A Lens on DataCite Open Hours


As a membership organization we take our community engagement activities very seriously. We jump at the chance to interact with our members, whether it be at conferences, steering group meetings, our general assembly, or during DataCite Open Hours. DataCite Open Hours is a one-hour monthly call for discussion and information sharing where we invite DataCite members and community to join us as we share the latest product developments and releases. We also like to take the opportunity to gather feedback to help us make sure we are steering things in the right direction. The format is always informal and interactive.

The year is flying by. And there’s already been loads of new updates and developments at DataCite, and from the community and the PID world at large. So here, I would like to take a moment to reflect back on the last 8 months of DataCite Open Hours, since I took over as the host. Those who have joined us for Open Hours will know we like to ask questions, and we have lots of fun using polling tools. So here is a rundown of some of the key information that we have gathered during Open Hours so far. Keep in mind that the number of participants varies each month, and we don’t claim the views expressed necessarily represent the whole community.

Who’s out there?

We wanted to know who was attending our Open Hours sessions and what kinds of institutions they were from. The results of the polls didn’t leave us too perplexed, since, as expected, the majority of the attendees described themselves as librarians or developers coming from universities and libraries. However, now we know we have mixed expertise in the audience we can try to balance the sessions, and we launched Dev Chat, similar to Open Hours, but with developer focused themes and content.

Which of the following best describes you?

What type of institution do you represent?

DOI registration – DOI Fabrica

At the end of last year, we were working on the development of the new form for creating DOIs in Fabrica. Open Hours was an opportunity to find out what really mattered to users. From the results, we saw that related identifiers and author information like ORCIDs and affiliations were considered most important as additional fields in the form. We took this on-board and already implemented a name identifier field in Fabrica.

Which types of information do you most want to be able to add via Fabrica form fields?

Reporting and Searching

What are our users doing? and which enhancements would be most useful? Questions we regularly ask ourselves. Our Open Hours polling on the topic of reporting and searching revealed that most respondents were currently creating reports and DOI registration stats came out top as most helpful for reporting. The results also showed DataCite Search is the preferred place to run searches because it provides information that Fabrica does not. Since then we’ve revamped our DOI Statistics Portal, added usage stats to DataCite Search, and citations are coming to DataCite Search very soon.

When we delved deeper into the search habits of users, it became clear that the majority search using a term with one or more words or an identifier like a DOI. Quite a lot of interest was also shown in searching metadata fields. The top candidates for new facets were: publisher and license.

What kind of searches do you typically do (more than one answer possible)?

What other facets, if any, would you also want to see in the DOI Search in Fabrica?


Back in February, we announced the launch of the Research Organization Registry (ROR). During Open Hours, with the help of guest speaker Maria Gould, we asked some questions about current practices and needs around affiliations. We now know users are collecting affiliation data, using Crossref Funder Identifiers and finding it painful or challenging. We hope the work being done to implement ROR IDs in the DataCite metadata will ease some of this pain.


When asked about the support site, everyone who answered said they had used it and it was more or less split between those who said it was good and adequate. It was useful to find out that more information was the number one change requested, and we have since restructured the support site and added new documentation, including a section dedicated to usage and citations, and will continue to do so.

What changes would you like to see to the support site?

The DataCite General Assembly

The DataCite General Assembly provided an irresistible opportunity for us to get creative with our techniques for extracting feedback. Enter Mentimeter and some photos of space. We asked participants to guide the starship DataCite through the galaxy, and asked some big questions.

Below, a couple of extracts from the results showing a clear majority for focusing on members and for collaborating and aligning on strategic partnerships.

Where should we put our energy?

How should we tackle strategic partnerships?

You can view the full presentation with the polling results here.

Show and tell

In recent months we gave the polling a rest and dedicated Open Hours to providing updates on all the new stuff that we have rolled out this year including the roadmap, the new web form, usage statistics in DataCite Search, the stats portal and metadata provenance.

We also had a fantastic Open Hours special edition with two guest speakers from our member organizations who presented their DataCite use cases. Many thanks to Mohamed Yahia (Research Engineer within the Department for the Promotion and Enhancement of Research Data at Inist-CNRS) and Viv Hutchinson (Science Data Management Branch Chief, USGS). You can view their presentations, and other presentations from Open Hours here.

The most recent Open Hours session was focused on communication channels and the DataCite community on PIDForum.org. Since we will be overhauling our mailing lists and communication channels, this was a valuable moment to gather feedback on how we can target our communications better. Some participants were interested in using Slack as an alternative channel for informal discussions, but we would like to see if the DataCite Chat Room on the PIDForum can fill this gap first.

Do you have suggestions for other Comms channels DataCite should be using?

You can view the full presentation and feedback here, and you can also check out the DataCite Chat Room on the PIDForum.

The future

DataCite Open Hours will be taking a break in August. We’ll be back in September. We hope to keep the momentum going by giving representatives from DataCite’s member organizations more chances to present their DataCite use cases and providing more sneak peaks and previews that we can get early feedback on. The format is informal and everyone with an interest in DataCite is welcome to join.

Do you agree with the feedback given by the other participants? Do you want to have your say? Then join us for our monthly DataCite Open Hours and get involved in the discussion. We want to hear from you.

If you would like to receive the invite to DataCite Open Hours, or be added to to be added to the private DataCite Group on the PIDForum.org send us an email at support@datacite.org.

Mary Hirsch
Member Support Manager at DataCite | Blog posts