Persistent Identifier Services at CDL: A Rich Tapestry

EZID is one strand in a larger tapestry of persistent identifier activity at CDL. These activities, at their core, are focused on how and where persistent identifiers can help enrich and connect the scholarly outputs and cultural heritage materials of the University of California system. Persistent identifiers in this sense both drive and support CDL’s underlying mission to “provide[s] transformative digital library services, grounded in campus partnerships and extended through external collaborations, that amplify the impact of the libraries, scholarship, and resources of the University of California.”

The past year was a transitional one for EZID in particular and for CDL’s identifier services portfolio in general. In the first half of 2019, we completed a multi-year process to rescope EZID’s DOI services to focus exclusively on UC users. We worked to support non-UC users of our DOI services in setting up direct memberships with other providers through memberships with Crossref and DataCite. We also welcomed Rushiraj Nenuji to the development team as we said farewell to EZID’s long-time developer and original architect Greg Janée.   

Last year, in the midst of these transitions, we posed the following question:

Rather than thinking about EZID solely as a tool or a service, we want to situate it instead as one layer of a deep and broad persistent identifier portfolio at CDL. EZID is a great tool for creating and managing DOIs and ARKs—what else could it do? And how might it also support infrastructure, training, and outreach for a more networked and interoperable scholarly communication ecosystem through the use and coordination of persistent identifiers?

Now, as we kick off the new year, we wanted to provide a brief update on what this persistent identifier services portfolio looks like, and how it will continue to evolve in the months ahead. 

EZID remains involved in the day-to-day business of supporting DOI and ARK services for UC campuses as well as ARK services for non-UC EZID members. EZID development work is currently focused on strengthening and upgrading the application for long-term robustness and stability, and reconfiguring the platform to minimize dependencies on external systems. Future development work in the coming months will be geared toward optimizing the EZID user interface and adding more support for different metadata schemas. 

From the portfolio perspective, we are working on a number of initiatives to encourage and enable the adoption and use of persistent identifiers across the UCs and beyond. A few examples:

We work closely with CDL’s eScholarship Publishing team to help UC journals obtain Crossref DOIs. An integration between eScholarship and EZID assigns DOIs automatically to eScholarship journal articles and sends the metadata to Crossref. These articles are then available to indexes, libraries, and other third parties, enhancing journals’ exposure and increasing the discoverability of their Open Access content. This service supports about 20 journals and our teams will expand to more publications in the year ahead. Two related efforts concern greater adoption of ARK identifiers for special collections objects (UCSF’s Industry Documents Library is one recent project), and DataCite DOIs for UC data repositories. 

Organization identifiers are growing in visibility across the scholarly infrastructure landscape with the launch of the Research Organization Registry (ROR), of which CDL is a founding partner. The ROR registry now includes unique IDs for approximately 97,000 organizations, and these IDs are being supported in both DataCite and Crossref metadata. A number of platforms are integrating or looking to integrate ROR into their systems wherever affiliations are collected. The new Dryad platform was the first to pilot this type of ROR integration, and Dryad now has clean and consistent affiliation data for all of its datasets. With additional integrations expected in the new year, it will become increasingly easier for libraries and research administrators to track and analyze their institutions’ scholarly outputs. 

Engaging with the broader PID community is another important aspect of our ongoing work. CDL is a member of the ORCID US Community, joining other institutions around the country in championing adoption and use of ORCID identifiers by UC researchers. We are also a founding sponsor of PIDapalooza, the festival of persistent identifiers now approaching its fourth year. We are collaborating within and beyond the UC in persistent identifier training and outreach, including providing guidance on identifiers for UC librarians, and organizing global workshops for stakeholders and practitioners. 

All of these efforts showcase how persistent identifier services capture the spirit of the CDL’s vision as a “catalyst for deeply collaborative solutions providing a rich, intuitive and seamless environment for publishing, sharing and preserving our scholars’ increasingly diverse outputs.”

We are looking forward to the year ahead! As always, get in touch with your ideas and questions.