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Obtaining a Document Using a DOI (Digital Object Identifier):  

What is a DOI?

A Digital Object Identifier, or DOI, is a digital identifier of an object, which could be a digital or physical object.

They are often used to reliably identify and locate online articles, e-books, or e-book chapters.

Where Would You Encounter a DOI?

If you are looking through a Works Cited, Reference, or Bibliography list for an article you want to read, you might find that the citation (the information about the article) contains a DOI. It will look like:


All DOIs start with 10 and take the form 10.----/-----

You might find it presented in the form of a URL:

How You Can Obtain an Article or E-book With a DOI

First, try using the URL

The URL can retrieve the document if:

  1. It is freely available ("open access') or
  2. It is available in one of the library's research databases, and you are on campus

Proceed to the next step if the URL takes you to a site that doesn't show you the actual article or e-book.

Next, try searching Primo with the DOI

Enter the DOI into the Primo search tool, using the default "Library Catalog + Articles" option.


This can retrieve an article from our research databases, even if you are not on campus.

Primo search boxes are also available on the library home page, the Library Research Central page, and other places throughout the library website.

Note: Primo search results may include other articles that cite the article you are seeking.

Next, use our special link to search DOI.ORG

Use this Leeward CC link for the DOI Foundation website. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to where it says "Try Resolving a DOI Name". This may find articles and e-books from our databases that aren't covered by Primo.

Other Options

  • You can use Primo's Fetch Item tool to use other information about the item to try to find it.
  • If the article is from a magazine, check OverDrive to see if they have that magazine.
  • You can also ask us to try to find the item.

Please Note:

Some articles are available from more than one source, and searching DOI.ORG may take you to a source that is not available to you (such as a database or e-journal we don't subscribe to), even though that article might also be available in one of our databases. That is why we recommend searching Primo before using our special link to DOI.ORG.

Articles in our research databases are only available to current Leeward CC students, staff, and faculty.

Bonus Technique – Creating Links to Items in Library Databases

If you want to create a link to an item with a DOI that you can share with other Leeward CC students and professors, use a text editor to add the library's proxy server prefix ( ) in front of the URL.


The proxy server lets you log in with your UH username to access the library's research databases when you are off campus.