Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why assigning DOI names to research data or grey literature?

The concept of "Digital Object Identifier" (DOI) addresses the problem of broken links to scientific content. Upon registration each DOI name is associated with an URL and clicking a DOI link (e.g. http://doi.org/10.17617/1.3) redirects to the corresponding location. After the initial registration, the content provider remains responsible to update this URL whenever the content is moved to another location. As a consequence DOI names serve as stable identifiers for electronic resources and can be used to reference content persistently.

Over the last years, formerly unpublished materials gained in importance and researchers are nowadays advised to share their research data, tools, posters, and further documents with the scholar community. Assigning DOI names to these materials improves the citability and enables researchers to link articles to appropriate data persistently. It also increases the visibility and traceability of research data as valuable resource.

2. What are the requirements to request a DOI name via the MPDL service?

Via the MPDL service DOI names can be requested for any kind of research data or scholarly work if the corresponding content object meets the following requirements:

  • The persistent accessibility of the registered content is ensured. Please note that this requirement of persistence is difficult to achieve by an individual and therefore we strongly recommend to upload your work results to a suitable data or publication repository. Your local MPI library or IT department may help you identifying the most appropriate storage service.
  • The object features quality scientific content, i.e. worthy of publication and citation. This includes that it has been produced in accordance with the accepted rules and standards of the discipline and that the content is not changed after publication.
  • The object has a publicly accessible landing page. Upon DOI registration, you need to submit a content location (URL) and some basic metadata. The URL should refer to a publicly accessible landing page which contains a description of the object and information concerning access. All changes to the location URL or metadata need to be communicated to the MPDL immediately.
  • The object has not been assigned a DOI name before. In order to improve citation tracking, only one DOI name should exist for each scholarly work. If the content of an object has been updated substantially, a new DOI can be assigned.

For further details, please refer to the terms and conditions of the DOI agreement with the TIB Hannover (in German).

The MPDL DOI service strives to improve the DOI registration process for Max Planck researchers in particular. Therefore, you need to be located on an MPG campus (IP) and to provide a valid MPG eMail address in order to request a DOI.

3. As a Max Planck researcher, how can I receive a DOI for my publication or research data?

For journal or book publications, the corresponding publisher should assign the DOI. If your publisher isn’t registering DOIs, you may point them to the CrossRef website which provides useful information on how to get started. Other alternatives include the registration via mEDRA or an OASPA membership (for Open Access publishers).

For other textual material like working papers or unpublished manuscripts, we kindly invite you to upload your publication to MPG.PuRe and to use the "create DOI" link, as described here (in German).

For research data we recommend to check if there is a suitable data repository in your specific discipline first, e.g. by checking the re3data registry as a starting point. Many of these repositories already assign persistent identifiers like DOIs to all submitted content. Alternatively, you may consider to upload your data to Edmond the new institutional Open Research Data Repository of the Max Planck Society and use this form to request a DOI name.

4. As a Max Planck institute or project, can we use this service to assign DOIs to items stored in our local repository?

Yes, the agreement with the TIB Hannover enables the Max Planck Digital Library to serve as central DataCite data center for the Max Planck Society. Please contact us to learn more about the processes and conditions involved.