Digital Object Identifiers

A Digitial Object Identifier is a string that is associated perpetually (at least in theory) with a particular digital object. CANFAR registers Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) with DataCite. A number of services will resolved the DOI directly to the digital object


Although CANFAR is able to “mint” a DOI linked to any type of digital object the primary purpose was defined by the community’s need to provide a link from a published paper to the data products that were used to produce the scientific results of that paper. A link to “archival” data (the data in the form that are received by CADC from the observatories) is generally not sufficient because scientists typically do further processing that modifies those data to produce the data products used in their research.

CANFAR offers a simple process to satisify the need to link research data products to the publication that results from them. Research teams collect the data products into a VOSpace folder with explanatory material (typically a README file). When the folder is ready to publish it is copied into a readonly area of the CANFAR VOSpace so that it will remain perpetually static. A landing page is created and the DOI is “minted” pointing to that landing page, where the data are accessible. The authors of the publication would normally provide the DOI itself to the paper publisher to associate the paper with the data that were used to produce it.

The material that within the published folder may contain software, graphs, or any other material that is relevant to the scientific results of the paper. THe authors have flexibility to decide what should be included.

CANFAR is willing to issue DOIs for any research material where publication is useful to the community even in the case where no publication is directly associated with those data.

CANFAR invites any researcher to contact us to discuss using the DOI process and long-term storage capability that we offer.

Recommended process to associate data and digital objects with a refereed publication

The authors should create a folder in the CANFAR VOSpace that contains the material to be published associated with a Digital Object Identifier (DOI).

It is feasible to include the data in the refereeing process by giving permission to the publisher and the referee to access the VOSpace folder containing the data. The referee or publisher can examine tha material and can suggest or require changes to be made to that material. The author can make the required changes before the paper is accepted or published.

Once all of the changes are made to the material to be published, the auther should contact CADC and ask us to take over curation of the VOSpace folder. CADC will copy that folder into a read-only location in VOSpace. The material is then ready to publish. The author should proved publication infromation (author list, journal and volume, etc.) that is as complete as possible.

The DOI is normally “minted” at this time in the process. When a DOI is “minted” a small set of metadata is entered into the DataCite system along with the location that the DOI refers to. That data is entered and the process is complete.

Normally, once a DOI is “minted”, no changes can be made to the published folder. Trivial exceptions may be made. For example, modifying the README files to include journal information that was unavailable previously might be allowed.

A DOI can be reserved at any time ahead of the minting process. CADC can tell the authors the exact DOI that will be “minted” because the choice of the exact DOI at the time of “minting” is under the control of CADC. So if the DOI is needed, for example, to give to the publisher before or after the paper is accepted, but before it is time to “mint” a DOI, that can be done by contacting CADC.

TO-DO list for requesting a DOI

  1. BEFORE submitting a DOI request, you should have the following information:
    • Required Full title
    • Required Full author list
    • Required Journal name
      • Full journal reference can be provided after the DOI is minted, but it is your responsibility to contact the CADC with the full reference if it is not provided with the initial DOI request.
    • Required (if applicable) The full VOSpace path to your data.
      • As outlined above, the data will not be moved/copied until you confirm that the data is final.
    • Required Journal submission date
    • Optional with initial request Journal acceptance date
      • Must be provided with the full journal reference, when available
    • Optional Journal article DOI
  2. Send an email to requesting a DOI
    • Include the above information in your request
  3. AFTER your article is accepted, you should provide the following:
    • Full journal reference
    • Acceptance date
    • Article DOI (if provided by Journal)