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A digital object identifier (DOI) is an increasingly prominent persistent identifier in finding and accessing scholarly information. This paper intends to present an overview of global development and approaches in the field of DOI and DOI services with a slight geographical focus on Germany. At first, the initiation and components of the DOI system and the structure of a DOI name are explored. Next, the fundamental and specific characteristics of DOIs are described and DOIs for three (3) kinds of typical intellectual entities in the scholar communication are dealt with; then, a general DOI service pyramid is sketched with brief descriptions of functions of institutions at different levels. After that, approaches of the research data librarianship community in the field of RDM, especially DOI services, are elaborated. As examples, the DOI services provided in German research libraries as well as best practices of DOI services in a German library are introduced; and finally, the current practices and some issues dealing with DOIs are summarized. It is foreseeable that DOI, which is crucial to FAIR research data, will gain extensive recognition in the scientific world.


Digital Object Identifier (DOI), Persistent Identifier (PID), research data management (RDM), research data librarianship, Open Researcher and Contributor Identifier (ORCID)

Corresponding Author

Dr. Jia Liu, University and City Library of Cologne, Universitaetsstrasse 33, 50931 Cologne, Germany; liu@ub.uni-koeln.de

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© 2021 Liu. This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.