Digital object identifier: Where we stand ? | By Abid Hussain

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Digital object identifier: Where we stand ? | By Abid Hussain


DIGITAL Object Identifier is one of the most promient technology undertook for research articles in the last two decades.

The primary purpose of this technology is to outreach the electronic article into larger group to locate the position of published papers.

It was founded by International DOI Foundation in 2000. It consists of an alphanumeric string assigned by different registration agencies like Airti DOI, Crossref, Medra, the publication office etc.

The position of this alphanumeric number is to identify contents and provide a persistent link to its traced on the Internet.

One thing that is pertinent to mention here is that DOI can only be assigned to articles available electronically on the Internet.

The publisher assigned this number to registrant only, who contributed an annual fee with several articles.

The number consists of three parts; Resolve services (the service provider agency, Prefix (Assign body, the journal enrol with DOI Company), Suffix (It tells you the subject which the paper deals with in other terms, Resources).

DOI could be availed through different agencies, but CrossRef is one of the most commendable DOI services agencies for the Asian countries.

Another good example for DOI agency is Medra; it is helpful for European countries which register documents of several European institutions.

It also offers services to public and private institutions worldwide. MEDRA is the multilingual European DOI Registration Agency.

There is another popular agency for DOI is DataCite. It was founded basically for primary research, but now it offers worldwide services in a broader range of publication object. DataCite is an international not for profit association of several institutions.

Many publishers like Think-Tank, Academia, Research organisation who publishes research journals in Pakistan do not have enough information about DOI.

They designed a dedicated home page for the journal, but without having a DOI number, they do not reach the proactive customers who aspire to get relevant information with DOI.

Very few organisations in Pakistan have been granted DOI number via Cite-space. These journals are far better in ranks from the predatory journals around the country.

DOI ensures the international standardisation of scholarly contents at the global level.

Those journals which are enrolled with DOI attract more audience to their published contents.

DOI helps scholars to locate the research paper, which allows them quickly. An example might help the common researcher to know what DOI is? When he/she searches global pandemic on Google, he/she will browse a million records, but the exact article he/she is looking for can never be accessed. Article with DOI number helps the scholars to get the desired one quickly without wasting time.

DOI increases citation outreach of the articles. People in advanced countries are browsing only articles which have DOI numbers. They consider these articles as lawful and citable material.

DOI also helps researchers and publishers identify content in its permanent place and helps them increase the reach and impact of their work.

Publishers, aggregators, repositories and Indexers are getting proper help from the articles with DOI numbers. CrossRef is one of the reputable organisations offering DOI services globally.

In Pakistan, E-Science Press is one of the counterparts of the CrossRef helping researchers and publishers to attain DOI numbers within seven days process.

Taking Direct DOI from CrossRef will charge a $275 Annual Membership Fee and $1 for each DOI assignment. But E-Science offer these services with nominal charges.

An E-Science website will help publishers to assign DOI to their archival records. Authors can also directly contact them for individual DOI.

Remember, tremendous and drastic changes have occurred in the Research world and excellent tools have been introduced worldwide but Pakistani scholars are still using the same old traditional tools.

DOI is like an ISBN no to a book that tells the check digits for the same exact book. Similarly, the case of DOI is an individual identity for an article.

I commend that DOI is the most extensive tools for modern research; publishers, aggregators and indexer should definitely switch their published record through DOI without wasting time.

—The writer is working as Library Officer in Institute of Strategic Studies, a think-think based in Islamabad.

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