Hold That Thought: DOIs and Early Access to Datasets


Alexander Ball (2020), ‘Hold That Thought: DOIs and Early Access to Datasets’, in Open Repositories 2020: "Open for All", Stellenbosch, South Africa, 1–4 June 2020.

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This 24×7 presentation proposal was accepted but the event itself was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Journals that lead on open data issues can place demands on data repositories in a couple of ways. They require anonymous access to underlying data during the peer-review process, and expect a working link to the data to be provided prior to paper publication. One solution is for the repository to provide a private sharing link during peer review, then ask the authors to replace this with a DOI between acceptance and publication, and publish the dataset during the final proof stage. A drawback of this is the risk that the private sharing link might be published in place of the official DOI. It would be more convenient to use the same DOI link throughout, but the social contract around DOIs is that they should be reliably citable: changes in the light of reviewer comments would be impossible. Taking inspiration from papers that are released online in their accepted but non-final state, I propose establishing a convention for using the same DOI link for restricted reviewer access, pre-release ‘holding pages’, and finalized landing pages, in such a way that the citability or otherwise of the data remains completely clear.


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