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Research Identifiers: DOI Policy

Information on public identifiers for research publications and data

Policy (PDF)


Registration of DOIs via DataCite

1. Introduction

This is a policy for registration of Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) via the University of Southampton's DataCite account.

The service is for:

  • Primary and secondary data that is citable and part of the scholarly record
  • Digitised materials hosted by the University (e.g. archive material)

This service is not suitable when:

  • The data is held by another institution
  • The availability of data is intended to always be highly restricted
  • A DOI has already been created for that item (by another University or a Data Centre for example)
  • There are unresolved legal, ethical or contractual issues (at the time of registration)
  • The metadata (author, title, etc.) cannot be released under a CC0 'No Rights Reserved' License (this is a requirement of DataCite)
  • The data linked to by a DOI will change significantly. A new DOI should be created for each new major version.

2. Registering DOIs via the Library

All Staff and Research Postgraduates will be able to use this route, generally via the Institutional Repository. The alternative (trusted partner, see below) option may be more suitable to deal with more specialised requirements or large volume of registrations.

A request may be made via for any item type in the repository except Article, Book, Book Section, Conference or Workshop Item.

Staff in the Library will then consider your request. In the following cases a DOI will generally be issued:

  • The data will be cited in a publication (journal, book, thesis, etc.), including conference, workshop or symposium items that may be published less formally
  • The data will be referenced in the media (newspapers, television, etc.) a university press statement or an official university blog or news item
  • PhD an other higher theses where separate DOIs will be issued for the text of the thesis and substantive underpinning data

For other cases the following factors will provide robust support for a DOI request:

  • The data will be made publicly available within a short period
  • The data are considered significant
  • The data are likely to be cited
  • There is a good strategy to publicise the data
  • There is support from a senior colleague such as an Associate Dean Research or Head of Research Group

Where the request is clearly within the scope of the policy, staff in the library will be responsible for authorising these. For more complex cases requests will be referred to the PI or other staff as nominated by the Dean.

Requests for DOIs for Reports/Working Papers published by the University that either have an ISBN or the series has an ISSN will be referred to the relevant Associate Dean for review.

3. Registering DOIs via 'trusted partner' status

This route supports more specialised requirements and the capacity to register DOIs without individual authorisation. Staff can become responsible for authorising their own DOIs or the DOIs of a research group.

Researchers can request 'trusted partner' role (via and should give details fo the collections they need to register and any associated repositories and systems. The decision will be made by the Associate Dean Research in consultation with the Library.

Key factors will include:

  • The DOI 'landing pages' are persistent, contain the required information and will be kept up to date
  • The data will be archived in a persistent and sustainable way
  • Criteria in Section 1 must be complied with
  • Factors in Section 2 will be taken into consideration

4. Governance

The number of individual DOI allocations and trusted partners to be reported annually to the Research Data Management Steering Group for the purpose of:

  • Reviewing the contribution of data citation to research impact
  • Gathering feedback on the process to inform improvement to policy and practice

The University of Southampton is committed to working with other stakeholders internationally on developing appropriate practice in relation to DOI assignation; exploring issues such as granularity, relationship to other identifiers and interoperability.

This policy will be reviewed iteratively and formally updated annually as required. Date of next review: 01/06/2016

From Version 1.4 final MW/WHW 08/06/15