A DOI, or Digital Object Identifier, is a unique string of numbers and letters that permanently identifies an article, or other work, and links to it on the web. In short, a DOI is a permanent or persistent identifier.
DOIs are intended to make information retrieval easier.
- DOIs identify with the content rather than a location. If the item changes location, the publisher is responsible for pointing the DOI to the new location. If this updating does not take place, you can end up with a dead DOI.
DOI FORMATS -- ACTIVE or INACTIVE
When you locate an article, the DOIs may be formatted as active or inactive.
An active DOI looks like a hyperlink.
An inactive DOI omits https//doi.org/ and often starts with 10 (especially if assigned pre-2011).
MAKE a DOI ACTIVE
Simply add http://doi.org/ OR http://dx.doi.org/ before the DOI number to make it active.
RESOLVE a DOI
Have a DOI in the inactive format? Visit https://www.doi.org/ and paste in the DOI number to locate the item associated with the DOI.
DOIs are NOT UNIVERSAL
Not all articles, or other information sources, have a DOI.
These are examples of articles where a DOI is available BUT it is not provided at the article's landing page.
- The DOI Handbook provide more information, including the history, of the DOI system.