Obtaining DOIs

A Digital Object Identifier (DOI) is a persistent serial number identifying a specific digital object, such as a research paper, monograph or dataset. Objects assigned a DOI are guaranteed to be accessible on the web for the foreseeable future, and can always be found using the DOI, even if they move to a different website (when a journal moves to a new publisher, for example).

What can I do with a DOI?

Every DOI has some basic information attached to it, including a title, date and author list. If you have a DOI you can:

  • Quickly add the object to your myPublications record
  • Quickly import the object into a reference management database
  • Use an online tool to format a citation for a given DOI
  • Link to the object in a press release or online and use Altmetric to see how much media attention it gets

How can I get a DOI?

Only objects intended to be cited in a publication and remain available for the long term can be assigned a DOI. Each such object must be held in a robust long-term storage location with a publicly-accessible web page describing it.

  • If you are publishing a research paper, your publisher should assign a DOI to the paper as part of their publication process.
  • For datasets, research software code and related material, you can obtain a DOI by depositing in ORDA, or one of a number of other discipline specific and general-purpose research data repositories.
  • If your digital object is not suitable for deposit in ORDA, please contact us at rdm@sheffield.ac.uk for advice.

The University Library has a contract with the DataCite consortium, through the British Library, to enable us to allocate DOIs. If you are building or running a data archive (within a department or institute, for example) and would like to add a DOI-allocating capability to your system, please contact us at rdm@sheffield.ac.uk.

For further information, please contact rdm@sheffield.ac.uk