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DOI : Digital Object Identifier

What is a DOI?

The DOI is a unique and persistent identifier assigned to digital resources: scientific articles, films, reports, etc. It can be assigned to any digital object that must be differentiated from other objects.

A DOI is an identifier and is also used to construct a persistent URL to the primary document.

For example:

Yacine Chitour; Guilherme Mazanti; Mario Sigalotti. Approximate and exact controllability of linear difference equations. Journal de l’École polytechnique — Mathématiques, Tome 7 (2020), pp. 93-142. doi : 10.5802/jep.112.

What is a DOI for?

Assigning a DOI first of all allows the digital object to be identified permanently and unequivocally. Placed in the document reference, it allows direct access to the primary source.

This makes the citations of the document more reliable. In addition, it avoids endless URLs as DOIs are all built using the same short structure:

Crossref, CC-BY 4.0

The prefix identifies the registrant to the registration agency. The suffix identifies the document.

And finally, the Inist-CNRS has published a very clear example of identifier assignment, available here:

How to get a DOI?

The publisher requests it for its publications. There are currently about ten DOI registration agencies in the world.

The centre Mersenne works with Crossref for the allocation of its DOIs.

How to create your DOIs?

A DOI must be unique and contain only alphanumeric characters plus some special characters These include the dash ‘-‘, the underscore ‘_’, the full stop ‘.’, the semicolon ‘;’, the parentheses ‘(‘ and ‘ )’ and the slash ‘/’. In addition, the suffixes are case insensitive: aif.3395 and AIF.3395 are considered identical.

Tools exist to help create unique suffixes. For example, Crossref offers a suffix generator, Datacite provides Fabrica, a tool for managing DOIs.

For more information on DOI creation rules and best practices: