Posted by & filed under Research Help.

Written by: Hui-Yu Hsiung

A DOI is like a UPC barcode on a scholarly journal article, appearing as a character string or a website URL. You may have seen one before without knowing what it is used for in academic publishing. According to the DOI Handbook, DOI is an acronym for Digital Object Identifier. It is a form of persistent identification for digital objects and other resources on the Internet, such as electronic journal articles, books, or datasets. The DOI system was developed by the International DOI Foundation (IDF), with the goal to provide a framework for managing intellectual content.

A DOI consists of a unique, alphanumeric string of characters that is divided into two parts: a prefix and a suffix, separated by a forward slash.

Here is an example of what a DOI looks like:

However, the more recent practice is to present a DOI in URL format:

The prefix begins with a directory indicator “10” followed by a period and a registrant code “5860.” The registrant code is a unique number of four or more digits assigned to an organization or an individual that desires to register the DOI for a publication. “crl-322” is the suffix provided by the registrant as a resource ID to identify a specific digital object. In the case of journals, a suffix is assigned and arranged by the publisher, which can be any alphanumeric string generated in arbitrary or structured order.

There are many features in the DOI. One of the key features is uniqueness. Because the DOI is registered with a central database, each digital object has its own unique combination of letters and numbers as an identifier to ensure the digital content is easily extracted and accessible in the network environment. Another feature is persistence. The DOI serves as a stable permanent link to access the digital object. Unlike an ordinary URL that can be removed or is no longer valid, the DOI always remains the same, despite changes in its location over time. In addition, as the DOI is associated with metadata describing the digital object and its content, in the event of any change, the DOI is updated accordingly. Lastly, a unique DOI allows interoperability between identifiers and metadata. The DOI can be used in conjunction with other identifiers, such as the ISSN of a journal or the ISBN of a book, to support efficient cross-referencing.

So where to find the DOI? The DOI is located on top of the first page of a journal article, or near the copyright notice.

Two screenshots that show DOI locations within database article records

Screenshots of articles by Shema et al. in DOAJ CC BY-SA and Amelia Anderson in C&RL CC-BY-NC

However, not all articles have DOIs. Articles published before 2000 are less likely to have DOIs assigned, but many publishers now add DOIs to their old journal articles. If you do not see the DOI, use CrossRef to look up the DOI by title or author. You can also use DOI Resolver to find the article and its full citation information if you have the DOI of a journal article.

A DOI makes the access to digital objects, like online journal articles, easy and efficient. Therefore, many citation styles (e.g. APA and Turabian) now require the inclusion of DOIs in citation references, if available. For detailed information on how to properly cite various sources according to different style manuals, the library has style manuals in print and online, as well as a citation style guide. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Ask Us.


International DOI Foundation. (2015, October 17). DOI handbook. Retrieved from

Posted by & filed under Library Resources.

Written by: Angela Whitfield

One of the most popular materials checked out at the Library Services Desk is our course reserve collection. Mystery often swirls around the phrase “course reserve,” because it is a library term that is not used anywhere outside of academic libraries, not to mention the different rules that determine how an item is placed on reserve.

So what exactly is a course reserve? A course reserve is an item that has been selected as required or recommended reading for a class and is being held behind a library services desk. These items can be checked out by students taking the class and often have shorter check out periods than items in the general collection. Shorter check out periods ensure other students in the class an opportunity to check the item out.

The most common items placed on course reserve are textbooks. Textbooks placed on course reserve are personal copies provided by the faculty member teaching the course and are not purchased by the library. Due to this condition, the library does not have textbooks on reserve for every single class. It may be worth mentioning to the instructor if there is ever a need for a textbook course reserve for your class.

Other items that may be placed on reserve are books from the library general collection and e-reserves. If an instructor selects a book for reading in a class and the library already owns a copy, then the instructor can request it for course reserve to ensure it is available for the class to read. These can be physical items placed behind the library services desk for reduced check out periods or they may be a link in the catalog that connects to an e-book or journal article.

