PIDs for Research Infrastructures

Short question: is there a system for PIDs for Research Infrastructures (similar to GRID.AC or ROR for Research Organisations)?

Not that I know of.

I worked briefly on MERIL last year, and part of the plan was to create PIDs for RIs, or at least the ones in MERIL. But MERIL-2 has ended, and the PID project has been shelved…

I’d say the closest thing to a PID in the RI community would be the IDs used in WOLF, but I don’t think the scheme is documented.

Let me know if you find anything else, or if you start your own registry/scheme.

We are also wrestling with this question and have posted my query to another thread in the PID forum.
See: Help! PIDs for facilities and instruments

Basically we have come to a number of conclusions.

First is that at this time there doesn’t appear to be a consensus on where to register research infrastructure components such as laboratories, research stations, instruments and other physical facilities supporting research.

Second, we have conceptually (and perhaps arbitrarily) divided research infrastructure into physical objects like instruments or vessels, sattelites, telescopes, etc. and organizational components such as research stations and laboratories, which may themselves contain multiple instruments or other more physical infrastructure components.

For the instruments, we have decided to use DataCite (of which we are members) to create PIDs. DataCite includes a ‘Physical Object’ as type and that will suffice. Our initial use will include a high performance computing cluster and other specialized equipment.

For biological research stations, we are waiting for a best practice to emerge. The Research Organization Registry does not yet seem capable of managing what could be a high volume of these organization research infrastructure components but we are hopeful that sometime soon there will be a policy on this. For example, in the ROR there is the Smithsonian Institution, the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (in Panama). We would like to create a PID for the Barro Colorado Island research station which is part of the Tropical Research Institute in Panama. But it is not clear that ROR is ready for this.

So at this point we may just use a local identifier or the Q number in WikiData or the VIAF identifier or something similar for our immediate purposes. When a more universally-accepted solution emerges, we are eager to adopt.

I hope this helps. Please be sure to let us know what flavor of PID you end up using.

Alvin Hutchinson


Thanks Alvin. We are currently discussing this for the DiSSCo Research Infrastructure, when some outcomes emerge I will let you know. We might use GRID.AC for facilities (labs, digitisation departments etc). We will also use GRID.AC for our institute identifiers.

Hi, RRIDs can be used for core facilities and instruments.
We have been working with UsedIt and, the membership organization for cores (started in the US). This interaction has facilitated in the registration of about 1k core facilities to get RRIDs.
These are linked to ROR and in many cases the instruments that they house.

RRIDs are not yet in common usage for core facilities, unlike their use for antibodies and other biological samples, however we have been working across core infrastructure groups to improve that.

RRIDs themselves started in biology, but they are now requested in Nature, Science, Cell and eLife. I will have to add some links here because it seems that outside of biology they are still not well known.

We invite your participation whether to register your core, or if you wish to use a PID for one. just search for core facility or instrument in the tools section.