The International DOI Foundation (IDF) deserves cheers not merely because in August, 2003  CrossRef, its most active registration agency  assigned  the 10 millionth Digital Object Identifier (DOI), but because of the excellent work which is behind that number.

Getting scholarly publishers to agree in using a new identifier for articles published in their journals is a big deal. You may as well try to herd cats. The list of the charter members of IDF is very impressive, as these companies publish the vast majority of high quality scholarly journals.

There are other big names in the roster of General Members, such as  the Association for Computing Machinery (which in spite of its atavistic name is a progressive association and far the most important in computer science publishing and education), IEEE, Cambridge University Press, the  Joint Information Systems Committee (the organization behind the largest and most important digitization projects in the U.K.), The Stationery Office, Wolters Kluwer, the Copyright Clearance Center, and Microsoft  to name a few of them. Equally important are the individually lesser known players of the information industry if they join the IDF en masse, as was the case  with the more than 40 European national libraries.

IDF also published a revised and enhanced DOI Handbook (free of charge), released new  browser plug-ins which will further facilitate the use of DOIs without the need to add the http://dx.doi.org prefix, i.e. just by clicking on a DOI on the page will launch the resolving process and take you to the article (or any other digital objects, like photographs or books which are also assigned  DOIs). 

Another utility, a  small Javascript makes a small box to pop up to paste in a DOI copied from a Web page, and take  the user to the documents or at least to its abstract.

If you add up all the services and products which have been produced, enhanced  and published by IDF, and all the organizational and PR activities and negotiations to promote DOI and linking carried out with various agencies by IDF director Norman Paskin,  then you would be impressed, too. If  I tell you that the IDF  consists of the director and his assistant, you understand why my cheers go to IDF and its staff.

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