THOR Final Event programme is out!

Come and join us at the Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza” in Rome, Italy, on November 15th 2017 to learn about how we have advanced the state of the art in persistent identifiers. You will find out about how THOR partners have developed new tools to connect identifiers across systems, to link people, datasets, samples, reactions and more.

Keynote speeches by Fiona Murphy and Herbert van de Sompel will show the importance of persistent identifiers in the broader scholarly comms infrastructure. A mix of demos, expert talks and discussion panels will highlight THOR’s achievements, PID integrations and services.

Join us in Rome and register here!

THOR Final Conference Agenda:

Time What Who
8.30-9.30 Registration
9.30-9.45 Welcome Cineca and La Sapienza University
9.45-10.15 THOR overview Adam Farquhar
10.15-11.00 Keynote speech Herbert van de Sompel
11.00-11.30 Coffee break
11.30-13.00 Presentations: THOR achievements and demos THOR partners
13.00-14.00 Lunch
14.00-15.00 Presentations: THOR impact and community engagement THOR partners
15.00-15.30 Coffee break
15.30-16:30 Panel discussion: PIDs in different communities  Moderator: Adam Farquhar

Panel: Hannah Hope (Wellcome Trust), Clifford Tatum (CWTS), Andres Mori (Digital Science), Erika Bilicsi (Library and information centre of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences)

16.30-17.15 Keynote speech Fiona Murphy
17.15-17.30 Wrap up, thanks and what’s next? Adam Farquhar, Simon Lambert
17.30-18.30 Networking / reception

Register now for THOR Final Event in Rome, 15 November 2017!

Come and join us at the Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza” in Rome, Italy, on November 15th 2017 to learn about how we have advanced the state of the art in persistent identifiers. You will find out about how THOR partners have developed new tools to connect identifiers across systems, to link people, datasets, samples, reactions and more.

Keynote speeches by Fiona Murphy and Herbert van de Sompel will show the importance of persistent identifiers in the broader scholarly comms infrastructure. A mix of demos, expert talks and discussion panels will highlight THOR’s achievements, PID integrations and services.

If you would like to hear everything about the latest PID developments, join us in Rome and register here! The detailed programme will be included soon!

Keynote speakers:

Fiona Murphy is an independent research data and publishing consultant advising institutions, learned societies and commercial companies, Fiona is also an Associate Fellow at the University of Reading, a Board Member for the Dryad Data Repository and has written and presented widely on data publishing, open data and open science. She is a past and current member of several research projects including PREPARDE (Peer Review of Research Data in the Earth Sciences), data2paper (a cloud-based app for automating the data article submission process) and the Scholarly Commons Working Group (a FORCE11 project devising principles and practices for open science systems).


Herbert Van de Sompel is an Information Scientist at the Los Alamos National Laboratory where he leads the Digital Library Research & Prototyping Team. The Team does research regarding various aspects of scholarly communication in the digital age, including information infrastructure, interoperability, and digital preservation. Herbert has played a major role in creating OAI-PMH, OAI-ORE, OpenURL, the SFX linking server, the bX scholarly recommender service, info URI, Web Annotation, ResourceSync, Memento “time travel for the Web”, and, more recently, Robust Links and Signposting the Scholarly Web. He graduated in Mathematics and Computer Science at Ghent University, Belgium, and holds a Ph.D. in Communication Science (2000) from the same university.

Herbert Photo by: Elena Giglia

ORCID at Leiden University

This guest blog post has been written by Mieneke van der Salm, Information Specialist at Leiden University Libraries in the Netherlands and has been cross-posted from The Connected Leiden Researcher.

On June 22, Leiden University Libraries (UBL) organised an information session on the Open Researcher and Contributor Identifier (ORCID) and its benefits and uses. The event was held to kick off the campaign to get as many Leiden researchers as possible to claim their ORCID iD and to add it to our local research information system, LUCRIS.

The speakers were Maaike Duine, THOR Training and events officer at ORCID, Matthew Buys, ORCID’s Regional Director EMEA, Peter Verhaar, the UBL’s ORCID implementation project team leader, and Mieneke van der Salm, ORCID implementation project team member and author of this blog post. We had about 18 people in attendance and what was particularly encouraging was that those present represented a broad range of academia, including staff from the Faculties of Law, Social and Behavioural Sciences, Medicine, Sciences, and Humanities.

