13 posts categorized "Digital Object Identifier (DOI)"

September 21, 2009

A DOI Primer

Chelsea blog

by Chelsea Lee

As Anne noted last Thursday, this week we'll be featuring a series of posts on DOIs and URLs. Today's post is an introduction to DOIs.

What is a DOI?

A DOI, or digital object identifier, is like a social security number for a document online. It’s a unique and permanent identifier that will take you straight to a document no matter where it’s located on the Internet. You can read more about DOIs on pp. 188–192 of the 6th edition of the Publication Manual as well as in our FAQ on DOIs. They figure prominently in the 6th edition reference citation style.

How do I get from a DOI to an article?

You can Google a DOI to find an article, although you may still have to sift through search results. To go straight to the source, you can also consult a DOI resolver, such as the one supplied by CrossRef.org. Copy and paste the alphanumeric DOI string (e.g., 10.1037/a0015859) into the DOI resolver and click submit. Or, you can append the DOI string to http://dx.doi.org/ (as in http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0015859) and copy that straight into your browser’s address bar.

When do I include DOIs in my references?

If your reference has a DOI, include that DOI.

How do I find DOIs?

In best publishing practices, the DOI should be listed prominently on the first page of an article, whether in print or online. If you’re working online, copy and paste it into your reference list, to avoid transcription errors. Do not alter the alphanumeric DOI string in any way.

To search for DOIs, use CrossRef. The free DOI lookup searches for DOIs using information such as article title, authors, and publisher information. Or cut and paste your entire reference list into the Simple Text Query form and CrossRef will return all available DOIs at once.

What do I do about DOIs if I read something in print?

If you do not find DOIs for the printed materials that you read, then you do not have to include anything further. You’re done! (Note that many books that exist only in print form are not likely to have DOIs at this time.) When you’ve read something in print form and no DOI exists, simply follow the reference format for print materials.

What's next?

Check back to the blog tomorrow, when I will be sharing a flowchart I have created that explains when to include DOIs or URLs in references, including references retrieved from a subscription database.

September 17, 2009

DOIs and URLs: Special Focus Next Week

AnneG The sixth edition of the Publication Manual and its ancillary books have now been off press for several months. One of our goals in the revision of the manual was to simplify reference style; for example, retrieval dates are no longer required for most sources, and digital object identifiers (DOIs), when available, replace uniform resource locators (URLs) as persistent and reliable links to locate sources. However, the latter recommendation has led readers to pose several complex and challenging questions about the use of DOIs and URLs in electronic references that warrant further discussion and clarification.

We are at a crossroads in the publishing industry. Evolving web-based technological innovations have led to varying recommendations from publishers on which elements to include in an online reference citation. For example, according to the 15th edition of the  Chicago Manual of Style, an online reference with a DOI includes both DOI and URL:

James W. Friedman and Claudio Mezzetti, “Learning in Games by Random 
Sampling," Journal of Economic Theory 98, no. 1 (May 2001),
doi:10.1006/jeth.2000.2694, http://www.idealibrary.com/links/doi

The citation to a web document according to the seventh edition of the  MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers should include a URL only “when the reader probably cannot locate the source without it or when your instructor requires it.” The reference with a URL looks like this:

Eaves, Morris, Robert Essick, and Joseph Viscomi, eds. The William 
Blake Archive
. Lib. of Cong., 28 Sept. 2007. Web. 20 Nov. 2007.

Another variation can be found in the second edition of the Columbia Guide to Online Publishing, which requires information on CrossRef as the source for the DOI, another format for the DOI, and an exact retrieval date:

International Human Genome Sequencing Consortium. “Initial 
Sequencing and Analysis of the Human Genome.” Nature:
International Weekly Journal of Science
409 (2001): 860–921.
Crossref.org. http://crossref.org (Links: For Researchers
/DOI Resolver/). DOI:10.1038/35057062 (25 Aug 2006).

With retrievability the shared goal, these three manuals demonstrate three different methods for citing online resources. So, when and how do we include DOIs and URLs in APA Style references? Next week, we will have several blog posts that focus on these important and evolving topics in an effort to clarify the rules. Please join us!

September 15, 2009

How Do I Cite a Kindle?

Chelsea blogby Chelsea Lee

E-book readers, like the popular Kindle from Amazon.com, are revolutionizing the way we interact with the printed page. Although most e-book content has leaned toward the nonscholarly, major textbook manufacturers are now partnering with Amazon to produce e-textbooks, with a pilot program to be run at six universities in Fall 2009. They have recently debuted the Kindle DX ($489 retail), which in comparison to the original Kindle boasts a bigger screen (9.7” vs. 6” diagonally) and native support for PDFs, both key to good textbook reproduction.

For the students and scholars who use Kindles (or other e-book readers) when writing papers, the next question becomes, how do I cite material I read on a Kindle?

For the reference list entry, you’ll need to include the type of e-book version you read (two examples are the Kindle DX version and the Adobe Digital Editions version). In lieu of publisher information, include the book’s DOI or where you downloaded the e-book from (if there is no DOI). For example:

Gladwell, M. (2008). Outliers: The story of success [Kindle DX version]. 
 Retrieved from Amazon.com

Brill, P. (2004). The winner’s way [Adobe Digital Editions version]. 

Consult Chapter 7 of the 6th ed. of the Publication Manual (examples 19, 20, and 21) for some more help. If the full URL is very long (the one for Gladwell's book was), you may give instead the homepage URL with a description of where to go from there, or the store name—your preference (e.g., Amazon Kindle store or http://www.amazon.com).

In the text, however, citation can get confusing because e-books often lack page numbers (though PDF versions may have them). Kindle books have “location numbers,” which are static, but those are useless to anyone who doesn’t have a Kindle too. To cite in text, either (a) paraphrase, thus avoiding the problem (e.g., "Gladwell, 2008"), or (b) utilize APA’s guidelines for direct quotations of online material without pagination (see Section 6.05 of the manual). Name the major sections (chapter, section, and paragraph number; abbreviate if titles are long), like you would do if you were citing the Bible or Shakespeare.

Gladwell’s book has numbered chapters, and he’s numbered the sections in the chapters. An example direct quotation might be this: 

One of the author’s main points is that “people don’t rise from nothing” 
(Gladwell, 2008, Chapter 1, Section 2, para. 5).

And that’s how you cite material from a Kindle or e-book reader. Have you tried this out yet?

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