In cases where journals require us to share a DOI or URL link to a stable public access data repository, can the DDL be used, and how? The DOI or URL for this purpose may be intended to link a limited dataset corresponding only to the specific analysis for the manuscript or publication. Can the DDL be used in this very limited way and if so, is there any guidance for how this can be done?

  • The question would benefit from being reworded, because it is a little difficult to follow. Can you clarify what you mean by DDL in this context? Are you asking whether the DOI can link to the DDL, or are you asking whether a DDL can be used as an alternative to a DOI?
    – tomp
    Commented Mar 9, 2016 at 21:42
  • I believe Mimi is asking about USAID's DDL (development data library). They direct users here for support Commented Mar 10, 2016 at 1:18
  • cases requiring/not requiring....you should be citing everything. everything. every single thing in your repository.
    – albert
    Commented Mar 10, 2016 at 3:15

1 Answer 1


The Development Data Library (DDL) is the Agency’s repository of USAID-funded, machine readable data created or collected by the Agency and its implementing partners. Generally speaking, if a dataset was funded by USAID, the dataset must also reside within the DDL. USAID will be upgrading the DDL significantly in 2016, and the DDL is intended to be a long-term, stable public access data repository. The original question did not state whether the data in the journal is funded by USAID. If not, the DDL would not be an appropriate repository. The current scope of the DDL is to provide access to USAID-funded data only.

In terms of unique identifiers for datasets:

With the current technology: The URL for a given dataset ends in a Globally Unique Identifier (GUID) that is specific to that dataset. Example here. This technology does not provide GUIDs for limited views / versions of datasets.

With the new (2016) technology: Dataset URLs within the DDL will end with a unique 9 character dataset ID (e.g. 1234-abcd). This 9 digit string can be used as a unique identifier for a specific dataset. The new technology will also support the ability to create "versions" or "views" of specific datasets (e.g. those pertaining to a specific study), and the individual versions or views will also have unique IDs. The permanent link for any given dataset, version, or view will be the base URL plus /d/xxxx-xxxx. This will automatically redirect to the dataset with that unique ID. If a USAID partner has obtained an official Digital Object Identifier (DOI) for a dataset, the new technology will be able to accommodate and use the DOI for future reference. USAID does not currently provide or generate DOIs directly.

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