Crossmark. Change one DOI, overlapping the pages of another article with a different DOI

What happens if the changes in an article change also the number of pages, for instance if the article changes cause also one or more additional pages ?

In many journals, articles are arranged in sequence inside a volume. One or more additional pages in an article can overlap the space reserved to the subsequent article, which has a different DOI.

How to manage this undesirable effect ?

Fausto Passariello - Vasculab

I will explain better.
For instance, I have to change a section of a paper and these changes add one or more lines to the paper, causing also a different pagination, maybe with an additional page in the journal issue.
Several journals follow a sequential numbering in a volume, thus the additional page could overlap the first page of the subsequent paper, which is associated with another DOI.

Paper1: DOI bla1, pages 120-126
Paper2: DOI bla2, pages 127-130
After the changes, paper1 now extends from 120 to 127, overlapping the first page of paper2, which now should extend from 128 to 131.

Practically, updating the DOI and Crossmark metadata for paper1, obliges us to update also the DOI and Crossmark metadata for paper2.

Is it correct ?

Fausto Passariello, Vasculab

Hi Fausto,

Thanks for your message. Your question is a perfect example of why best practice for DOI suffixes is to use a random string of approved characters. Suffixes are best when they include short strings that are easily displayed and typed but are ‘dumb’ - meaning, the suffixes contains no readable information, including metadata.

So, if we extend your example, let’s say that the DOIs published for papers 1 and 2 in your message above are:

Paper1: DOI bla1, pages 120-126 - DOI 10.5555/bla1.120
Paper2: DOI bla2, pages 127-130 - DOI 10.5555/bla2.127

The thing is that even though a pattern is being used here that includes the first page number of a work in a DOI, that 120 and 127 in the DOI has no meaning itself. The meaning for that DOI is in the complete metadata record registered with us.

We find that people like patterns. And, they get attached to patterns. They like that they can look at a DOI like 10.5555/bla1.120 and conclude that the work associated with DOI 10.5555/bla1.120 begins on page 120. The problem is: people and machines make mistakes and things change. We have members who use journal titles in their DOI suffixes and/or author names. Then, when a journal’s name changes or an author changes the way they want their name to appear in their works, which there will be examples of, those same people who like those patterns will want to return to the DOIs that were previously registered so they can change all of those DOIs to adhere to the new pattern. But, DOIs are designed to be persistent, and their persistence outweighs the fleeting benefits of patterns.

Thus, our advice would be to either move away from the patterns for your DOI suffixes or, when and error occurs in your suffix patterns (that is, you need your suffix to read 128 instead of 127, like in the example above), ignore it. The metadata record itself contains the readable metadata. And, if pagination needs to be updated, it should be updated in the metadata record itself, not in the DOI’s suffix.

My best,