Finally persistently identifying academic events and event series

Hi everybody,

the organizers of the VIVO 2021 conference were so kind to give us (ConfIDent project members) permission to register a DOI as a prove of concept for their conference ( and the corresponding conference series (

We also wrote a blog post about how we interpreted DataCite’s schema to make this work. Any feedback is of course highly appreciated. We hope to continue with a few more events to further test our current approach and then continue to work on the automation of the DOI registration process and its integration into - the still in development - ConfIDent platform.

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It is unclear to me, Julian, how is your team planning to ensure that the URL - VIVO Conference 2021 is going to be around for longevity…What about five years, ten years…I struggle with the idea of matching DOIs to not persistent URLs.


Thank you for your remark, Eugene. Reading your comment I realize that this is a topic that we probably should have addressed in the post.

We are currently developing a platform in ConfIDent that is essentially meant to collect, store and display information about academic events. Displaying information about an event will happen in the form of a single page which has all the metadata that is needed for the DOI registration with DataCite and potentially more since our metadata schema allows for more detailed descriptions of events. These pages will serve also as persistent landing pages. Every DOI for an event that will be registered through us will link to a landing page in ConfIDent.

Unfortunately we are not there yet. That is why we had to substitute the landing page with the URL of the conference website for this prove of concept. As soon as we are able to provide landing pages this will change. Other institutions that want to register DOIs for events could and should of course link to landing pages they maintain (or to the respective ConfIDent page).

Hi @JulianF,

First of all (you already notice, this is going to be shit-sandwich-feedback): I really like that you just went straight for a proof-of-concept to show to people how cool it would be to be able to identify events (e.g. conferences) by persistent identifiers (e.g. DOIs). I really like the idea, and agree that it is a sensible thing to do. One can also use DOIs, I don’t see problems there.

I do see a problem, though, because I feel that you “creatively re-interpret” (which is: misinterpret or misuse, in harsher words) the DataCite data schema. Why is that a problem? Because people rely on the schema, and they want to have reliable information just where they would expect it.

You are right in that there is an “Event” type, and you used it to describe an event, i.e. a conference. But to the best of my knowledge, this is not what DataCite thinks of an “Event” – e.g. if you look here: DataCite Event Data The ultimate reference is of course the Documentation:

But: I believe that DataCite would (or: might?) be open to discussion about this. The extension of DOIs and/or PIDs to all kind of things (events, but also scientific instruments, grants, you-name-it …) is very popular right now, and the logical next step. I believe you are at an interesting point in time with your idea, just at the right spot.

Let me know if / how I can support you in bringing the idea to mint PIDs for events to life!


Hi again @JulianF, definitely I think you should at least speak with DataCite about it. Or maybe you already did? Happy to learn more!

Thanks Robert - I’m tagging @mhfenner from DataCite in hopes he can join this conversation :slight_smile:

Thanks for the feedback and offer to help, Robert. Inciting these types of discussions is already worth a lot, I think. Also thanks for introducing me to the term “shit sandwich”. That made me smile once I realized why someone would call his feedback like that :slight_smile:

I am admittedly a bit out of my comfort zone here, but I will try to address your critique as good as I can: As far as I understand DataCite Event Data is not the same as the resourceTypeGeneral with the value Event. The resourceTypeGeneral Event is supposed to describe the type of the resource for which a DOI is minted whereas “Event Data” is supposed to capture and record “any time someone refers to a research article with a registered DOI anywhere online” (see Event Data - Crossref). However, I agree with you that people want to reliably get information about what they (and DataCite) think events are when searching for it in for example DataCite Commons. Apparently what can be understood as an event is already quite diverse as we tried to illustrate with the few examples mentioned in the blog post (scientific cruises etc.). The term event is unfortunately (but fortunately for us to “highjack” it for our purpose) quite abstract. But my guess is that DataCite’s definition for what they understand as an event (“A non-persistent, time-based occurrence”) was deliberately made to be broad. Now looking into the pdf you linked I just saw that for the resourceTypeGeneral Event “webcast or convention” is given as an example. Based on that I would argue that we are actually pretty close with our interpretation to what DataCite thinks what an event is :slight_smile:

How to help people that only want to get information about our interpretation of events (academic events) is still an open question we are still thinking about. Thanks again for highlighting that this is indeed a central issue we need to tackle – probably best together with DataCite.

Fortunately, as you have guessed correctly, we already are in contact with DataCite and received a lot of support and advice from them leading up to this proof-of-concept. We had several discussions with Martin (thank you Alice, for tagging him) about how to make DataCite’s schema work for academic events. I don’t remember exactly but I don’t think using the resourceTypeGeneral with the value event ever was discussed much because it seemed like an obvious choice. Martin might be able to remember this better than me, though.

Hi @JulianF, my apologies for unjust critique. You are right, Event has the definition you gave – I was confused by the “example” : “Descriptive information and/or content that is the basis for discovery of the purpose, location, duration, and responsible agents associated with an event such as a webcast or convention”. I thought that that would be the Event Data.

Especially if aligned with DataCite, all good.

What makes me wonder is why the Data Cite Metadata Schema has so many ressourceTypes now, but “conference” isn’t one of it. (is “Service” really used, and more relevant than “conference”?)

No worries, @rgiessmann. Was a good opportunity to look into that myself again :).

Your follow up question is probably best answered by Martin. From the perspective of ConfIDent I can say that we are actually quite happy to have “event” as a resourceType because we intend to cover not only conferences with our service and mint DOIs for them. We also want to cover everything that could be considered an “academic event” like Workshops, Symposia, colloquia, hackathons, etc. So having a more abstract term like “event” where all these event types fit into is handy. Nevertheless having an additional property like “event type” could provide useful information. The ConfIDent metadata schema we will allow for this however.

The ResourceTypeGeneral Event is indeed not related to the Event Data Service, and the two names evolved independently over the last few years.

As to Event vs. Conference, I agree with @JulianF that the former term allows more flexibility, and there is the free-text resourceType to provide more detail, e.g. hackathon.

Metadata schema 4.4 has been released in March, and work on the next schema version – which will cover academic events and event series – has started. The DataCite Metadata Working Group is currently finalizing the list of what should - or should not - be included in the next metadata schema release in about 18 months. This is always a balancing act, but I am confident that improving the metadata support for academic events will be part of the next schema version.