All about the Data Citation Implementation Project

One of the recommendations that came out of the meeting about Data Citation our Expert Group had this spring was that Jisc should engage more with the “Data Citation Implementation Pilot“. This voluntary grouping runs as a sub-group of the Force11 collaboration, and is funded by the NIH as a part of the ongoing BioCaddie data discovery index project.

There had been an appetite in numerous places to see the Joint Declaration of Data Citation Principles (JDDCP) move quickly from aspiration to implementation. If you read through principles themselves (and if you are reading this blog and you haven’t, you might want to) you’ll note that these do not recommend specific technical implementations, metadata schema or even identifiers.  What the DCIP is doing is trying to come up with a path to making the JDDCP ideals into reality.

Five expert groups have been established, on developing advice and guidance on data citation (FAQ), identifiers, publisher early adopters, repository early adopters and JATS (the journal article tag suite).  Of these, I’ve participated in a number of virtual meetings of the publisher early adopters group since becoming a member of the DCIP. This subgroup has been focused on developing a roadmap of the publication process and identifying where the publication and citation of data needs to be considered.

When one thinks of citation one would, perhaps, think of referring to materials external to the paper in question, But the first task is to solve the issue of referring to data within the paper it underlies. There are numerous ways of doing this, with practice fragmented and often hugely variable between subjects and journal. But as journals (note, in particular, last weeks announcement from Springer Nature) begin to require that underlying data is shared, then clarity is needed on how and where this is done.

The repository early adopters group are also forging ahead, focusing on machine-readable landing pages and the use of persistent identifiers (along with the identifiers group). They also have a remit to explore community metadata standards. I’ve also seen drafts of certain parts of the FAQs aimed at repository early adopters.

The DCIP may feel like a lot of activity to keep an eye on, but it represents a drawing together of effort from many organisations, groups and individuals who have an interest in getting data citation sorted out.

(After my last post in May, the downloads end of project continues to move forward. You’ve probably already seen that the IRUS for data pilot now works with Figshare (so the increasing number of institutions formally using Figshare as an institutional data repository can get accesses COUNTER compliant data download metrics.). We’ve welcomed Loughborough and Cranfield on board via this route, with others to follow.)


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