How are you using DataCite relationTypes?

At DataCite, we often receive questions about the different options for the relationType attribute of the relatedIdentifier property. relationTypes also come frequently on the PID Forum (search for “relationType” or “relation type”).

To help clarify when to use different relationTypes, schema 5.0 could include revised definitions, more examples, user guides, and/or changes to the list of relationTypes.

So, to get this work started, I have a few questions for DataCite metadata schema users:

  • What types of relationships are you trying to capture between DOIs and other research outputs?

    • For example: a paper citing a dataset; an article that is a translation of another article; simulation data that is generated by software…
  • What relationTypes are you using for those relationships, if you’re including them in DataCite metadata?

  • Has your institution developed interpretations for any of the DataCite relationTypes?

Here’s schema 4.4 for reference: https://schema.datacite.org/meta/kernel-4.4/doc/DataCite-MetadataKernel_v4.4.pdf - the relationTypes and their definitions are on p. 58.

All input is welcome - we’ll be delving into specific use cases in the coming year as we start schema 5.0 work.

Great that you are planning on improving this in the schema 5.0. For our use case, the description of academic events, we already can use quite a lot of relationTypes. We use the following relationTypes for describing the relations of academic events to other ressources:

  • is part of: for relating to the event series (ressourceType: Collection)
  • is documented by: for relating conference outputs like recordings of talks or sessions, presentation slides or posters
  • is supplemented by: for relating the proceedings

By reading the available definition, I feel that we are somewhat stretching the current interpretation of the isDocumentedBy and isSupplementedBy relationTypes.

A use case that we thought of but not have made any experiments with yet is the referencing of an event in e.g. a paper. For example when the paper refers to a discussion at a conference or a topic a conference covered. I think for this case we would want to use IsReferencedBy. However, I wouldn’t consider the conference “as a source of information” as the current definition says in this case, rather simply as being referenced.

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