We govern the Digital Object Identifier (DOI) system on behalf of the agencies who manage DOI registries and provide services to their respective communities. We are the registration authority for the ISO standard (ISO 26324) for the DOI system and we are governed by our Registration Agencies.
Identification is vital in many industries, from tracking products along a supply chain, to sharing and providing access to critical information online. It is not enough to identify a thing when it is created; it must be traceable long into the future too. The Regsitration Agencies that govern us ensure the shared DOI infrastructure persists.
THE DOI FOUNDATION EXISTS TO ENSURE PERSISTENCE
We do everything we can to make sure the things that our community cares about are identifiable and reliably accessible. Now, when they need it, and over time when future generations will need it.
Such persistent identification doesn’t happen automatically, someone has to commit to keeping track of things as they move around. That’s where the DOI community comes in. The DOI Foundation is a community of communities.
Everything we do is in support of our Registration Agencies (RAs) and the other Members. In turn, RAs provide additional services for their own user communities. They govern the DOI Foundation—and collaborate with each other through us—in order to maintain high standards and learn from each other to improve services. This social infrastructure ensures persistence just as much as the technical infrastructure does.
THE DOI FOUNDATION IS BOUND BY STANDARDS
The DOI System is an ISO Standard (ISO 26324) and the DOI Foundation is an ISO Registration Authority. This means we are legally bound to maintain the DOI System and comply with its rules. It also means that another organization can take over running the DOI System if for some reason the Foundation cannot continue to function. It’s another example of our focus on persistence
THE DOI FOUNDATION OFFERS SIMPLE SCALABILITY
The DOI System is an implementation of the Handle System which was developed by the Corporation for National Research Initiatives (CNRI) in the United States in the early 1990s. It is a simple and elegant way of registering and resolving unique identifiers. This means that we can scale to cope with enormous loads; more than 1 billion DOIs are resolved every month.
THE DOI FOUNDATION HAS A LEAN SUSTAINABILITY MODEL
The costs incurred by the DOI Foundation in running the DOI System are recouped from the annual fees paid by the Registration Agencies and the other Members. In other words, we are self-funded. Together with a long-term sustainability fund, this is a model that allows us to promise persistence.