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SOC 352 (Poly campus)

A guide to recommended sources and strategies to find articles for you research assignments

What is a DOI and where do I find it?

This little video from the American Psychological Association, which is really only about two minutes long, will clearly explain what a DOI is and where you can find it in three different places. When it starts the part about finding it in PsycInfo you can skip to the 2:38 mark where it demonstrates the ProQuest platform that we use.

Best places to look

Almost all journal articles now have DOIs, but that wasn't always the case. Now it is common practice for the DOI to be clearly printed on the first page of the journal article. But what if it's not? The fact that a DOI does not appear on the article itself does not necessarily mean that it doesn't have one. It may be that the publisher has gone back and retroactively assigned DOIs to all of their older issues. What is the best way to start your search? The answer really is "whatever works best for you!" But here are the best possibilities for you to check:

  • Check the PDF of the article itself and see if the DOI appears on the front page of the article.
  • Look up the article in in our databases. Once you find the record, click "abstract/details". Scroll down and you'll see the DOI field toward the bottom of the record. (This is shown in the video.)
  • Go to Put the title of the article in the metadata search box. The DOI will show on the results page.(This is also demonstrated in the video.)
  • Look at the publisher's website for that journal and look for the article or abstract. If they have retroactively assigned a DOI it should be included on the page for that particular article.


But what if I just don't find it?

There are still some journals that do not assign DOIs. For example, there is a highly cited journal called "Alcohol Research: Current Reviews" that does not use them. And there are also publishers that have not gone back and retroactively assigned DOIs to their older issues. If you are unsure whether or not you may have missed something, remember that you can always use our Ask a Librarian chat service or contact me.

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