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Handle Service (Identify My Data)


This is a service overview page. For more detailed information, please check out the Identify My Data - ANDS Guide.


  • ANDS Handle Service (Identify My Data) provides a way to automatically assign globally unique citable identifiers, based on Handle technology, to your datasets, collections, papers and so on.
  • The Handle Service creates a clickable reference to your dataset that can be maintained, even if the location of the dataset changes. When people click on it, the ANDS service re-routes them to whatever location you nominate; you can update that location at any time. This clickable or resolvable link is called a handle.
  • The Handle Service is available as a self-service or a machine-to-machine (m2m) service.
  • To understand how the Handle Service works, view some examples, or access links to other related information, go to Identify My Data - ANDS Guides.

Ways of using the service

Self-service tool (for individual researchers)

  • Access to the Handle Service (Identify My Data) self-service tool in the ANDS Collections Registry is controlled via a login through the Australian Access Federation (AAF). 
  • All research individuals with an AAF account is eligible for and has default access for minting an identifier.
  • Detailed instructions on how to use the self-service tool is documented in the Handle Service (Identify My Data) self-service interface.
  • This manual, self-service process is not recommended for creating large numbers of persistent identifiers. This is recommended for use by individual researchers.
  • Users are required to agree electronically to ANDS Handle Service Terms and Conditions prior to using the service.

Software interface (for institutions)

  • Registration is required to use this sercvice.
  • Once registered, ANDS provides a unique appID (application ID) that is used to identify a trusted client.
  • Only valid combinations of client IP address and the appID, together with the domain URL will be able to successfully mint a handle.
  • A participant agreement must be signed prior to using the production service:
    • The Handle Service Participant Agreement Form must be duly signed by the institution's authorised signatory, preferably someone of higher authority (i.e. Project Director, Project Manager, etc.) prior to production Handle Service registration.
    • A scanned copy of the signed agreement must be sent to

Handle service client - basic information

  • Visit the Handle Service (Identify My Data) Technical Documentation for instructions on how to use the m2m service and implement a Handle Service Client.
  • Service URLs:
    • Handle Service Demo service URL: (for testing)
    • Handle Service Production service URL:
  • Available Handle Service Client tool from an ANDS partner:

Important Note: It is critical for users of the Handle Service to understand that ANDS does not manage persistent identifiers; it only provides the infrastructure to allow minting, resolution and updating of identifiers. Processes and policies need to be put in place by those utilising the product to ensure that appropriate maintenance practices underpin persistence.

Sample scenarios

  • You have a dataset on your desktop that you intend to submit to a data centre in the future but you would like to refer to it right now in a journal article you are writing.  
    • Use the Handle Service to allocate an identifier and include that "clickable" reference in your draft. When the article is published people start referring to your data in other articles using the persistent identifier.
    • When you move the dataset, visit the ANDS service again to update the location details, and you don't have to correct every reference to it in the literature.
  • You are part of a national cross disciplinary collaborative research centre on alpine regions. The centre is creating a loose data federation that queries and harvests metadata from your database.  You maintain the database on your departmental web server, but you intend to change jobs and move to another university next year. 
    • Use the Handle Service to allocate an identifier and circulate that clickable address to your colleagues and to the "machinery" of the data federation.
    • When you move and take the data with you, visit the ANDS service again to update the location details, and you don't have to update all the references to it throughout your federation.
  • You are a data services manager at the Department of Primary Industries and you publish environmental observations which research communities use nationally. An election is in the offering and reliable sources indicate that your department will be merged with the Department of Tourism to form a new department with a new name, a new website and URL location.
    • Use the Handle Service to allocate an identifier and circulate that clickable address to major users of the datasets.  
    • When the merger happens and the new address is available, you visit the ANDS service again to update the location details, and there is no interruption of access to your data and you don't have to contact every registered user.

There are some scenarios where using the ANDS Handle Service would not be appropriate. For example purely internal system identifiers are not within the scope of this service.


There is no cost to use this service for publicly funded Australian research organisations or Government agencies that make their data available to the Australian Research Data Commons.


For enquiries, please contact or your ANDS representative.