A digital object identifier—commonly abbreviated as DOI—is unique combination of numbers and letters that identifies content such as a journal article and provides an unchanging link to its location on the internet.
As explained on the International DOI Foundation website, the DOI system started as a joint initiative of three publishing industry trade associations: the International Publishers Association; International Association of Scientific, Technical and Medical Publishers; and the Association of American Publishers.
As anyone who has ever looked for information on the web knows, stuff tends to move around. Sites are redesigned and content is relocated, so searches sometimes bring you to an empty page with a 404 Not Found error.
The DOI name eliminates that problem. As explained in the DOI Foundation Handbook, “A DOI name is permanently assigned to an object to provide a resolvable persistent network link to current information about that object, including where the object, or information about it, can be found on the Internet. While information about an object can change over time, its DOI name will not change.”
The DOI system was launched in 2000. It took a few years to take off, but now it is an industry standard.
The DOI name is like a forever address. And it’s coming to the Ochsner Journal.
We’re a bit late to the DOI party, but we’re there now. Beginning with the summer 2018 issue, all articles published in the Ochsner Journal will have a DOI.