Collaborative project to develop a national PID recommendation

Published: 2024-07-01

Graphic of a fingerprintWork on developing a national recommendation for PIDs has started. A PID (persistent identifier) is a unique ID number or a unique string of characters that makes it possible to locate and reuse digital material.
“We’re very happy that this project has started; it aligns perfectly with SND’s ambition to take on a larger coordinating role in the field of research data,” says Johan Fihn Marberg, Head of IT at SND.

Interest in coordinating PID usage in research has increased both in Sweden and internationally. This is not only about achieving persistent identification of scientific publications, but also about making research data, project descriptions, and other documentation easier to find and reuse. Finland, Australia, and Great Britain are some of the countries where projects are underway to achieve more unified national identification systems. Additionally, within the framework of the RDA (Research Data Alliance), there are several interest groups working on national PID strategies and their international coordination.

National PID recommendations

SND has taken the initiative to develop national recommendations for the use of PIDs and discussions have been initiated with the Swedish Research Council (VR), the National Library of Sweden (KB), and SciLifeLab on how the parties could collaborate in the development of recommendations. The Swedish Research Council and the National Library of Sweden have for some years now had the overall coordinating responsibility for the national work on implementing open access to research data and scientific publications, respectively. This PID project ties in with their responsibilities. The idea behind the PID recommendations is that they should provide support to decision-makers in, for example, system procurements, and to researchers in giving research data increased long-term findability.

The work on developing a national PID recommendation will be strengthened by the fact that SND has applied for, and received approval for, a support action for establishing EOSC compliant PID policies. This support action is part of an EU project (FAIR-IMPACT) and runs from May to September 2024.

“We plan to have a first draft of the recommendations ready by September. In our work, we will, among other things, evaluate SND’s PID services to see how well they comply with the international recommendations developed by EOSC. It’s important that we don’t deviate too much but rather synchronize with what already exists,” says Johan Fihn Marberg.

Parallel work at Digg

Johan doesn’t believe that the recommendation will highlight any specific PID services from, for example, commercial providers.

“It will probably be more about providing general recommendations, such as how important it is to use services that are based on the Handle System or DOI,” he says.

Johan Fihn Marberg also emphasizes the importance of adhering to Swedish legislation and the parallel work being done by the Agency for Digital Government (Digg). Digg is developing a profile to make the digital resources at Swedish government agencies more persistent. However, their work does not include data but is focused on documents and URLs.

“We have a group at SND that will be responsible for the main activities. It includes me, Eva Stensköld, and André Jernung. Once we have received feedback from the other stakeholders on our first draft, we will continue working through autumn to hopefully have the recommendation finished during winter.”

Read more about persistent identifiers (PID)

Read more about SND’s PID services

Read more about the support action for EOSC compliant PID policies