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Plagiarism & Citation: DOIs & Persistent Links

Use DOIs & Persistent Links to Track Sources

DOIs and persistent links can make it easy to go back and check your footnotes, double-check your quotations, and make sure you paraphrased properly.

Plagiarism is usually inadvertent. People lose track of the sources they have used or forget whether they have quoted or paraphrased. Here are some simple techniques to prevent mistakes and time-consuming back-tracks.

As you take notes or write your paper, add the source and page number of each fact or concept in the text of your paper. The source and page notes will make it easy to back and check your footnotes, double-check your quotations and make sure you paraphrased properly. Adding DOIs or persistent links for the articles will make it easy to re-locate your sources.

How to find a DOI or persistent link:

DOIs are assigned to specific articles.
DOIs are assigned to specific articles (and other publications) available online. If you know the DOI you can search it in Google, Google Scholar or another search engine to find the citation to the article and possibly a link to its full text. However, not every article has a DOI.  

Here are three ways to find a DOI:

1. Some databases make it easy to find a DOI. EBSCO databases, such as Academic Search Premier, often list DOIs in the brief record for the article. A "cite this article" icon also appears at the bottom of the full record. It will format the citation to the article and include the DOI. 

2. If you look at a print journal article you may see the DOI printed with the article, often at the bottom of the first page.

3. DOIs are registered and can be searched in Go to the "For Researchers" tab and then to the "free DOI name lookup". Unfortunately, registration if usually delayed-- sometimes by as much as a couple of years.

For more on DOIs, go to:

Persistent Links appear in database records for articles.
Persistent links (sometime called durable or permanent links) are displayed in many databases, such as Academic Search Premier. The persistent links go directly to the records for specific articles and other publications.

A persistent link to a database record is very different from the transient link that appears in the address bar of the browser. Transient links appear as the result of specific searches and cannot be used to retrieve the same article again.

Persistent links usually appear in either the brief record or full records for articles. In Academic Search Premier, they appear in the full record. Using a persistent URL, you can return again and again to the record for the article and link to the full text when it is available.

Citations and Reference Lists
DOIs and persistent links are often included in reference lists to direct other people, such as your professor and classmates, to specific articles.  

APA style requires that DOIs be included (if available) when citing articles retrieved electronically.

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