Reproducibility and reusability of research results is an important concern in scientific communication and science policy. A foundational element of reproducibility and reusability is the open and persistently available presentation of research data.
However, many common approaches for primary data publication in use today do not achieve sufficient long-term robustness, openness, accessibility or uniformity. Nor do they permit comprehensive exploitation by modern Web technologies.
This has led to several authoritative studies recommending uniform direct citation of data archived in persistent repositories. Data are to be considered as first-class scholarly objects, and treated similarly in many ways to cited and archived scientific and scholarly literature.
Here we briefly review the most current and widely agreed set of principle-based recommendations for scholarly data citation, the Joint Declaration of Data Citation Principles (JDDCP).
We then present a framework for operationalizing the JDDCP; and a set of initial recommendations on identifier schemes, identifier resolution behavior, required metadata elements, and best practices for realizing programmatic machine actionability of cited data.
The main target audience for the common implementation guidelines in this article consists of publishers, scholarly organizations, and persistent data repositories, including technical staff members in these organizations.
But ordinary researchers can also benefit from these recommendations. The guidance provided here is intended to help achieve widespread, uniform human and machine accessibility of deposited data, in support of significantly improved verification, validation, reproducibility and re-use of scholarly/scientific data.