DOIs of In Press articles?

Hey everyone!

Our Journal currently publishes articles In Press without DOIs, and assigns DOIs to them after assignment to issues and published online.

All in press articles have been peer-reviewed and proofread; they just haven’t been assigned to issues yet.

We create the DOIs based on the published issue, volume and first page numbers (example: mjr.34.2.121)

We wish to also assign DOIs to our articles in press, but we don’t know how to go about it.

The only thing that would change amongst the two versions (in press and published in issue) would be the article citation.
Would this justify having two DOIs for virtually the same article? We would of course delete the in press DOI from our website.

Thanks in advance!

Hi Vicky,

Thanks for your question.

No, you should not register two DOIs for the same article, just because it exists first in-press and then later published in a specific issue. That’s not enough of a distinction to merit two different DOIs.

Moreover, DOIs cannot be deleted. It’s a fundamental principle of the whole DOI system that DOIs must be persistently maintained once they’re created. So, registering a ‘temporary’ DOI for the in-press version of an article would not be a viable solution. That would honestly cause far worse problems, because the workarounds we have for approximating deleting DOIs (while actually keeping them persistently maintained) are messy and complicated. You definitely don’t want to have to navigate through those processes.

The real problem here is your suffix pattern. As general guidance, we recommend that identifiable metadata like volume numbers, issue numbers, and page numbers (also journal abbreviations, author names, publication years, etc.) are not included in DOI suffixes.

DOIs are considered opaque identifiers. So, all of the meaning that’s attached to them comes from their metadata records, not from the DOI itself. We treat the DOI suffix as if it’s a totally arbitrary, random string of characters, whether or not you use a pattern with identifiable information. But, the best practice is to avoid identifiable information and use something that’s actually random and opaque.

If you change your suffix pattern going forward to something that doesn’t require knowing the eventual volume, issue, or page numbers at the point of assigning the DOI, then you can register a single DOI for the article while it’s still in in-press status. Then, once that article has later been included in an issue, you would update the metadata record of that same DOI to include the metadata that’s now available like volume, issue, and page numbers as well as a print publication date.

Please let me know if you have any further questions.



Dear Shayn,

Thank you so very much for your response!

That’s great. I thus assume that there won’t be a problem with us just changing our suffix pattern from identifiable into something random and opaque.

Once again, thank you so much!!

Best regards,

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Hi Vicky,

That won’t be a problem at all!

Obviously the DOIs that you’ve already assigned using your prior suffix pattern must remain as is. But for all new content that’s published from this point forward, you can absolutely use a different method for generating suffixes.


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You can assign a DOI for the In Press version, and once the article is formally published in an issue, you can update the metadata associated with the DOI to reflect the final publication details. This maintains a consistent DOI for the article throughout its lifecycle. If there are significant changes between the In Press and the final published version (such as major revisions or additional content), you might consider assigning a new DOI for the published version. In this case, it’s crucial to communicate clearly the relationship between the two versions.