The afternoon started off with Peter giving an introduction on ORCID and what the current possibilities are in Leiden. He explained briefly why ORCID was necessary and how it has become an increasingly standard pillar in the scholarly infrastructure. ORCID is steadily being integrated in the information flows of funders, publishers, and research institutions. Working from the credo “Enter Once, Reuse Often” ORCID can be used to link an author to their work from manuscript submission to registration in their institution’s research information system. An example of how such a work flow might look can be seen in Peter’s slide on the crossref auto-updater. Peter also explained how linking your ORCID iD to the Leiden University research information system (LUCRIS) will allow you to easily update the CRIS with newly published works through ORCID.

This last thing is also one of the main objectives of the ORCID implementation project at Leiden University. We want to stimulate authors to claim their ORCID iD and to register it in LUCRIS. Next to the fact that it makes an important contribution to the central goals of Open Science, it will also allow Leiden University to have a more complete coverage of Leiden research and publications in our CRIS. Our project has currently landed in the phase of raising awareness and together with our student assistant we hope to be able to reach out to all of our Leiden researchers and help them claim an ORCID iD and link it to the CRIS. An additional benefit to linking your ORCID id to LUCRIS is that it will allow you to login into ORCID with your institutional account, which means you don’t have to remember yet another password.

After Peter concluded his introduction, Maaike Duine explained more about persistent identifiers (PIDs) in general and the work of Project THOR in particular. THOR stands for Technical and Human Infrastructure for Open Research. It aims to make PIDs more pervasive in the research cycle and familiarise researchers with their uses. Funded under Horizon2020, THOR has numerous partners, both non-profit and commercial. One of the products they’ve created is the THOR Knowledge Hub, which gives a great overview of all available PIDs and their possible uses. They’ve also created a THOR Dashboard which shows the adoption of the various PIDs during the project’s existence, which shows the steady increase of their usage. But it also showed that growth across global regions is uneven and that not all disciplines are represented equally.

After Maaike had given us an overview of Project THOR, Matthew Buys went into more depth about ORCID, its properties and applications. He broke down the problems ORCID aims to solve and explained how. He showed how ORCID makes information more dependable through authentication, and that the system collects, displays, connects, and synchronises data across different information systems.

After Matthew’s in-depth presentation on ORCID, it was my turn to conclude the session with a discussion where I turned the tables and asked our audience a question: how would they suggest we would best be able to reach their colleagues and convince them to claim their ORCID iD if they haven’t yet? The suggestions ranged from organising lunch meetings, to visiting research groups, giving practical suggestions on how to fill your ORCID quickly with all your publications instead of having to manually enter all of them, to just being where the researchers are.

The questions that were asked of us often had to do with privacy and what happened with all the data that ORCID collected. As far as privacy is concerned, the answer is simple; it is all in your control. From your settings you can control who can view your information, who can update your record and rescind that permission at any time

All in all, it was an interesting gathering that provided us with a lot of food for thought on how to better serve our researchers. While we already offer support in the form of practical help with registration, whether via email, phone or in person, we certainly hope to be able to extend the integration of ORCID into our systems in the coming months.

If you’d like to contact us for more information you can reach us via email at

THOR Webinar: PID use across regions and disciplines

Date: June 20, 2017
Time: 16.00-17.00 CET
Register here.

THOR’s goal is to connect researchers, data and articles through persistent identifier services. Who is already using these services? And where? What are the factors that affect uptake? If we have better information about gaps and successes in PID adoption, we will be able to create better services. That’s why THOR partners have been conducting a comprehensive study into the disciplinary coverage and geographic distribution of ORCID iDs and DataCite DOIs.

This webinar will give you insight into the challenges of measuring PID adoption and describe the uptake of ORCID iDs and DOIs across disciplines and regions. How did we decide to measure PID uptake across disciplines? Which disciplines are under- or overrepresented? In which regions has PID uptake increased over the past years? And what do these metrics tell us?

Join us on June 20 to find out! 

