Launch of the PID-network Project – Understanding Metadata Workflows
PID Network Deutschland logo

Logo of the PID Network Germany project

On March 01, 2023, the project “PID Network Deutschland – Network for fostering persistent identifiers in science and culture”, funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) and scheduled to run for 36 months, will start. Partner institutions of PID Network Germany are DataCite, the German National Library, the Helmholtz Open Science Office, the Bielefeld University Library, and the German National Library of Science and Technology (TIB).

The project aims to establish a network of research organizations interested in the persistent identification of people, organizations, publications, resources, and infrastructures in the field of digital communications in science and culture. The project aims to optimize the dissemination and interlinking of PID systems in Germany, and to embed them into international infrastructures such as knowledge graphs. The project’s findings will result in recommendations for a national PID roadmap for Germany. The project is embedded in already existing efforts to promote persistent identifiers. National and international organizations and associations such as DFG, Coalition S, EOSC, NFDI, and RDA are important stakeholders in this context. In addition, the project will take the community building, knowledge transfer, and technical optimization activities that were successfully established under the ORCID DE project (as reported in December 2022), to a new level. The project proposal (only in German) provides further insight into the goals of the project.

What are the goals?

Community Building

The PID Network project addresses the aforementioned objectives and includes ten types of PIDs. The PIDs were selected based on the competencies and areas of activity of the project partners and on the results of a survey conducted at the 5th ORCID DE Workshop and the results of the “Survey on the Need for and Use of Organizational Identifiers at Universities and Non-University Research Institutions in Germany”.

The following ten types of PIDs are covered:

  1. PIDs for research data
  2. PIDs for instruments
  3. PIDs for academic events
  4. PIDs for cultural objects and their contexts
  5. PIDs for organizations and projects
  6. PIDs for researchers and contributors
  7. PIDs for physical objects
  8. PIDs for open-access publishing services and current research information systems (CRIS)
  9. PIDs for software
  10. PIDs for text publications

The project will organize ten events (webinars and in-person workshops) addressing the status quo of the respective PIDs in Germany, and the challenges and needs of organizations implementing them.

Building the platform

The goal is to establish the platform that bundles central information on PIDs and supports the project’s outreach work and knowledge transfer. Part of this work is to promote the PIDforum in the German research community.

PID landscape analysis

Quantitative surveys and qualitative interviews will be conducted to find out about the distribution, use, and challenges of implementing PIDs in publication and research infrastructures in Germany. The results of the landscape analysis will feed into other work within the project.

Optimization of PID metadata in identifier and aggregation systems
such as BASE, DataCite, and the German National Library

Led by DataCite, the project will identify best practice solutions for optimizing PID metadata in identifier and aggregation systems (graphs like the PID graph or the Culturegraph), and implement them prototypically together with interested community members. In the first step, we will collect user stories about how PID metadata is created and curated. Based on these user stories we will draft hands-on best practice recommendations to enable creators and curators of PID metadata to optimize their systems and workflows. By doing so, we seek to promote and ensure metadata completeness and conformity to standards. There will be an open community call to provide funds to two organizations interested in implementing the best practice recommendations. This will allow us to evaluate the effectiveness of the recommendations and update them accordingly.

We are excited to lead this activity as it will teach us how to enable our Members to follow best practices for improving metadata completeness which in turn will improve the overall quality of the PID graph.

Development of a PID roadmap for Germany

We are planning to develop and publish a PID roadmap for Germany based on the results of the workshops, landscape analysis, and best practices.

Why is DataCite part of this project?

In our pursuit of metadata completeness, we want to understand the metadata creation workflows right from the beginning until the point where metadata is “stable” and only updated once in a while. If we learn about the challenges related to metadata creation and curation that our Members are facing, we can help them to optimize their workflows. Although this project is limited to Germany, we are planning to transfer its findings to the broader community because metadata completeness is a global challenge that needs to be addressed. We are looking forward to making important steps toward metadata completeness in the next three years by being part of the PID network project.

This project was made possible through the support of a grant (award number: 506475377) from the German Research Foundation (DFG). The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the DFG.