Creating and managing your DOIs

Creating and managing your DIOs

Here you will find the answers to frequently asked questions on how to create and manage your DataCite UK DOIs.

How should I format my DOIs?

A DOI name consists of a prefix and a suffix separated by a forward slash (e.g. 10.1234/56789). Each organisation is assigned its own unique prefix(es), and decides its own suffix format.

The most important property of a DOI suffix is that it should be unique within each prefix. Please consider the following points when creating your suffixes:

  • The optimum length of a DOI suffix is 8–10 characters. This is long enough to ensure uniqueness, but short enough to avoid typing or text wrapping errors. The DataCite system will not accept DOIs longer than 255 characters
  • DOIs are not case sensitive (10.1234/WXYZ and 10.1234/wxyz are the same DOI)
  • We strongly recommend that only the following characters are used within a DOI name: “0–9”, “a–z”, and “–._/”. Although the DOI name itself can accommodate a wider range of characters, some require encoding so that the DOI works correctly when used in URL form. If you need to use additional characters, please follow the recommendations on encoding provided by the International DOI Foundation (IDF)
  • We recommend avoiding human-readable information in a DOI suffix. Any meaning you put in to the DOI may change over time and become meaningless or even misleading.

For further advice on DOI syntax, please see this DataCite blog post.

What should I do if an object assigned a DOI has changed?

Ideally once a DOI has been assigned to something, it should not be changed. This is because it may have been cited and so the reproducibility of work built on that object may suffer. You may want to consider versioning an object and giving different versions their own DOIs where possible. The practicalities of how you are able to manage your content will govern the approaches to versioning available to you, but sound advice on this is available.

I have a very large number of items that I could assign a DOI. What do I need to consider?

When you have a very large number of objects that you could potentially assign DOIs to, you need to consider:

  • Whether you can practically manage DOIs for all of them and meet the requirements of having metadata and landing pages for each
  • Whether each item needs its own DOI or whether it would be appropriate to assign DOIs to a group or collection
  • Whether your users want or need to cite items individually.

It is always possible to assign DOIs at a collection level initially and then later assign separate DOIs for its constituent objects when needed.

How many DOIs am I allowed to assign at once?

Technically, it is possible to assign large numbers of DOIs using the DataCite APIs. If you intend to assign more than 10,000 DOIs per day for any period of time, or if you intend to assign 5,000 per day every day for a long period of time, please email us so that we can advise.

I am having trouble creating or updating a DOI, what is the problem?

First please check the DataCite Status Page to ensure that all DataCite systems are working normally. If there are no reported problems, the issue may be at your end. Please see our Troubleshooting page for detailed help.

We’re changing our website address, how do I update all of our DOIs?

Use the API to globally update all of your DOIs, using the POST command. You can see more information in the API Documentation. You will need to make sure that the domain is associated with your Fabrica account. You can check this by logging into the user interface. Go to ‘My account’ (top right) and view the 'Update repository' settings. Also see How do I add a domain to our account? in Managing your DataCite account.

Can I delete a DOI?

No. DOIs are intended to be persistent and as such, cannot be deleted. If the item is no longer available, you should provide a landing page for the DOI that explains why the content is no longer available.


DataCite help pages

Managing your DataCite account

Here you will find frequently asked questions on how to manage your DataCite UK account.

Creating and updating your metadata

By associating good quality metadata with a DOI in Fabrica, your items are made more visible, accessible and usable.

Setting up DataCite test accounts

If you need to find out the finer details of creating DataCite DOIs, test accounts are a great starting point.


A list of technical problems you may experience when using DataCite.

Using DataCite to assign DOIs to non-centralised objects

It is possible for organisations to use their DataCite accounts to assign DOIs for objects not held centrally.