A persistent identifier (PID) consists of a unique string of alphanumeric characters and serves as a reference link to a particular individual, object, or entity. It is recorded with an international registry and is maintained on an ongoing basis to ensure that it remains valid as a reference link over time. As such, a PID prevents the link rot problem and is widely adopted in the scholarly communication ecosystem to enable readers and researchers to find the referenced individual, object, or entity. Common PIDs in scholarly communication include:
In addition to functioning as a stable reference link, each PID is associated with an online record that holds a variety of descriptive information about the referenced individual, object, or entity. Thus, it prevents ambiguity or confusion and is especially useful in reporting and identifying connections. More information about PIDs is available in the video below.
This guide aims to provide an introduction to PIDs commonly used in scholarly communication. If you have any questions, feel free to contact the Center for Digital Scholarship.