Digital Object Identifiers

NERC has the ability to issue Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) to datasets held in its Environmental Data Centres. A DOI is a character string (a 'digital identifier') used to uniquely identify and provide a permanent link to a digital object, such as a data set or journal paper. This is a result of collaboration between the NERC data centres, the British Library and DataCite - external link.

Assigning DOIs to datasets means that data users are able to confidently cite data alongside traditional journal papers. The benefits for data producers include gaining due academic credit for their efforts to produce these valuable research outputs and the ability to further publicise their data in a way that ensures their efforts in creating it are acknowledged.

Benefits of DOIs for data users

DOIs provide a quick and easy method for citing and publishing data, thereby recognising the value of that data and the effort that has gone into its creation, capture and effective management. DOIs also allow formal publication of the dataset in data journals.

Datasets must be fully ingested into a NERC Data Centre before a DOI can be minted, and this process takes varying amounts of time depending on the data and scientific domain. Datasets which have already been ingested into NERC data centres may also have DOIs assigned to them, but permission will be sought from the dataset owner before the DOI is minted.

Researchers requesting a DOI should be aware that NERC have certain quality requirements for data to be assigned a DOI, and that is the responsibility of the depositor to ensure the data meets the required level of quality. Details of these requirements are provided in the Guidelines for Scientists with any further information required provided by NERC data centres on a case by case basis.

Contact details for further information

Centre for Environmental Data Analysis (CEDA)

UK Solar System Data Centre (UKSSDC)
Solar terrestrial physics and chemistry

British Oceanographic Data Centre (BODC)
Marine science

Environmental Information Data Centre (EIDC)
Terrestrial & freshwater science, hydrology and bioinformatics

National Geoscience Data Centre (NGDC)
Earth sciences

Polar Data Centre (PDC)
Polar science