Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) for ISIS Data
25 Sep 2018




ISIS data DOIs - Just DOI it




A DOI is issued for every experiment run at ISIS.  Citing the relevant DOI in publications provides a link from the publication back to the ISIS data.  This enables the data source of the publication to be demonstrated; and enables ISIS to find publications more easily.  We would like to have every publication arising from ISIS beamtime to cite at least one data DOI!

​What is an ISIS Data DOI?

Every experiment (RB number) run on an ISIS instrument is given a DOI (Digital Object Identifier).  The DOI is a permanent reference to the data taken during that experiment. It can be used by others to get further information on the data and where it came from by providing a link back to the data (actual access to the data is determined by the ISIS Data Policy).

Why do we need ISIS data DOIs and why should we use them?

Increasingly, research funders and journals are increasingly requiring the origins of the data used in papers (both the raw data plus processed or intermediate versions of the data) to be make clear. Open access to data for transparency, particularly where the data were provided through public funds, is becoming increasingly important. Citing the data DOI for relevant ISIS experiments in a publication is one way of satisfying these requirements, and we expect that ISIS users will be required more and more to make their data sources transparent in this way.

From ISIS' point of view, having data DOIs cited in publications means that we can find these publications much more easily, as the DOIs we give to experiments form a unique set which can be searched for in journal articles. This could mean that we find more publications arising from ISIS work – one measure of our outputs – as well as saving a lot of work trying to find our publications. We would also be able to find theses and other outputs which are hard for us to search for. The DOI also allows us to link a publication back to an experiment, something that is very difficult for us to do at the moment.

How can I find the DOI for an experiment?

DOIs for experiments after April 2019 are of the format:10.5286/ISIS.E.RBxxxxxxx where xxxxxxx is the 7-digit RB number. So to know your experiment's DOI you only need to know the RB number.  E.g. experiment with RB 1870596 will have DOI 10.5286/ISIS.E.RB1870596.  The full link would then be

Prior to April 2019, the DOIs for ISIS experiments were in a 'less friendly' format. However, we are creating DOIs for all experiments in the above format back to 2015 - this 'backdating' will come into effect again from April 2019.

If you want to check your data DOI, log into and you can see the DOI for your experiment. ISIS staff can also find DOIs – do ask your local contact if you want to check the DOI for your experiment.

We are working to improve the visibility of ISIS data DOIs – including, from June 2019, putting the data DOI in all beamtime award letters.

How do you cite a DOI in a publication?

The DOI could be put in several different places within a publication – e.g. in the body of the text, in the references or in the acknowledgements section. In general, citing the DOI as a reference is recommended, as this is the most likely area of a paper to be indexed and searchable.


We would like every paper coming from ISIS to have the relevant DOI(s) cited. This will help us hugely in finding publications, as well as providing publication readers with more information about the data they are looking at.


Further information can be found here: The Brief But Helpful Guide to Using ISIS Data DOIs_web_Feb2019.pdf

Contact: Fletcher, Sara (STFC,RAL,ISIS)