The scientific and information communities have largely mastered the presentation of, and linkages between, text-based electronic information by assigning persistent identifiers to give scientific literature unique identities and accessibility. Knowledge, as published through scientific literature, is often the last step in a process originating from scientific research data. Today scientists are using simulation, observational, and experimentation techniques that yield massive quantities of research data. These data are analyzed, synthesized, interpreted, and the outcome of this process is generally published as a scientific article. Access to the original data as the foundation of knowledge has become an important issue throughout the world and different projects have started to find solutions. Global collaboration and scientific advances could be accelerated through broader access to scientific research data. In other words, data access could be revolutionized through the same technologies used to make textual literature accessible. The most obvious opportunity to broaden visibility of and access to research data is to integrate its access into the medium where it is most often cited: electronic textual information. Besides this opportunity, it is important, irrespective of where they are cited, for research data to have an internet identity. Since 2005, the German National Library of Science and Technology (TIB) has offered a successful Digital Object Identifier (DOI) registration service for persistent identification of research data. In this white paper we discuss the possibilities to open this registration to a global consortium of information institutes and libraries.