DOI and Its Impact on Research Visibility
Research Citation

DOI and Its Impact on Research Visibility

Arpit Sinha

Are you concerned about getting credit for your work? Are you having difficulties keeping track of your research reports?

If you answered yes for any of the above concerns, then getting a DOI (Digital Object Identifier) will certainly go a long way.

DOIs are a number sequence used to identify an online resource and individual articles uniquely. It is purchased through registration agencies such as CrossRef. It provides stable links to journal content: even if an article moves, the DOI will not change. Research shows that journals with DOI also have a more significant average number of citations than journals without DOI, which eventually enhances the visibility.

Reason for choosing a DOI


In the current digital and open environment, there is a discussion about the change in academic principles from "publish or perish" to "get visible or vanish."

A study based on the impact and visibility of Norwegian, Finnish, and Spanish journals in the fields of humanities says that:

"The existence of DOI in the journals has a major bearing on the citations received, and this effect is observed both in the SCOPUS and in WoS databases."

So here are a few reasons why DOI is the pick for you.

Convert your DOI to a semantic HTML5 citation.

  • Lifetime access: Sometimes it may be challenging to keep track of your activities and affiliations. Your DOI will be on your desk throughout your professional career, ensuring that your research work is easily recognized and correctly cited. The DOI for an article remains fixed over the document's lifetime , whereas its location and other metadata may vary.

  • Persistence: The Digital object identifier (DOI) is a persistent identifier used to identify objects with a unique identifier standardized in ISO. Evidence has shown that the majority of web addresses go "dead within a few years of being cited". This phenomenon is called link rot and it tends to clog visibility. A persistent identifier stops this process and prevent links from rotting. You can also archive and retrieve cited Internet references with WebCite.

  • Reliable: A DOI seeks to become "resolvable," which usually means that it helps to provide access to research the DOI is referring to. This is accomplished by connecting the DOI with metadata with the research paper, like a URL indicating the research’s location. This is why it is both actionable and interoperable and does not limit itself to ISBNs and ISRCs, which are only used to identify their sources uniquely.
  • Quick and easy: As researchers, there are concrete and relatively simple steps you can take to enhance the reach of your work and help measure the impact. Using the digital object identifier (DOI) can more effectively connect evidence consumers with evidence producers.

  • Flexibility: Instances when the URL of a journal article changes, the metadata of the journal allows it to be recorded in its database, such that users will always be directed to the article when they click on a DOI. This applies even if that article has moved to a new website.

Learn how to submit metadata to Crossref.

Different ways to use DOI

Examples of DOI embedded with various identifiers.

DOI Embedding in an object: An HTML file should be embedded with the DOI inside the <META> tag, as in this example:

“<META NAME="DOI" CONTENT="10.1002/12345">”

The DOI can also be associated with other identifying information, such as the author or title, if the object is a text file in an open file format.

Using DOI as a watermark: Watermarks are used to mark a file permanently so its identity can be determined even from a piece of the file. In this case, the DOI will be unique, and it will be possible to retrieve additional information about the object once it is found in the file.

Other usages: DOIs can also be used outside of its system, e.g., in a company's internal inventory. The most common way to do this would be to use a CGI-BIN script.

DOI as a visibility factor

  • As an academic researcher, you can utilize DOIs to market your work and link readers to your papers' full-text contents and other research-related products like datasets.
  • The DOI is embedded in the URL; therefore, linking the URL in the citation is sufficient. Since the internet is constantly changing with time, your research remains accessible, and the connections between your work and the larger corpus of knowledge will remain.
  • DOIs help evaluate the impact by measuring metrics such as numbers of downloads and views. Simply by including the DOI in any reference of your research, whether a tweet, blog post, or journal article, you can help improve the visibility of a high-quality research paper.

Final thoughts

In the end, DOIs can help you provide a complete picture of your work and how everything is linked, like the references section of a Wikipedia page. However, you must be aware that it does not affect search engine indexing or helps in ranking. After all, enhancing research visibility is a joint effort that requires careful planning and execution, from writing to publication.

Before you go,