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Written by: Janelle Foster

Mastering the art of proper citation is a fundamental skill in scholarly writing. Ensuring your citations are correct can be a time-consuming, tedious, and laborious task.

RefWorks can make your [research paper writing] life easier!
RefWorks is an online research management tool that allows you to export all your reference citations and documents into one place for storage and management. Within RefWorks, you can view, organize, annotate, and even share your files, as well as quickly and easily create bibliographies and insert citations into your work. RefWorks saves you valuable time and effort!

Access to RefWorks is available to all UNT students at no cost. You can access RefWorks through the UNT Libraries website, under the Electronic Resources tab of Most Requested information. Just use your student university email address to create a free account.

Screenshot of Most Requested tab from our library homepage with a red box indicating Electronic Resources and red circle under Electronic Resources indicating RefWorks

Screenshot of RefWorks link on UNT Library website

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Written by: Hui-Yu Hsiung

For most academic research papers, professors will require you to use scholarly, peer-reviewed articles as resources. What is a scholarly, peer-reviewed article?

A scholarly, peer-reviewed article is a type of article that is published in a scholarly journal. It is written in academic language by scholars or experts in a specific field. Before being approved for publication, the article must go through a rigorous peer review process by the editorial board of the journal and a minimum of two expert readers in the field to ensure accuracy, validity and rigor (DeVries, Marschall & Stein, 2009).
Characteristics of a scholarly peer-reviewed article 

Different from popular magazine articles, a scholarly, peer-reviewed article has unique characteristics in terms of its purpose, authorship, audience, accountability, content, and citation (Eldredge, 1999). The purpose of a scholarly, peer-reviewed article is to inform and disseminate original research findings to scholars in a specific field for knowledge advancement. The author is usually one or more scholars conducting primary research or experts with subject expertise. The author’s credentials and contact information are also provided. For the audience, a scholarly peer-reviewed article is intended not only for scholars, but also for researchers, professionals and students. Each article in a scholarly journal is anonymously peer evaluated by experts in the given field to ensure it meets a standard of accuracy, originality and scholarly integrity. The content, written in disciplinary-specific language, is in-depth and organized into distinct sections: abstract, introduction, literature review, methodology, results, and conclusion. Generally, it tends to be lengthy, text-heavy and may contain tables, charts and graphs that illustrate key findings of the research. At the end of the scholarly, peer-reviewed article, a complete bibliography is required to list all sources used for citations.

How to find scholarly, peer-reviewed articles
There are several ways to find scholarly, peer-reviewed articles in the UNT Libraries. Read more

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Written By: Janelle Foster

When faced with an imminent research project, knowing how and where to start your research can be daunting.  Subject librarians at UNT Libraries understand this impediment and have provided a helpful launching point for your studies through subject or course-specific research guides.  These guides are a culmination of targeted and constructive scholarly resources tailored specifically for support within a specific subject or course. They include recommendations for books, journals, newspapers, databases, streaming media, and websites, as well as citation help, search strategies, library services, and subject librarian contact information.

Subject guides are not a new concept.  They have been employed within academic libraries in either print or electronic format, albeit under different languages, since at least 1973 (Tchangalova & Feigley, 2008).  The historic term for this type of research guide is pathfinder; as such a name implies, its purpose was not to serve as a comprehensive, exhaustive resource list but rather a finite, focused set of resources carefully selected as the “best” suggestions for information discovery (Tchangalova & Feigley, 2008).  Since then, subject guides have evolved to address issues with scope, layout and format, readability, ease of use, accessibility, resource quality, maintenance and updating, and assessment – and of course, all of this within the sweeping context of the advent of the internet and electronic resources (Morris & Del Bosque, 2010).

