ARCHIVED CONTENT: In December 2020, the CZO program was succeeded by the Critical Zone Collaborative Network (CZ Net) ×

Data DOI

Publish datasets to archival data centers with DOI

SUMMARY: CZO investigators benefit from publishing datasets to Data Centers with a mandate to maintain persistent data archives that can be individually cited and retrieved with a permanent digital object identifier (DOI). These datasets are legitimate, internationally-recognized, citable contributions to the scientific record. A CZO Dataset Listing that uses a DOI to point to data archived with a Data Center increases the discoverability and long-term access to that data. 

CZOData Team ContactsKerstin Lehnert and Megan Carter
Questions?  Email the CZOData Project team

Data Policies & GuidelinesData Sharing Guidelines > Data DOI

Benefits and Outcomes

Data produced in the research process are just as valuable to ongoing academic discourse as papers and monographs. To maximize the value and impact of your data, submit it to a data center, or data repository, with a mandate to maintain persistent data archives. Most data centers serve as publication agents through the DataCite consortium and therefore register scientific data in the DOI® system, making data sets citable as publications with attribution to their investigators as authors. This facilitates data visibility, re-use, and tracking, as well as provides due credit to data producers. Furthermore, it ensures that your dataset will live on, even as hypotheses and conclusions put forth in publications change.

It is becoming increasingly common to publish a dataset in parallel to publishing a journal article or other peer-reviewed scientific manuscript (see Hanson et. al, 2015: Committing to Publishing Data in the Earth and Space Sciences). Some data repositories allow you to keep datasets private until your manuscript has been published, allowing you to obtain a dataset DOI and include it in your publication. 

The best place to archive data files is with a domain-specific data repository or data center that has a mandate to serve your scientific community for long-term data curation. Select a data repository that knows the needs of your scientific domain and data types, and provides enhanced services to the user and automated web services for data catalog federation and data analysis software. 

A CZO Dataset Listing that uses a DOI to point to data archived with a Data Center increases the long-term access and also increases discoverability of that data, because a CZO Dataset Listing is automatically converted into an ISO-19115 metadata document that is cataloged and federated via the CZO Data Search Portal.



  1. Determine the appropriate data center or repository for your dataset from the list below.
    1. Select based on scientific discipline and data type.
  2. Contribute your dataset and obtain a DOI directly from the selected data center.
    1. Each data center has a specific submission procedure for metadata and data files. Follow their procedures.
    2. Most data centers accept a variety of file formats. If possible, submit your data using the YODA-file format.
  3. Create, or update, a CZO Dataset Listing for your dataset to use the DOI to point to the dataset archived with the data center.
    1. Information loaded into each CZO Dataset Listing web page is automatically converted into an ISO-19115 metadata document that enables structured search and discovery of the associated data files.
    2. Information gathered by the selected data center during data contribution will duplicate some or all of the information in the corresponding CZO Dataset Listing. Copy & paste this metadata between the two as much as possible so that similar metadata fields are filled with identical text. This will speed data entry and will minimize potential confusion if a user independently discovers the same dataset via different search portals.
    3. If a Dataset has a DOI, the URL of component data files for a CZO Dataset Listing should be to the DOI itself (i.e., not to a file on a local data server.
  4. Use the DOI to identify, share, and cite your dataset.
    1. If a dataset has a DOI, always identify, share and cite that dataset with the DOI (i.e. doi:10.1594/IEDA/100458). This is the persistent reference that is designed to be be resolved by to point to the data archive in perpetuity, even if the data server changes.
    2. For more information about how to identify, share, and cite your dataset, please see the resources listed at the bottom of this page.


Recommended Data Centers/Repositories for CZO Data

The CZOData Team recommends these data repositories, because of our strong integration of services with each:

Other data repositories may better serve the needs of your specific scientific domain. Some include:




Additional information