We all know how important it is to cite work and data from other researchers and institutions. But it is as important for you – as the data creator and initial owner – to ensure that others can cite you and reference your work and data. The easiest way to do this is by creating a DOI (Digital Object Identifier) for your work once you upload it and make it available for everyone. What is a DOI, you ask? Well, it is an alphanumeric string that uniquely identifies an object – in this case your academic output. This could be an article, a report, a thesis, as well as data (amongst others). More importantly, a DOI is uniquely linked to a specific metadata description, as well as to its digital location. Such a digital location would be, for example, an URL.

So how would you get a DOI for your work? It’s easy! There are many ways to do this. For example, when you upload your work to Researchgate you will have the option of creating a DOI. But you can also create a DOI for your work at DataCite.org. The organization allows you to upload your data, uniquely identify it and link it to you (as the researcher). Once  you have created a DOI for your data/research/work this information is available through DataCite.org.All you have to do is:

  • Submit a name;
  • A metadata description following the DataCite Metadata Schema; and
  • A URL of the object to create a DOI.

So don’t forget to create a DOI for your work when you next upload any of your output. It allows others to cite you and for you to get the recognition you are entitled to.


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