What is a DOI?

What is a DOI?

A Digital Object Identifier (DOI) is a permanent, persistent identifier used for citing and linking electronic resources (texts, research data or other content). Updated, structured metadata is assigned to the document using the DOI name.

The DOI name is comprised of a unique alphanumeric character sequence.

For example 10.4232/1.1 is a complete DOI name.

A DOI is not case sensitive, i.e. there is no distinction between capital and lowercase letters in a text string (for example, 10.1392/roma081203 is the same as 10.1392/ROMA081203). This identifier is purely a simple character string and outside of usage in the DOI system, nothing can be derived from it.

Prefixes are assigned by the DOI Foundation via DataCite. The suffix is agreed by the publication agent in conjunction with da|ra.

"Remember, though, that the DOI name is an opaque string (a dumb number). No definitive information can or should be interpreted from the number in use. In particular, the fact that the DOI name has a prefix issued by a particular organization should not be used to identify the owner of any given intellectual property -- the DOI name remains persistent through ownership changes, and the prefix is unaltered." (DOI-handbook)