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(Not sure if this is the right SX site, but math.sx seemed to have no questions concerning DOIs.)

Everything I cite in my thesis has a DOI or URL (I think that's important), but I'm citing an article that was the first to mention a kind of problem,

Arkadi Nemirovski. Nonparametric estimation of smooth regression functions. In: Tekhnicheskaya Kibernetika 3 (1985)

which seems to be quite obscure, it's not even listed on the author's website. It's not in our library (or any catalog I searched), but just a handed-down copy of unknown origin.

The journal doesn't seem to exist any more (or it doesn't have a website), and crossref.org yields nothing. The article is translated, there are some inconsistencies with transliteration, i.e. the author's last name is sometimes written Nemirovskiĭ, the journal is sometimes written as Techničeskaja, the title might be completely different, etc.

Any pointers where I could find some canonical information?

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    The full name is Izvestiya Akademii Nauk SSSR, Tekhnicheskaya Kibernetika. As you inferred, it looks like it was terminated, doesn't have a web site, and all that was before the advent of Digital Object Identifiers. So, what are you asking for exactly? – F'x Apr 9 '13 at 13:47
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    Everything I cite in my thesis has a DOI or URL — As a fellow sufferer of bibliographic OCD, I understand your frustration, but as you've just discovered, not every citeable object has a DOI or URL. Not even close. Move on with your life. – JeffE Apr 9 '13 at 13:57
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    If you want truly canonical information, you can ask a librarian for help in getting a copy of the original paper by interlibrary loan. You could also write to Nemirovski for more information (people are often flattered when someone expresses interest in one of their more obscure publications). – Anonymous Mathematician Apr 9 '13 at 14:26
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    Everything I cite in my thesis has a DOI or URL (I think that's important). I think this is a shame. What about all the wonderful literature that predates DOI and doesn't have one? – mankoff Apr 9 '13 at 14:43
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As others have said, not every (old) article has a DOI or a URL. However, in mathematics every article since 1940 has an MR number which uniquely identifies it. So go to mathscinet and look up this article. I just did, it has MR number MR0844292. The bibliographical information on mathscinet (like the transliteration of the author's name) would also be considered the "canonical information".

  • Awesome! Thanks, I didn't even know that database. – pascal Apr 9 '13 at 20:44
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Short answer: The full name is Izvestiya Akademii Nauk SSSR, Tekhnicheskaya Kibernetika. As you inferred, it looks like it was terminated, doesn't have a web site, and all that was before the advent of Digital Object Identifiers. So, what are you asking for exactly?


Obviously, there is a longer answer to that question. As you said, it is unfortunate this content doesn't have a canonical URL, or even a Digital Object Identifier. The good news is that you can actually fix that problem!

  1. Create and incorporate your own company: Lost and Inaccessible Academic Content, Inc. (actual title may vary). Depending on local legislation, this might not be so hard as it sounds.
  2. Contact a DOI Registration Agency to register a DOI prefix.
  3. Register the DOI name and associated metadata.
  4. Write down that DOI name in your thesis bibliography.
  5. Bathe in the joy of the world now being a (slightly) more organized (and thus better) place.
  • my question was phrased a bit too restrictive, I was looking for any kind of canonical identifier, the MR number from Marcus' answer is good enough for me. – pascal Apr 9 '13 at 20:46

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