From: Leslie Chan <>
Date: Fri, 16 Feb 2001 09:38:07 +0000

    [ Posted to American Scientist Forum
    with permission ]

Dear Guillermo,

    [ See Guillermo Julio Padron Gonzalez's
    query below about ]

You are correct in saying that DOI is an improvement in the way
electronic documents are identified and accessed. The predominant
method of identifying documents by their URLs is highly unstable and
the DOI is meant to provide each document with a "persistent" and
"unique" identification. DOI is also a means for copyright holders to
protect their intellectual properties and keep track of their usage. As
such I think the commercial publishers are rightly interested in
developing DOI schema for their products.

However, for scholarly or scientific publishers who wish to have their
publications easily searchable, interoperable and interlinkable with
other publications, DOI is neither sufficient nor necessary. My
interpretation of the CrossRef consortium and its proposed use of DOI
is that the interlinking schema is an exclusionary one in that unless
you are a member of the CrossRef group, your publications will not be
interoperable with theirs. As CrossRef is dominated by large
multinational publishers who hold a near monopoly on science
publishing, and they have a decidedly loud voice of how the DOI
standard is to be applied, this is what I take Stevan Harnad to meant
as "click-through monopoly." (I am copying this message to Stevan in
case I have misinterpreted Stevan's intent.)

You may wish to read the following two publications by Stevan as I
believe he and his colleagues discussed some aspects of the DOI in
these articles, as well as the importance of open linking schemas:

If you wish to learn more about some of the other open linking
initiatives and their underlying principles, you may wish to read a
couple of articles by Herbert Van de Sompel, who is very much involved
with the Open Archive initiatives <>

    Reference Linking in a Hybrid Library Environment: Part 1:
    Frameworks for Linking

    Reference Linking in a Hybrid Library Environment Part 2: SFX, a
    Generic Linking Solution

Hope this is of some help.

Best regards
Leslie Chan

> From: "Guillermo Julio Padron Gonzalez" <>
> Date: Thu, 8 Feb 2001 13:11:32 -0500
> To: "Leslie Chan" <>
> Subject: Re: DOI
> Dear Leslie:
> Could you send me the reference or site where I can read Harnard's
> points of view about DOI? I always thought DOI is an improvement in the
> way how e-publications can have a better access and visibility, so I
> woukld like to learn more about its bad sides. Could you help me?
> Best regards,
> Guillermo
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Leslie Chan []
> Sent: Monday, 05 February, 2001 08:20 PM
> To: Guillermo Julio Padron Gonzalez
> Subject: Re: DOI
> Dear Guillermo,
> Thank you for your inquiry about CrossRef and DOI. We have been
> following the development of CrossRef with interest, though I am
> personally concerned with the direction it it heading. As you can tell
> from the members list of CrossRef, it is dominated by commercial
> publishers and their interests and the underlying goal of the initiative
> is essentially to block access to the referred journal literature
> "owned" by the big publishers through the use of proprietary DOI scheme.
> This is what Stevan Harnad referred to as "click-through" monopoly and
> it is antithetical to the open linking environment that one would hope
> to see on the net.
> In this regard, we are much more interested in the development of the
> Open Archive initiative
> <> and the associated open citation linking
> mechanism. There are also other interesting citation linking scheme in
> development, such as the one known as Jointly Administered Knowledge
> Environment (jake) <> that may
> have implications for Bioline International. If we want the research
> literature generated in developing countries to be fully integrated in a
> global knowledge system, we have to continue to push for open source and
> open linking mechanisms that would make the world knowledge accessible
> to all.
> We would continue to update you with the development of BI.
> With best regards
> Leslie Chan
Received on Wed Jan 03 2001 - 19:17:43 GMT

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