Published June 21, 2021 | Version 1.0
Report Open

UK PID Consortium: Cost-Benefit Analysis

  • 1. MoreBrains Cooperative
  • 2. Jisc


This report was commissioned by Jisc in early 2021, as part of their multi-year programme exploring how persistent identifiers (PIDs) can be used to reduce friction in the ongoing transition to open research. The vital contribution that PIDs can make to systemic efficiencies was highlighted in the UK Government's recent policy paper on reducing bureaucratic burdens on research, innovation and higher education. In this paper UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) committed to “stopping multiple asks for data or information that already exists elsewhere e.g. in ORCID, CrossRef, DataCite and Companies House."

We present the findings of our research into the current levels of PID adoption and usage, the likely benefits that they have already brought, and the scale of potential benefits that remain to be realised, based on the level of UK research activity. For the bulk of the concrete cost-saving calculations, we have focused on those PIDs that are already widely in use, especially ORCID IDs for people and DOIs for outputs (primarily research data and journal articles). For the other ‘priority’ entities, such as projects and grants, we can assess likely gains based on previous efforts to quantify the costs of manually inputting and cleaning data, together with the number of such entities covered in existing information systems. We have balanced these findings against previous estimates of the costs of PID integration, and the likely costs of scaled-up support, which we have based on information provided by current UK national PID consortia for DataCite (led by the British Library) and ORCID (led by Jisc).


A revised version of the analysis presented in this report, with a number of methodological improvements and updated data is available here:


1 MoreBrains_Cost_Benefit_Analysis_for_Jisc_RINCC_20210621.pdf

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Is supplemented by
Report: 10.5281/zenodo.7356219 (DOI)