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Implementation of data citations and persistent identifiers at the ORNL DAAC...

Publication Type
Journal Name
Ecological Informatics
Publication Date
Page Numbers
10 to 16

A requirement of data archives is that data holdings can be easily discovered, accessed, and used. One approach to improving data discovery and access is through data citations coupled with Digital Object Identifiers (DOI). The Oak Ridge National Laboratory Distributed Active Archive Center (ORNL DAAC) since 1998 has issued data citations that have been accepted and used in peer-reviewed journals. Citation elements established by the ORNL DAAC are similar to those used for journal articles (authors, year, product title, and information to locate), and beginning in 2007 included a DOI that is persistent, actionable, specific, and complete. The approach used at the ORNL DAAC also allows for referring to subsets of the data, by including within the citation the temporal and spatial extent, and parameters used. Data citations allow readers to find data and reproduce the results of the research article, and also use those data to test new hypotheses, design new sample collections, or construct or evaluate models. The ORNL DAAC uses a manual method to compile data citations and has developed a database that links research articles and their use of specific ORNL DAAC data products. Automation of the data citation compilation process, as is the case for articles, will enable data citations to become a more common practice. In addition to enhancing discovery and access of the data used in a research article, the citation gives credit to data generators, data centers and their funders, and, through citation indices, determine the scientific impact of a data set.