What is a Digital Object Identifier (DOI)?

The Digital Object Identifier (DOI®) System is for identifying content objects in the digital environment.

DOI® names are assigned to any entity for use on digital networks. They are used to provide current information, including where they (or information about them) can be found on the Internet.

Information about a digital object may change over time, including where to find it, but its DOI name will not change.

The DOI System provides a framework for persistent identification, managing intellectual content, managing metadata, linking customers with content suppliers, facilitating electronic commerce, and enabling automated management of media.

DOI names can be used for any form of management of any data, whether commercial or non-commercial.

The system is managed by the International DOI Foundation, an open membership consortium including both commercial and non-commercial members, and has recently been accepted for standardisation within ISO.

Over 40 million DOI names have been assigned by DOI System Registration Agencies in the US, Australasia, and Europe.

DOI names are widely used in scientific publishing to cite journal articles. More than 98% of all DOI registered are for scholarly articles. The use of DOI names for the citing of data sets makes their provenance trackable and citable and therefore allows interoperability with existing reference services.

DataCite helps researchers to find, access, and reuse data (Impressum).