RDM and MD Landscape in Earth & Environment

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Compilation of Recommendations


Short Title

Requirements for Data Citation

Source Documnent

Principles and best practices in data versioning for all datasets big and small

Source Document Link


Publishing Organisation

RDA Data Versioning WG

Date of Publication



Quality control/ curation

Addressed Stakeholders

data stewards




The DataCite metadata kernel has an optional element (Element 15) to record the version of a dataset. DataCite recommends to use semantic versioning and furthermore recommends to issue a new identifier with major releases (DataCite Metadata Working Group, 2018). DataCite leaves it to the data stewards to determine what major or minor releases are. DataCite further recommends to use the alternate identifier (optional Element 11) and related identifier (optional Element 12) elements to identify releases and how they relate to other datasets, e.g. whether it was derived from a precursor. Note that this is the minimum required for data citation by DataCite; repositories may opt to offer a richer description of release history and provenance of a dataset through other channels.