Faculty of Medicine:
“Since the emergence of the new coronavirus (COVID-19) in December 2019, the Imperial College COVID-19 Response Team has adopted a policy of immediately sharing research findings on the developing pandemic. The Imperial College Open Access Library team has been incredibly responsive and professional providing guidance and assisting to ensure the immediate processing of reports submitted to Spiral from the team. The team’s support is paramount for us to publish our pre-prints in a timely matter and enabling open science as part of the outbreak response amidst a global crisis.”

What is a DOI and why is it important?

DOI stands for Digital Object Identifier. It’s a permanent web address which will always link readers to the document. For preserving research and ensuring access to it, a DOI is a much better option than just hosting a PDF on a website that could change or shutdown over time. This can be especially relevant for temporary research group websites.

DOIs are used widely across academic publishing, you may have seen them on journal articles. As well as providing permanent accessibility, it also encourages readers to cite the document properly and increases the chance that this citation might be picked up by services like Google Scholar.

DOIs are also useful because they can be tracked by services such as Altmetric. If a report’s DOI has been mentioned in social media, press or a policy document it will be recorded, and this can be useful to track the impact of your research.

How do I get a DOI? 

Once the report is uploaded to Symplectic it will be sent to Spiral the same day. However, DOIs are not generated automatically; the live, permanent DOI for the report will appear on Spiral at approximately 7pm every evening.

If you wish to obtain a DOI for the report before this (e.g. the same day before 7pm) you can calculate the DOI from the notification email you will receive.

A DOI can be calculated by the collection prefix for reports in Spiral which is 10.25561 and then adding the number of its Spiral Handle (in bold below).

So, for example:

Spiral Handle: http://hdl.handle.net/10044/1/76744

will become

DOI: https://doi.org/10.25561/76744

If you then wish to place this on the report PDF, please send it to the OA Team directly and we will replace the file in Spiral to show the version with the DOI as a priority.  Please contact us to assist you with any queries.

The workflow

Spiral is one of the largest generators of DOIs for research outputs in the UK, but it is still a work in progress, and we welcome feedback. You can see the whole workflow as a PDF from submission to live in Spiral via our website.