Deprecating Schema 3

As of January 1, 2025, DataCite Members and Consortium Organizations will be required to use Schema 4 to register DOIs and update DOI metadata.

Widespread adoption of Schema 4 is critical to improve DOI metadata quality. This is because Schema 4—i.e., versions 4.0 through 4.4 and subsequent minor versions—improves on Schema 3 with additions that promote metadata quality and consistency. A key update in Schema 4 is that resourceType was changed to a mandatory field, meaning that all DOIs registered using Schema 4 must have a value for resourceTypeGeneral from the controlled list.

For example:

<resourceType resourceTypeGeneral="Dataset">Census Data</resourceType>

For DataCite metadata to advance research discovery and reuse, DataCite DOI metadata needs to be as complete, consistent, and accurate as possible. In Version 4.4, we expanded the list of values for resourceTypeGeneral to reflect the evolving needs of the research community, adding new values such as Preprint, OutputManagementPlan, and ConferenceProceeding. By promoting the acknowledgment of research outputs beyond traditional scholarly publications and datasets, we contribute to enhancing the visibility and appreciation of the broader spectrum of contributions within the research community.

In the seven years since Schema 4 was released in September 2016, we have seen DataCite Members and Consortium Organizations embrace Schema 4. In 2023, over 91% of DataCite Repository accounts exclusively used Schema 4 for DOI registration and metadata updates. Of the 51 million+ findable DOIs in the DataCite Metadata Store, less than 12% still have Schema 3 metadata. Looking at DOIs that were registered or updated in 2023, only 1.02% use Schema 3 metadata.

The DataCite team is committed to supporting current Schema 3 users in transitioning to Schema 4 before 2025. On the DataCite support site, we have added a guide to updating from Schema 3 to Schema 4 which outlines the required steps for repositories, what will happen to existing Schema 3 DOIs, and other details.

To ensure all DataCite users have enough time to prepare for this change, this information will be shared with all DataCite Members, including Direct Members and Consortium Leads.

Keeping in mind that existing Schema 3 DOIs will continue to resolve and be searchable, our priority is ensuring that active Schema 3 users transition to Schema 4 as soon as possible. Therefore, in early 2024, we will also individually contact Direct Members and Consortium Leads who actively used Schema 3 in 2023 to register or update at least 100 DOIs to support them in the transition process.

Regardless of how many DOIs you have registered using Schema 3, we encourage you to reach out to us at for assistance with transitioning to Schema 4. We’re here to help you through the process and we encourage you to get in touch with us as soon as possible.