Home > News > DOI News - November 2005
DOI News
November 2005
DOI News is a public news release. Information contained within
this newsletter may be reproduced and disseminated to all interested parties.
In this issue:
  1. IDF restructures, consolidates number of Registration Agencies
  2. Handle System inventor receives prestigious awards
  3. ALPSP Awards for Publishing Innovation features DOI-based services
  4. Availability and Persistence of Web References
A number of changes have been made by the International DOI Foundation (IDF) following the completion of a strategic review, development of policy on ensuring persistence, adoption of a patents policy, and the recent registration of its 20 millionth DOI. The IDF is continuing its evolution to a new structure, appropriate to the completion of the initial DOI development activity and a continued focus on building more DOI registrations among a committed social infrastructure network. As part of this development, a number of existing Registration Agencies in the publishing sector have consolidated their activities, recognising the maturation of the DOI marketplace with the emergence of different business models, and taking advantage of the DOI's infrastructure which ensures persistence of assigned identifiers.
  • TSO: The Stationery Office (TSO) is transferring its role as a DOI Registration Agency to Nielsen BookData. TSO noted that it is "committed to the ongoing use of DOls, often described as the 'barcode of digital information', believing they will have a major role to play in changing the way information is shared and accessed globally. The transfer is in line with TSO's focus on its core publishing competencies; Nielsen BookData is well placed to develop wider DOI applications that will improve the service to registrants."
  • LON: Learning Objects Network (LON) has withdrawn as a Registration Agency and will obtain DOIs for its customers through partnership with another agency. LON founder John Purcell said; "LON has found that customers are demanding different services from us than we had anticipated when we became a Registration Agency. We look forward to working with IDF and its Registration Agencies in the future".
  • CDI: Content Directions Inc. and The International DOI Foundation (IDF) have agreed a constructive dis-engagement of CDI from the IDF. CDI will, in coordination with the IDF, transfer the registration and maintenance of existing DOIs it has assigned to R.R. Bowker, an existing DOI registration Agency, which will have control and responsibility for the legacy DOIs.
Earlier this year the International DOI Foundation (IDF) formalised its policy and procedures to help the members of its federation of Registration Agencies ensure persistence of DOIs allocated by any RA by collaborative action (see DOI News, September 2005). The hand over of management of DOIs previously assigned by these agencies will be according to the procedures put into place for the smooth handover and ensuring persistence of the DOIs as resolvable network identifiers.
The IDF's efforts will be focussed on tools and for increasing DOI registrations, and outreach to new applications and Registration Agencies in new sectors. IDF will continue efforts in identifiers and metadata in new application areas (e.g. archives and preservation, repositories, multimedia content sectors); digital rights activities (working with licensing and metadata initiatives to enable legal access essential for distributed network publishing, including the MPEG-21 multimedia framework); identification of new types of material (data, versions, instances, etc); tools for improved new DOI functionality; and generic standards specification work (e.g. ISO) of the underlying technology.
Over 20 million DOIs are currently assigned through seven major registration agencies worldwide (Copyright Agency Limited, CrossRef, mEDRA, Nielsen BookData, OPOCE (Office des publications EU), R.R. Bowker, TIB (Technische Informationsbibliothek), using over 1200 naming authority prefixes. Over nine million DOI resolutions are made each month.
For further information see press releases from Nielsen BookData and CDI.
The DOI System uses the Handle System® as its key component for resolving unique names of digital objects. The inventor of the Handle System, Dr Robert Kahn, is well known for his invention with Vinton Cerf of the TCP/IP protocols underlying the Internet. Dr Kahn was recently a recipient of the Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the USA. Earlier this year Kahn and Cerf were also recipients of the ACM Turing Award and their fascinating lecture at the awards ceremony (ACM Sigcomm August 2005) "Assessing the Internet: Lessons Learned, Strategies for Evolution, and Future Possibilities" is now available on line.
For further information, see the White House news release "President Honors Recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom" and the ACM Turing Award Lecture with a direct link to archived version (RealPlayer).
This years ALPSP awards for Publishing Innovation featured services using DOI: the winner Connotea, a free online reference service for scientists which among other features can bookmark DOIs natively ( and a "highly commended" award to OECD's Statlinks, a service using DOI-based links added to the charts and tables in OECD books and e-books: clicking the link at a table downloads a matching Excel spreadsheet (
For further information see "ALPSP Awards".
An interesting paper on inaccessible web links ("linkrot") was presented at a recent archiving workshop. Using a ten-year test-bed of articles from D-Lib magazine, in "The Availability and Persistence of Web References in D-Lib Magazine", Frank McCown and colleagues found the half-life of a URL in that test bed to be approximately 10 years: approximately 30% of 4387 unique URLs failed to resolve in February 2005, despite the content pointed to by the URLs being relatively stable. A majority of the unresolved URLs were due to 404 (page not found) and 500 (internal server error) errors. A small number of links used more sophisticated technologies for persistence: 100% of DOIs, 100% of Handles, and 57% of PURLs were resolvable in the test bed sample.
See also International Web Archiving Workshop ( and "The Availability and Persistence of Web References in D-Lib Magazine", Frank McCown, Sheffan Chan, Michael L. Nelson, Johan Bollen.
The DOI is a system for interoperably identifying and exchanging intellectual property in the digital environment. A DOI assigned to content enhances a content producer's ability to trade electronically. It provides a framework for managing content in any form at any level of granularity, for linking customers with content suppliers, for facilitating electronic commerce, and enabling automated copyright management for all types of media. The International DOI Foundation, a non-profit organization, manages development, policy and licensing of the DOI to registration agencies and technology providers and advises on usage and development of related services and technologies. The DOI system uses open standards with a standard syntax (ANSI/NISO Z39.84) and is currently used by leading international technology and content organizations.
This is a service announcement for the International Digital Object Identifier Foundation and has been prepared to inform you of developments to enable digital copyright management of intellectual property. For more information, please send your request to
Prepared 15 November 2005

DOI® and DOI.ORG® are registered trademarks and the "doi>" logo is a trademark of the International DOI Foundation.