Connecting PIDs for a Persistent Complete Research Story


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Persistent Identifiers (PIDs): 

Persistent Identifiers (PIDs) are persistent, externally maintained links that provide permanent availability to information about people, places, and things. These include researchers, research institutions, funders, data, registrations, publications, and more research outputs. Unlike a regular URL, PIDs are maintained by external archiving registries, keeping PIDs permanent and persistent. In other words, the links will always work and direct readers to the appropriate content. Lack of persistence is especially evident in older publications containing URLs that no longer link to the intended material (ie. link rot). PIDs also enable interoperability across scholarly communication systems that research communities rely on, which is key to facilitating and sharing data and metadata that is FAIR.

How do I identify my data or publications?

The OSF uses Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) as PIDs for public projects, public registrations, and preprints. Researchers can link their research outputs across the lifecycle together to create a complete research story without the fear of broken links.

Adding a DOI to your OSF project or registration, also means that a record of your content gets added to the Datacite or Crossref corpus, and is more likely to be indexed by other websites. DOIs can be used in citations too! See Perdue's help doc: DOIs vs URLs which provides a great guide on how to use DOIs in a citation. 


Create a DOI by making it public! 

Only public outputs on the OSF with sufficient metadata can be given a DOI. DOIs can be found on public registrations, preprints, projects, and components. OSF Registrations automatically receive a DOI, registered with Datacite. 

Get a PID for myself, my institution, or my funders! 

Researchers can also create a PID for themselves that can be associated with their research output DOIs. There are several organizations that create person identifiers, most communities and the OSF system will integrate with Open Researcher and Contributor Identifier (ORCID iD). Once you have your own ORCID iD, you can add it to your OSF profile and your public research outputs on OSF will be associated with it. Institutions and funders also have PIDs, many of which are built into OSF. Researchers from our member institutions have the PID from the Research Organization Registry (ROR) associated with their profile if they authenticate through their institution. Funders added to OSF projects and registration are automatically recorded with their PID from the Crossref Funder Registry. Associating PIDs with your outputs and profile increases the opportunity for your research to be shared correctly and consistently. 

Connect Other PIDs to your OSF Outputs 

The OSF provides the opportunity to connect your DOIs, either from the OSF or external DOIs to your registration. This allows you to connect all of your research outputs in one transparent place. For instructions on connecting your data, code, publications, and other PIDs to a registration see our help guide on Output reporting. If you connect outputs using PIDs to your registration, it will look like the image below: 

By connecting all of your associated PID outputs to a registration, preprint, or project, you can create connected pathways for anyone to associate all of your work together with your profile. 

Want to Know More?

For more information on adding metadata to your work on the OSF please see our support guides on DOIs, or contact OSF Support for more information.

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