About Mahalo Button


What is mahalo?

'Mahalo' is a Hawaiian word for ‘thank you,’ but it has a broader meaning such as admiration, praise, esteem, regards and respects (Mary Kawena Pukui et al., Hawaiian Dictionary, 1986).


Data creators should be rewarded by credit, such as data citation, but the current reward system is heavy-weight.


A light-weight system called ‘Mahalo Button’ for data users to express gratitude directly to data creators. ‘A network of gratitude’ grows by (voluntary) actions of data users.


  1. Pay-back incentive: Data users can express gratitude by a button push, which is a popular action on today’s Internet (e.g. Like button).
  2. Pay-forward incentive: Data creators’ landing page becomes a hub of information, and data users can contribute to future generations by sharing methods and results of the same data.

Concept of Mahalo Button

Concept of Mahalo Button

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

DOI as a gift

The concept of ‘Mahalo Button’ is for data users to give DOI as a gift for data creators, making a new connection at the button.

Why DOI?

DOI is expected to be less vulnerable to spam (at least for the moment), and it is more sustainable than URI to keep accessibility.

Impact of the data

Impact can be measured by the number of DOI returned, which has similar meaning with data citation.

Try Mahalo Button

You can try this demo button to check how the button works. Note that users can freely add any DOIs.

Publications on Mahalo Project