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What is a DOI?

A DOI (Digital Object Identifier) is an alphanumerical code that permanently links to an item that is located online, like an online journal, web article, news report, or ebook. Links to digital items can move elsewhere or go missing from various sources. A DOI, on the other hand, will always link to the item it specifies.

I have a DOI.  How do I find the item?

  • Enter the DOI into the ID search box, and hit the "Findit@MU" button.
  • The item will display If MU has access to the full text online.
  • If MU does not have access to the full-text online, you'll see a page with a detailed record of your article.  You can click on Request a copy to obtain a PDF.

How do I cite using DOIs?

DOIs are becoming important as a form of citation in some reference styles, especially APA (American Psychological Association). Be sure to check whether your work requires a DOI for your citations! 

For APA, the DOI goes at the very end of a citation in your Reference List (the last page). Just type "doi:" and then copy the number and place it at the end.

Here's an example:

Laurance, W. (2010). Better governance to save rainforests. Nature, 467(7317), 789. doi:10.1038/467789d

For additional style formats check the Citation Guide.

How do I find a DOI?

On the physical item:

  • A DOI is normally at the top right corner of the first page of an article.
  • If it is not located there, it is usually found elsewhere on the first page, on the cover sheet or abstract page, or the bottom of the item if it is in PDF form.
  • Look for the word "doi" followed by a sequence of numbers and letters.

Not all items have DOIs. 

  • The DOI system began in 2000. 
  • Not all publishers are willing to pay to have DOIs assigned to their publications.