Journal article Open Access

Using digital object identifiers in qualitative and multi-method research and beyond

Karcher, Sebastian

Citation is indispensable to social science. A citation points us to a location. As the places where we keep publications have changed, so should the way that we cite them. In years past, the primary way scholars consumed articles was in bound volumes organized chronologically on shelves. We found them (and helped others find them) by referencing the journal title, year, volume, issue, page numbers, author, and article title. Increasingly, even when a particular journal is also available in hard copy, scholars access articles as pdf or html files. This shift to online location has necessitated a change in how publications are made available to others, and how they are cited. We typically still include the old elements, but we add a crucial innovation: a persistent identifier. For articles, the persistent identifier used is a digital object identifier or DOI. DOIs have become crucial components of academic referencing and virtually all articles published in scholarly journals now have a DOI.

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