What is a digital object identifier?

DOI stands for “digital object identifier” and is intended to be a unique and permanent digital identifier for physical, digital or abstract objects. DOIs are mainly used for publications in publishing contexts and in academic journals. To receive a DOI, the publisher you submit your thesis to must be a member of a DOI organisation.

DOI allocation and membership are subject to fees. If an online document has a DOI, the document can be identified on by its number and the current URL of the document can be displayed. Publishers and institutions issuing DOIs are responsible for updating these links. As a result, DOIs are supposed to solve the problem of broken links.

DOIs are somewhat more common in the natural sciences than in the humanities. In addition to the URN, they serve as a further feature to identify your works or essays and are automatically assigned by many publishers and even some university libraries.