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Measuring the concept of PID literacy: user perceptions and understanding of PIDs in support of open scholarly infrastructure

Macgregor, George; Lancho-Barrantes, Barbara S.; Pennington, Diane Rasmussen


George Macgregor

Barbara S. Lancho-Barrantes


The increasing centrality of persistent identifiers (PIDs) to scholarly ecosystems and the contribution they can make to the burgeoning 'PID graph' has the potential to transform scholarship. Despite their importance as originators of PID data, little is known about researchers' awareness and understanding of PIDs, or their efficacy in using them. In this article we report on the results of an online interactive test designed to elicit exploratory data about researcher awareness and understanding of PIDs. This instrument was designed to explore recognition of PIDs (e.g. DOIs, ORCIDs, etc.) and the extent to which researchers correctly apply PIDs within digital scholarly ecosystems, as well as measure researchers' perceptions of PIDs. Our results reveal irregular patterns of PID understanding and certainty across all participants, though statistically significant disciplinary and academic job role differences were observed in some instances. Uncertainty and confusion were found to exist in relation to dominant schemes such as ORCID and DOIs, even when contextualized within real-world examples. We also show researchers' perceptions of PIDs to be generally positive but that disciplinary differences can be noted, as well as higher levels of aversion to PIDs in specific use cases and negative perceptions where PIDs are measured on an 'activity' semantic dimension. This work therefore contributes to our understanding of scholars' 'PID literacy' and should inform those designing PID-centric scholarly infrastructures, that a significant need for training and outreach to active researchers remains necessary.


Macgregor, G., Lancho-Barrantes, B. S., & Pennington, D. R. (2023). Measuring the concept of PID literacy: user perceptions and understanding of PIDs in support of open scholarly infrastructure. Open Information Science, 7(1),

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Feb 21, 2023
Online Publication Date Mar 14, 2023
Publication Date 2023
Publisher De Gruyter
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 7
Issue 1
Book Title Exploring the concept of PID literacy
Keywords persistent identifiers, PIDs, PID graph, open scholarly infrastructure, URIs, metadata


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