Report , News of 18 July 2011

DOIs for the SOEP data

The Research Data Center of the SOEP (SOEP RDC) has signed a "service level agreement" with the GESIS registration agency for social science data (see the Gesis Report [in German]). This agreement defines the  requirements and procedures for future registration of data from the SOEP RDC.
The data covered by the agreement include those regularly provided on the DVD, but also data from our pretests, which up to now have been difficult
to cite. In the future, the data will be registered via da|ra, as a member of the non-profit organization DataCite, and will be assigned DOIs (Digital Object Identifiers) for persistent identification.
Digital identifiers provide a form of permanent identification for digital objects and thus guarantee that they can be found again on the Internet. They are a basic requirement for citing and being able to find research data on the Internet, even when the location (the URL) has changed. A series of metadata are linked with each DOI (defined in the "metadata schema") in order to guarantee improved description and recognition of the data.
The SOEP RDC, as a publication agent, will be assigned the prefix 5684 in each registered DOI. So the DOI for the current wave of the SOEP data
will be: doi:10.5684/soep.v26. The idea here was to have a connection to SOEP contained in the DOI number: the 84 in the DOI refers to the year 1984, when the first wave of SOEP was conducted.
It is important for SOEP users to know that this does not change anything about our proposed mode of citation for the SOEP data (see SOEPnewsletter 90 "What's new in ‘v26'?, or: How to cite the SOEP
data"). Rather, this provides you with the additional possibility to add a unique DOI to your citations after registration of our data, which will take place soon. We ask you to make regular use of this new possibility.