Wikipedia:Digital Object Identifier

A Digital Object Identifier (DOI) is a unique identifier to a published work, similar in concept to an ISBN. Wikipedia supports the use of DOI to link to published content. Where a journal source has a DOI, it is good practice to use it, in the same way as it is good practice to use ISBN references for book sources.

How to use DOIs in contentEdit

There are several ways to cite a reference via DOI. In general, you should avoid entering explicit URLs to the website. By using one of the following methods, the actual links are centrally managed and can be adjusted if the external website alters the way the URLs must be formatted.

Wikipedia "doi:" interwiki links

A wiki-formatted link, for example:


Is handled and displayed as:


A DOI is not case-sensitive.

The {{doi}} template

This is an alternative way to generate a link to the article.




It generates an external URL link rather than a wikilink. In addition, the "doi:" string is displayed as a separate link (to the Digital object identifier page) rather than being part of the reference link itself. This template is also used internally in the various {{cite}} templates.

CitationBot via the {{cite doi}} template (DEPRECATED)

This method no longer works; do not use it. It used to automatically look up and fill out many details of the bibliography entry and format it as a proper citation rather than just a bare link to the article itself.

{{cite doi|10.1016/j.iheduc.2008.03.001}}

is parsed and processed to give:

{{cite journal | doi = 10.1016/j.iheduc.2008.03.001 | title = Web 2.0 authorship: Issues of referencing and citation for academic integrity | year = 2008 | author = Gray, K | journal = The Internet and Higher Education | volume = 11 | pages = 112}}

which is presented as:

Gray, K (2008). "Web 2.0 authorship: Issues of referencing and citation for academic integrity". The Internet and Higher Education. 11: 112. doi:10.1016/j.iheduc.2008.03.001.

Note that these Wikipedia guidelines do not conform to revised DOI display guidelines issued by CrossRef, which recommend displaying DOIs in URL format, for example,[1]

Why use DOI?Edit

This approach avoids a number of common issues with citations in Wikipedia:

  • Broken links as publishers or web server move or reorganise content (error 404).
  • Copy-paste errors in citation text.
  • Copyright violation, accidental or deliberate; the DOI citation goes to a source identified as appropriate by the rights owner.
  • Verifiability enhancements; the DOI will always lead to the correct source, so modifications of abstracts or even content is avoided.
  • Preferential treatment. DOI links, like our ISBN book sources, will offer the user a choice of sources where one exists.
  • Academic users may receive a local full-text source

When to not use DOIEdit

DOI should most likely not be used when:

  • It is not directed to the purported article
  • When an open access page of an article is available but the DOI links to a page with a paywall. In such cases, it is better to use URL of the open access page, and include as much metadata (title, authors, publisher) as possible to locate the article in case the URL will become defunct.


  1. ^ "CrossRef DOI Display Guidlines". CrossRef website. CrossRef. Retrieved January 3, 2021.

External linksEdit