The webinar will be recorded and made available on the THOR YouTube channel.



Webinar Series: Persistent Identifiers: What, Why and How?

Please join the THOR Project for a series of three webinars focusing on applications of persistent identifiers (PIDs). The first webinar will explain what PIDs are and why they are important. The second will dive a bit deeper, giving more insight into how to use PIDs and what services can be built on top of identifier systems. The series will end with an introduction to the PID (s)election guide: how to determine the most appropriate identifier for your needs.

Following these three webinars you will be fully up-to-date on PID systems; all webinars will offer enough time for Q&A. You can register here:

  • Webinar 1: Overview of PID systems, Jonathan Clark, International DOI Foundation
  • Webinar 2: Persistent identifiers: current features and future properties, Juha Hakala, National Library of Finland
  • Webinar 3: Persistent Identifier (s)election guide, Marcel Ras, Netherlands Coalition for Digital Preservation (NCDD) and Remco van Veenendaal, Dutch National Archives

All three webinars will be recorded and made available on the THOR YouTube channel. Full descriptions of the webinars can be found below. 

Webinar 1: Overview of PID systems

Presenter: Jonathan Clark
Date and time: 18 May, 16.00-17.00 CET
Register here

Are you intrigued, interested or simply a bit confused by persistent identifiers and would like to know more? Then this introductory level webinar is for you! The webinar will be especially interesting if you are working with digital archives and digital collections. We hope you will get a clear understanding of what persistent identifiers are, why they are important and how trustworthy they are. We will also discuss how you can determine the most appropriate identifier for your needs. There will be plenty of time to ask questions. Note that this will not be a deeply technical webinar.

Topics that will be covered include:

  • What are persistent identifiers?
  • The case for PIDs – knowing what’s what and who’s who
  • The data architecture of PIDs
  • What is social infrastructure and why is it important?
  • Review of current identifier systems
  • How to choose a PID System
  • Case studies in documents, data, video

Jonathan Clark is the Managing Agent for the International DOI Foundation (IDF) which is a not-for-profit membership organisation that manages the DOI (Digital Object Identifier) and is the registration authority for the ISO 26324 standard. Jonathan also works as an independent advisor on strategy and innovation. Prior to this he was at Elsevier for 20 years in various positions in publishing, marketing and technology. He holds a BSc and PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne. He lives in the Netherlands and when not working he can most often be found refereeing rugby matches.

Webinar 2: Persistent identifiers: current features and future properties

Presenter: Juha Hakala
Date and time: 1 June, 15.00 – 16.00 CET
Register here.

You should attend this webinar if you know what persistent identifiers are but are interested in knowing much more about what you can actually do with them. In other words, what are the services that are being built on top of identifier systems that could be useful to the digital preservation community? We will cover topics such as party identification, interoperability and (metadata) services such as multiple resolution. Following on from that, we will explain more about the next generation of resolvers and work on extensions, such as specification of the URN r-component semantics.

Juha Hakala is a senior advisor at the National Library of Finland. After obtaining a degree in library and information science from Tampere University, he has held various positions in the National Library since 1987. From the beginning he has concentrated on library automation, including standardisation. His involvement with persistent identifiers started more than twenty years ago, when URN syntax was established in the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). He is closely involved with the revision of URN syntax and various other URN-related on-going efforts in IETF, and the maintenance of standard identifiers of ISO TC 46.

Webinar 3: Persistent Identifier (s)election guide

Presenters: Marcel Ras and Remco van Veenendaal
Date and time: 13 June, 16.00 – 17.00 CET
Register here

You should attend this webinar if you want to learn about how to choose the most suitable identifier system for your needs, and how to implement persistent identifiers in your own organisation.

Cultural heritage organisations, regardless of size, are often hesitant to implement PIDs. They lack knowledge of what PIDs are, don’t know about their capabilities and benefits, and fear a possible complex and costly implementation process as well as the maintenance costs for a sustained service. The Digital Heritage Network and the Dutch Coalition on Digital Preservation addresses these issues in three ways:

  1. By raising awareness of (the importance of) PIDs in cultural heritage organisations.
  2. By increasing the knowledge regarding the use of PIDs within cultural heritage.
  3. By supporting the technical implementation of PIDs in cultural heritage collection management systems. How we did this on a nationwide scale will be explained in the webinar.

