Friday, 27 March 2015

IPT v2.2 – Making data citable through DataCite

GBIF is pleased to release IPT 2.2, now capable of automatically connecting with either DataCite or EZID to assign DOIs to datasets. This new feature makes biodiversity data easier to access on the Web and facilitates tracking its re-use.

DataCite integration explained

DataCite specialises in assigning DOIs to datasets. It was established in 2009 with three fundamental goals(1):
  1. Establish easier access to research data on the Internet
  2. Increase acceptance of research data as citable contributions to the scholarly record
  3. Support research data archiving to permit results to be verified and re-purposed for future study
EZID is hosted by the California Digital Library (a founding member of DataCite) and adds services on top of the DataCite DOI infrastructure such as their own easy-to-use programming interface.

To integrate with DataCite and further these three goals for biodiversity data, IPT version 2.2 introduces the following new features:
  • DOIs can be assigned to datasets thereby making them persistently resolvable 
  • A new DOI can be assigned to a dataset each time it undergoes scientifically significant changes, which is recommended best practice(1) and part of the IPT's new versioning policy
  • Citations can be automatically generated for datasets in a standard format which includes the DOI and dataset version number
  • version history is kept for each dataset, allowing researchers to easily track changes and access/download all previous versions
To take advantage of these optional new features, there are two basic requirements: 
  1. The IPT must be configured with either a DataCite or EZID account. GBIF participants interested in a DataCite account should contact the GBIF Helpdesk directly. General information about getting a DataCite account can be found here; information about getting an EZID account can be found here
  2. The IPT should be always on and accessible to ensure that assigned DOIs continue to be resolvable. 
Once publishers make their data citable through DataCite they can expect the following benefits:
Sample basic metadata page, IPT 2.2

Other new features

The IPT 2.2 also introduces a simple way of licensing datasets under one of three machine readable waivers or licences: CC0 v1.0CC-BY v4.0, or CC-BY-NC v4.0.  These waivers or CC licenses are "something that the creators of works can understand, their users can understand, and even the Web itself can understand."(2)  You may read more about GBIF's new licensing policy here for more information.

Sample resource overview page, IPT 2.2

Whether an IPT is DOI-turbocharged or not, there are a number of other new benefits in this release:
  • basisOfRecord validation for occurrence datasets
  • The ability to preview source mappings prior to publication
  • The ability to preview resource metadata prior to publication
  • A suite of new metadata fields such as ORCIDs for contacts
  • An enhanced user interface including a new and improved resource homepage
  • Additional context help to guide users, especially first-time users


Thanks to the hard work and dedication of the team of contributors, version 2.2 has been fully translated into French, Japanese, Portuguese, and Spanish. Since so many new features have gone into this new version, the text requiring translation was enormous. The following translators deserve a huge thanks, merci, arigato, obrigado, and gracias:
Lastly, a special thanks must go out to David Shorthouse from Canadensys for his guidance and help. Canadensys has been assigning DOIs to datasets it serves via its IPT since 2012, as described here, and has provided invaluable assistance throughout development. 

On behalf of the GBIF development team, I really hope you enjoy using this new version, and hope that you will be able to take advantage of all its exciting new features.



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