Creating references to your research objects that can be maintained, even if the location changes

We use the Handle system to create persistent identifiers for situations where a DOI is not appropriate or unable to be created. You can use the identifier tree to determine which identifier is right for your needs. The Handle service is available cost-free for Australian organisations and individuals creating, using or curating publicly available research data.

The Handle service provides a way to automatically assign globally unique citable identifiers, based on Handle technology, to your datasets, collections, papers and so on.

It creates a clickable reference to your dataset that can be maintained, even if the location of the dataset changes. When people click on it, the ARDC service re-routes them to whatever location you nominate; you can update that location at any time. This clickable or resolvable link is called a handle.

For more information about our criteria please read the Handle Service Policy Statement.

Ways of using the service

Manual minting

  • self-service interface available to independent researchers and is accessible using their Australian Access Federation (AAF) account.
  • Can only mint a single handle at a time.
  • Institutions have the option to use the self-service interface for manually minting individual handles, or as an interim arrangement while a machine-to-machine service is established. For institutions seeking self-service access, please contact us.

Bulk minting

  • Bulk minting tool for batch minting service is available to eligible institutions who have not implemented a machine to machine service. For bulk minting access, please contact us.

Important note: The ARDC does not manage the handles; it only provides the infrastructure to allow minting, resolution and updating of them. Processes and policies need to be put in place by those utilising the product to ensure that appropriate maintenance practices underpin persistence.

Machine to machine

  • The machine-to-machine (m2m) service with a software interface is available for institutions for their registered research software or data archive software systems to call as part of their automated data creation or data archiving workflows. Visit the Handle Service Technical Documentation for instructions on how to use the m2m service and implement a Handle Service Client.
  • Tools available for reuse:

Your Handle toolkit

We've put together a list of handy guides and tools to help you ensure you're always up to date on best practices for using Handles.