Using DataCite to assign DOIs to non-centralised objects

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Many institutions who are using DataCite UK only assign DOIs to content held in a central repository. But it is possible for organisations to use their DataCite accounts to assign DOIs for objects not held centrally.

Many institutions who are using DataCite UK only assign DOIs to content held in a central repository. But you can also use your DataCite accounts to assign DOIs to non-centralised objects, for example if data are held in a faculty database or where a service has developed for a specific project or collaboration.

There are a number of aspects to consider for non-centralised assignment of DOIs.

Account access

We prefer to ensure that we provide the DataCite UK service on an organisation-wide basis. This means that if a given organisation arranges an agreement and account with us, any service within that organisation can use DataCite DOIs.

We are only able to provide one DataCite account for the whole organisation, even if you wish to provide DataCite DOIs for objects that are not managed centrally. The username and password can be shared within the organisation, but please bear in mind the following:

  • All users must be aware of and adhere to the requirements of using DataCite UK. These are outlined in the DataCite UK agreement, and so the organisation is responsible for ensuring that they are followed. We can support you in ensuring relevant staff are aware of these requirements.
  • As the password is shared, you will want to ensure that it is changed regularly to keep your account secure, particularly when staff leave the organisation.

To support delegated access to DataCite accounts, there is a tool that has been created to manage access to DataCite accounts, based on a local LDAP server.

Short-term projects

Where the non-centralised service is a short- or fixed-term project, you should consider how the DOIs will be managed once the related project or collaboration finishes. We recommend that you work to ensure that the relevant objects are made available to the central repository in the event that the project ends. This allows management of the DOIs to be taken on by the organisation for the long term.

Moving between institutions

Some services may be located at any given institution for a fixed period of time. At the end of that time, the service may move and take its content and their associated DOIs with it. In these cases, we recommend that non-centralised repositories are given their own DOI prefix.

Having a separate DOI prefix means that when a move happens, there is an easy separation of DOIs that the service can take with them to a new institution, or even manage themselves (subject to becoming DataCite UK users in their own right).

Additional prefixes can be added to a DataCite account on request, at no extra charge. It simply requires a small amendment to the agreement, which can be processed within a couple of days.

If you have any other concerns about non-centralised use of DataCite UK within your organisation, please email us.


DataCite help pages

Managing your DataCite account

Here you will find frequently asked questions on how to manage your DataCite UK account.

Creating and managing your DOIs

Here you will find the answers to frequently asked questions on how to create and manage your DataCite UK DOIs.

Creating and updating your metadata

By associating good quality metadata with a DOI in Fabrica, your items are made more visible, accessible and usable.

Setting up DataCite test accounts

If you need to find out the finer details of creating DataCite DOIs, test accounts are a great starting point.


A list of technical problems you may experience when using DataCite.