Implementing Digital Object Identifiers
at the GESIS Data Archive for the Social Sciences
Wolfgang Zenk-Möltgen, GESIS – Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences
[email protected]
Workshop “Persistent Identifiers for the Social Sciences”
Bonn, 1st and 2nd of February 2011
Initial Situation
Requirements for Persistent Identifiers
Implementation Decisions
Version Management
Allocation of DOI Names
Workflow Integration
Technical Developments
• DBK Extension to Manage Versions and DOIs
• DDI Export for Enhanced Publications Including URNs
Initial Situation
• The Data Archive provides research data for the social sciences
• Currently 4480 studies, including cross-section, national or
international comparative, and longitudinal studies
• The Data Archive works on different levels of data processing, and
data documentation
• Metadata on study level: The Data Catalogue (DBK)
• Enables searching and browsing for users
• Management system for internal and external information
• Bibliographic citation requirement for data users
• Includes Study Identifier „ZAnnnn“
Requirements for Persistent Identifiers
• Clear understanding of what is to be identified
• E.g. survey projects, series of studies, data collection events,
questionnaires or other instruments, datasets, variables
• Guarantee of unique names
• Can I control that nobody else will use the same name for
anything else, and can I avoid duplicates?
• Expectation of stability
• Woody Allen: „Eternity is really long, especially near the end“
• Change management
• Which processes must be triggered when change occurs?
Implementation Decisions
• We want to identify datasets
• Not study series, studies, data collection events
• Not variables or questions
• Independent from specific format (SPSS, STATA, SAS)
• We joined the DataCite consortium
• Using DOIs as PI system with existing infrastructure
• Supporting citation of research data
• Planning added value services
• We keep DDI as the main metadata standard
• Including URN names for every DDI object
• Aiming at interoperability
• We keep track of dataset versions
• Documentation inside the dataset
• Policy for version numbering
Version Management
• DBKEdit is used as management system at the Archive:
• Introduction of mandatory version numbers
• Format: N.N.N (in accordance to DDI standard) starting with 1.0.0
• Rules for increasing major, minor, revision number
• Documenting also the version date, author, title and description
• Errata of the current version are documented
• Corrected errata are kept for documenting a new version
• Version History and Errata are published
• da|ra is the service provider for DOI allocation:
• A DOI proposal is transmitted from DBKEdit
• Together with the URL and some metadata
• DOI allocation takes place here
• URL and/or metadata changes have to be transmitted from
DBKEdit again
Allocation of DOI Names
DBK incremental no.
Standard for DataCite:
UTF8, one prefix per institution
no semantics in DOI
Workflow Integration
Online Publication
Publication on CD-ROM
Versions and DOIs
Data Catalogue
Online Study Catalogue
Data Catalogue Edit-Tool
Dataset Documentation Manager
Technical Developments
DBKEdit - Data Catalogue Edit-Tool
Documentation and management of metadata on study level of all archived studies
Information provided
For each study/dataset (partly bi-lingual):
 Title & study number
 Primary investigators & fieldwork agencies
 Universe & sampling
 Abstracts
 Related publications
 Access categories
 Questionnaires, etc.
 Notes and comments for internal use
Extension to manage versions, errata, and DOIs.
Publication via
- ZACAT (Nesstar)
- CBE (CodebookExplorer)
- DBK (Data Catalogue)
DBKEdit – Management of Metadata on Study-Level
DBK – Research and Information Provided for the User
Technical Developments
DDI Export for Enhanced Publications including URNs
Study number
SPSS variable names, labels, and URNs
Variable groups
Complete question, answer texts and notes for each variable
SPSS values and value labels
<l:VariableScheme id="Archive Study ID_VarSch">
<l:Variable id="SPSS Variable Name"
urn=”urn:ddi:de.gesis:VariableScheme.Archive Study ID_VarSch.1.0.0:Variable.SPSS Variable Name.1.0.0”>*
<r:UserID type="SPSS Variable Name"> SPSS Variable Name </r:UserID>
<r:Label maxLength="255" type="label"> SPSS Variable Label</r:Label>
<r:ID>Archive Study ID _QSPSS Variable Name</r:ID>
* Repeatable
Establishing DOIs for research datasets is easy
… if you have a service provider like da|ra
Managing the metadata and keep track of versions is possible
… if you invest into documentation systems and establish a policy
Time will tell,
… if data and it‘s identifiers will be for eternity
But remember:
„The preservation of valuable data sets and their distribution on
demand is of utmost importance for the progress of science.“
from „Data for eternity“, in: Nature Geoscience 3, 219 (2010)
Thank you!
Implementing Digital Object Identifiers
at the GESIS Data Archive for the Social Sciences
Wolfgang Zenk-Möltgen, GESIS – Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences
[email protected]
Workshop “Persistent Identifiers for the Social Sciences”
Bonn, 1st and 2nd of February 2011

Implementing Digital Object Identifiers at the GESIS Data