Within UNT Libraries, subject and course guides can be accessed from the library homepage by clicking on Subject & Course Guides in the big blue research box.  You can type in a subject name or course name/number or browse through the directory.  Read more

Posted by & filed under Careers in Librarianship, Research Help.

Written By: Anima Bajracharya

I believe there are certain misconceptions about the roles of a librarian. I think it is also safe to say that a lot of people do not have a full idea about exactly what a librarian does. This is true for me, albeit working as a Graduate Service Assistant in the Library.

Librarians at the University of North Texas (UNT) are awesome, and I enjoy working here.  Given my direct access to the librarians here at UNT, I gave out survey questions in a bid to know more about them. Below, we see a summary of the answers I got. I aspire to become a full-time librarian someday, and hearing from the librarians helped me get a better idea what my role would be and how I can attain that level. As you read, I hope it helps you as much as it helped me. Do not hesitate to drop your comments and thoughts in the comment box below.

1. Why did you choose to become a Librarian? Before asking this question, I assumed, they had planned on becoming librarians. Reading their responses however, I realized they did not choose being a librarian as a career!! Librarianship chose them. See excerpts of their responses below;
  • “I think librarianship picked me. It is my calling.”
  • “You could say a career in librarianship sort of found me. I was in the retail book trade for several years while working part time in college and later managing two bookstores but was looking for change. The move to libraries as a natural one that allowed me to utilize my customer service and management skills while also leveraging the search skills needed in reference.”
2. What are the most essential skills to be a librarian? My presumption would be teaching, customer service, shelving books, organizing and so on.  Well, the librarians surveyed said it is communication, organization, curiosity, creativity, innovation, flexibility; and depending on the librarian, skills differ.
  • “Communication and organization, every librarian uses these skills in some capacity.”
  • “I believe that curiosity, creativity, and innovation are great skills to help manage the changes happening today in libraries.”
  • “It depends on what kind of librarian, what kind of work you want to do in the field, and what type of library you want to work in. There are very technical aspects to the field that require programming knowledge and extreme attention detail to write metadata correctly but there are also public/customer service aspects that require communication/soft skills and the ability to analyze questions in order to conduct reference transactions. In academia right now, regardless of the librarians’ interest, about 75% of librarians will be assigned a subject area as a secondary component to their job. Unfortunately, library school rarely (if ever) cover the concepts of teaching information literacy. For me the ability to teach effectively–not just showing student how to access materials–is the more essential skill of my job. But not all librarians feel that way, though I would think that they would agree that the ability to convey information clearly and correctly to some type of audience is essential. I think most librarians would also agree that being flexible is essential as well as the ability to be cross-trained in several areas.”
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Posted by & filed under Research Help.

Written By: Whitfield Angela

Writing a research paper for class can be difficult, especially when you need to cite the sources you have referenced throughout your paper. Citations are used to identify and give credit to the sources you have used in your research paper or literature review. Using the ideas from a work without citing it is considered plagiarism, so it is important to cite when you reference ideas that are not your own. Citing is also a useful way for other people who are reading your work to find research related to your paper.

There are several different citation styles, each with a multitude of ways to cite various resources like books, articles, websites, and even tweets! Generally, the social and political sciences will be written in APA; language, literature, and the humanities are written in MLA; and Chicago Style is used in history and the arts (Stayton, 2019). However, some subjects, like the humanities, can be used in both MLA and Chicago Style.

It is always important to confirm with your instructor which style you will be using. Generally, they will let you know ahead of time which style they expect the paper to be written in.

screenshot of an AskUs logo in center with double-quotes on the top-right and bottom-left

Quotation marks and Ask Us logo

OWL at Purdue

For basic citation assistance, OWL at Purdue can be a great place to start. The Online Writing Lab is a product of Purdue University. It was created to help writers all around the world with their writing projects and is especially popular for their easy-to-use citation guides (“Welcome,” 2019). They offer help with the most common citation styles, including APA Style, MLA Style, and the Chicago Manual of Style. Read more

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Written By Raul Gonzalez 

The Digital Projects Unit at UNT is responsible for the digitization of materials into UNT digital collections. This includes The Portal to Texas History, Texas Digital Newspaper Program, and UNT Scholarly Works, to name a few. Recently, I have been volunteering in the lab to digitize items from The Page Boy Maternity Collection for inclusion into The Portal to Texas History. In doing so, I have learned?how?digitization preserves?history in context?which leads to a deeper understanding of the past, in this case from a fashion perspective.

