Some months ago I posted a question about assigning DOIs to samples and got some useful feedback. Having participated at the 'Internet of samples' session at the recent RDA plenary, it is clear that this topic is of general interest with representatives from the earth, agricultural sciences, life sciences and engineering sciences participating at this session. Having now set up a prototype for the DOI enabled site for tissue samples, I have now run in another conundrum on which I would be grateful for advice. Having discussed the assignment of DOIs to tissue samples with colleagues, they have raised a very valid issue in the circumstance of the results form several hundred tissues samples being reported in the same article. If current recommendations are followed such as those of DataCite, then the citation format for datasets is very similar for that of conventional written publications, in which case the reference section would extend to several pages. While I am aware that DOIs can be assigned to data collections and that supplements to articles are also becoming common, neither of these solutions are particularly appropriate. In the first case it would mean having to define a collection for every article which is not practicable and in the second instance the data are becoming dissociated from the written article which is basically counter to the purpose of data citation. As this is surely a potential issue in any discipline, if anyone is aware of an alternative solution I would be grateful for further information.
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