There are multiple PID systems. But which system is most suited to your situation: Archival Resource Keys (ARKs), Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs), Handle, OpenURL, Persistent Uniform Resource Locators (PURLs) or Uniform Resource Names (URNs)? Each system has its own particular properties, strengths and weaknesses. The PID Guide from the Digital Heritage Network’s Persistent Identifier project helps you learn and think about important PID subjects, and guides your first steps towards selecting a PID system.

Marcel Ras is the Program Manager for the Netherlands Coalition for Digital Preservation (NCDD). The NCDD was established in 2008 to promote national collaboration to ensure the long-term availability of digital information in The Netherlands. Marcel is NCDD’s Program Manager since January 2014 but has some years of experience in digital preservation. He started his digital preservation career at the National Library of The Netherlands (Koninklijke Bibliotheek), where he set up a web archiving program. From 2007 to 2011 Marcel was manager of the e-Depot department at the KB and responsible for acquisition, ingest and long term storage of digital publications in the library. As program manager for the International e-Depot, he was responsible for the development of the international e-journals archiving program of the KB in 2011.

Remco van Veenendaal is a Preservation Advisor for the Dutch National Archives (Nationaal Archief) in The Hague. He contributes to the (digital) preservation policies of the Nationaal Archief, and to the development and implementation of the e-Depot. In March 2015 he established Veenentaal. Veenentaal advises on applications on the intersection of language and computers, and how those applications can improve organisations’ opportunities. Remco has acquired more than fifteen years’ experience on the intersection of language and computers. Before joining the Dutch National Archives he was project manager of the Flemish-Dutch Human Language Technology Agency (HLT Agency or TST-Centrale), a repository for digital Dutch language resources.

#ENVRiD: Integrating ORCID iDs in Environmental Research Infrastructures

THOR – ENVRIplus Bootcamp


On March 28 and 29, representatives from over twenty environmental research infrastructures gathered at Aalto University, Finland to discuss ORCID integrations and more.

Tweet Asmi
Tweet: Starting #ENVRiD!

After introductions to the organising projects (THOR and ENVRIplus) and a general introduction to ORCID, Markus Stocker (PANGAEA) kicked off the series of presentations on ORCID integrations with a live demo on how to connect your PANGAEA account with ORCID and log in with your ORCID iD. This demo immediately showcased one of the key benefits of integrating ORCID within your infrastructure: through linking with ORCID, PANGAEA automatically receives the information you have given ORCID permission to share, in particular your ORCID iD. This enables automated cross-linking of data DOIs and contributor ORCID iDs and sharing of such link information with PID infrastructure, specifically ORCID. Xiaoli Chen’s (CERN) presentation on ORCID integration at CERN also showed the benefits of integrating ORCID within the high energy physics community − for example: how to deal with a publication with no less than 2853 authors!

Photo: Markus Stocker welcoming participants in Helsinki

The ORCID integration talks continued with representatives from two environmental research infrastructures, namely ICOS and Argo, as well as the EGI e-Infrastructure. While these infrastructures have not started fully integrating ORCID within their systems, the talks gave an overview of their current plans.

  • At ICOS, ORCID has been integrated in Carbon Portal user profiles and the team is working to implement the integration following best practice (ie obtaining validated iDs from ORCID). As there are currently only a few people with ORCID iDs, the main challenge is to motivate people to create an ORCID account and link their user profiles.
  • After instructions on how to cite data were included in Argo’s user manual, more people have started to assign DOIs to their datasets. DOIs make citing much more efficient, but at present the DOIs used do not provide credit to the individual contributors, since Argo is listed as the single author of datasets. Argo has identified ORCID iDs as a tool to list and credit individual contributors. Argo’s metadata describing the different roles of contributors to the dataset will be pushed to DataCite. DataCite will then push the information to ORCID records automatically.
  • At EGI, users with ORCID iDs can use their iD to login to the EGI Checkin service, which enables them to get authenticated access to EGI resources and tools. Further plans for integration, which are already in development, include linking to articles and datasets.
Slide: Argo: Auto-update ORCID record through DataCite DOIs

After lunch, Tom Demeranville (ORCID) explained more about the ORCID API and ORCID’s collect and connect program. Laura Rueda (DataCite) stressed the importance of complete and interoperable metadata − it even got its own slide! (see below) – and Kristian Garza (DataCite) showed the importance of complete metadata in his demo of claiming published datasets to ORCID retroactively. Other topics discussed in the afternoon included the Scholix framework and DataCite event data.

metadata groot
Slide: Metadata!

