Beginning with the launch of the Internet, enabling technologies have expanded the number of formats that are widely used. Images, audio, video, data, code, and other forms of digital content are common in the researcher’s workflow and have become a necessary part of scholarly communications. Meanwhile, scholarly publishing has remained predominantly page based and dependent on PDFs, though that may be about to change.
DOIs signal research content
DOIs have been associated with scholarly publishing since Crossref began providing connections between research articles in 1999. When Datacite was launched a decade later, they expanded to providing DOIs for datasets and other research objects. Then three years ago, Crossref released a schema for Preprints as the precursor to the published work. Amy Brand’s recent post in the Scholarly Kitchen noted that 87% of Crossref DOIs are assigned to journal articles and book chapters, with only 5.5% assigned to conferences. The remaining items are almost all text based works.
As a result, DOIs have primarily represented published works and data as supplemental material to the Version of Record. This signaled that research had been reviewed, curated, published, and preserved for future reference as part of the scholarly record. Given that library budgets funded these publications, preservation was an essential requirement as the digital content was no longer housed within each institution.