DataCite’s Thriving Community: 3000 Repositories and Counting

DataCite is a global community of organisations with a mission to connect research and advance knowledge. On 8 December 2023 we reached the important milestone of 3000 Repository accounts (“Repositories”) held by our Direct Members and Consortium Organizations. The journey to 3000 DataCite Repositories reflects the increasing importance of using Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) to share diverse research outputs and resources. To put this in context, let’s take a step back and look at what we mean when we talk about a Repository.

Repositories in DataCite

In DataCite systems, a Repository is a type of account that belongs to a Member or a Consortium Organization. This account has one prefix and is used to register DOIs. It acts as a container, where all of the DOIs assigned to a set of resources will be stored together. In the real world, this may correspond to a repository platform, a journal, or a group of physical samples.

The network of DataCite Repositories is made up of an interdisciplinary community: from universities, academic libraries and government agencies to independent research organisations distributed in over 50 countries. Collectively, they contribute to creating and maintaining over 50 million DOIs and metadata records for the resources shared in their repositories. 


Growth of Repositories Over Time

The figure below shows the total number of new DataCite Repositories added year on year over the last 10 years against the total number of DOIs registered each year over the same time period. The spike in Repositories in 2020 is accounted for by the change in the DataCite membership model.

A line chart showing total new Repositories vs total new DOIs registered by year. The number of new repositories per year grows from 93 in 2014 to 397 in 2023. The number of new DOIs grows from 1407815 in 2014 to 18049694 in 2023.

The next figure shows the cumulative number of DataCite Repositories and DataCite DOIs and illustrates the correlation between the two.

A line chart showing cumulative total Repositories vs cumulative total DOIs registered by year. Repositories grow from 93 in 2014 to 3030 in 2023. DOIs grow from 3160924 in 2014 to 52673075 in 2023.

The next figure, showing the number of DOIs for each resourceTypeGeneral, indicates the wide variety of resource types shared by DataCite Repositories.

A bar chart showing total DOIs by resourceTypeGeneral with dataset, physical object, text, and image being the top four.

See also: History of DataCite Resource Types 2004 – 2023

Supporting 3000 Repositories

The Repository account is the point of access to all DataCite DOI registration services – whether that be DataCite Fabrica, via the REST API or a DataCite Registered Service Provider. We provide tailored support, training and documentation to help members leverage DataCite DOI registration services. When new members join, we help them get set up with a Repository account and prefix so they can start registering DOIs right away – and we continue to support all members with creating DOIs and metadata, setting up an API integration, password resets, updating contact information, account management and DOI and prefix transfers. We also work closely with the DataCite Consortium Leads and DataCite Registered Service Providers to promote DOI registration within their communities.

The figure below shows which repository software is being used by the DataCite community and shows DSpace and OJS are some of the most common.*

A bar chart showing which repository software is being used by the DataCite community with "other", DSpace, and Open Journal Systems in the top 3.

The next chart shows the types of repositories. From the available data, the most prominent is “institutional”.

A pie chart showing the different types of repositories. Type Total Institutional 474 Disciplinary 151 Multidisciplinary 90 Project Related 45 Other 35 Governmental 34

 *The information is only available when included by the Repository account administrator in DataCite Fabrica, a large number of the 3000 Repositories do not indicate the software or type. 

Repositories in DataCite Commons

DataCite Commons includes a Repository Search functionality, where anyone can search through a comprehensive catalogue of repositories. The information is derived from both DataCite Fabrica and re3data. If your organization is already a DataCite Member or part of a Consortium, you can contribute to enhancing the information in your Repository profile in DataCite Commons by filling in all of the Repository metadata in DataCite Fabrica for example, by indicating the repository software or type.

Beyond 3000 Repositories

The milestone of 3000 Repositories is an important one, and we want to continue to grow as a global community. With the help of initiatives like the Global Access Program, more repositories will benefit from being connected to a network of trusted digital infrastructure, curated and maintained by people dedicated to ensuring knowledge is open and accessible.

A colorful treemap visualizing the different sizes of DataCite Repositories.

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