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DOI Information

What is a DOI?

A digital object identifier (DOI) is a unique alphanumeric string assigned by a registration agency (the International DOI Foundation) to identify content and provide a persistent link to a journal article's location on the Internet.  All DOI numbers begin with a 10 and contain a prefix and a suffix separated by a slash.

Some examples of DOIs

  • 10.1037/0002-9432.76.4.482
  • 10.1016/j.apnr.2007.09.002

Do I need to use the DOI in my reference?

DOIs are now being included in some referencing styles, e.g. APA (American Psychological Association) style guide.  DOIs are not included when citing print journal articles. Refer to A Guide to Referencing with examples in the APA & Harvard styles for more information on referencing in APA style.

Two references in APA style which include a DOI


DOIs are a recent development, and usage will certainly become more widespread in coming years.  At present (May 2010) some databases (e.g. Academic Search Premier) include a DOI when it is available - while others (e.g. CINAHL) do not yet include DOIs even for journal articles for which one is available.

How do I search for full text of an article when I have a DOI?

To determine if full text is available online at UC, use Citation Linker to search for a journal article using the DOI.  From the UC Library homepage, select E-Journals & Newspapers then click on the link to Citation Linker under the Journal title search box. Enter the DOI in the appropriate field (without the prefix doi).

If the item is not available online, consult Research Assistance Desk staff for assistance in locating the item in print.

How do I find the detailed reference for an article if I have only a DOI?

To search for a journal article, the 'doi' part of the code is dropped and is added to the beginning of the number, for example one of the references shown above would become: Paste this URL into your web browser & the resultant screen will provide the full reference.

This search will list sources of the content on the Internet, but does not guarantee access to the full text.

How do I find a DOI for an article I need to cite in APA style?

To check if your article has a DOI go to CrossRef free DOI Lookup and enter the details of your journal article. Not all journal articles have a DOI.

Content Responsibility: Beryl.Pedvin