“Last year’s White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) Nelson Memo is just one recent example of a national funding organization that is paying attention to PIDs. It directs US agencies to instruct their funded researchers “to obtain a digital persistent identifier … include it in published research outputs when available, and provide federal agencies with the metadata associated with all published research outputs they produce”. Other examples include UK Research and Innovation’s (UKRI) recently updated open access policy, which states that “Persistent Identifiers (PIDs) for articles must be implemented according to international recognised standards”; and Plan S’s requirement for the “Use of persistent identifiers (PIDs) for scholarly publications (with versioning, for example, in case of revisions), such as DOI”, which has been adopted by multiple countries.
It’s not just the national funders who are getting in on the act; there’s also been a surge in interest at the national government level. A number of countries in the Americas, Asia Pacific, and Europe are at various stages of developing and implementing national PID strategies. They include Australia, Brazil, Canada, Finland, the Netherlands, Peru, South Korea, and the UK, all of which are participating in a Research Data Alliance (RDA) National PID Strategies Working Group, set up following a Birds of a Feather session at the RDA Virtual Plenary 17 last year. There are a number of similarities between these countries’ approaches, as the RDA WG has found. Its aim is “to map common activities across national agencies/efforts and produce a guide on the specific PIDs adopted in the context of national or regional PID strategies [in order to] help others, irrespective of geographical region, follow a blueprint to define their national PID approach. The intention is that it can be adopted or adapted by other countries looking to develop their own PID strategies. By following the recommendations it will encourage standardisation internationally.” One element of this work is to identify the most commonly used PIDs across all countries, which I’m sure is music to the ears of my former NISO colleague Todd Carpenter, who pointed out in his recent post that, “It is past time that we all agree on a core set of identifiers and basic metadata elements and begin to encourage researchers to use them at scale when communicating their results.” Common PIDs (not all of which are open) that have already been identified in the RDA WG’s work include: ORCID or ISNI for researchers; ROR or ISNI for research organizations; Crossref DOIs for research articles; DataCite DOIs or Handles for research data; Crossref DOIs for grants; RAiD for projects; and DOIs, IGSN and RRID for samples and specimens….”