Unlocking the Power of DOI: A Comprehensive Guide to Citation

As the digital age continues to transform the way we access and share information, the need for effective ways to identify and reference digital objects has become increasingly important. The Digital Object Identifier, or DOI, is a system that was developed to provide a persistent link to digital objects, such as journal articles, books, and datasets. This article will explore what DOI is capable of, how it works, and how to refer to or cite digital objects using a DOI.

In the academic world, citations play a crucial role in validating research, giving credit to authors, and allowing readers to access the sources used in a particular work. Among the various methods of citation, Digital Object Identifier (DOI) has emerged as a standard and reliable way to reference academic publications. This article aims to provide a detailed guide on how to effectively use DOI for citation purposes.

What is a DOI? in simple words

A Digital Object Identifier (DOI) is a unique alphanumeric string assigned to a digital object, typically an academic publication such as a journal article, book chapter, conference paper, or dataset. The primary purpose of DOI is to provide a permanent link to the online location of the publication, ensuring its accessibility and persistence over time.

Get Crossref DOI for your Journal >>

How DOI Works:

When a publication is assigned a DOI, it becomes a permanent and stable identifier that can be used to locate the resource on the internet. DOI links are designed to be persistent, meaning they remain functional even if the location of the publication changes. DOI facilitates accurate citation by providing a standardized format for referencing scholarly works.

Benefits of Using DOI for Citation:

1. Permanent Linkage:

Unlike URLs, which may change or become obsolete over time, DOIs provide a persistent link to the publication, ensuring its long-term accessibility.

2. Improved Traceability:

DOIs enable precise tracking and identification of scholarly works, making it easier for researchers to verify and reference sources.

3. Enhanced Credibility:

By using DOIs in citations, authors demonstrate a commitment to academic integrity and adherence to standardized citation practices, thereby enhancing the credibility of their work.

4. Facilitated Access:

DOI links streamline the process of accessing scholarly resources, allowing readers to quickly navigate to the source with a single click.

How to Find DOI:

1. Journal Websites:

Many scholarly journals display DOIs alongside articles on their websites. Look for a DOI link or DOI number usually located near the article’s title or in the citation information.

2. DOI Databases:

Several online databases, such as CrossRef and PubMed, allow users to search for DOIs by entering bibliographic information such as the title, author, or publication date of the article.

3. Citation Tools:

Reference management software like Zotero, Mendeley, or EndNote often automatically retrieve DOIs for imported references, making it convenient for researchers to include them in their citations.

How to Format DOI in Citations:

When citing a publication with a DOI, it’s essential to include the DOI at the end of the citation in the following format:

Author(s). (Year). Title of the article. Journal Name, Volume(Issue), Page range. DOI

For example:

Varun Patel, Hitesh Patel., & Jatin Patel, (2023). Understanding the impact of electric vehicles on the environment. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF RESEARCH AND ANALYTICAL REVIEWS, 15(3), 45-56. DOI: 10.1234/55789

It’s important to note that the DOI is typically preceded by the letters “DOI:” or “” to indicate that it is a digital object identifier.

Common Mistakes to Avoid:

1. Omitting DOI:

Failure to include the DOI in citations can make it difficult for readers to locate the source, undermining the credibility of the citation.

2. Incorrect Formatting:

Ensure that the DOI is formatted correctly according to the prescribed style guide (e.g., APA, MLA, Chicago).

3. Using URL Instead of DOI:

While URLs may also lead to the publication, they are less reliable than DOIs and may become outdated over time. Always prioritize DOI over URL for citation purposes.


In an era characterized by the abundance of digital information, DOI has emerged as a valuable tool for ensuring accurate and persistent citation of scholarly works. By understanding how to effectively use DOI for citation purposes, researchers can enhance the credibility of their work, facilitate access to scholarly resources, and contribute to the integrity of the academic discourse. Embracing DOI as a standard citation practice not only benefits individual scholars but also advances the collective pursuit of knowledge in academia.

Leave a Reply