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Harmonizing the use of PIDs in data repositories – What do we need to consider?

Persistent identifiers (PIDs) are an integral element of the FAIR principles (Wilkinson et al. 2016) as they are recommended to refer to data sets and metadata. They are, however, also considered to be used to refer to other data entities, like people, organizations, projects, laboratories, repositories, publications, vocabularies, samples, instruments, licenses, methods and others. Consistently integrating these PIDs into data infrastructures can create a high level of interoperability allowing to build connections between data sets from different repositories according to common meta information.

For developers and maintainers of repositories it is very difficult to decide, which PID systems to integrate, and how to implement the PIDs into the repositories metadata schema. Many decisions have to be made, e.g. where is the reference information, in my repositories metadata or the PID metadata? Who is responsible for a PID record, who registers is and who maintains it, in case the meta-information changes?

In this presentation we will shed some light on selected PID systems we recommend to use within the Helmholtz Association, and how we envision to solve some of the mentioned challenges. We develop and outline procedures to implement PIDs in a harmonized way, in order to achieve a level of interoperability across data infrastructures, based on metadata of commonly referenced PIDs.


Emanuel Söding1, Andrea Pörsch2
1GEOMAR Helmholtz Zentrum für Ozeanforschung, Germany; 2Deutsches GeoForschungsZentrum GFZ
GeoBerlin 2023