Cathy Aranda
Cathy Aranda

Using DOI in Citations - Everything You Should Know

5 min read

Published on: Jun 18, 2024

Last updated on: Jun 21, 2024

DOI

If you are a researcher or a student working on a research project, you may likely have come across DOIs while citing. 

But have you ever thought about what it stands for and why it is important? Do you know how to cite it correctly in your references? 

If you answered no to any of these questions, don’t worry. Many students and researchers are confused by the concept and usage of DOIs in citations. 

In this blog post, we will explain:

  • What is a DOI 
  • How to find it
  • How it differs from a URL
  • How to cite it in different citation styles 

Let’s not keep you waiting any further and dive right in!

What is DOI Number?

A DOI (Digital Object Identifier) is a unique identifier of any object, such as a journal article, or a dataset. It is often used in academic citations to provide a reliable and permanent link to the source.

A DOI number is a string of letters and numbers that is assigned by a registration agency to identify an object and its metadata. A DOI number consists of a prefix and a suffix separated by a forward slash.

Here is an example of what it should look like:

https://doi.org/10.1234/1234567890123456.

How to Find a DOI Number?

The DOI number of an object is usually provided by the publisher or the creator of the object. You can find it on the first page of a journal article, the copyright page of a book, the landing page of a dataset, or the metadata record of the object.

Here is an example of how to find a DOI number:

DOI Example

Is a DOI the Same as a URL?

A DOI is not the same as a URL (Uniform Resource Locator). The following table shows a clearer distinction between DOI and URL:


DOI

URL

Full Form

Digital Object Identifier

Uniform Resource Locator

Purpose

Unique and persistent identifier for digital objects

Web address locating an object on the internet

Resolvability

Can be redirected to a URL for access

Directly specifies the location of the resource on the internet

Stability

Designed to be stable and long-lasting

May change over time, and the content may be modified

Update

Can be updated to reflect changes in the URL

May require updating if the object's location changes

Citing Journal Article with DOI in Different Citation Styles

Different citation styles have different rules for formatting and citing DOIs in references. Here are some examples of how to cite a journal article with a DOI in three common citation styles: APA, MLA, and Chicago.

Citing DOI in APA

In APA style, DOIs are included at the end of the reference entry. 

For Example:

Smith, J. (2022). The Marvels of Dark Chocolate. Journal of Chocolate Wonders, 7(3). 45-56. https://doi.org/10.1234/123456789456.

Citing DOI in MLA

In MLA style, DOIs are included after the publication information in the Works Cited entry. 

For Example:

Doe, Jane. “The Cultural Significance of Chocolate.” Cultural Studies, vol. 10, no. 2, 2022, pp. 67-89. JOCR, doi:10.1111/1234-5678.00001. Accessed July 17 2023

Citing DOI in Chicago

In Chicago style, DOIs are included after the publication information in the bibliography entry.

For Example:

Smith, John. “A Brief History of Dark Chocolate.” Theory of Chocolate, vol. 6, no. 2, Aug. 2022, pp. 121–148. https://doi.org/10.1234/1234567890123456.

Final Thoughts!

A DOI is often used in academic citations to provide a reliable and permanent link to the source. 

To find a DOI, you can look for it on the object itself, on the publisher’s website, or a search engine. To cite a DOI, you need to follow the rules of the citation style you are using. DOIs are formatted as URLs with ‘https://doi.org/’ preceding the DOI.

We hope this blog post has helped you understand and cite DOIs in different citation styles.

Expert Tip

Explore more citation terms to ensure you can create and write references effortlessly without making errors. 

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If you are looking for an easy and accurate way to create citations for your academic papers, look no further than PerfectEssayWriter.ai’s citation machine. 

Our citation machine can help you generate citations in various styles, such as APA, MLA, Chicago, and more, with just a few clicks. 

All you need to do is enter the source information, such as the title, author, DOI, or URL, and our citation machine will do the rest.

So what are you waiting for? Try it today for free!

What if a journal article doesn’t have a DOI?

Some articles may not have DOIs, especially if the article is old. However, as most citation guidelines recommend providing as much information as possible, you can use a direct URL.

Can books have a DOI?

Yes, books can have DOIs. The assigned DOIs include various digital objects, including books, providing a unique and persistent identifier for the specific book. This helps in accurate citation and long-term accessibility for future uses.

Is an ISBN the same as a DOI?

No, an ISBN (International Standard Book Number) and a DOI (Digital Object Identifier) are different. An ISBN is a unique identifier for books, while a DOI is a broader identifier for various digital objects, including books, articles, and datasets. 

Cathy Aranda

WRITTEN BY

Cathy Aranda (Mass communication)

Cathy is a highly dedicated author who has been writing for the platform for over five years. With a Master's degree in Mass Communication, she is well-versed in various forms of writing such as articles, press releases, blog posts, and whitepapers. As an essay writing guide author at PerfectEssayWriter.ai, she has been helping students and professionals improve their writing skills by offering practical tips on research, citation, sentence structure, and style.

Cathy is a highly dedicated author who has been writing for the platform for over five years. With a Master's degree in Mass Communication, she is well-versed in various forms of writing such as articles, press releases, blog posts, and whitepapers. As an essay writing guide author at PerfectEssayWriter.ai, she has been helping students and professionals improve their writing skills by offering practical tips on research, citation, sentence structure, and style.

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