DOIs: A simple way to find papers

April 9th, 2008

Don't feel like slogging through a database or three to find a particular article? Look at the citation to see if it includes a DOI: digital object identifier. It's a string of numbers and letters that looks like this: 10.1126/science.1136897.

A DOI works a lot like an ISBN does for a book, identifying a precise document online and ensuring that access to it is stable. Just pop it into the DOI resolver at to go straight to the article. Or search for it in Google--nine times out of ten it will get you there in one click.