PID festival digest

16 February 2018
PIDapalooza 2018 family outside Girona cathedral

In the end of January, CP team member Maria Johnsson participated in PIDapalooza – a conference (or festival as the organizers call it), completely dedicated to technologies and services around persistent identifiers (PIDs). Maria Johnsson was at the conference on behalf of the project ENVRIplus Work Package 6, which CP is part of and which has a strong focus on services and standards for PIDs.


A PID is a long-lasting reference to a document, file, web page, or other object. The rapid increase of digital assets in recent years has made digital identifiers crucial in order to preserve, manage, access and re-use information over time.

“Today, it is possible to add a PID to nearly anything”, says Maria Johnsson.

Some new and innovative ways of using PIDs that were presented during the PIDapalooza festival included PIDs for peer reviews and science blog posts, as well as to pre-register research projects and register researchers’ activities and use of equipment and instruments.

“I was really impressed by the examples where different types of organizations are collaborating on introducing new features for PIDs, such as the project performed by ORCID, Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Elsevier on registering PIDs for equipment”, says Maria Johnsson.


One among many exciting presentations at the festival was a survey on researchers’ views on PIDs. Interestingly, many researchers are not very aware of all the different types of PIDs surrounding them. But maybe they do not have to be.

“PIDs are part of the infrastructure surrounding researchers, meaning that a basic knowledge is good to have. However, more in-depth knowledge is generally not necessary”, says Maria Johnsson.


On the last day of the conference, the future of PIDs was discussed. Some major issues still waiting to be resolved by the PID community are:

  • Are PIDs used? How can we tell?
  • Who owns an identifier? Who may modify it?
  • How can identifier aliasing be better handled?
  • When a PID system moves or fails, what needs to persist?


“The conference was packed with interesting and useful information. I came back home with a lot of new inspiration to continue our work on PIDs and with many new contacts for future collaborations”, concludes Maria Johnsson.


The organizations behind the PIDapalooza festival are California Digital Library, CrossRef, DataCite and ORCID.




More information about the conference is available on the conference web-site.


Read a more detailed festival resumé, written by Maria Johnsson.