Metrics, citations and PIDs

PIDs • Citing Nodes • Citation fragmentation

What are persistent identifiers (PIDs) and dPIDs?

A persistent identifier (PID) is a long-lasting reference to a document, file, web page, or other object.

PIDs are a core requirement for FAIR digital research objects and for the integrity of the scientific record. DeSci Labs built the decentralized PID (dPID) system, which creates unique, persistent identifiers for each Node and each component of a Node, enabling version and history control, as well as very fine-grained citations and new methods to interact with research objects.

Unfortunately, commonly used URLs and URIs do not fulfill this requirement. They point to a server where content is stored. But if that content changes, this is typically not reflected in the URL or URI, leading to content drift. Furthermore, if a file is moved to a different location or deleted, URLs and URIs, leading to link rot. The DOI system has been established to deal with this fundamental problem of the current Internet infrastructure. However, DOIs resolve inconsistently and they require manual updates from publishers, making this system brittle, expensive and error-prone. Learn more about the history and problems with the DOI system.

Nodes solve this problem by using content addressed storage, based on the IPFS protocol. Content addressed storage secures content against content drift. Using a cryptographic hash function, each uploaded component of Node gets a unique hash that allows users to verify the content. DeSci Labs has built the dPID system on top of that, which allows creating short, human-friendly URLs that address each Node and each component within a Node, enabling version and history control. Learn more about identifiers in our documentation.

Do Nodes provide metrics?

Nodes that contain a standard scientific manuscript will be indexed by Google Scholar.

To ensure that happens, your node needs at least on document with the following properties:

  • The full text of your paper needs to be a a PDF file that ends with ".pdf",

  • The title of the paper appears in a large font on top of the first page,

  • The authors of the paper are listed right below the title on a separate line,

  • The bibliography section titled, e.g., "References" or "Bibliography" at the end.

Google Scholar will then ensure that your DeSci Node is findable by others and track citations of your Nodes.In the future, Nodes will also be indexed by other services and scientific databases, but this will take time.

DeSci Labs is also planning to offer a variety of complementary attestations for research objects, such as badges similar to the OSF and ACM around the availability of code, data, and supplementary materials.

Will Nodes lead to citation fragmentation?

Google and other indexers of science resolve fragmentation via disambiguation systems.

Google Scholar also offers users the option to combine various entries of the same content into one entry to consolidate citation counts. We plan to interface with all major indexers and provide open API endpoints to make it as seamless as possible for their IT teams to index your research.

Can I get a DOI for my Node?

Not yet.

Our goal is to make our Node PID system backward compatible with the DOI system, but this will take time. Note that DOIs are not persistent identifiers. Learn more about DOIs in our documentation.

How should Nodes be cited?

Any component of a Node can be cited, just like a regular article.

Every node component, such as manuscript, data, code, and more, have a “cite” button. You can access this button from the Node Drive. You can then copy the citation in the format of your choice. We support APA, Bibtex and more. Learn more about citing nodes in our documentation.

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