Digital Object Identifier(DOI)

Digital Object Identifier commonly recognized as DOI is a standard number used for journal articles, research reports and data sets, and official publications to enhance their accessibility. In fact, DOI is a string of numbers that is exclusively assigned to each article. The DOI helps the publishers to enhance the visibility and quality of their journals.

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What makes DOI significant is that the provided link of DOI is permanent. In other words, DOI assures the publisher and editor-in-chief of a journal that the accessibility of the articles is maintained even when some changes are made to URL, server, journal name, journal submission system.

The URL changes are among the main concerns of cyberspace, leading to invalid links. As a result, DOI is a number which guarantees the accessibility of the article in case of any change. The article DOI is divided into a suffix and prefix, separated by a slash. To clarify the point, let us take DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.0040176 as an example. This DOI refers to Open Access Increases Citation Rate articles published in a biology journal. When the «» is added to a DOI number, the researcher can have direct access to the article. For instance, DOI: dx.doi.org10.1371/journal.pbio.0040176 provides the direct link to the article. Although DOI is not yet as famous as ISSN, it is utilization is gaining more popularity these days. It is worth mentioning that journals should pay annual membership for having DOI (more details can be found at

Therefore, the main feature of DOI can be summarized as below:

  • Providing permanent links for articles
  • Improving the accessibility and visibility of an article
  • Converting resources to Hyperlink or Hyperlink
  • Avoiding human or machine errors in referencing
  • Enhancing journal quality and subsequently impact factor

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