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What is a DOI?
A DOI is a unique and permanent string of alpha-numeric characters that identify specific digital content, such as articles. DOIs are created and maintained by the International DOI Foundation
DOIs are assigned when a source is published electronically, therefore some older sources may not have DOIs
DOIs can be assigned to articles, books, abstracts, conference papers, etc. (since publishers or content owners have to pay to register items, many scholarly articles may lack DOIs)
What does a DOI look like?
All DOI's begin with the number 10 and contain a prefix and suffix separated by a slash. The prefix is a unique number assigned to a journal; the suffix is a unique number identifying the article.
For example the DOI prefix for Reading Teacher
is 10.1002, and for the following article the unique full DOI is DOI: 10.1002/TRTR.01018
Cahill, M. A., & Gregory, A. E. (2011). Putting the Fun Back into Fluency Instruction. Reading Teacher, 65(2), 127–131. https://doi.org/10.1002/TRTR.01018
Crossref - free DOI lookup
(NOTE: not all articles have a DOI)
Crossref is a registration agency for the International DOI Foundation
Citing in APA
A DOI should be used in place of a URL. Unlike a URL, a DOI is static; once assigned, it cannot be changed (URL's can change if a website is moved or edited).
If no DOI is assigned, the journal home page URL can be included