Persistent Identifier Services for the Humanities

Persistent identifiers (PIDs) are increasingly embedded in the services that researchers use every day, enabling unambiguous attribution of the full range of scholarly outputs. This makes it easier for data producers and researchers to get credit for their contributions; for data centres, universities and funders to track the impact of the research they facilitate; for publishers to incorporate data into scholarly writing; and for researchers to discover and cite data through clear provenance of information and ideas. In short, they support an entirely new research infrastructure.

Within THOR we are working to realise this vision by improving interoperability and integration of PID services, and addressing the cultural barriers to adoption. Now over a year into the project, we have found that uptake in the humanities, in particular, lags behind other disciplines. In response to this, we will be running a series of workshops through which we hope to better understand the potential for persistent identifier services in the humanities, identifying requirements for and barriers to uptake, and creating a roadmap to guide future development.

The first workshop will take place at the British Library on Friday 9 December 2016, in which we will have a focused discussion around the role of PIDs in research using historical sources – fields in which digital data has taken on an increasingly important role. The workshop is by invitation only. However, we’re especially keen to hear from humanities researchers who are working with research data products. If you’re making data available or reusing historical data and are interested in attending, please contact us at for more information.