DOI - The ID Card of any Scientific Publication: 1. History

Image credit: Wikipedia

The Three Letters That Brought Change in the Scientific World

DOI or Digital Object Identifier - can we imagine today's scientific world without it? A simple combination of numbers, letters, and symbols provided the smooth incorporation of scientific publication into the modern world. Today, more than 230 million DOIs have been assigned by more than 5000 authorized agents and the number keeps growing.


How did it all start

Back at the end of the 90s, the amount of content available online was growing rapidly. The obvious and inevitable switch from analog to digital content was requiring a reliable way of identification. Something safe and similar to the barcode.

Image credit: Wikipedia

The URL or the Uniform Resource Locator was already existing, but it had one big problem - it could be changed. And very often, trying to find an object, the user was ending up seeing the so much hated number 404 (The error code for "Object not found").

Three publishing associations - the International Association of Scientific, Technical, and Medical Publishers; the International Publishers Association, and the Association of American Publishers started a joint initiative. They turned to the Corporation for National Research Initiatives for technical partnership.

They created the International DOI Foundation and introduced the new system in 1997 during the Frankfurt Book Fair.

From the very beginning, IDF was created as an administrator and developer of the DOI system. It is based on membership and any organization that is ready to comply with the rules of IDF and pay a membership fee can assign DOIs.

As a basis, DOI started using the Handle System of CNRI and the Vocabulary Mapping Framework. In 2000, DOI had its first application - the Crossref Registration Agency used it for linking citations of electronic articles. In the same year, it was also standardized in NISO and ten years later - in 2010 - it was approved as an ISO system. 

Nowadays, there are more than 5000 entities that assign DOI numbers and more than 150,000 DOI name prefixes exist in the frame of the DOI System.

To be continued...

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Monday, 29 November 2021

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