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DataCite documentation for Fondren Library staff can be found here (restricted access–contact Shannon Kipphut-Smith for permissions).

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

A digital object identifier (DOI) is a persistent and unique identifier of an object. It permanently identifies content and related metadata for an object over the course of its lifecycle. DOI names resolve to web locations where the objects they describe can be found. Information about a digital object may change over time, including where to find it and who owns it, but its DOI will not change.



DataCite ( is an international non-profit organization that provides DOIs to research data and other types of digital scholarship. DataCite helps to facilitate the creation and allocation of DOIs and related metadata and helps to promote data discovery and citation.

As a DataCite member ("Provider"), Fondren Library covers the annual DataCite membership fee and the creation of up to 10,000 DOIs annually. Fondren can facilitate DOI assignment to content in library-managed repositories (e.g., Rice Digital Scholarship Archive) and other university-managed platforms that are committed to long-term preservation and access. 

Those groups on campus seeking to mint and manage their own DOIs may request that they become a client. As a client, groups can assign a unique DOI to their content and integrate the DataCite API into their systems. Clients are asked to  cover the annual cost Fondren pays for additional data centers. For additional information about becoming a client, please contact Digital Scholarship Services at 

Client (formerly "data center"): participant responsibilities

Client responsibilities:

  • Provide Fondren Library with name and contact information of data center manager. If contact information changes, agree to provide Fondren Library with the updated information.
  • Manage client DataCite account, which is separate from Fondren Library account.
  • Determine DOI suffix schema and manage assignment.
  • If applicable, set up and maintain DataCite API configuration with local systems.
  • Provide, at a minimum, DataCite required metadata for all items assigned DOIs.
    • Identifier
    • Creator
    • Title
    • Publisher
    • PublicationYear
    • ResourceType
  • Certify that all metadata provided is accurate.
  • Certify that the client is allowed to share this metadata with DataCite.
  • Take full responsibility for maintaining stable access to resources.
  • If no longer able to provide access to the resource, agree to inform Fondren Library and work with Fondren Library to develop a plan for long-term preservation of the resources.
  • Understand that if Fondren Library becomes aware that access to the item has been disrupted and, despite efforts to contact the client, the issue is not resolved within a timely manner, Fondren Library reserves the right to edit the DataCite record to indicate unavailability (e.g., generate a “tombstone” record).

Fondren Library responsibilities:

  • Provide clients with resources related to best practices for DOIs, data citation, and other relevant topics.
  • Upon request, work with clients to establish plans for the long-term preservation and access to resources.
  • Periodically check that all DOIs created under Fondren’s DataCite membership and notify client if any issues are identified.