For the last five years, Chapman University Digital Commons has served as an open access repository for the research, scholarship, and creative activity of the Chapman community, helping the university collect, store, and showcase these works to readers around the globe. We are happy to now expand these services by creating Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) for select pieces of scholarship hosted there, such as theses, dissertations, and data sets.

What is a Digital Object Identifier (DOI)?

A Digital Object Identifier is a unique, persistent identifier for an online object, standardized by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). You can learn more about DOIs at the website of the International DOI Foundation.

What are the benefits of a DOI?

  • They are persistent. If the URL for a digital object changes, the DOI will direct users to the new address. No more broken links!
  • They can help disambiguate pieces of scholarship with similar titles. If you publish a journal article with a similar or identical title to your thesis, each can have a unique DOI that distinguish the two from each other.
  • They can help you track citations for your work. If another author cites your research, they will reference your DOI and there will be no confusion about the source. Furthermore, they are very useful for tracking altmetrics—ways of measuring the impact of your work before traditional journal articles can cite you. Services like Altmetric use DOIs to track the impact of your work through means such as social media mentions and news coverage. (Learn more about altmetrics here.)

What about scholarship that was already in Chapman University Digital Commons?

We have already created DOIs for the majority of theses, dissertations, and data sets that were added to Chapman University Digital Commons in the past. The DOIs will display in the Recommended Citation field on the landing page for each object, and on the cover page for PDF files. You may need to refresh your browser if the DOI does not display.

Do I need to do anything to get a DOI for my work?

The Leatherby Libraries will create DOIs for theses and dissertations submitted to Chapman University Digital Commons*. You will not need to do anything beyond what is described on the Dissertation and Thesis Guidelines page.

If you are interested in adding a data set to the Chapman University Digital Commons, or if you have any other questions, please contact the Coordinator of Scholarly Communications & Electronic Resources, Kristin Laughtin-Dunker, at

*For exceptions to the DOI policy in Chapman University Digital Commons, please refer to the Submission Policies and Guidelines or the FAQ.