To enable easy usability for both humans and machines, a DOI should resolve to a landing page that contains information about the DOI being resolved. It is the responsibility of the entity creating the DOI to provide such a landing page. The following are best practices for creating well-formed DOI landing pages.
It is important that both humans and machines have context for the item that the DOI is resolving to. DOIs should therefore resolve to a landing page containing metadata about the item, rather than to a PDF, for example. The landing page should contain a full bibliographic citation, so that a human can tell they have arrived at the correct item, and so that a machine can retrieve additional information about the item that might not be easily retrievable from the item itself.
Humans that follow a DOI link to your landing page should be able to get all information necessary for identifying and citing the item, including the DOI itself, displayed as a URL. This helps to confirm that the item they have found matches the item they were trying to find, and it contributes to creating a well-formed citation.
Even if your DOI is displayed on the landing page, a machine might not be able to tell that this particular string of characters is a DOI without having some additional indicators. You can tag a DOI in several ways, such as by using a
DC.identifier meta tag, a
citation_doi meta tag, or by including appropriately tagged schema.org metadata.
Humans should be able to reach the item being described from the landing page. If the item has been removed, retracted, or otherwise made unavailable to the public on purpose, the landing page should serve as a "tombstone page", providing enough information that the item can be identified and confirmed to have existed at one time. For more information, see our support documentation on Tombstone Pages.
The image below is an example of a landing page from PANGAEA.
PANGAEA landing page
This page conforms to best practices for landing pages.
- It contains a full bibliographic citation of the item, so users can confirm they have located the correct item.
- It includes the DOI displayed as a URL.
- It provides a way to access the data.
- The DOI is appropriately tagged in the code for the page.