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Use of ISSN for DOI identifiers

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It is strongly recommended that publishers use the ISSN number as part of the title-level DOI they use to offer a persistent and resolvable link to their journal.

A DOI is the identifier of an entity—physical, digital or abstract. Its syntax is defined by ISO 26324:2012 Information and documentation – Digital Object Identifier System (DOI). It is composed of a prefix and suffix:

  • the DOI prefix is assigned to an organization by a DOI Registration Agency;
  • the suffix for a DOI is created by the organization depositing the DOI for a content item in the DOI system.

Among official DOI registration agencies, CrossRef specializes in scholarly and professional publications and it assigns DOI prefixes to publishers. The latter can thus identify articles or book chapters with DOIs. They are also strongly encouraged to create DOIs for journal titles.

The ISSN Standard, ISO 3297:2007, provides internationally accepted recommendations to use ISSN as suffix for title-level DOIs: “To construct a DOI suffix using an ISSN, precede the ISSN (including the hyphen) with the lowercase letters “issn” and a period”.

PIE-J: The Presentation & Identification of E-Journals, a NISO recommended practice (NISO RP-16-2013), provides the following example:

Title : Učenye zapiski universiteta imeni P.F. Lesgafta

ISSN :   1994-4683

Title-level DOI:   http://dx.doi.org/10.5930/issn.1994-4683

Publishers are also encouraged to follow DOI best practices defined by Crossref, notably:

  • A distinct DOI should be created for each version of a title deposited with CrossRef. Any title changes requiring a new ISSN should result in a new title-level DOI as well in order to ensure consistency between CrossRef and ISSN Registries.
  • A title-level DOI should resolve to a response page that displays the same title and ISSN recorded in the ISSN Registry and in CrossRef database.
  • Once assigned, a title-level DOI should be maintained.
  • Responsibility for maintaining a title-level DOI transfers to the new owner when title ownership is transferred.