[tdwg-tag] Are DOIs expensive?

Roger Hyam rogerhyam at mac.com
Tue Nov 25 12:50:49 CET 2008

My thought is that the German TIB does not expect 'publishers' to have  
millions of digital assets. There is an issue with the granularity of  
our data compared with that of the publishing industry that would call  
for a different business model for a central register.

What happens if the maintenance fee is not paid? Do the identifiers  
cease to be permanent? There are many things in life that are  
permanent if you keep paying the bills our problem is paying the bills.

As a community we could run a central register for GUIDs. I'm  
currently free next year and would set one up but some one else would  
have to find the money to pay for me (and my successors/assistances)  
and the infrastructure .... indefinitely. The whole thing would have a  
significant set up cost and an on-going maintenance cost. It could be  
tuned to our needs and run at a much cheaper cost than DOIs but it  
would still cost real cash money. An endowment of say $10m (a secure  
income of $100k/year at current base rates) would secure the thing as  
a viable project provided we still got input from larger institutions  
on an ongoing basis.

All the best,


On 25 Nov 2008, at 10:59, Markus Döring (GBIF) wrote:

> That is very interesting, Gregor. Apparently it is up to the  
> registration agency on how much they charge (and not the central  
> DOI). There are currently 8 agencies for different areas with the  
> German TIB issuing DOI prefixes for "registration of scientific  
> primary and secondary data" at the cost of 250€ per prefix (which  
> allows you to create as many DOIs as you like).
> http://www.doi.org/handbook_2000/registration_agencies.html#8.2
> http://www.doi.org/registration_agencies.html
> It would also be possible to setup a new registration agency for  
> biodiversity data if we feel this is more suited to our needs. There  
> are several costs associated with this though, an annual membership  
> fee ($35.000), a "franchise fee" for each newly registered name  
> ($0.04/doi) and a maintenance fee ($0.005/doi). So this is clearly  
> much more expensive and would be around 9 million dollars each year  
> for 200 million occurrence records in GBIF.
> http://www.doi.org/handbook_2000/registration_agencies.html#8.8
> So I guess this is what was investigated before and which is far too  
> expensive. But it should be worth consulting the TIB registry, 250€  
> per publisher doesnt sound bad at all.
> Markus
> PS: I am expressing my personal thoughts in this conversation and  
> not GBIFs official policy.
> On Nov 25, 2008, at 6:26, Gregor Hagedorn wrote:
>> I previously concurred with arguments against DOI on the basis of
>> cost. However, is this correct?
>> http://www.tib-hannover.de/en/the-tib/doi-registration-agency/ states
>> a yearly fee of 250 EUR for the publisher, not a per-object fee. That
>> is considerably less than the Total Cost of Ownership of running
>> custom-designed LSID software. DOI is well established and many  
>> people
>> already know that it can be looked up on the web ...
>> Gregor
>> -- 
>> ---------------------------------
>> Gregor Hagedorn
>> Heinrich-Seidel-Str. 2
>> 12167 Berlin
>> skype: g.hagedorn
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Roger Hyam
Roger at BiodiversityCollectionsIndex.org
Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh
20A Inverleith Row, Edinburgh, EH3 5LR, UK
Tel: +44 131 552 7171 ext 3015
Fax: +44 131 248 2901

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