Frequently Asked Questions

What is a digital object identifier, or DOI? 
Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) are persistent identifiers used for citing and providing a stable link to resources, such as research data. A DOI enables scientists to cite datasets in the same manner as a scientific journal article, thereby enabling credit to be assigned to the dataset creators, and ensuring the discoverability, permanence and stability of the dataset. DOIs are composed of a prefix and a suffix which are separated by a slash (e.g. "10.1234/abcd2011-01-bio234"). For more information on the DOI itself please visit the International DOI Foundation website at
What is the role of DataCite Netherlands?
DataCite Netherlands is a service established by TU Delft Library and part of the broader international DataCite initiative, a consortium of national-scale libraries and research organizations committed to increasing access to research data on the internet. TU Delft Library is DataCite’s DOI allocation agent for the Netherlands. The DataCite Netherlands data registration service makes it easy for Dutch research data producers to obtain and manage these long-term identifiers for their research data sets. 
What can I assign a DOI to? 
DataCite Netherlands will provide DOI names to research data. In this case, research data is defined as: 
  • Datasets 
  • Data papers 
  • Grey literature 
What do I need to register research data with DataCite Netherlands? 
The mandatory requirements for registering research data are: 
  • A web-based landing page which either links to the data or gives information on how to get the data. This page may also contain information and links to tools for reading and interpreting the data. 
  • A URL to the landing page 
  • The mandatory metadata, as defined in the DataCite Metadata Schema 
How can I get a DOI for my data? 
Organizations that want to participate in the DOI system have to apply for an account at DataCite Netherlands which will assign a unique DOI prefix to the organization (e.g. "10.1234"). The organization can then assign arbitrary suffixes to their digital objects as long as they guarantee that no suffix will be repeated (e.g. "abcd2011-01-bio234" in the above example). Research data for which identifiers will be assigned must be located in data centres or repositories committed to persistence and maintenance. DataCite Netherlands does not work with individual researchers. Individuals should contact their institution in the first instance. If your institution is not working with DataCite Netherlands, then please contact us at Of course, individual researchers will always be able to deposit their datasets to DOI enabled repositories. Please check the list of available repositories here. 
Is there a cost for signing up to the service? 
A client is required to pay an annual fee of € 750,- entitling the account holder to create and manage an unlimited number of identifiers. Before registration, an agreement should be made with the TU Delft Library. 
What is the mandatory metadata? 
All registered DOIs should be accompanied by at least mandatory metadata. The mandatory metadata provides the key elements of a citation.  Our recommended format for a data citation is as follows: Creator (PublicationYear): Title. Publisher. Identifier. 
It may also be desirable to include information from two optional properties, Version and ResourceType (as appropriate). If so, the recommended form is as follows: Creator (PublicationYear): Title. Version. Publisher. ResourceType. Identifier. For citation purposes, DataCite recommends that DOI names are displayed as linkable, permanent URLs: 
Mourik, V. (Vincent); Zuo, K. (Kun); Frolov, S.M. (Sergey); Plissard, S.R. (Sebastien); Bakkers, E.P.A.M. (Erik); Kouwenhoven, L.P. (Leo) (2012) Signatures of Majorana fermions in hybrid superconductor-semiconductor nanowire devices. Science Magazine. Dataset. 
More information on metadata: DataCite metadata schema
How can I use a DOI? 
As an author of a publication or dataset you can assist your reader/data user to take advantage of the convenience of DOIs when you are doing your research. DOIs can make it much easier to find the full text of a publication. One of the benefits of the DOI system is that DOIs can be assigned at any level of granularity. For example, a DOI can be assigned to a data collection and also to each item within the data collection. In deciding what level of granularity to apply a DOI to, consideration may be given to the expectations of data users. Is the material at a more granular level within each data collection likely to be cited? To enhance the visibility and sharing of your datasets, we strongly recommend you to include in your article or dissertation the DOIs you have applied for your datasets. E.g. the dissertation entitled ‘CFD in drinking water treatment’ of Bas Wols, is showing this figure where the DOI will lead you directly to the related video in the data repository:

How long will it take until a DOI is resolved? 
New DOIs should be resolvable after about 5 minutes. Be aware that it can take up to 24 hours until a DOI update is globally known. 
Can I delete a DOI? 
No. DOIs are intended to be persistent identifiers and, as such, can not be deleted. If data is no longer available, you should provide a landing page for the DOI that explains why the data is no longer available. 
Can I create a test account? 
There is an option to find out more about the process of registering DOI’s for your datasets before entering into a contract. When you registered for a test account you will have access to the general test prefix 10.5072. With this prefix you will be able to test and mint DOIs as much as you need, but they WILL NOT be persistent. They can be resolved, but they may be periodically over written. Please contact us at Ask Your Library to set up a test account. 
Need further information? 
Frequently Asked Questions about the DOI® System ( 
The Handle System Frequently Asked Questions ( 
DataCite Frequently Asked Questions ( 

DataCite Netherlands version © 2017 TU Delft