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I'm considering generating a DOI for my thesis, but I wondered if this would be a problem if I wanted to write a paper out of it.

Theoretically, the paper would not be exactly the same as my thesis, but it would be pretty similar.

I've found equivalent questions here, but none of the responses were actually conclusive.

Does it depend on the journal, or there is no problem whatsoever?

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  • For clarification: Does getting a DOI imply that the document can be found and downloaded online? Or: Is your question specifically only about getting a DOI, or about publishing the thesis online with a DOI? To my understanding, you could get a DOI for a printed copy of your thesis in the university library. Sep 1, 2023 at 6:25
  • Excellent question! I was concerned only about the DOI at first. I thought that the copyright problem would arise only if the document had a DOI. However, based on what Serisano and Alazon said on their responses, having attributed a DOI to the thesis is a minor factor. What actually matters is if the document is available elsewhere. Sep 1, 2023 at 18:13
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    You say "Theoretically, the paper would not be exactly the same as my thesis, but it would be pretty similar." Maybe this is dependent on the field and/or your institution, but a journal paper and a thesis are usually quite different. A thesis usually contains a lot of background and a wider scope, where a journal paper is focused on what the new contribution is. Sep 1, 2023 at 20:57
  • You're totally right, NatualLogZ! My research field is inverse radiotherapy planning, and there's indeed a LOT of background content. I totally forgot to consider it. Sep 2, 2023 at 21:08

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This is journal/field dependent but in general getting a DOI for your thesis (or posting it on a preprint server or university repository) should not prevent future publication. Many journals, at least in my field, specifically state that theses are not considered prior publication i.e., you can submit articles derived from thesis work.

You should check whatever journals you want to submit to first though, just to be safe.

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If you say that the journal publication would be somewhat different, then it does not seem to be a problem anyway. And in any event, the publication would get a different doi, since it would be a different object. The doi identifies the "object", not the content.

Otherwise, I agree with serlsano's answer: it depends on the policy of the individual journal whether they would tolerate it that the text is simultaneously available elsewhere. Assigning it a doi would somehow enhance the online presence of the manuscript, but that's a minor factor. So, yes, please check with the journal.

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In principle, there should not be a problem. The DOI is a persistent identifier that will label your work as a thesis; ensure that your institution doesn't automatically assign dois to the thesis. Thirdly, I'd suggest that if you are only interested in the doi, consider for-profit vs. non-for-profit organizations e.g. Zenodo.

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They are totally two different things unless you are going to submit the same thesis to the journal.

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