Saturday, September 11, 2010

DOI Numbers

I had a phone call from a student today who needed a DOI number for an article being used. I had never heard of this before, and had no idea how to access it at all, particularly from our databases. I think our nursing students have to use it pretty often. I muddled through enough to get the number from another source, however, I thought it might be useful if someone who had the knowledge could explain exactly how to locate the number and whether or not the number is specific to the article only, or to the article and the place that is holding it. Or am I the only one who doesn't know?



1 comment:

kjale said...

Hey Sasha,

DOI numbers are assigned by the publishers, so it is completely up to them whether or not to assign one. Therefore some articles will have a DOI and some won't. They are unique numbers for individual electronic documents (mostly published and to-be-published articles at this point), so there should only be one DOI per article.

DOIs have been adopted into the APA citation style, which is why most students look for them. They actually have a purpose in the distribution and publishing process, but have yet to fully be adopted in the info retrieval process. Make sense?

In regards to finding out the DOI, you can head to the CrossRef website:
There you can search by citation info for the DOI. I haven't, however, tried it to see how easy it is. The other options, as you have witnessed, are to find the indexed record in a database, which usually include the DOI, and to try the publisher's website, if they index their articles.

I actually know quite a bit about DOIs, so if you have any other questions, just let me know!