Day one ended with a discussion on the motivations for research infrastructures to integrate ORCID iDs in their workflows. The main motivations are attribution and disambiguation. Other reasons mentioned by the participants are the benefits of automated workflows and interoperable research systems whereby information is pushed to and linked within different systems and repositories automatically. Another reason for ORCID integration is that ORCID iDs are required by some publishers. Some of the biggest challenges to integration, however, were identified as being social rather than technical: getting people to register, and making sure they will use their iDs, was cited as one of the biggest barriers. For journal articles, however, ORCID iDs are more accepted as common practice. Yet people need to be encouraged to use their iD when they are uploading their datasets as well. Funding and time constraints to build the integration itself also pose a challenge.

Photo: Hands on with the ORCID API

On day two, attendees split into two breakout sessions to attend either the infrastructure developers’ or managers’ track. In the developers’ room, Tom Demeranville took the participants through a hands-on session on the ORCID API. In the managers’ track there were more general presentations on new developments within the PID community, such as on the Organisation Identifier project, dynamic data citation, and PIDs for instruments. As these are all new initiatives, more work and discussions are needed to move forward to take into account the different requirements by different stakeholder communities. For example, within the environmental research community, more discussion is needed on how to describe instruments. Should DOIs be used? Or is it better to use serial numbers for physical objects? And what happens when organisations use the same instruments? One solution that was suggested was the adoption of a form of ISO standard that is recognised by different countries. For dynamic data citation, there is no standard solution in place yet.

For the environmental research institutions that want to take their ORCID integrations forward, the same also applies. A short exercise showed that most RIs think that pursuing ORCID integration is urgent. And as the closing summary of the participating infrastructures’ intentions towards ORCID integrations shows, most RIs are either thinking about it or are definitely going for it this year. Much work remains to be done but we are confident that at #ENVRiD Part Two we will see progress toward such integrations!

Much more than infrastructure: working together to connect research

Crossref/THOR Outreach Meeting, Warsaw, Poland

Monday, 24 April 2017

Digital Humanities Centre at the Institute of Literary Research, Polish Academy of Sciences

This outreach meeting aims to explore how the research community can work together to help connect research and improve discoverability of content – publications, data and more.

Representatives from Crossref and Project THOR partners (ORCID, DataCite and the British Library) will introduce and provide updates on their initiatives and services (and how they work together). We will also have panelists from Polish institutions join us to discuss how the research landscape looks for them, and how they might work with some of the services discussed.

The day aims to provide a deeper understanding of foundational scholarly infrastructure, but also to have the opportunity to discuss how that can be used in publisher and researcher workflows.

We welcome editors, publishers, librarians, researchers, funders and the wider community to come share their thoughts and ideas. There will be lots of time for discussion and questions, so please join us and register here.


08.30-9.00 Registration & coffee
09:00-09:10 Welcome from organisers
09:10-9.30 Opening remarks

Professor Łukasz Szumowski, Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Science and Higher Education

Professor Paweł Rowiński, Vice-President of the Polish Academy of Sciences

9:30-11.00 Introduction to Persistent Identifiers

Crossref, ORCID, DataCite, Project THOR, PID Interoperability

11:00-11:20 Coffee
11:20-12:50 Persistent Identifier Services

Crossref services, THOR partner services, PID Integrations. Discussion

12.50-13.50 Lunch
13:50-15:20 What’s happening: Plans & Applications

  • Industry initiatives and how to get involved with Project THOR partners
  • Polish case-studies
15.20-15.40 Coffee
15:40-17:00 Panel Discussion: Let’s Link Research! Persistent Identifiers for Polish Scholarship.

