Scientific output is not just about academic papers. Datasets, along with other products of research, such as software and various forms of multimedia, also need to be made citable so that sharing and reuse can be facilitated, as well as tracked. In order to achieve this, these outputs must be given persistent identifiers similar to the digital object identifiers (DOIs) assigned to academic papers. Two weeks ago, the ODIN project held its first-year conference at CERN, with delegates discussing the barriers stakeholder groups encounter and how these could be resolved to enable an interoperable layer of persistent identification on both a European and a global scale.
ODIN stands for ‘The ORCID and DataCite Interoperability Network’. It is a two-year project, which started in September 2012 and is funded by the European Commission under its FP7 scheme. DataCite works to assign persistent identifiers to datasets, while ORCID focuses on providing persistent identifiers to researchers themselves, so as to solve issues related to name ambiguity. Both organizations have the overarching goal of facilitating better scientific research.