Persisting with Identifiers: The Geological Curator Journal gets DOIs

By Lu Allington-Jones, GCG Journal Editor and Senior Conservator at the Natural History Museum, London UK, and Simon Harris, GCG Webmaster and Collections Conservation and Digitisation Manager at British Geological Survey, Keyworth UK

We are very proud to announce that the back catalogue of papers published in the Geological Curator journal have all now been assigned DOIs.

DOIs are Digital Object Identifiers, a persistent identifier or handle used to uniquely track various objects such as journal articles, data sets and research reports, by binding the object to metadata such as its URL. DOIs make research objects easy to find, cite, link, assess, and reuse. The DOI protocol is defined by an International Standard and you can read more about how they work here.

Although this work has been undertaken in a voluntary capacity, some administration costs have been incurred to register the DOIs via Crossref (an official Registration Agency of the International DOI Foundation). We are grateful to all of our GCG members because a portion of their membership fees this year has gone towards registering the back catalogue.

The journal’s unique prefix is followed by a sequential number for each article, assigned during the initial stages of digitisation. Many thanks to the work of Daniel Lockett who helped us to digitise the articles from 2019 onwards.

The DOI takes you to a landing page which includes the article title, author names and (if applicable) the abstract plus a link to the digitised article itself. Going forward these DOIs will be incorporated whenever an author references a GC article in their bibliography. We have assigned DOIs to 870 articles going back to 1974, when the journal began as a newsletter. It has been fascinating to see the evolution of curation through the articles over the last 50 years. For example, the articles documenting the first steps towards digitising the collections themselves (screenshot below).

There are still some items that have not been assigned DOIs: Lost and Found and CING (Collections Information Network Geology) features from volumes 1-6 (1974-1998). We intend this to form part of a future project, since they do exist digitally and can already be found within the journal pages of the GCG website.


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