Building Blocks for Discovery: ARM Data Joins DataCite Open Access Registry

DataCite is a not-for-profit organization that aims to establish easier access to research data and increase their acceptance as legitimate, citable contributions to the scholarly record. Since 2009, DataCite has registered over 1 million DOI names.

Starting with 380 ARM data sets and several hundred more in the queue, the DOE Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is now making DOE-funded research data sets available through DataCite. During the past year, ARM Data Archive staff at Oak Ridge National Laboratory worked with OSTI staff and DataCite to establish a stable process for data sharing through “Data Object Identifiers” or DOIs. The DOI is then registered in DataCite and added to a variety of searchable databases. This “DOIs for data sets” service helps DOE achieve its goal to provide open access to experimental data, as set forth in the DOE 2011 Strategic Plan.

As a scientific user facility serving researchers both in the United States and abroad, ARM has amassed one of the largest observational data collections within DOE. The DOI service allows data and information providers to generate globally unique, persistent and resolvable identifiers for any kind of digital objects. These identifiers can then be used to cite the data in journal articles.

Data citation is a relatively new practice, and there is currently no single agreed-upon set of guidelines. In addition, ARM data sets pose some challenges that do not exist with other data sets, due to the existence of multiple sites with continuous data collections covering many years. To enable scientists to cite ARM Climate Research Facility data in their publications, the ARM Data Archive created DOIs at the ARM “data product” level with associated citation guidance.

Housed within the DOE Office of Science, OSTI is the clearinghouse for results from DOE research and development projects. It is one of three U.S. members of DataCite and currently the only U.S. federal agency offering this service. More information is in the original OSTI press release.