What is 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 its location on the Internet. The publisher assigns a DOI when your article is published and made available electronically.

All DOI numbers begin with a 10 and contain a prefix and a suffix separated by a slash. The prefix is a unique number of four or more digits assigned to organizations; the suffix is assigned by the publisher and was designed to be flexible with publisher identification standards.

We recommend that when DOIs are available, you include them for both print and electronic sources. The DOI is typically located on the first page of the electronic journal article, near the copyright notice. The DOI can also be found on the database landing page for the article.

How do I find a DOI?

The first place to look for a DOI is the article itself. Many publishers will include the DOI somewhere on the first page of the article. Here are a few examples:


Screenshot of a DOI in an article header.

Click here to see this image in context.



Screenshot of a DOI appearing in the footer of an article.

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The second place to look for a DOI is the Crossref website. As the organization that assigns DOIs to research articles, if Crossref doesn't have a DOI for an article, you can safely assume that the article doesn't have one. 

Here is how you can search Crossref's website to see if an article has a DOI:

1. Go to the Crossref.org website.

2. Click on the Search Metadata tab above the search box.


3. Enter the title of the article in the Title, Author, DOI, etc search box. For example:

"Subjective well-being in times of social change: Congruence of control strategies and perceived control"

Note: Putting the title in quotation marks tells the site to search for that exact title and can increase the accuracy of your search.


4. Press the Enter key to run your search.

5. Look through the list of results for your article. The DOI will be listed at the bottom of the entry. For this example it is: