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Persistent identifiers: the building blocks of the research information infrastructure

journal contribution
posted on 14.03.2019 by Alice Meadows, Haak Laurel, Josh Brown
Persistent identifiers (PIDs) – for people (researchers), places (their organizations) and things (their research outputs and other contributions) – are foundational elements in the overall research information infrastructure. They enable these entities to be uniquely identified and connected, to create reliable links between them. In this paper we describe what PIDs are and how they work. We demonstrate how, if widely adopted, the connections they enable will result in improved access to information, opportunities
for collaboration, reduced administrative overhead and, ultimately, increased trust in scholarship and research. To ensure they are fit for purpose, we propose that PID metadata should meet FAIR principles, and that the source of information they contain should be clear and transparent. We also recognize existing usage of persistent identifiers, and invite community support for wider adoption of PIDs in future.

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