Persistent Identification of Instruments

The Persistent Identification of Instruments WG (PIDINST) seeks to explore a community-driven solution for globally unique identification of measuring instruments operated in the sciences.

Measuring instruments, such as sensors used in environmental science, DNA sequencers used in life sciences or laboratory engines used for medical domains, are widespread in most fields of applied sciences. The ability to link an active instrument (instance) with an instrument type and with the broader context in which the instrument operates, including generated data, other instruments and platforms, people and manufacturers, etc., is critical, especially for automated processing of such contextual information and for the interpretation of generated data.

PIDINST is a working group in the Research Data Alliance (RDA). It aims to establish a cross-discipline, operational solution for the unique and lasting identification of measuring instruments actively operated in the sciences.

The group produced the following outputs:

  • Stocker, M, Darroch, L, Krahl, R, Habermann, T, Devaraju, A, Schwardmann, U, D’Onofrio, C and Häggström, I. 2020. Persistent Identification of Instruments. Data Science Journal, 19: 18, pp. 1–12. DOI:
    This paper provides an overview of the work of PIDINST.

  • Krahl, R., Darroch, L., Huber, R., Devaraju, A., Klump, J., Habermann, T., Stocker, M., & The Research Data Alliance Persistent Identification of Instruments Working Group members (2022). Metadata Schema for the Persistent Identification of Instruments (1.0). Research Data Alliance.
    This RDA recommendation defines the Metadata Schema.

  • PIDINST White Paper
    This White Paper provides recommendations for the use of instrument PIDs and gives technical details that go beyond the overview provided in the Data Science Journal paper. It is expected to evolve with new user requirements and working group activities. This documentation includes:

    • ePIC Cookbook
      Detailed instructions on how to create instrument PIDs using the ePIC infrastructure.

    • DataCite Cookbook
      Detailed instructions on how to create DataCite DOIs for instruments.

    • Adoption
      Collection of examples of PIDINST adoption.

Creative Commons License

The content of this site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.