Moderator: Dr. Maciej Maryl, Digital Humanities Centre at the Institute of Literary Research, Polish Academy of Sciences
Dr. Marta Hoffman-Sommer, Interdisciplinary Centre for Mathematical and Computational Modelling, University of Warsaw, RepOD Repository for Open Data, OpenAIRE NOAD for Poland

Dr. Eng. Przemysław Korytkowski, West Pomeranian University of Technology in Szczecin, member of the Committee for Evaluation of Scientific Units at the Ministry of Science and Higher Education

Dr. Habil. Emanuel Kulczycki  Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, the chairman of the Specialist Team for the Evaluation of Scientific Journals at the Ministry of Science and Higher Education

Rachael Lammey, Member & Community Outreach, Crossref

Laura Rueda, Communications Director, DataCite

Josh Brown, Director of Partnerships, ORCID

17.00 Closing remarks

CRefThor combined



ORCID Integrations in Environmental Research Infrastructures

A THOR-ENVRIplus Bootcamp

Are you working in a technical or leading role within an Environmental Research Infrastructure? Join us at Aalto University in Finland on March 28-29, 2017 to learn more about ORCID integrations and discuss best practices with colleagues from other Environmental Research Infrastructures.

Project THOR supports seamless integration between articles, data and researchers across the research lifecycle. ENVRIplus brings together Environmental and Earth System Research Infrastructures, projects and networks to create an interoperable cluster of Environmental Research Infrastructures across Europe. These two H2020 projects are joining forces by organising a bootcamp focused on ORCID integrations in Environmental Research Infrastructures.

The two day event offers a unique opportunity for knowledge exchange between persistent identification experts from THOR partner organisations (in particular ORCID and DataCite) and the managers, as well as developers, of Environmental Research Infrastructures, in particular ENVRIplus partners.

The bootcamp has a strong emphasis on ORCID integrations and will touch upon the specific challenges Environmental Research Infrastructures are facing in regard of such integrations. The bootcamp also focuses on the technical aspects of implementing ORCID integrations. In addition to infrastructure managers, we thus strongly encourage developers to participate as well.

On March 28, we will give an introduction to ORCID and concepts. We also demonstrate various types of integrations in systems. The second day (March 29) is structured in two separated tracks: Research Infrastructure Developer and Research Infrastructure Manager. We still encourage participants to provide us with input on bootcamp topics. You can enter suggestions when you register for the bootcamp hereThe preliminary agenda topics are included below:

Tuesday March 28

  • Introductions to ORCID and concepts
  • ORCID Integrations in THOR partner systems
  • ORCID Integrations in environmental research infrastructures
  • Challenges and opportunities at the different research infrastructures
  • Q & A and discussion: ORCID integration, Metadata, identification of co-authors, crosslinking PIDs etc.

Wednesday March 29

Parallel track 1: Hands-on exercises for RI Developer

  • Coding ORCID integrations
  • Mining ORCID data dump
  • ORCID iDs in research infrastructure metadata (e.g. SensorML)
  • PID linking and link information exchange
  • ORCID and the ENVRI Reference Model

Parallel track 2 : Discussion/presentation sessions for RI Manager

  • Crosslinking data, author, publication
  • PIDs for instruments, platforms, deployments
  • Dynamic data identification
  • Cost of integrations
  • PIDs in workflows involving research infrastructures and e-infrastructures

The THOR-ENVRIplus team is looking forward to seeing you in Finland!


THOR at PIDapalooza

If November taught us anything, it’s that open identifiers clearly do deserve their own festival. On 9th and 10th November 2016, people from all over the world gathered in Reykjavik to share PID stories, demos, use cases, victories, horror stories, and new frontiers at PIDapalooza, the first conference dedicated to PIDs. The THOR team travelled to the country of glaciers and volcanoes to talk about project identifiers, persistent identifiers for instruments, PIDagogy and measuring PID adoption.

