Why are PIDs important for Librarians and Repository Managers

Librarians and repository managers may engage with persistent identifiers in several ways.


PIDs are used in many library systems throughout libraries. PIDs are used to identify and aggregate resources. Many services which facilitate greater access to resources e.g. through Open Access such as Unpaywall use a DOI field as an identifier. Therefore articles without a PID are much more difficult to track and expose to these different types of services. They are also used within repositories as they are often the key piece of metadata used to provide a link to the version of record of an article, a key function of repositories, also vital for reporting on research conducted such as to funders.

Services from the Library

Working as a librarian or managing a repository you may have reasons to interact directly with persistent identifiers services. For example if your institution is a DataCite customer you may register DOIs on behalf of researchers at your institution, sometimes this is done manually through DataCite’s Fabrica platform or through a repository or CRIS system using an API.

Some institutions are also members of Crossref and often it is staff within the library who register content with Crossref. Staff within the library may also manage the institution’s ORCID membership.

Interacting with Researchers

Research Support or Scholarly Communications Librarians and Repository Managers require a knowledge of PIDs as several PIDs form a key part of metadata for resources held in repositories such as DOIs for the version of record of journal articles and ORCIDs to identify researchers. Researchers are also encouraged to assign DOIs for datasets and for this reason an understanding of how persistent identifiers work can be helpful when providing advice and guidance.