Meaning & purpose
An identifier is a sequence of characters or words that uniquely identify an object within a particular context or the domain of a specified authority. It may be globally unique if the specified authority has a global domain.
Identifiers that are useful for discovery, linking of metadata records, reuse, or to support the functions of the metadata provider, can be recorded, even if they are not unique or persistent.
For detailed information on persistent identifiers, see the ANDS Guides on Persistent Identifiers (awareness, working and expert levels), Digital Object Identifiers, and handles (Handle minting service).
An Identifier Type is required. Preferably, specify a type from the Identifier Type vocabulary below. For types not in the vocabulary, use the Namespace in Identifiers.org as the Identifier Type.
To request the addition of Identifier Types not in the current vocabulary, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Use in Research Data Australia
Identifiers are displayed within Research Data Australia as provided by the data provider, as clickable links (when possible), and prefixed with the identifier type.
Where two or more records (from the same or different data sources) share a common identifier, the records will be treated as describing the same thing. In Research Data Australia, these records are merged into a single search result and links to each of the merged records are displayed on the view page of each record.
For all records
- Identifiers for collections, parties, activities or services being described, including non-unique and local identifiers, should be recorded in the Identifier element. The Identifier element can be repeated if multiple identifiers need to be described.
- Contributors are strongly encouraged to provide a persistent, globally unique identifier such as a DOI , ORCID or PURL in the Identifier element.
- It is strongly recommended that all identifiers be persistent, i.e. a DOI or Handle , but any URI is acceptable.
- If a global identifier is not available as a resolvable URL, provide it using a type that reflects the authority for the identifier. This will display as text only (not a resolvable link) in Research Data Australia.
- Where a project is connected to a funding grant from the ARC or NHMRC, the project or program record should record the related grant identifier (PURL) in the Identifier element using the Identifier Type "arc" or "nhmrc" (rather than "purl"). This enables linking of project records to grant records supplied by funders. Where project descriptions from a research institution or agency use a local project identifier, these can also be provided.
- As more funders supply grant information to Research Data Australia, persistent grant identifiers will be available for their grants as well. The list of funders contributing grant information can be viewed on the Explore Grants and Projects page in Research Data Australia.
- If there is a globally unique identifier for a party, it is strongly recommended that it be provided in the Identifier element with the corresponding Identifier Type. This is preferably an ORCID, but may be an NLA Party Identifier, Scopus Author Identifier, or ResearcherID. Local username or staff IDs are also acceptable. System lookup facilities for ORCIDs and NLA Party Identifiers are available.
- Include all relevant identifiers, as this helps in the disambiguation of similar names, discovery and record linking.
XML encoding examples
|April 2010||Consultation draft|
|26 Oct 2010||Changed guidelines for use of National Library of Australia identifiers|
|14 Oct 2011||Removed 'txt' suggested identifier type (previously included in error) — use 'local' instead of this type|
|14 Oct 2011||Added link to best practice for activity identifiers, clarified types to use for party identifiers (ThomsonReuters, Scopus, VIAF, ORCID), added link to Contributing to Trove page|
|29 Nov 2011||Added link to information about URL displays for identifiers|
|13 Mar 2013||Added further information about ORCID identfiers|
|26 Nov 2013||Added nhmrc as a new identifier type|
|27 Mar 2014||Added information to Use in Research Data Australia section|
|20 Jan 2017||Removed examples (ThomsonReuters, Scopus, VIAF) of using authority names for types instead of the suggested vocabulary, where no resolvable URI exits - no longer relevant|
|13 Jul 2017||Page reviewed and updated|
|5 Apr 2018||Updated examples to reflect the addition of new identifier types "researcherID" and "scopusID"|
|10 Jan 2018||Clarified the use of identifier types "nhmrc" and "arc" for grants|