THOR at Digital Infrastructures for Research

The last week of September 2016, several THOR partners headed to the city of churches, Krakow, to participate in the Digital Infrastructures for Research conference (DI4R). DI4R was an event organised by Europe’s leading e-infrastructures, EGI, EUDAT, GÉANT, OpenAIRE and the Research Data Alliance (RDA) Europe, in which researchers, developers and service providers brainstormed and discussed adoption of digital infrastructure services and promote user-driven innovation. Adam Farquhar (British Library), Josh Brown (ORCiD), Robin Dasler (CERN) and myself, Kristian Garza (DataCite), closed the first day of activities with a talk that emphasised that PIDs are a set of tools and systems to be integrated and promoted in infrastructures and services for researchers.

Our session was divided into short presentations that showcased how ORCiD iDs and DataCite DOIs are integrated into research systems and connected with other platforms. After that, we presented the case of CERN for PID integration which showcased how PIDs enabled linking, attribution, claiming and citation of contributors and datasets.

The session was followed by a discussion on ORCiD nationwide use cases and the need for improving metadata capturing compliance of DOIs. Finally, the DI4R audience shot the THOR panel with a provocative series of questions. For example:

    – “How should we deal with credit attribution of collections of datasets? When in some areas data collections are created by a contributor but each item in the collection has a different producer.”  

    – “Do we need PIDs for machines and instrumentation?”

    – “What about PIDs for projects?”

Certainly, some those questions need further thought and exploration by the THOR members and the community at large. Join us at Pidapalooza if you want to be part of this discussion.

Overall the THOR session at DI4R highlighted the project’s work (specifically DataCite’s Event-Data and ORCiD’s auto-update) and ended up with a good discussion about future lines of work to be developed.


Knowledge Exchange Workshop

Researcher Identifiers – National approaches to ORCID and ISNI implementation

Members of the THOR team spent Monday and Tuesday attending the “Researcher Identifiers – National approaches to ORCID and ISNI implementation” workshop in London. The workshop focused on person identifiers, with the bulk of discussion about the use of ORCID, CRIS systems, ISNI, federated identity and organisational identifiers. Alongside learning about the challenges people face and the ways they’ve overcome them, we presented an update on ORCID adoption, and an introduction to the THOR project. The meeting was hosted by Jisc on behalf of Knowledge Exchange.


We’ve taken away some valuable feedback about user experiences that we can feed into the project development programme and improved our understanding of expectations and use-cases. Different approaches towards the role of IDs in federated identity, with a great example from CSC in Finland of how they are using them,  are now being actively discussed with the national federations and PID providers. We’ve also raised awareness of THOR and clarified what we’re attempting to achieve.

There was a lot of excitement about THOR putting some of the essential building blocks of PID infrastructure in place. All in all it was a valuable meeting and we’d like to thank all the attendees for their insights.

About Knowledge Exchange

KE is a group of five organisations from around Europe that are concerned with higher education and research infrastructure.  They meet regularly to swap views and produce a shared vision of interoperability.  You can find out more about them and their mission at The members are:

  • CSC – IT Center for Science in Finland
  • Denmark’s Electronic Research Library (DEFF) in Denmark
  • German Research Foundation (DFG) in Germany
  • Jisc in the United Kingdom
  • SURF in the Netherlands