Reflecting on 2020

As 2020 comes to a close, we reflect back on a year of global uncertainty and many challenges faced by our entire community. It can only be described as a year of the unexpected, and it demonstrated the importance of communities working together. Despite the challenges we faced this year, DataCite also had a year with lots to celebrate and it is important to reflect on some of the highlights. We should celebrate these highlights as our collective success with our members and the broader community. As many of you know, our community now includes members across 44 countries with over 2.300 repositories registering DOIs!

Earlier this year, we set out our Vision 2020 [@] with some ambitious goals and objectives. There is always more to do, but this post focuses on what we can celebrate now – please look out for the Journey 2021 post early next year where I will share more about our plans for the year ahead.

In the Community Engagement team, we started the year with our open consultation process to develop and approve our new, scalable member model. It was pleasing to have such an overwhelming approval from the General Assembly (97.3%) and the support we received from the community was amazing. In particular, we want to thank the Membership Model Advisory Group members and our team members who consistently worked through the discussions with all stakeholders. We continued to expand our global outreach with developing regions and gained over 50 new members this year. Our team set up regional expert groups and hosted virtual member meetings across three time zones (APAC, EMEA and Americas). In addition, we formalized our coordination with systems through our Service Providers program and we recently hosted our first registered Service Providers meeting.

Our Business Office had a busy year of formalizing our processes and systems. We implemented an automated billing system, which manages the complete billing workflow and are confident that this scalable solution will support the growth of our membership. We also established digitized and standardized accounting workflows with the German DATEV platform, which includes an interface to the German tax authorities to ensure compliant tax reporting, in collaboration with our tax consultant.

In August this year, DataCite introduced a new Product Engineering team (through an internal team restructure) to work closely with the members and the community to drive DataCite product strategy and ensure that development closely aligns to their needs. In the past few months, we have been conducting surveys and polling sessions through Open Hours and member meetings to gather feedback to incorporate in next year’s product development goals. We are also working on improving our internal processes to deliver value-added, user-friendly, and stable services. Together with the Business team, the Community Engagement team, and the Development team, the Product Engineering team brings DataCite Products to the center of our thinking to drive our decisions.

In our Development team, launching DataCite Commons was the most important activity of 2020. DataCite Commons is a discovery service launched in October 2020 that will replace DataCite Search in the next year, and will greatly expand its capabilities. We completed work to separate the staging and testing environments and formalized our technical infrastructure approach with improved monitoring and analytics of our member services. The technical team also implemented enhanced functionality across our services and tools, such as the updated DOI form in Fabrica.

It has been a challenging year for many of us in the community and it is during these times that we realize our collective strength. Despite the challenges we have continued to grow as a global community working together to provide the means to create, find, cite, connect, and use research. The uptake and use of our services also increased and below is a snapshot showing the DOIs registered to date:

I would like to congratulate the team on a successful year and all that you achieved. It is gratifying to close out a year with lots to celebrate and we cannot wait to get 2021 underway. We thank the community for the continued support and look forward to working with you all next year.

As always, please feel free to reach out should you have any questions or would like to get in touch (


Matthew Buys
Matt Buys
Executive Director at DataCite | Blog posts