The persistent identifier (PID) landscape extends to cover objects, individuals and organisations engaged in the process of research. Established services such as DataCite, Crossref, ORCID and ISNI are providing a foundation for a trusted ecosystem and a new generation of services. Scalable identifier systems will support researchers and capture research activity in a holistic way, across the entire lifecycle. Challenges remain – siloed services are not interoperable; important types of objects are not adequately covered, many processes remain manual, and adoption, while strong, is not consistent across disciplines.
This article draws on the work of the EU-funded THOR project to take stock of the current state of interoperability across the PID landscape and to discuss the next steps towards an integrated research record. Examples illustrate how this interconnectivity is facilitated technically, as well as social and human challenges in fostering adoption. User stories highlight how this network of persistent identifier services is facilitating good practice in open research and where its limitations lie.
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