As Local As Necessary, As International As Possible

This blog has been cross-posted from the ORCID blog.

The above was the theme of ‘Persistent Identifiers for Open Science in Japan (and Asia Pacific)’ [English/Japanese], held on 12 December 2023 in Tokyo and co-located with the International Symposium on Data Science 2023 (DSWS-2023; see below for more on this). This in-person event brought together local, regional, and international stakeholders to learn about what is happening within Japan and APAC (and beyond) to increase persistent identifier (PID) adoption, and network on how to better connect national and global research infrastructure. It was co-organized by ORCID and DataCite alongside their respective Consortium Leads in Japan, the Academic eXchange for Information Environment and Strategy (AXIES) and the Japan Link Center (JaLC; hosted by the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST)).

The event opened with a two-part session introducing ORCID, DataCite, JaLC, and AXIES. Giving Insights into activities and initiatives of the organizations within the APAC region, it was explained how research institutes in Japan can work with ORCID and DataCite directly or through our national Consortium Leads. Importantly, JaLC has integrated with ORCID and with DataCite to interconnect their services. JaLC also outlined the researchmap system being developed by the National Institute of Informatics that is attempting to tie together information about Japanese researchers (their profile and achievements) through the assignment of PIDs, and to further synchronize publication information with the ORCID Registry.

The afternoon was dedicated to two community-led sessions. The first looked at PID initiatives within Japan and APAC that are supporting Open Science principles. The presenters highlighted what is needed for research outputs to be FAIR and Open, and what is needed in Japan for that to happen. The session began with a scene-setting presentation describing the current PID landscape in Japan. The following two talks then showcased how PID assignment to physical research outputs is elevating them in Open Science in APAC—International Generic Sample Numbers for material samples and Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) for research instruments. Finally, an update was given on the development of the RAiD persistent identifier for research projects by the Australian Research Data Commons.

The second community-led session started with an analysis by the Japan Consortium for Open Access Repositories on the present state of research data publishing in Japan. The session then outlined three real examples of PID implementations embedded within Indian, Japanese, and Slovenian research infrastructures, looking at the practicalities of such implementations: the successes and the challenges.

The event concluded with an open discussion on the topics that had arisen during the day and on potential next steps. These discussions highlighted that a coordinated PID strategy in Japan and a central hub for the Japanese research community will benefit the community to identify and connect researchers, research outputs, and organizations nationally, as well as internationally. Even without a coherent top-down policy, various PID initiatives and adoptions are happening across APAC in terms of both individual-/institutional-level repositories and nationwide platforms, demonstrating the growing interest and awareness of the community. Although the development of researchmap alongside use of the Japanese national e-Rad Researcher ID is starting to address some of these issues, there are still a number of hurdles that must be overcome for researchers to easily openly share and connect their research outputs while ensuring appropriate attribution and credit.

Sometimes we take for granted lots of things that go on around us as researchers / academics. I learnt more about ORCID, DataCite, and other organisations today than I have all my life.

Feedback from event participant

It was generally agreed that the next generations of researchers in Japan will be the driving force to instil the values of Open Science. The main conclusion by attendees was that a follow-up meeting is needed with young Japanese researchers to fully understand the difficulties they face in navigating the fragmented systems that currently exist, and therefore how such systems might be enhanced to improve interoperability between local/regional and international research infrastructure.

The authors would like to thank AXIES and JaLC for helping make ‘Persistent Identifiers for Open Science in Japan (and Asia Pacific)’ possible, JST for kindly providing us with a room for the event, and to all of the invited speakers. All presentations from the event have been uploaded to DataCite’s Zenodo Community and can be accessed from the English or Japanese event page.

International Symposium on Data Science 2023

The importance of both PIDs and the connectivity between local and global research infrastructures were also highlighted in the session, ‘Open Science and The FAIR Principles: Why, What, and How‘, co-convened by the authors with Japanese colleagues on 13 December 2023—Day 3 of DSWS-2023. Over 100 people from around the world joined the session in person and virtually to hear the following six talks with a focus on PID adoption as a way to make science more Open and FAIR, including specific initiatives from ORCID and DataCite.

Seven photographs showing people sitting in a large auditorium  listening to different speakers who present on various topics.

From these case studies, participants learnt the different ways in which countries and communities support Open Science and the FAIR Principles—everything from building local PID registries, national research information management systems, and national data repositories, to developing cross-community frameworks—where PIDs for people (e.g., ORCID iDs), research outputs (e.g., DOIs), and research organizations (e.g., ROR IDs) are major components of the underlying research infrastructure.

The clear message coming out of the session was that connecting PIDs assigned to different research entities is vital and moves science at both national and international levels toward greater FAIRness and Openness. Often nationally developed solutions are the catalysts for such Open and FAIR science within countries. However, developing these solutions can be difficult to achieve through grassroots movements alone, and the most successful national approaches are usually both top–down and bottom-up, with national science and technology policy then ensuring the connectivity to global solutions.

Rorie Edmunds
Samples Community Manager at DataCite | Blog posts
A headshot of Estelle Chen.
Estelle Cheng
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