DOI Service

Thanks to a partnership with the Research & Computing Office, RIT Libraries is able to assign DOIs for the RIT community, through our membership with DataCite, a DOI registration agency. This service will allow for better citation tracking and access to research, particularly for products of non-traditional publishing. 

What is a DOI?

A Digital Object Identifier (DOI) permanently identifies a physical or digital object. Similar to URLs, they point to the online location of the entity. Unlike URLs, DOIs are standardized, unique, persistent identifiers. While the content pointed to by a DOI may be updated, or the URL may change, the DOI itself remains static and will always point users to where the object can be accessed. 

DOIs are made up of three parts: 

  • Resolving Web Address: - this allows the DOI to function as a URL when entered into a browswer. It will take users directly to the work product. 
  • Prefix: the first part of the ID represents the assigning body. It usually begins with "10." and is followed by a string of four alphanumeric characters
  • Suffix: the last part of the ID that represents the assigned object. It is also an alphnumeric string that is unique to a specific objects. 

Sometimes DOIs are displayed with the resolving address, in which they will appear and function as a link ( Sometimes they are displayed as just the prefix and suffix (10.7717/peer.4030). 

DOIs will usually appear at the end of a citation or will be listed with publication information 

What can be assigned a DOI?

Short answer: nearly anything. 

DOIs can be assigned to any work, product, or piece that you want to be able to identify, especially if sharing it or managing it as intellectual property. This includes, but is not limited to: papers, technical reports, datasets, a/v materials, lab notebooks, etc. Physical objects can be assigned DOIs as well, but must have some online representation for the DOI to link to. 

Why would I want a DOI?

DOIs are a way to precisely identify a particular work object. Title and author searches can easily become muddled, particularly if there are multiple versions. This fulfills a similar role to ISBNs, however it can be applied to a wider range of materials, such as datasets, lab notebooks, technical reports, white papers, etc.  A DOI ensures that your work will always findable and distinct from works with similar titles or other works you have authored. This also allows you to better track citation counts, especially when multiple copies of your work (pre-print server, institutional repository, publisher's website) are available online. 

Who can get a DOI and how do I get one?

RIT Libraries is offering this service to the RIT community, including faculty, staff, and students.

To get started, contact:

In order be assigned a DOI by RIT Libraries, your work object:

  • Must not already have a DOI. If this work has been published (such as in a journal), it may have already been assigned a DOI.
  • Must be hosted somewhere online. For physical objects, there should be an online information or landing page for the DOI to point to. 

You will also be asked to provide the following information: Download DOI Information PDF

For more information on DOIs, visit:

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