Persistent identifiers ensure future access to unique published digital objects, such as a text or data set. Persistent identifiers are assigned to data sets by digital archives | American Sociological Review - Submission Guidelines (Sage Publishing, 2017).
For data products to be uniquely identifiable and attributable to their data creators two types of identifiers are recommended:
Data citation is the practice of providing a reference to data in the same way as researchers routinely provide a bibliographic reference to other scholarly resources | Australian National Data Service (n.d).
The impact of your research may be determined by a wide range of research outputs such as data sets, software, blog posts, presentations, tweets, etc. Being able to cite such research outputs is important for building a culture where all types of research outputs count. In the video (Research Data Netherlands, 2014) below data citation and the role of persistent identifiers is explained.
1. Deposit your data in a data repository
When you deposit your data in a (trusted) data repository, a persistent identifier to your data sets is often automatically assigned.
2. Register for an ORCID iD
Registering for an ORCID iD is easy. Do it now (ORCID, n.d.)! Or first have a look at this video (Vanhaverbeke, 2017) in which other researchers state how having an ORCID iD benefits them.
3. Check how FAIR your data are
Want to know how FAIR your data are? Have a look at the checklist by Jones and Grootveld (2017).
4. Include persistent identifiers as a variable
Include the persistent identifier to your dataset as a variable in your data file. For example, the database from the ISSP 2015 on Work Orientations (GESIS, n.d.) includes the following variable: name of the variable: DOI; variable label: "Digital Object Identifier“. It has the same value for all the cases: doi:10.4232/1.12848. The link goes directly to the metadata at the GESIS data archive.