Persistent Identifiers (PIDs)

A persistent identifier, or PID, is a "long-lasting reference to a digital resource.  Unlike URLs, which may break, a persistent identifier reliably points to a digital entity.”  (definition from ORCID).  PIDs are persistent due to the governance of and between participating organisations, removing the possibility of a single point of failure.  

PIDs are an important part of the research landscape, offering two key benefits:

  • Easy distinction between entities, including people, grants, organisations, projects, software, and outputs, helping your work to be tracked and counted.
  • Interoperability between research systems, facilitating automatic updating of profiles and systems. 

This short introductory video explains more about PIDs and why to use them.  

The systemic and network benefits have led to broad recognition that PIDs need to be more strongly advocated and adopted into the research community.  For example, they form part of the Technical requirements for the UKRI Open Access Policy, and Coalition S's Technical Requirements.  

JISC have highlighted five priority PIDs that could be used to improve access to UK research:

Engaging with PIDs

This PIDs 101 presentation outlines how researchers can "become a PID person" by following 4 steps:

  1. Get and use PIDs
  2. Tell your PIDs about your other PIDs
  3. Share your PIDs with the community
  4. Join the PID forum

Further information

Find out more through our training opportunities:


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