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Persistent Identifiers to Subsets of TCIA Data

TCIA DOIs are references to data within the TCIA repository, and are not references to specific publications. Specific publications may refer to TCIA DOIs to identify the data used in doing research, but a TCIA DOI is not the DOI for that publication. In fact many publications might reference a particular TCIA DOI.

To facilitate data sharing, many publications encourage authors to include data citations to the data that the authors used in creating the results described in their scholarly papers.  In addition, new journals are now available for describing data collections outright (e.g., Nature Scientific Data).  As a service to the community, TCIA now has the ability to create persistent identifiers linked to subsets of data held within TCIA that authors may use as data citations in their scholarly papers.

TCIA uses the DataCite system to manage these references.  DataCite leverages the Digital Object Identifier (DOI) infrastructure, which is widely used in citing scholarly articles. TCIA users may request that a DOI be created for subsets of data stored within TCIA. A DOI request related to data that is NOT managed by TCIA will NOT be granted. All information related to a TCIA DOI must be persistently managed by TCIA.

To request a DOI for a subset of data, a registered TCIA user must first identify the subset of data that will be referenced by the DOI.  The best way for a user to identify this subset of data is to create a shared list using TCIA's web application (see "Creating a Shared List").  By definition, only publicly available data may be included in the shared list.  Creating a DOI to private data is not permitted.  Currently DOIs created by TCIA may only reference static (unchanging) subsets of data.  In other words, if someone changes the content of the shared list, this will not be reflected in data returned by existing DOIs created from that shared list.

Once a user has created a shared list, they will send a request for the creation of a DOI to TCIA's help desk providing the following information:

  • Requestor - The name and e-mail address of the person with whom TCIA staff will work to create the DOI (defaults to the user submitting the request to the help desk).
  • Shared List Name - The name of the TCIA shared list that identifies the publicly available data that will be the subject of the DOI. (required - See Creating a Shared List for assistance)
  • Title - A name of your choosing that will be assigned to the TCIA data referenced by the DOI (similar to the title of a paper) (defaults to the shared list name).
  • Authors - The names of the authors who helped generate the data set. This may be people who helped collect or curate the image data or who helped generate any analyses that is being shared with your DOI.
  • Abstract - A brief abstract of the data subset (required).  The abstract should be something about how you selected the image data, how any analyses that are part of the DOI were generated/collected, and what the potential value of this data is for other TCIA users.
  • Special Instructions - Any guidance about the timing of when we publish the DOI (e.g. it should not be listed until a related manuscript is published) or other questions/concerns.

Once we validate your request for a TCIA data DOI, we will create a DOI landing page for the citation (within the TCIA public wiki space) and associate a DOI with that landing page.  The landing page will include a link that allows readers to directly download the subset of data cited.  The help desk will then inform you (as the requestor) via return e-mail when the new DOI is ready.


DOI Directory

An alphabetical listing of available DOIs created for TCIA-hosted data:




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