DOIs (Digital Object Identifiers) are essential to ensuring that research and scholarly materials are FAIR: Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable, in line with the FAIR principles. Any organization that is a member of a DOI registration agency such as DataCite or Crossref can assign DOIs to materials that the organization is responsible for, which typically includes any works that are deposited into an institutional repository and/or other resources created by researchers that are affiliated with the organization. 

While it is crucial for organization staff to understand what DOIs are, how DOIs work, and DOI creation best practices, it is equally important for researchers to have at least a basic understanding of DOIs. The more researchers use DOIs (by having DOIs assigned to their own work and/or using DOIs in their citations), the more works across the research and scholarly landscape will be FAIR and connected.

The LYRASIS DataCite US Community has created a “DOIs 101 for Researchers” one-pager template that can be re-used and/or adapted by organizations looking to educate their researchers about DOIs. The one-pager includes basic information about what a DOI is, why researchers should care, how they should use DOIs, and how they can get DOIs for their own works. Additionally, ORCID (Open Researcher and Contributor Identifier) is mentioned as another persistent identifier that researchers should be aware of and use as much as possible in connection with DOIs.

In addition to the general information contained in the template there may be other information that your researchers need to know about DOIs specific to your organization, such as who to contact to get a DOI for their work. The template can be adapted to include this kind of organization-specific information.

Tips for educating researchers about DOIs:

    • Include information about DOIs (such as the information from the template) and organization-specific details on a web-page or guide (such as a LibGuide)
    • Include information about DOIs in online materials and/or during workshops, presentations, and general discussion about related topics, such as:
  • Sharing and citing research data
  • Metadata about research
  • Institutional repository services
  • Research Impact Challenge (RIC)
  • Open scholarly infrastructure
  • Scholarly identity
  • Working with specific publishers or journals
  • Working with specific funders

Organization staff can learn more about the basics of DOIs through the following resources:

If you would like to contribute example materials to this blog post, or if you have any questions, please contact