Friday, 31 August 2018

Getting a DOI Number

I have posted on how to get a DOI before (here), but due to lots of questions, have decided to repeat the performance! 

As many of you know, all electronically sourced journal articles also need to be referenced in our bibliographies with a DOI number, or a document object identifier. The idea behind moving to a DOI is that this is a permalink to ONE central repository, which can be accessed through whatever database is being deployed where we are searching. Using a DOI makes sense, and you can read more about it here, and here

If we get a hardcopy article, no is DOI needed. However, if we get emailed an article from the library, we should get a DOI. The tricky thing is getting hold of a DOI when our library may not necessarily provide us with one (such as when we have interloaned an article), or if we find an article somewhere online, on, or on ResearchGate (where we probably won't be supplied anything other than what is on the 'page'). Also, GoogleScholar doesn't yet list DOI numbers, so there is no help there.

There is a relatively easy solution, though it can take quite a bit of hunting to find it. All we need to do is to go to the CrossRef site at and sign up for a free CrossRef account using our academic email address. This allows us 5000 free look-ups per month, which is usually more than enough for an ordinary human! 

CrossRef will send us a confirmation link. Once it arrives, simply click to accept. Yay! We are in.

To use the CrossRef site to find a DOI, go to each time we want to look up a journal reference. We enter our email into the “Registered email:” field, enter the APA reference we have into the “Enter text in the box below:” field, tick the “List all possible DOIs per reference” box, and then click the “Submit” button.

It may take up to a minute to get a result. Once we get our result, if we want to look up more articles, we simply click the “Reset” button. This will take us back to the first window.

This makes life very easy. Thanks, CrossRef!!



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