Before shared data can be resued by others, the dataset must be found. This can be accomplished in several ways. The dataset may be cited in a publication, associated with a researcher's ID, or discoverable through a search. Data that is deposited publicly in University of Nebraska-LincolnDR--as well as data that is registered with University of Nebraska-LincolnDR--is discoverable through the data repository's search, as well as through the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries' catalog.
Other considerations for make your data more discoverable are provided below.
Information on the web is often in flux. Domains change; websites are restructured; information moves. An active URL today may result in a 404 (File Not Found) error tomorrow or in 5 years. This is especially an issue for citing sources. Persistent identifiers are an attempt to provide permanence in this environment by separating location from identification. A persisent identifier is a unique identification assigned to an object (be it a publication or a dataset or some other kind of information). This identifier is then registered with information about the object, including its location (e.g. URL). Then, if the object is moved, the registry is updated with its new location, ensuring the identifier continues to link to the object.
There are several different kinds of persistent identifiers. University of Nebraska-LincolnDR assigns Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) to any publicly available datasets deposited with us. The following video by Research Data Netherlands provides a concise explanation of persistent identifiers, including DOIs:
Including a persistent identifier in citations is advantageous, as it will link to the resource in perpetuity, which is not necessarily true for URLs. You can read more about the proliferation of broken links (called 'link rot') in this post on the Future of the Internet Blog, which discusses a study that found more than 70% of the URLs within Harvard Law Review "do not link to the originally cited information".
To learn more about data citation visit University of Nebraska-Lincoln's Data Management Guide and the Digital Curation Centre website.
Most personal names are not unique, can potentially change, and may be ordered differently depending on culture. This makes identifying and linking scientific and academic authors to their contributions (both publications and research data) difficult. There are several resources available to allow researchers to uniquely identify themselves electronically:
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