DOI = Digital Object Identifier    This is a stable search term assigned to an article to help retrieve it easily.  It is made up of numbers and letters (example: 10.1234/NP5678) and is assigned by a registration agency (such as CrossRef or DataCite) when the article is registered with them.  When you enter the DOI on the registration agency's web page search box, it will provide more information on the article, including the latest URL provided by the organization registering the article, taking you directly to the article.   This system was created so that when an organization changed the article's URL, they only had to change it in one place (the registration agency) and people would still be able to find the article.  Prior to this system, when an article's URL changed there was no way for the organization to get the change to everyone trying to use or link to the old URL.  They only had to change it once, with the registration agency and the DOI would would remain stable and provide a path back to the current URL.  DOIs are primarily used by the producers of scientific articles. 

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Comments (2)

  1. how do I use a doi to see if it can be located on a davenport database. There are articles I find but I can't find them on the davenport website
    by Heather Cook on Mar 13, 2013.
  2. It depends on the database and whether or not we have access to the journal the article is in. In the database Proquest Central, under the Advanced link, is a drop down menu. Select 'look up citation' and from there you can search the DOI. With the other databases, there really isn't a way to search using the DOI. The best way to see if we have access to a journal is by searching our e-journal list: Just type in the journal name and hit enter. If we have the journal in one of our databases, it will show up on a list that tells you the years we have access to and what database you can find it in. Double check the year of the article you want, just to make sure we have access to it. If we don't have access to the article, you can always place a request through our Inter-library Loan service. Here is the form for that:
    by Emily Hayes on Mar 14, 2013.