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Citing Sources: Understanding DOIs

Understanding DOIs

What is a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) and why is it important?

A digital object identifier (DOI) is a character string (a "digital identifier") used to uniquely identify an object such as an electronic document such as an article from a magazine or journal from a library database.

It is a permanent number that is stable and makes linking to a document easier.

DOIs are better than URLs because URLs are unstable and can change often. 

It is a system that started around the year 2000.

If you have an article with a DOI, you can use a DOI resolver and find the article:

To resolve a DOI name, it may be input to a DOI resolver (e.g., at or may be represented as an HTTP string by preceding the DOI name by the string:

Many citation styles such as APA and Chicago prefer that you use a DOI instead of a URL in the bibliography or list of references.

DOI Video Tutorial

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