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ORA: Oxford University Research Archive: ORA and persistent identifiers

A guide to using ORA for storing and disseminating digital copies of Oxford research publications including theses

PIDs, UUIDs, and DOIs

ORA supports the University of Oxford in delivering its goals towards Open Access publishing as detailed in the University of Oxford Publications Policy.

Persistent identifiers are a key element in making research findable and accessible, and act as permanent references to digital content. They consist of a unique identifier and a service that links to the resource at its current location, with the aim of providing a persistent and permanent reference to cited content.


ORA uses UUIDs (Universally Unique Identifiers) as standard in the creation of records for University of Oxford research. The UUID forms part of the URL link to the record and forms the unique identifier for the item in ORA. ORA UUIDs are persistently maintained and resolve to the website. Where it is necessary, such as in the case of a duplicate, redirects are added to prevent any 'dead' links. 


For research outputs, such as journal articles, book chapters, research data, DOIs (Digital Object Identifiers) are regularly assigned. These are facilitated by registration agencies, such as CrossRef or DataCite. 

ORA includes existing DOIs within the metadata of ORA records where these have been registered, so that the source location of a deposited object can be appropriately referenced or linked to for more information about the research item. A new DOI is not registered.

ORA is able to register DataCite DOIs at Oxford, and as part of a British Library’s DataCite consortium membership agreement.

Currently depositing to ORA via Symplectic Elements, University of Oxford researchers can request a DOI to be applied to an ORA records for research data, working papers, and reports. DOIs are also automatically added to theses deposited to ORA.

ORCID and other identifiers

Alongside including DOIs within the bibliographic metadata of an ORA record, ORA also supports other identifiers, such as ISSN, EISSN, ISBN, EISBN, local identifiers, such as PUB-IDs, or PIIs, and identifiers for people and organisations, such as ORCID, ROR, and FundRef ids. 

More information regarding ORCID at Oxford and how to link this with your research information profile in Symplectic Elements can be found at: 

DOIs (Digital Object Identifiers)

As such University of Oxford researchers wishing to request a DOI for research should also consider the following.

Requirements for a DOI

As part of the membership agreement between the University of Oxford and the British Library in the registration of DataCite DOIs, ORA must follow a set of rules in the registration of DOIs. This consists of several mandatory metadata fields in addition to four core principals in the policy.

The Symplectic Elements and ORA deposit forms have been specifically set-up to ensure that these requirements are met for objects that registration of a DOI is currently offered. However as part of the processing of the ORA deposit a member of the ORA team may contact the depositor. 

Further details from DataCite can be found at:

What we are accepting DOI requests for 

Under the policy principles, DataCite states:

“Do not assign a DOI to an identical version of the content if the same content it is already published somewhere else with a DOI. You can assign a new DOI to an author-deposited manuscript, but this must not be the final published version. Please check copyright before assigning a DOI.”

The PID Forum community have discussed best practices for applying DOIs to Accepted Manuscripts, but at this time a consensus has not been reached. At Oxford the decision has been taken not to apply DOIs to AAMs at this time.

In essence ORA is able to, and looking to apply DOIs, to those works not ‘formally’ published elsewhere, sometimes referred to as ‘grey literature’ this is most commonly reports, working papers, theses, and data.

Queries for objects beyond these item types should be raised and discussed with the Open Access Service Manager and the ORA-SE Group.

Though it is likely that this will expand to Internet Publications, Ephemera, Records, Patents, Compositions, and Posters.

Oxford University Research Archive (ORA)






ORA (Oxford University Research Archive) is the institutional repository for the University of Oxford and is home to the scholarly output of its research members. 

Contact us at:, or via our contact form.