On February 1. and 2. there was a workshop on “Persistent Identifiers for the Social Sciences” in Bonn in Germany. The workshop was jointly organized by the DataCite member Gesis – Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences with the IDSC of IZA (Institute for the Study of Labor) and the German Data Forum (RatSWD).
DataCite and other initiatives for introducing persistent identifiers (PIDs) for research data were broadly discussed at this workshop. It included presentations from members of the international social science data archives, libraries, and research institutions. Topics included overviews on different persistent identifier systems, the use and benefit of PIDs, practical applications of PIDs to data collections, and future developments of services around PIDs. The DataCite consortium was presented by Jan Brase from TIB (“Libraries and data – the DataCite consortium”). Other presentations of DataCite members were given by Markus Quandt (“Why Do We Need Persistent Identifiers?”), Brigitte Hausstein (“DOI Registration for Social and Economic Data: da | ra”), Wolfgang Zenk-Möltgen (“Implementing Digital Object Identifiers at the GESIS Data Archive for the Social Sciences”) – all from GESIS – and Michael Diepenbroek from PANGAEA (“Publishing Scientific Data – The Role of the Digital Object Identifier”), and Mary Vardigan from ICPSR (“ICPSR’s Approach to Data Citation and Persistent Identifiers”). Among others, different PID systems were presented by Laurence W. Lannom from CNRI (“The Handle System”), Bas Cordewener from the SURFfoundation (“URN: NBN in the Netherlands”), and Ulrich Schwardmann from GWDG (“PID System for eResearch, EPIC – the European Persistant Identiﬁer Consortium”). The specific relation to the widely adopted metadata standard DDI was covered by Joachim Wackerow from GESIS (“DDI-URN – Enabling identification and reuse of DDI metadata”).
The closing podium discussion about future use of PIDs showed that the need for proper citation of research data, together with machine actionable persistent identification is widely accepted. The benefits for the acknowledgement of scientific data publication and the stimulation of re-using data are clear to see. For assigning PIDs to research datasets, good policies need to be in place, together with a version management and well defined metadata. It was obvious that several PID systems will exist in the future, thus the interoperability issue was raised several times. Participants of the podium discussions were Jan Brase (TIB), Bas Cordewener (SURFfoundation), Laurence Lannom (CNRI), Juha Hakala (The National Library of Finland), Maurizio Lunghi (Fondazione Rinascimento Digitale), Rob Grim (Tilburg University), and Markus Quandt (GESIS). Altogether, an exciting workshop with lots of good contributions!