How the DOE Data ID Service Works
  1. A DOE researcher, organization, or grantee determines that important datasets exist which need to be announced in DOE's scientific and technical databases and assigned DOIs.  DOE Order 241.1B instructs that bibliographic information for these datasets be submitted to OSTI.  First time submitters may contact OSTI at 865-576-6784 for help in deciding what submittal method will be used, metadata requirements, etc.

  2. Submittal is handled through manual input into the Announcement Notice (AN) 241.6 on E-Link or via an automated 241.6  Web Service/API.  The AN 241.6 is available without login for grantees or through an E-Link account for DOE organizations.  The manual entry is appropriate if the anticipated volume of datasets to be registered is low.  Higher volumes are more easily handled through the automated API, but some upfront programming is required of the submitting site.

  3. The submitter decides at what level DOIs will be assigned to the data.  Some datasets are similar to collections, in that they have multiple data files to which the landing page leads; others may be small and consist only of an Excel spreadsheet.  Defining the boundaries of the datasets that will be announced and registered is an important step requiring subject expertise and knowledge of how particular audiences normally look for the data in question.  For that reason, the definition of what constitutes a dataset that will receive a DOI is the responsibility of the people who know the data best, i.e. the people at the submitting organization.

  4. When announcing and registering a dataset, the submitter:

    • Ensures that the dataset is located in a data center or online repository where it will be managed in such a way as to provide persistent access and maintenance of all URLs associated with the DOI.
    • Provides, at a minimum, the mandatory metadata and ensures appropriate authority to make available the metadata and the dataset being identified.  The dataset must be open and accessible to the public.
    • Ensures that the URL assigned to the DOI links to a landing page (typically an HTML page) that provides users with the necessary context for using the data.
    • Coordinates with OSTI to create and maintain a persistent "tombstone page" when data registered with a DOI must become unavailable.

  5. After submittal, E-Link’s processing of the metadata begins.  Two unique numbers are assigned:  a) the OSTI ID that identifies the record in any of OSTI’s databases, and b) the unique DOI that will identify the dataset and its location to the world.  The format of the assigned DOI will be a numerical string beginning with 10. and a number known as the prefix followed by a / (slash mark) and the OSTI ID.  Each lab, project, or organization wishing to submit dataset records is assigned a unique DOI prefix that no other client will share.  Submitters can also request to have “intelligence” added to their DOI format.  A customized character string is submitted as part of the metadata and automatically inserted into the middle of the DOI format by the DOE Data ID Service.  Note that grantees using the non-login version of the AN 241.6 will receive the generic DOE prefix for their assigned DOIs.

    Example of a DOI from the DOE Data ID Service: 10.5439/1023895 or

    Example of an intelligent DOI: 10.5439/myprojectname/1023895 or

  6. As part of its overnight processing, E-Link “calls” DataCite and uploads metadata and the new DOI to DataCite.

  7. DataCite validates the DOI and, if it works correctly, “mints” the DOI.  A new DOI mints within minutes; a DOI being updated (with a new site url, for example) may take several hours before it resolves to the new location.  If, for any reason, DataCite is unable to accept and mint the DOI, an immediate notification is returned to E-Link.  E-Link responds by halting the processing of the record involved.  It remains in “Submitted” status until the issue is corrected.

  8. When DataCite accepts and mints the DOI, it returns an immediate “Success” notification to E-Link.  E-Link then completes the overnight processing by transferring the record with its live DOI to customer databases such as SciTech Connect and DOE Data Explorer.  The information is available for search and retrieval in the morning.

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Last updated on Tuesday 21 March 2017