What is DOI?

The Digital Object Identifier (DOI) is a standard for persistently identifying a piece of intellectual property on a digital network and associating it with related current data, the metadata, in a structured extensible way. DOIs have been called “the bar code for intellectual property“: like the physical bar code, they are enabling tools for use all through the supply chain to add value and save cost. A DOI differs from commonly used internet pointers to material such as the URL because it identifies an object as a first-class entity, not simply the place where the object is located.The DOI identifies an entity directly, not some attribute of an object (an address is an attribute of a thing, whereas the thing itself is a first class object). A DOI also differs from commonly used identifiers of intellectual property such as standard bibliographic and related identifiers (ISBN, ISRC, etc) because it can be associated with defined services and is immediately actionable on a network.

What is the International DOI Foundation?

The International DOI Foundation (IDF), a non-profit organisation created in 1998, is the governance body of the DOI System, which safeguards all intellectual property rights relating to the DOI System. IDF supports the development and promotion of the Digital Object Identifier system as a common infrastructure for content management, and works to ensure that any improvements made to the DOI system (including creation, maintenance, registration, resolution and policymaking of DOIs) are available to any DOI registrant, and that no third party licenses might reasonably be required to practice the DOI standard. IDF is controlled by a Board elected by the members of the Foundation, with an appointed full-time Director who is responsible for co-ordinating and planning its activities.

What can be identified by a DOI?

A DOI can apply to any form of intellectual property expressed in any digital environment. Intellectual property includes both physical and digital manifestations, performances and abstract works: DOIs can be used to identify texts, images, audio or video items, software, etc. An entity can be identified at any arbitrary level of granularity.This means that, for instance, DOIs can identify a journal, an individual issue of a journal, an individual article in the journal, or a single table in that article.

The DOI structure?

The DOI consists of a unique alpha-numeric character string divided in two parts: a prefix and a suffix.

For example, a complete DOI is:10.1392 /ERATS24682 where: 10.1392 is the prefix, composed by a part identifying the string as a DOI (10) and a part identifying the registrant (1392); ERATS24682 is the suffix, identifying the single digital object.

The prefix is assigned by a DOI Registration Agency to a specific registrant.
The suffix is assigned by the registrant and must be unique within a prefix.


  • DOIs are very important for unique identification and fast accessing of a research article online.
  • DOIs allow and facilitate a quick and precise search for research articles.
  • Open Access: All articles are accessible to everyone all over the world for free online.
  • Citation: Each article is assigned a unique and permanent Digital Object Identifier [DOI]number which is used for citation immediately after publication.
  • Credibility: DOIs helps authenticate the credibility of a journal publication.
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