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. The objective is to maintain the durability of both the identifier and the identified information.

Persistent identifiers at DANS

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).


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

  • When you complete the deposition and send your data to DANS using the “Submit” button, you will receive an email containing the DOI. 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. In rare cases where a dataset cannot be published, the DOI expires before it can work.

My dataset has been published and has a DOI, but its data are now outdated.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

  • Once it has been published, DANS prefers not to remove a dataset with a working DOI, as it may have been cited by other researchers. See also the licence agreement you received when you deposited the dataset. Perhaps it will suffice, instead, to upload a new, revised version of the data, and link to this new dataset from the old, outdated one, or to include additional explanatory documentation. In any case, please contact a DANS data manager.

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).

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?

  • Deposit your data as per usual, and use the “Remarks” field to explain your situation (“Data for a article”, for instance).
  • When your article has been published, please send us the DOI and/or bibliographic information relating to the publication, so we can include them in the dataset description, allowing secondary users to refer to your publication.
  • Note that not all deposited data will be published. We will always publish data provided by researchers (PhD students and above), anonymised, well documented and in either the Dutch or English language. If your situation does not conform to these standards, please contact DANS to discuss the possibilities.

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