Fact sheets

DataCite Canada

DataCite Canada (PDF, 307 KB)

Making research data easier to find, access and reuse

A significant portion of research funding goes into collecting research data and yet those data are often inaccessible or structured in such a way that they can't be exploited for other uses.

DataCite Canada is working with Canadian data centres and libraries to help them leverage that investment by making data findable, citable and accessible for replication and further use.

DataCite Canada's data registration service enables organizations to register their data sets and assign persistent identifiers to them.

The benefits of providing long-term, persistent links to data are clear:

For researchers:

  • Data can be efficiently searched and located
  • Greater recognition via data citations
  • Enhanced data management planning (increasingly a condition of research funding)
  • Data can be linked with published articles and books
  • More possibilities for cross-industry and multidisciplinary collaborations

For data centres:

  • Reduced time and effort to search and locate quality data
  • Reduced costs and time spent duplicating existing research
  • Improved ability to track data usage and prove impact
  • Value and impact of data maximized by ensuring it is findable, accessible and usable
  • Greater visibility and enhanced reputation via data citations

Getting Started with DataCite Canada

Getting Started with DataCite Canada (PDF, 293 KB)

DataCite Canada is working with Canadian research data centres to provide a mechanism for organizations to register data and assign digital object identifiers (DOIs) to them. DOIs are persistent identifiers that allow research data to be accessible and citable. They provide long-term links to data and allow published articles to link to their underlying data.

Who can use the DataCite Canada services?

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 and maintain access to the data to which the DOIs will be assigned.

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

The mandatory requirements for registering research data are:

  • A web-based landing page which 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.
  • A URL to the landing page
  • The mandatory metadata, as defined in the DataCite Metadata Schema

What are the account holder's responsibilities?

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 API.
  • 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.

How do I set up an account?

Account creation and management is done by a DataCite Canada representative.

To obtain an account, you will need to provide the following information:

  • Primary contact person name and email address
  • Organization name
  • All DOI registration domains: DOI registration domains are the URL domains for all data sets being registered. If the landing page for a data set is not listed under your account, the system will generate an error when registering the DOI.

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.

What can I assign a DOI to?

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

  • data sets
  • data papers
  • grey literature

DataCite Canada and NRC

DataCite Canada is an initiative of the National Research Council's National Science Library. The library is working to ensure that the valuable data generated by Canadian researchers is accessible so that it can be re-used for other research endeavours to speed up the innovation process. NRC is a founding member of the broader international DataCite consortium and is its DOI allocation agent for Canada.

Understanding Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs)

Understanding Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) (PDF, 338 KB)

What are DOIs?

Digital object identifiers (DOIs) are permanent, persistent identifiers used for citing and linking electronic resources such as research data sets. DOIs are widely used in scientific publishing to cite journal articles.

How do they work?

Registration of data sets with DOIs makes data more highly visible and easier to access by providing long-term links to data sets and allowing published articles to link to their underlying data. The registration process includes the capture of metadata, allowing data to be searchable from discovery tools such as library catalogues and other repositories.

The advantage of a persistent or long-term identifier is that it allows a data set to be uniquely identified in such a way that it will not change if the data set is moved. The DOI name is unalterable and permanently linked to the object itself and not where it is located.

Why use DOIs?

DOIs help data producers take control of the management of their research, share, get credit for it and build their reputation through data citations. In addition, DOIs make research data easier to access, reuse and verify, thereby making it easier to build on previous work, conduct new research and avoid duplicating already existing work.

What is DataCite Canada's role?

DataCite Canada is part of the broader international DataCite initiative, a consortium of national-scale libraries and research organizations committed to increasing access to research data on the internet.

DataCite Canada is DataCite's DOI allocation agent for Canada. The DataCite Canada data registration service makes it easy for Canadian research data producers to obtain and manage these long-term identifiers for their research data sets.

Datasets and DOIs

Datasets and DOIs (PDF, 293 KB)

Granularity

The granularity at which a DOI should be assigned is generally best determined by the researcher.

General guidelines suggest that DOIs should be assigned to datasets:

  • at the level that the data is likely to be cited
  • at the same level as the metadata

Versioning

Versioning may be approached in different ways. Current approaches include:

  • registering a new DOI for each version of the dataset. This may be appropriate if for example each version of the dataset is significantly different from its predecessor.
  • registering a single DOI for a dataset and applying a system for recording each version of the dataset on the landing page. It is important that the mandatory metadata supplied for the original version must still apply to subsequent versions.

Multiple formats

A single dataset may be available in several alternative formats (for example, print, HTML, XML, and PDF). These formats are simply different manifestations of the same dataset and should therefore be identified by the same DOI. The landing page for the dataset will provide information on how to access each format, thereby offering multiple resolutions.

Continuous dataset

A continuous dataset is still growing and ongoing measurements are added to the collection on a regular basis. In a continuous collection all the data preserved and past data is unchanged. We recommend that the entire collection as well as its subsets (example: 1 subset per calendar year) be registered. The entire collection and each subset will get a DOI. Each DOI will be unique and its numbering or coding will not imply the parent-child and sibling relationships; the relationships will be described in the metadata.

Dynamic datasets

Dynamic datasets contains data that change over time. Data centres may take a 'snapshot' at appropriate intervals and treat each snapshot as a version. Registering a dynamic dataset requires registering and offering each version. The versions can be handled in two ways, as per the versioning approaches described above.

