Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Need a DOI?

No, this is not a post on driving over the influence, nor under it, either. Rather, this is about finding a digital object identifier (DOI). The International DOI Foundation gives the following definition: "A DOI® (Digital Object Identifier) is a name (not a location) for an entity on digital networks. It provides a system for persistent and actionable identification and interoperable exchange of managed information on digital networks."

Some associations, such as APA and AMA, have begun to ask for DOIs in their bibliographic references and include instructions within their published citation style manuals.

What happens if you cannot find the DOI? Fortunately, many databases provide the DOI as part of the full citation of the articles they index. Nevertheless, there may be times when the DOI cannot be located. Crossref.org has created a query page that allows individuals to input elements of their citation into blank fields before clicking the search button to find the answer. Actually, they provide three different search options:

  • Bibliographic Metadata Search: enter as many individual elements of an article, book, or conference proceeding citation. Note: select the radio button next to Book/Conference proceeding if that is what you seek.

  • Search an Article Title: use this one if all you have is the article title. Knowing the author's name may reduce results.

  • Automatic Parsing of a Normal Reference: enter the text for a bibliographic record. It lets you search for multiple DOIs if you enter multiple bibliographic references.

So if this post influences you to use Crossref.org to find DOIs, then you might just be driving [the internet] under the influence (DUI).

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