We are pleased to announce that from January 2020 all new PhD theses submitted to the Edinburgh Research Archive (ERA) will be assigned a Digital Object Identifier (DOI). The Library will be using the DataCite DOI registration agency to provide this service.
What is a DOI?
A DOI is a character string (a ‘digital identifier’) used to uniquely identify and provide a permanent link to a digital object, such as a journal paper or other scholarly work.
Benefits of having a DOI
Assigning DOIs to PhD means that researchers are able to confidently cite theses alongside traditional journal articles knowing that a link will be persistent. The benefits for authors include gaining due academic credit for their efforts to produce these valuable research outputs and the ability to track and measure online attention via alternative metrics like Plum X or Altmetric.
Which PhD theses will get DOIs?
In the first instance the Library will give all new PhD theses a DOI once the final version has been submitted to Pure and graduation has occurred. Before a DOI is registered the PhD thesis must be archived fully in ERA. Some PhD theses submitted for Winter 2019 graduation which have not yet appeared online in ERA will be assigned a DOI.
We aim to roll out and assign DOIs for all of the PhDs in the existing online collection, but since the collection is large (>20,000) we will have to approach this in stages.