, and the registered DOI assigned to the data.

Question 12

Can I delete a DOI?

Answer to question 12:

DOIs are intended to be persistent identifiers and, as such, should not be deleted. The preferred approach is to provide a landing page for the DOI that explains why the data set is no longer available. For further information, please contact

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