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CrossRef revises DOI display guidelines

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CrossRef, the association of scholarly publishers that provides reference linking, has announced an update to its Digital Object Identifier (DOI) online display guidelines.

The new guidelines encourage CrossRef member publishers, affiliates, and others in the scholarly community to display CrossRef DOIs as full URLs in the online environment. (A CrossRef DOI is a persistent link to scholarly content.) To create a DOI URL, anyone can simply prepend http://dx.doi.org/ to any DOI.

‘The new format will make it easier for researchers to know what to do with a CrossRef DOI wherever they encounter it,’ said Ed Pentz, executive director of CrossRef. ‘Whether or not they know what CrossRef is, or what a DOI is, they will be able to simply click on the link.’

This change will allow users to copy permanent CrossRef DOI links from HTML pages to emails, blogs, reference management software and other applications. In addition, mobile device users will be able to take advantage of the citation linking system already in place for scholarly publications on the web, according to CrossRef.

The guidelines supersede the previous practice of displaying "doi:" in front of CrossRef DOIs. ‘The old format was confusing for users, since it did not automatically become a link in web browsers,’ explained Pentz.

The revised guidelines also include several examples of how CrossRef DOIs should be displayed in reference lists.