Identifiers: key to connected research

Categorised: ENGAGE

Unique digital identifiers are used to connect research objects such as data to important contextual information such as: who created this dataset? What project did it result from?  Which journal articles reference the dataset? Where is this sample from?

Identifiers are also used to provide persistent access to outputs via a clickable link such as a DOI or digital object identifier. Importantly, when used in a citation, identifiers support attribution and the collection of usage metrics.

That is why there are services to create and manage persistent identifiers for research data, research samples, software, researchers and research projects.

The ARDC encourages the use of identifiers for research resources and supports a number of identifier types:

  • Digital Object Identifier (DOI): the ARDC offers a DOI minting service to enable research outputs such as data, software and grey literature to be uniquely identified with a persistent link to the object on the internet.
  • Handle: the ARDC offers a handle minting service at no charge to publicly funded Australian research organisations. Handles may be used to create persistent identifiers for situations where a DOI is not appropriate or unable to be created. Use this handy decision tree guide to help determine whether a DOI or Handle is best suited to your needs.
  • International Geo Sample Number (IGSN): the ARDC offers an IGSN minting service to provide an unambiguous globally unique persistent identifier for physical samples. The IGSN system facilitates the location, identification, and citation of physical samples used in research.
  • Research Activity Identifier (RAiD): the ARDC offers a RAiD minting service to uniquely identify research projects and activities. A RAiD is persistent and connects identifiers for researchers, institutions, outputs and tools together to create a timeline of research activity which makes connecting digital infrastructure, reporting on impact and establishing data provenance clear and easy.
  • ORCID: a persistent digital identifier for researchers and research organisations. An ORCID distinguishes you from every other researcher and, through integration in key research workflows such as manuscript and grant submissions, supports automated linkages between you and your professional outputs ensuring that your work is recognised.

Learn more about identifiers and the identifier services available through the ARDC.