Some journals use DOI prefixes/suffixes that remain the same for every work they publish.

For instance, every article in the journal British Politics carries a DOI based on the pattern 10.1057/bp.****.* with the year of publication and an article number occupying the asterisks.

Example: 10.1057/bp.2009.9 (paper nr 9 from 2009).

Is there a quick possibility to find out which journals carry which fixed DOI patterns (useful for automated analyses that loop through millions of DOIs)? Is there, perhaps, a catalogue of that sort?

(I only found this catalogue of publisher-specific DOI prefixes - - however, it's already 8 years old and pertains to publishers, not to journals.)


1 Answer 1


For transparency's sake, I work at Crossref on their support team.

The official position of The DOI Foundation and Crossref is that DOIs are opaque, and the only meaning that accords to a DOI comes from its metadata record, not from the DOI itself. So, these suffix patterns are used by publishers, but not really condoned or formally acknowledged.

Both prefixes and suffix patterns can change mid-way through a journal's run, because journals are bought and sold from one publisher to another all the time. And sometimes they just change suffix patterns on a whim. So, you may be able to find certain patterns that accord to certain journals, but they're unlikely to be consistent or all-encompassing.

Crossref encourages new publishers to use actually opaque suffixes - basically just random strings. But, the identifiable suffix patterns are very entrenched in people's minds as what a DOI is supposed to look like, and they're very convenient to smaller publishers in terms of keeping track of which DOIs they've assigned to which content. So, we (and the DOI Foundation) act as if they're opaque even if they look like they're not.

This doesn't actually answer your question. But, I hope the context is helpful in understanding why such a thing isn't easy to make or find, if it exists at all.

  • Can I ask why "Crossref encourages new publishers to use actually opaque suffixes"? Is there a reason journals ought to prefer those over the identifiable suffix patterns? Just curious... Jan 13, 2022 at 16:45
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    @TheAmplitwist When there's a visible pattern, someone at some point will rely on it. Which is not ideal if that pattern is not actually stable and might change at any time. Avoiding a pattern in the first place ensures nobody tries to rely on an unstable pattern. Jan 13, 2022 at 22:12

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