In 2015, the University of Tartu, Tallinn University of Technology, the Estonian University of Life Sciences and Tallinn University founded the DataCite Estonian Consortium, which aims to improve the availability of Estonian scientific data and facilitate the international use of scientific data. The consortium ensures spreading and availability of high-quality research resources created by the members of the affiliated research institutions.
The University of Tartu joined the DataCite organisation in 2014, becoming the only institution in Estonia to assign unique DOI numbers (Digital Object Identifier) to scientific data. The University of Tartu Library in cooperation with the Natural History Museum of the University of Tartu developed a DataCite Estonia platform by the end of 2014, which allows DOI numbers to be assigned to any scientific data sets all over Estonia. Scientific data equipped with DOI are easily discoverable and linkable to other data, which in turn form large networks of data.
By mid-2015, Estonian scientists had already registered nearly half a million DOI, the largest contribution of which was made by PlutoF, with 486,912 DOI numbers assigned to scientific data stored in the cloud over a few days. The development of the scientific data publication module of the PlutoF platform was launched in 2014 as part of the DataCite Estonia project. First, PlutoF’s web desktop database support and graphical user interface apply for DOI for research data were completed.
Since its establishment, the DataCite Estonian Consortium has organised annual events on scientific data and Open Science, thereby providing researchers with opportunities to contribute and exchange ideas on these topics. The biggest events have been: in April 2017 in TalTech international seminar with the keynote speaker prof. Carol Tenopir University of Tennessee and invited speaker Urban Ericsson from DiVA Consortium, Sweden. 29-30.05.2018 a seminar for social scientists was held in Tartu How to Get the Maximum from Research Data – Prerequisites and Outcomes with the keynote speaker Ron Dekker from CESSDA-ERIC. In 9-10. April 2019, another international seminar took place in Tartu FAIR Data – the Key to Sustainable Research which introduced practical tools for managing scientific data on the second day. 6.11.2019 international seminar took place in the University of Tartu Library conference Open Access – plans and choices the main purpose of which was to discuss the latest developments in Open Access regulations and the scenario of “Plan S”, to talk about solutions related to the availability of scientific information in Estonia and to highlight the best practices for the introduction of Open Science principles. 6.04.2020 a webinar with cooperation of RDA Node Estonia took place Where, How and Why – Essential Connections of Research Data. The keynote speaker at the event was Andreas Veispak, from the European Commission, who focused on the European Open Science Cloud. You can read more about all the events that have taken place here.
Research specialists have also taken part in various scientific conferences in Estonia to bring information about DataCite Estonia’s activities and opportunities closer to researchers.
Until today, the DataCite Estonian Consortium has continued to maintain the system and service independently based on the membership budget, but in 2021 the structure of the international DataCite membership fee will change, so it may be impossible to accept new members for economic reasons. The Vice-Rectors of Research who are leading the DataCite Estonian Consortium have previously stated that governmental support measures would make a significant contribution to the expansion of the DataCite Estonian cooperation network and to the visibility of the Estonian research database.
The libraries of members of the DataCite Estonian Consortium work to be prepared to provide research data management support services for all the university researchers, which will become particularly important when a national open data policy is set in Estonia.