Very large datasets

For very large datasets it may not be possible for a data centre to retain all earlier versions due to space constraints. In these cases it is still important that the landing page describes the earlier versions and provides a means for obtaining them if at all possible.

Related datasets

Relationships between datasets can be documented in the metadata. Identifying relationships is recommended because it will improve usability for the end user.

Republished or duplicate datasets

We strongly recommend that DOIs be created only for 'original' datasets, not duplicate datasets. There may at times be a need to deposit duplicate copies of a dataset in multiple data centres, for example where a project has been funded by multiple funders and each funder requires deposition in a different data centre. If possible we would suggest identifying the primary version of the dataset and assigning a DOI to this version only. Where there is an unavoidable need to publish a dataset in different locations each with a separate DOI, the metadata for each appearance of the dataset should indicate the association.

Data Citation

Data Citation (PDF, 176 KB)

Data citation is a new and evolving process. Below are suggested best practices at this time.

DataCite recommends that data citation be in the format:

Creator (PublicationYear): Title. Publisher. Identifier

It may also be desirable to include information from two optional properties, Version and ResourceType (as appropriate). If so, the recommended form is as follows:

Creator (PublicationYear): Title. Version. Publisher. ResourceType. Identifier

For citation purposes, DataCite recommends that DOI names are displayed as linkable, permanent URLs (from DataCite.org):

Use Case

For his research, a researcher uses a subset of a data collection that is registered in DataCite. The researcher wants to cite the data used. Should an entity be created and registered for the subset of data used by the researcher? Should a subset of the data collection be copied and available separately from the entire collection? Registering the subset as a separate entity would require the involvement of the data owner; unless the data is designated as open source data, the user does not have the rights to publish a subset of the data. The easiest solution is for the researcher to cite the entire collection, provide its DOI and specify the range of data used.

Style Guides

For additional recommendations, see Purdue University's A Description of Data Citation Instructions in Style Guides.

DataCite Canada fact sheet for researchers

DataCite Canada: Making your research data citable!

DataCite Canada: Making your research data citable! (PDF, 358 KB)

Data arising from the research process are more than research "leftovers"; they are the building blocks of scientific research. DataCite Canada is part of a growing community recognizing the value of preserving and making this data findable, citable and accessible for replication and further use. Simply put, it's just good science.

Discover the benefits of registering your data sets!

  • Data can be efficiently searched and located
  • Data are more readily and directly available to cite
  • Higher visibility and greater recognition via data citations
  • Improved ability to track data usage and prove impact
  • Data can be linked with published articles and books
  • Reduced risk of duplicating existing research
  • Enhanced data management planning (increasingly a condition of research funding)

That's why DataCite Canada is working with Canadian data centres to provide a mechanism for organizations to register data sets and assign digital object identifiers (DOIs) to them.

  • DOIs are persistent identifiers that allow research data sets to be accessible and citable.
  • DOIs provide long-term links to data sets and allow published articles to link to their underlying data.
  • DOIs are increasing the acceptance of research data as legitimate, citable contributions to the scientific record,helping to help ensure that you, as the data producer, get the appropriate credit.

What is DataCite Canada's role in data citation?

DataCite Canada is part of a broader movement to support researchers'ability to share and cite data sets. DataCite Canada is working primarilywith organizations that house data such as data centres and libraries.DataCite Canada enables these organizations to register Canadian research data sets.

DataCite Canada and NRC

DataCite Canada is an initiative of the National Research Council's National Science Library. The library is working to ensure that the valuable data generated by Canadian researchers is accessible so that it can be re-used for other research endeavours to speed up the innovation process. NRC is a founding member of the broader international DataCite consortium and is its DOI allocation agent for Canada.

DataCite Canada fact sheet for data centres

Citable data is more valuable data!

Citable data is more valuable data! (PDF, 166 KB)

A significant portion of research funding goes into collecting research data and yet that data is often inaccessible or structured in such a way that it can't be exploited for other uses.

DataCite Canada is working with Canadian data centres and libraries to leverage that investment by making data findable, citable and accessible for replication and further use.

How DOIs work for you

Widely used in scientific publishing to cite journal articles, DOIs are persistent identifiers that provide long-term links to data sets and allow published articles to link to their underlying data.

DataCite Canada's data registration service enables organizations to register their data sets and assign digital object identifiers (DOIs) to them.

The benefits of registering your organization's data sets

Increased visibility: Greater visibility and enhanced reputation for your organization via data citations

More efficient research:

  • Reduced time and effort to search and locate quality data
  • Reduced costs and time spent duplicating existing research
  • Enhanced data management planning: improved ability to track data usage and prove impact

Maximizes the value and impact of your data:

  • Making data accessible can increase the citation rates and impact of that research
  • More possibilities for cross-industry and multidisciplinary collaborations

Better science: Allows researchers to access and reuse data from many diverse sources, thereby speeding up the innovation process

DataCite Canada and NRC

DataCite Canada is an initiative of the National Research Council's National Science Library. The library is working to ensure that the valuable data generated by Canadian researchers is accessible so that it can be re-used for other research endeavours to speed up the innovation process. NRC is a founding member of the broader international DataCite consortium and is its DOI allocation agent for Canada.

Contact us

Telephone: 1-877-672-2672
Email: NRC.DataCiteCanada.CNRC@nrc-cnrc.gc.ca

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