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Electronic Publishing

DOI Assignment

What is DOI?

DOI stands for Digital Object Identifier. It is a unique and permanent identifier of a digital object accessible via digital networks (e.g. a scientific article on the web). Just as an ISBN uniquely identifies printed books on a global scale, the DOI uniquely identifies digital objects on the global Internet. Once assigned, a DOI is persistent; even if a digital object moves to a new location on the Web or the owner of a digital object changes, its DOI remains the same.

What can DOI be used for?

In principle, DOI can be used to identify any type of objects that have their representation in digital form available on the Internet (articles, books, e-learning publications, pictures, tables, data, people, things,…). DOI is currently most often used for journal articles. It allows you to uniquely identify an article globally (as opposed to ambiguously written bibliographic citations), find its current location on the Web (as opposed to a URL that often ceases to be valid over time, and returns a “web page not found” error) and other useful services.

What does DOI look like?

The DOI has the following form doi10.7441/xyz123456 and consists of two parts:

  • prefix (10.7441) is a number that uniquely identifies the institution that provided the digital object with a DOI number (e.g. publisher Elsevier or TBU). Prefixes are assigned to institutions by the so-called registration agency (e.g. CrossRef, see below).
  • suffix (xyz123456) is any string of characters that uniquely identifies a digital object within a given institution. Suffixes are assigned by the institution itself, according to its internal rules, so that two different digital objects cannot receive the same DOI and, at the same time, no digital object is assigned more than one DOI.

TBU prefix is 10.7441.
The suffix format at TBU is an abbreviation of the journal, volume, volume and edition, all separated by a period. Example (Journal of Competitiveness):

How to get DOI?

The TBU Library was authorized to coordinate the DOI allocation system at TBU. The Crossref registration agency always communicates with the institution as a whole, even though the allocation of DOI is carried out on several components. So far, DOI identifiers are mostly used within TBU for articles from the journals Journal of Competitiveness (FAME) and Social Education (FHS). If you are interested in systematically assigning DOI to documents published on your faculties or departments, please contact us at

DOI identifier and OBD

The DOI identifies the result and is entered into the OBD (Personal Bibliographic Database) system at TBU, if the data exists and is known. The number must start with a value of 10 (without quotes).

DOI should be filled in for the type of result: J (peer-reviewed academic article), B (academic book), C (chapter in an academic book), D (article in proceedings). The DOI that identifies the result is reported if the data exists and is known. You cannot use the DOI of a whole publication if the result is only a part of it or the DOI of some subsections of the result. DOI is specified without spaces in a format beginning with 10.XXXX (without the prefix “DOI:” and without the URL of the link…). The DOI can have the following forms, for example: 10.1038/issn.1476-4687, 10.1000/123456 or 10.97812345/99990 etc.


  • For type = J: DOI of the article
  • For type = B: DOI of the book
  • For type = C: DOI of the chapter in the book
  • For type = D: DOI of the article in proceedings

How does DOI work?

The publisher (or owner of a digital object) assigns a DOI to the relevant digital object and inserts into the registration agency’s database (CrossRef, see below) DOI metadata about the digital object, which contains, among other things, URLs referring to the current location of the digital object on the web. If a digital object is moved to another location, its owner is obliged to update the URL of the digital object in the registration agency’s database. The registration agency ensures the so-called routing of DOI identifiers: ie after receiving the DOI identifier, the user will find a web page (response page) that contains the full text of the digital object or (if the full text is not freely available) its bibliographic citation and information on how to get the full text.

Who is behind the DOI and guarantees its operation / development?

DOI is an open system originally created at the instigation of the American Publishers Association. Currently, the International Association IDF (International DOI Foundation) look after the development of DOI – it operates the basic infrastructure and licenses registration agencies for the deployment of DOI in various application areas (eg CrossRef). The DOI system is an international ISO standard.

What is CrossRef?

CrossRef is a non-profit international registration agency providing organizational and technical infrastructure for the use of DOI in the field of academic literature. Its basic goal is to enable global unambiguous identification and interconnection of academic documents on the Internet (articles in journals, books, proceedings, university dissertations, primary scientific data, etc.). Thanks to DOI and CrossRef, for example, references in scientific articles can be reliably linked to the relevant full digital texts of the referenced sources. By clicking on the DOI, the user can get directly to the full text of the source, wherever it is located on the web.

What are the responsibilities of CrossRef members when allocating DOI?

An institution that publishes primarily academic literature that is available online in digital form can become a member of CrossRef. When assigning DOI numbers to digital objects (eg journal articles), the institution has the following obligations:

  • inbound linking: assign DOI to the articles; state the assigned DOI number in the printed and digital version of the article (on the title page and possibly also in the header / footer of each page); insert article metadata in the required format into the CrossRef database;
  • outbound linking: for each item in the reference list of the article, search the CrossRef database to see if its DOI exists – and if so, list it as part of the reference;
  • address possible collisions and duplications of assigned DOIs;
  • continuously update the metadata of articles in the CrossRef database, especially the URL of articles (when moving the digital version of articles to a new location);
  • Besides the articles, the DOI can also be assigned, for example, to issues or volumes of journals; it is also possible to use the DOI to identify, for example, tables or pictures in an article (i.e. sub-components of an article).

CrossRef provides its members with a number of tools to support these activities (see Creating a system for DOI allocation and inbound / outbound linking within a specific editorial and publishing workflow is already a task for the institution itself.

Do I always get the full text of a digital object (article) via DOI?

DOI can only be assigned to those objects (articles) whose full text exists online. However, this does not mean that this full text must always be available to every user. It is left purely to the decision of the owner of the relevant digital object whether to make its full text freely available to anyone or only to authorized users (eg on the basis of payment for access) – the DOI no longer solves this. During the so-called DOI routing (action when the user enters the DOI identifier to his network service – eg web browser, and receives the appropriate digital object in response) the user is shown the result in the form of a response page, which can be either the full text of the digital object (if accessible to the user) or a bibliographic citation of the relevant object and information on how and under what conditions the user can obtain the full text

Is the DOI system free of charge?

One of the basic goals of the IDF is to provide a permanently functioning DOI system. As they want the DOI system not to be dependent on subsidies or the activities of free enthusiasts, the system is designed to be able to permanently finance itself (and thus provide resources for continuous system development and operation of its organizational and technical infrastructure). The DOI / CrossRef financial model is set up so that publishers of scientific literature pay a one-time annual fee for membership in CrossRef and also pay a small amount for each DOI assigned to them (see Price for assigned DOI). Further use of the DOI system is free of charge for users.

What is the price for the assigned DOI?

CrossRef members currently pay the following DOI fees:

  • $ 1 for each DOI allocated to current articles, ie articles for the last two years,
  • $ 0.15 per DOI allocated to older articles.

The current price list is available at

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