A pilot Persistent Identifier Service for research in CSIRO
Jonathan Yu1, Tim Erwin1, Erin Kenna2, Mikaela Lawrence3, Carmi Cronje4, Gareth Williams6, Sue Cook5, Andrew Williams3, Matthew Birks6, Nathan Peterson1
1CSIRO, Melbourne, Australia
2CSIRO, Brisbane, Australia
3CSIRO, Adelaide, Australia
4CSIRO, Sydney, Australia
5CSIRO, Perth, Australia
6CSIRO, Black Mountain, Australia
Persistent identifiers (PIDs) are essential elements of research data infrastructures that ensure access to research related objects (e.g. software, data, definitions, representations of physical objects) in a digital manner on the web. The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) is the national science agency and undertakes a diverse range of research activities across many domains. A number of PID systems exist of which CSIRO already publishes via systems like Digital Object Identifier (DOI), and Handle. However, there are physical and non-physical objects that are not accommodated by existing global PID systems – such as identification of scientific models, geographic / spatial entities, experiments, and sensors.
CSIRO is piloting a PID system that aims to provide the ability to mint PIDs to fill the above gaps. The primary driver for this is a growing need for defensibility of scientific results through reproducibility and provenance. The proposed CSIRO PID system is not unique. Other research organisations and infrastructures have deployed PID systems, such as Geoscience Australia, TERN, IMOS. The Australian Government Linked Data Working Group (AGLDWG) also publish PIDs on behalf of the Australian Government for the purposes of identifying authoritative government digital objects. Several community managed PID systems exist such as w3id.org, and purl.org.
There are several questions to consider regarding the technical and governance aspects of PID services. When should generic PIDs be utilised? When should discipline or category specific PIDs be created? Who is best placed to manage these services – individual organisations or a community?
Dr Jonathan Yu is a data scientist with the Environmental Informatics group in CSIRO. He has expertise in information and web architectures, data integration (particularly Linked Data), data analytics and visualisation. He and his team has developed a number of tools and platforms to streamline information flows through initiatives such as WIRADA, eReefs, AURIN, ecocloud, and Location Index.