Joining forces to support data linking in science articles
A new collaboration between Elsevier and data centers encourages researchers to submit data DOIs with their articles so their data will be indexed and easily accessible
By Hylke Koers, PhD Posted on 8 January 2015
While research data has always been at the foundation of scientific and medical research, the research community is increasingly recognizing the importance of that data as part of their research output. This trend is driven in part by technical improvements that make it easier and more cost-effective to store data, but equally important, the availability of reliable and well-recognized data repositories and the emergence of standards and best practices for issues such as data citation.
For data to be easily discoverable and usable, it's essential to link data stored at a data repository to the published literature. Linking increases visibility and usage for articles and data, and places data in the right context for a correct interpretation and for valid re-use. Linking can be done in several ways, including through Data DOIs that researchers include whenever they submit a manuscript for publication.
To support this practice, the Australian National Data Service (ANDS), 3TU.Datacentrum in the Netherlands, and Elsevier are joining forces to encourage researchers who are working with data sets that have Data DOIs from ANDS or 3TU (which could be their own data, or data deposited by others) to include these Data DOIs in articles submitted for publication to an Elsevier journal. These DOIs will be tagged in the article to assist automatic indexing, and they will appear as hyperlinks in the online article on ScienceDirect for one-click access to the data record.
How it works
This is an example of a Data DOI from ANDS, which was included by authors in their paper published in the journal Remote Sensing of Environment on ScienceDirect:
Data can be both references and cited. To learn more see the recent Elsevier Connect article "Building a global infrastructure for research data."
We also encourage authors to cite data using the Joint Declaration of Data Citation Principles wherever appropriate.
ANDS is funded by the Australian government to enable "more researchers to reuse research data more often." To support this vision, ANDS works with research organizations and research infrastructure facilities to make research data better managed, findable, connected and re-useable. This not only enables new kinds of data-driven research but also provides researchers the underpinning infrastructure and services needed to disseminate their data along with their research findings.
ANDS actively promotes the practice of data citation and the use of DOIs for linking between articles and data. Its Cite My Data DOI minting service enables Australian research institutions to mint DOIs for their research data assets.
3TU.Datacentrum "offers the knowledge, experience and the tools to archive research data in a standardized, secure and well-documented manner." It provides the research community with a long-term archive for storing scientific research data; permanent access to, and tools for reuse of, research data; and advice and support on data management for the researchers in the Netherlands at the Delft University of Technology, Eindhoven University of Technology and University of Twente.
Like ANDS, 3TU.Datacentrum actively promotes the use of DOIs for linking between publications and data. Each dataset in 3TU.Datacentrum is assigned a DOI. Delft University of Technology is founding member of DataCite and hosts the regional office DataCite Netherlands.
Elsevier has an extensive program to link articles that are published online on ScienceDirect with relevant research data stored in data repositories. That linking can be done through in-text data accession numbers or data DOIs included in the article by the authors or by displaying banners with outgoing links to data repositories next to the article. These banners can be added after the article has been published, which makes it possible to create links to data that becomes available at a later time.
Data DOIs (from ANDS, 3TU.Datacentrum and other data repositories) are supported by all Elsevier journals. Read more about Elsevier's data-linking program in "Bringing data to life with data linking."
What is a DOI?
A digital object identifier (DOI) is a character string (a "digital identifier") used to uniquely identify an object such as an electronic document. Metadata about the object is stored in association with the DOI name and this metadata may include a location, such as a URL, where the object can be found. The DOI for a document remains fixed over the lifetime of the document, whereas its location and other metadata may change. Referring to an online document by its DOI provides more stable linking than simply referring to it by its URL, because if its URL changes, the publisher need only update the metadata for the DOI to link to the new URL
Elsevier Connect Contributor
Dr. Hylke Koers is the Head of Content Innovation at Elsevier, leading a team that is responsible for enhancing the online article format to better capture and present modern-day research. Part of Elsevier's Article of the Future program, this includes improved online presentation, better support and visualization of digital content, and contextualization of the article by linking with data repositories and other sources of trusted scientific content on the web.
Before joining Elsevier in 2010, Hylke received a PhD in theoretical astrophysics from the University of Amsterdam and served as a postdoctoral research associate at the Université Libre de Bruxelles. He is based in Amsterdam.