DOI Finds Open Access Research

One of the best things to come out of Open Access Week was the oaDOI tool by Impactstory.

If you are unfamiliar with the DOI (Digital Object Identifier) system, it provides a unique identifier for published works, one that operates as a persistent link to those works. Using this identifier, researchers can search for the work in question using just the DOI by adding “doi.org/” to the front of it.

While the DOI system is great, when you search for a research article using its DOI, you typically are pointed to the publisher’s’ version of the object in question. In the case of academic research, this version is often inaccessible unless the researcher wants to pay for it (or has access through a university library or other institution). But, given the proliferation of open access repositories, many papers are now available for free in some form, but in a different location. As the oaDOI developers explain the situation, if we are “given the DOI of a paper, how can we find the open version, given there are so many different repositories?”

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