What Is DOI? A Clear And Concise Definition

D.O.I.(Digital Object Identifier) is a set of numbers, letters and symbols. A D.O.I. is unique for a number of reasons. Every electronic document with a D.O.I. holds its individual and secure link that can never change. As a result, D.O.I.s have widespread use. While they are used commonly for journal articles, they can also represent a range of other content, such as book chapters, research datasets, research reports, official publications and more. A D.O.I. is similar to a web address(URL) but unlike the latter, the link does not change and is also more secure and credible. (Also learn about ISBN)

How To Find A D.O.I.

  • The easiest way to find the D.O.I. of a document is by checking its first or final page.
  • It can also be found on a google search simply by typing doi with the title of the document in the search bar.
  • The final alternative is by using Crossref. The relevant data is simply copied and pasted into the “search metadata” box to find the D.O.I. An example of relevant data is Mike, P.(2015).Building Users For Future Purposes: A case study. Language Teaching Research, 20,9-18.

D.O.I. Citations

During the citation of online journal articles or other documents, the use of D.O.I. is important. Asides that it gives your references more credibility, it also makes your work appear neat and professional. There are several types of D.O.I. citations, but we would only be discussing the major ones.

  1. A.P.A.(American Psychological Association) Citation

The first thing is to find the D.O.I. link of the document to be cited. This can be done by carrying out one of the aforementioned steps. After, you can proceed to begin with the citation. A format is Author, A.A.,& Author, B.B.(Date of publication). Title of the article. Title of journal, volume number, page range. D.O.I. link

For example, Adam, S.T., A.S., Steel, C.K., Stevens, J.K., Joshua, & Lorde, D.A.(2014).Histrionic personality disorder in teenagers beginning adulthood. Journal of psycho and mental disorder, 3014(7),244-257.doi:1638/NMD.63792800062

There should be no period after the D.O.I. link in A.P.A. citation (Learn about where to use periods).

  1. M.L.A.(Modern Language Association) Citation

The D.O.I. link is created by carrying out one of the aforementioned steps. You can then go ahead to cite using the A.P.A. style. While the A.P.A. formal is the author’s last name, publication date, source name; the format of M.L.A. is the author’s last name, source name, publication date. The M.L.A. citation has a period after the D.O.I. link. For example, Adam, S.T., A.S., Steel, C.K., Stevens, J.K., Joshua, & Lorde, D.A.(2014).Histrionic personality disorder in teenagers beginning adulthood. Journal of psycho and mental disorder, 3014(7),244-257.doi:1638/NMD.63792800062.

  1. Chicago Citation with D.O.I.

The format here is the author’s last name, first name. Year. “Title of article journal.” Name of publication, month date, year. D.O.I. link.

An example is Shalom, Kashir.P and Alex O. Rasheed. “Plant materials for human food.” Science of plant and animal material resources 52, no. 7-8(2010):882-1089. https://doi.orh/10.1016/2268389489200.

In Chicago style, the D.O.I. starting with https is preferred.


D.O.I.s have been in existence since 2000 and is managed by the international D.O.I. foundation and affiliates. Already, millions of links have been created for article journals, books, and others.

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