DOIs and Enhancing the Learner Experience in Higher Education
Our first use of these has been within Enhancing the Learner Experience in Higher Education (ELEHE), the university’s first open journal. Each issue of the journal now has a DOI, as does each article within the issue. For example:
- ELEHE Volume 4, Issue 1; DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.14234/elehe.v4i1
- Stoncel, D and Shelton-Mayes, A. (2012) Students’ views on higher education learning environments for professional teacher education, Enhancing the Learner Experience in Higher Education, 4(1), pp.3-16; DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.14234/elehe.v4i1.45
There are a couple of advantages to having DOIs assigned to articles. In the first instance the DOI helps the reader locate the originally published copy of the work – even if the publisher moves the article (say to a different web address) the DOI system will redirect the reader to the new location. This principle underpins the second advantage: the DOI acts as a unique identifier for the work and so can be used as a shorthand for referencing it. For example, in the forthcoming REF exercise HEFCE have asked for DOIs, where possible, to be supplied instead of full text copies; these will be used by the REF team to access the research outputs directly from the publishers’ websites (HEFCE, 2013).
CrossRef places certain conditions on publishers wishing to assign DOIs to their journal articles. One requirement is that editors should, where available, show DOIs against items within their articles’ reference lists. (Towle and Howe’s article demonstrates how DOIs appear in ELEHE reference lists.) It is easy to imagine how these will build a complex interlocking network of scholarly outputs and form the raw material of future bibliometric tools and services.
Another CrossRef requirement is that publishers should make provision for perpetual access to their journal content. This means that if an online journal ceases publication, past issues should still be accessible to readers. A number of publishers have joined the LOCKSS (Lots Of Copies Keep Stuff Safe) scheme to support this requirement – but that’s a subject for another day.
Going forward, any future publication within the Northampton Open Journals collection will also benefit from the allocation of DOIs. If you would like to know more about creating your own electronic journal then see our information for editors or get in touch with Miggie Pickton.