PIDs for Projects

Martin Fenner (DataCite) and Tom Demeranville (ORCID) presented their work on project identifiers to a full house. They proposed that project IDs should be used to link participants, outputs and funding. But the most suitable identifiers to describe projects? That was left open for discussion – a discussion that quickly turned heated. What, even, is the exact definition of a project? What would persist if the project ends? Would researchers be willing to share the information needed for the project ID? How would we describe the metadata, given that a project does not have a publication date? Clearly more research needs to be done to answer these important questions. Keep an eye out for the announcement of a THOR webinar on Project identifiers, which will be held early 2017, in which we will be resuming this discussion.


Tom Demeranville leading the discussion on PIDs for projects

Persistent Identification of Instruments

Markus Stocker (PANGAEA) continued to explore new frontiers with a presentation on PIDs for instruments, instrument platforms and their deployments. Beyond enabling the unambiguous identification of these entities as well as reference to them in articles and other research artefacts, Markus suggested that metadata preservation about these entities is critical for researchers to judge the fitness of observation data for reuse. He presented two examples for systems that already assign DOIs to deployments and platforms. A key challenge for the community is to decide on the required metadata for preservation.


Twitter activity during Markus Stocker’s presentation on PIDs for instruments

The Human Perspective

Building the technical infrastructure for open research was a clear theme at the conference, but how do we move from infrastructure to adoption? How do you teach, learn, persuade, discuss and grow the uptake of PIDs in everyday research practice? My presentation showcased the contribution that the THOR ambassador network is making to the human infrastructure around PIDs. By organising training activities within their own communities and sharing training materials, THOR ambassadors are helping to overcome the cultural barriers to PID adoption. These forms of collaboration are not only critical between THOR partners and ambassadors, but need to extend to other organisations and projects in order to integrate PIDagogy within the Research Data Science Curriculum. The importance of communication was also reiterated in other sessions on PIDagogy, in which participants designed infographics to promote and explain PIDs to different stakeholder groups. These materials will be developed further and made available for the community to (re-)use.


PIDapalooza crowd developing videos, infographics and quizzes for PID adoption

Challenges of Measuring PID Adoption

Salvatore Mele (CERN) discussed the challenges of measuring PID adoption. THOR has already developed a comprehensive dashboard, which shows ORCID and DOI uptake over time. But the ways in which we evaluate and interpret the results remain open for discussion. Salvatore explained that it is difficult not to get philosophical when talking about measurement of PID uptake. What information is missing? What do we not (yet) know? And what further steps can we take to know the unknowable?


Salvatore Mele explaining the THOR Dashboard

PIDapalooza definitely generated as many questions for THOR as we brought to the table. Participating and presenting at this event was a great opportunity for the team to discuss ideas and generate more thought for further research and future collaboration, complementing the PID frontiers already being explored by other organisations. And yes, THOR definitely believes identifiers deserve their own festival and is looking forward to PIDapalooza 2017!

Want to know more about PIDapalooza?

THOR Ambassador Update

On October 13, we held a webinar for our ambassadors to update them on recent THOR activities. Tom Demeranville explained more about ORCID integrations at the THOR disciplinary partners, ORCID Work Identifier types and other recent technological developments, such as Datacite’s Event Data and ORCID Auto Update. A preview of what THOR is planning for the remainder of 2016 and in 2017 was given by Josh Brown. Plans include:

  • Further integration of PIDs in production services
  • Improvement of data citation
  • Continuing the research into the best solutions for missing PIDs.

The webinar slides can be found on the THOR Knowledge Hub.

We rely on our ambassadors to help facilitate and spread discussion about recent PID developments. Some of our ambassadors are very active on Twitter and increase THOR’s visibility by (re-)tweeting. Others spread the word about PIDs amongst their networks in person, promoting their benefits at conferences and workshops. And we are also organising our first bootcamp with one of our ambassadors in Spain. In return, we help you keep up-to-date with recent PID developments through email, webinars and newsletters.

It’s great to see how our ambassadors are contributing to achieving THOR’s mission: connecting people, places and things. And the number of ambassadors is still growing. Not just in Europe but on other continents as well. This week, we welcomed another ambassador in Australia. Click here, for an overview of our ambassadors. If you’d like to be part of this community, please get in touch. We’ll be organising an informal get together over lunch on Thursday 10 November at Pidapalooza. If you’ll be attending and would like to find out more about our ambassador programme, please join us!