Boise State’s Scholarly Communication and Data Management Unit reached a milestone this week: they issued their 100th DOI. The very first was assigned to The Lab for Ecohydrology and Alternative Futuring (LEAF) for, “A 30-Year, Multi-Domain High-Resolution Climate Simulation Dataset for the Interior Pacific Northwest and Southern Idaho.”
What’s the big deal about DOIs? When you see that weird looking number (ex. DOI: 10.18122/B2LEAFD001) in a citation, you’re in luck. That number is basically giving you a permanent link to the publication, data set, or other digital work, even it the location of the work changes. Think – NO MORE DEAD LINKS! How do you turn the number into a link? Easy, just add “doi.org/” in front of it, and put it in your browser. For example: doi.org/10.18122/B2LEAFD001.
What you need to know about Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs)
- The two main parts needed to issue a DOI are the object and a description of that object (we call this metadata). There are many different standards for metadata, but the basics are: title, creator, type of object, date and publisher. Following standards and adding descriptive metadata allows the information to be interoperable with many different systems, allowing researchers to easily share the work on various sites.
- You may have noticed DOIs when you publish or cite an article. Since DOIs are unique character strings, a DOI allows work to be identified with certainty. This also means access to work can be tracked through its DOI.
- DOIs provide persistent access to work, even if the location of that object changes, the DOI should point to the current place to find the work. DOI links can break if the institution issuing the DOI does not maintain it, but this is rare. The information associated with a DOI can also change, so always look to see if there are notes about edits, versions, or additions.
- DOI stands for Digital Object Identifier but “Digital” technically only refers to the identifier, not the object, which can be physical, digital or abstract. For now, we are going to focus on issuing DOIs for digital objects which can be stored and retrieved at Boise State.
- You can get one for your work! The Albertsons Library can now issue DOIs for Boise State scholarly works. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or Amber Sherman at 208-426- 4302.
Scholarly Communication and Data Management Unit