An in depth look - Persistent identifiers at 4TU.Centre for Research Data and DANS


4TU.Centre for Research Data

4TU.Centre for Research Data registers DOIs for its datasets through DataCite Netherlands(1). At 4TU.Centre for Research Data all datasets with the requisite metadata attached to them have a DOI. In addition, they all carry a UUID (Universally Unique IDentifier). A UUID consists of 36 characters, namely 32 letters and numbers, and 4 bars, sorted as follows: 8-4-4-4-12. An example of a UUID might be: uuid:32c53005-a4f2-447c-b231-6cdb7dcdd17f. The amount of potential unique UUIDs is so large that it is exceedingly improbable for two identical identifiers to be created.

4TU.Centre for Research Data's DOIs consist of the data center's URL as a prefix, followed by the UUID. For example: the dataset's page is written: “please cite/link this dataset as doi:10.4121/uuid:32c53005-a4f2-447c-b231-6cdb7dcdd17f'”. The code “4121” refers to 4TU.Centre for Research Data. 

If you wish to trace a DOI, prefix it with “” or “”, and you will be led to the right place. You can also use this: resolve a DOI(2). This resolver, too, must naturally be saved for the long term. This is done by the International DOI Foundation. There are no real concerns about the durability of the resolver, as it's generally thought to be “too big to fail”.


At DANS, all datasets have two persistent identifiers: a DOI and a URN:NBN. Both identifiers are assigned automatically when the data manager accepts and publishes the submitted dataset. DOIs are aimed more specifically at source referencing and building an international citation network. The URNs allocated by DANS are persistent identifiers for general use to ensure sustainable access to all materials stored in the archive. DANS also maintains the Dutch URN:NBN resolver. The URN:NBN namespace consists of:

  • URN as the identifier scheme.
  • NBN as the namespace for so-called National Bibliographic Numbers.
  • NL:UI to indicate that these identifiers were allocated to the Netherlands.
  • A unique code for the dataset in DANS. 

An example of such an identifier would be: URN:NBN:NL:UI:13-2UYT-ZI. See also Persistent identifiers at DANS.(3)


Click to open/close


  1. DataCite Netherlands. Retrieved from
  2. DOI foundation. Resolve a DOI name. Retrieved from
  3. DANS. Persistent identifiers. Retrieved from
  4. URN resolver. Retrieved from