DOI icon Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs)

A DOI (Digital Object Identifier) is a unique, alphanumeric ID that irrefutably represents a publication (dataset, digital object, etc.), and as such it creates an actionable, interoperable, and persistent link to the work. We recommend that you request a DOI for all data and publications. DOIs can be assigned by most repositories. IUScholarWorks provides DOIs free of charge for all material deposited in our repository.

Do you need a DOI?

Does your data already have a DOI? A new DOI is not necessary unless the work has changed significantly.

  • Many repositories will provide DOIs free of charge.
  • Any submission to IUScholarWorks will be assigned a DOI upon request.
  • Open repositories, such as figshare and Zenodo, also assign DOIs to submitted material.

Any work or resource can be assigned a DOI if it satisfies the following requirements:

  • It is intended to become part of the scholarly record
  • The format can become persistently available
  • The item has these six mandatory metadata elements:
    • URL (a web location)
    • Title
    • Creators/Authors
    • Publisher
    • Publication year
    • Resource type

Anatomy of a DOI

A DOI has three separate parts:

DOI diagram  

A recent data DOI minted by IUScholarWorks ( illustrates one of our unique prefix "shoulders" (10.5967/K8) and a randomly generated alphanumeric string that is unique to this object. Additionally, we now follow new recommendations for the display format of DOIs.

Why DOIs?

  1. The resolver section enables web location;
  2. Prefix identifies the source for or entity that issued the DOI;
  3. Suffix contains the unique alphanumeric that is distinct from all others.
    • Like a web address (URL), DOIs enable research output to be discoverable and accessible. Online publishing and digital archiving have made them almost a necessity for scholarship, and DOIs have become the de facto standard for researchers.
    • DOIs are a species of Unique Resource Identifiers (URI), which include URLs and other ways of identifying objects on the internet, but the persistence and integrity of DOIs are guaranteed because they do not rely alone on URLs and the web’s DNS (Domain Name System) servers for resolution. Read more about the Handle System that underlies the global DOI network.
    • DOIs uniquely identify a resource as well as provide a way of locating the resource.