Persistent identifiers (PIDs)

Internet-based information can easily be lost. By attaching a unique identification marker to the information instead of a regular web address, sustained access to the data is ensured, even if they are relocated. This unique identification marker is called a persistent identifier (PID). The objective is to maintain the durability of both the identifier and the identified information.

This video explains in more what PIDs are and how they work.


DANS uses Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs). Each dataset stored at DANS has a unique DOI and new datasets are automatically assigned a DOI upon deposition. You can use this DOI when citing the associated dataset. Each dataset also contains a set of instructions in “Cite as” format to facilitate data citation by secondary users using the DOI.

All over the world, DOIs are used as persistent identifiers to enable sustainable reference to publications and datasets. Links between different types of scientific output are made possible by the worldwide network of DOIs and other persistent identifiers. By implementing the DOI system, DANS supports the citation of datasets according to the DataCite and FORCE11 guidelines.

DANS is also involved in the URN:NBN identifier project and maintains the national URN:NBN resolver. In collaboration with university libraries, research institutions, the Royal Library of the Netherlands and EduStandaard, DANS works to maintain the national URN:NBN infrastructure. DANS also participates in several persistent identifier projects, for instance the development of the PID-guide with the Dutch Digital Heritage Network (NDE) and in the establishment of the PID Forum, a global information and discussion platform for persistent identifiers.


At which point in the deposition process will I be provided with a persistent identifier?

  • When you deposit your dataset and save your draft, you will already see the citation for your dataset including the DOI in the blue box on the front page of your dataset. Additionally, when you complete the deposition and send your data to DANS using the “Submit for Review” button, you will receive an email containing the DOI.
    Please note that the DOI will not work until the dataset has been published.

I have deposited a dataset and received a DOI. When will it start working?

  • The DOI will only actually refer to your dataset when it has been published by a DANS data manager.

My dataset has been published and has a DOI, but its data are now outdated. Can my dataset be removed?

  • You can modify your dataset via the options under ‘Edit Dataset’ or ‘Edit Files’, or via the buttons ‘Upload Files’ or ‘Add + Edit Metadata’, or the File Options (the three dots picture next to the files). Doing so will create a new version of the dataset, retaining the DOI. You will need to submit your modification and a DANS data manager will need to publish your new version before it will be accessible. The tab ‘Versions’ will show all dataset versions with details on the version differences. Earlier versions will remain accessible to other users.
    In cases where there is a legal reason to remove or limit access to the dataset, it is possible to have your dataset, or a version of your dataset, deaccessioned. If you wish to deaccession (a version of) your dataset, please contact DANS. The DOI will remain active and inform users that the dataset was deaccessioned, showing the reason given for deaccessioning.

Do data files at DANS have a DOI?

  • Individual files stored at DANS do not have a DOI – only datasets do. A dataset is the combined whole of data files, research documentation and metadata. If you want to refer to a specific file, use the dataset DOI and file name with extension (especially if the dataset includes data in several file formats). To make file citations easier, the citation of a file can also be exported directly from Dataverse. 

I want to request a DOI ahead of time for inclusion in a publication / I want to deposit my data, which are connected to an article in a (open access) journal, ahead of time, and receive a DOI which I can provide to reviewers. How can I do this?

  • Simply start on a deposit in the Data Station and save your draft. You will see the DOI reserved for your dataset in the blue box on the front page of your dataset. Once your data is ready for publication, please finalize the draft and submit the dataset for review by DANS.
  • Please include a reference to the publication in the ‘Relation’ metadata block, using the PID associated with the publication. If this reference is not available yet at the time when you need to publish your dataset, you can submit and have your dataset published first. Once you have a reference to the publication, you can add the reference to the dataset metadata by going to the Metadata tab of your dataset and click ‘Add + Edit Metadata’. Doing so will create a revision of your dataset, which you will again need to submit to DANS in order to have it published. 

I have a bibliographic reference labeled “DOI: 10.[number]”. How can I find this article or dataset?



© DANS. R.1.5. Version 1.0, March 30, 2023