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DOI FAQ

How to find an article when you only have a DOI

A Digital Object Identifier (DOI) is a unique identifier for a journal article. Like a person's social security number uniqely identifies one and only one person, a DOI uniquely identifies one and only one journal article. The advantage of searching for a journal article using its DOI is that you can rest assured that you are getting the right version of a journal article. Sometimes, there can be different versions of the same article, so using a DOI ensures that you get the right version. Every journal article has a different DOI. However, some journal articles do not have a DOI at all.

The best way is to enter the DOI into the Google search box


A DOI can look many different ways. Here are some examples of how a DOI can look:

  1. 10.1108/07419050810946169
  2. 10.1001/jama.297.13.1412
  3. 10.1016/j.apnr.2006.08.008

Some precautions

  • The DOI can be very long. Make sure that you do not mistype the DOI.
  • The DOI can include numbers, letters, and punctuation. Make sure that you include all the punctuation.
  • Do not confuse DOI with other kinds of IDs like PMID (PubMed ID) or PMCID (PubMed Central ID) or other. Publishers and databases often assign their own IDs in addition to the DOI.
  • You must enter the entire DOI. Do not expect to be able to enter part of the DOI and then navigate your way to the right article. It does not work that way. You must have the entire DOI or it will not work.

More information on DOI

For more information on DOI go to the DOI System FAQ Webpage.

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