Digitization in Libraries

Digitization of fashion-related material in the library

Photo by Raul Gonzalez

Digitization has become a powerful factor in accessibility, and libraries take advantage of this. Instead of one resource for one person, a library can digitize the item and provide access to the resource for multiple people. Not only will more people be able to access the resource, they can also have the convenience of viewing the resource anywhere, at any moment, given a proper internet connection. Representing material in a digital format also prolongs the life of the original resource. Since the resource can be accessed digitally, there is no need to risk the integrity or lifespan of the product by constantly moving or handling?it (Mallan & Park, 2006). Read more

Posted by & filed under Library Resources.

Written By: Janelle Foster

UNT Libraries offer abundant resources and services to further the educational careers of UNT students. But did you know that, as a student of UNT, you can also utilize the collections of hundreds of other libraries? When you can’t access what you need through UNT Libraries, use Interlibrary Loan.

Interlibrary Loan is a service provided free of charge for enrolled students, faculty, and staff. It allows you to check out materials that are not owned or currently available through UNT from other participating libraries. This means that millions of print and electronic items are accessible to you!

A Brief History of Interlibrary Loan

The Online Computer Library Center (OCLC) is a non-profit library cooperative that was founded in 1967. Its primary mission is to “make information more accessible and more useful” (OCLC, 2019). One of the instruments of this mission is the resource-sharing initiative WorldCat, an immense, searchable database comprised of library collections from around the world. Another is the OCLC Interlibrary Loan System, which revolutionized interlibrary loan when it was rolled out in 1979 (Nevins, 1998). While the exchange of materials between libraries was practiced before this date, it was done with far more effort and required extensive searching of other libraries (without a computer) and cumbersome paperwork (with a typewriter) (Nevins, 1998). With the introduction of the OCLC Interlibrary Loan System, the process became automated and has evolved currently into an integrated software that connects libraries on a global scale. Request submittal, item verification, locating potential lenders, and item retrieval all now function within a streamlined, electronic system that library patrons themselves can initiate with ease (Nevins, 1998) Read more

Posted by & filed under Research Help.

Written By: Oluwaseyitan Awojobi

Hey there! We trust you have been enjoying the semester so far. With tons of homework and projects you might have, we are here to guide you through easy ways to get awesome resources from the Library database and for your projects or assignments.

Searching through the Library catalog and deciding on a database to be used for your research work could be daunting considering we have a ton of databases. Today, I would be sharing with you the top 5 databases frequently used and elaborate on one of those.

To get started, you want to make sure you are logged into the UNT Library website. For patrons not at the UNT campus, we have made it easy for you to access resources easily without the VPN installation process. All you need to do now is select Databases from the home page and click Proxy Bookmarklet as seen below.

There are 5 commonly used databases available on the UNT library catalog which provide resources for all fields of life. They are; Academic Search Complete, EBSCOhost, JSTOR, Nexis Uni and Web of Science. While I would love to tell you about each of them, today, we would be focusing on the use of the Academic Search Complete database published by EBSCOhost. This database also gives you access to other databases available through EBSCOhost.
Academic Search Complete provides a scholarly collection providing full text coverage for over 10,500 journals for nearly all academic areas of study – including social sciences, humanities, education, computer sciences, engineering, language and linguistics, arts & literature, medical sciences, and ethnic studies, etc. Dates of Coverage: 1975 – Current
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