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Using a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) allows electronic documents to be referenced in a stable, globally unambiguous and non-location-dependent manner. It guarantees reliability in citing sources even if the Uniform Resource Locator (URL) changes. This is why DOIs are suitable for permanently guaranteed citation in scientific papers.

DOIs cannot be called up directly in a browser but are translated into URLs by a resolving service. The persistent resolution of these links is carried out by the International DOI Foundation (IDF).