Metadata is at the heart of DOIs and open scholarly infrastructure. At DataCite, our metadata schema defines what metadata properties can be included through DOI registration. The schema currently includes just six required properties—identifier (the DOI), creator, title, publication year, publisher, and resource type—along with 14 recommended and optional properties.
On the one hand, requiring only six metadata properties keeps the schema flexible and makes it easy to get started with DOI registration. At the same time, we want to encourage all DataCite Metadata Schema users to go beyond the mandatory properties and to share rich metadata that includes all available information about a given resource. This is especially important for metadata properties that are essential for discoverability—such as description and subject—and building connections between PIDs—including identifiers for related resources, people, and organizations. Keeping metadata up-to-date is also critical to ensure that the “persistent” part of persistent identifiers lives up to its full potential.