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Open Educational Resources Collective Publishing Workflow

Create and Apply DOI and ISBN

Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs)

Some publishers choose to assign their open textbooks Digital Object Identifiers or DOIs which are unique handles used to identify digital publications like online books. DOIs are commonly used for academic publications.

DOIs are what’s known as a ‘persistent identifier’ because they identify content rather than location. This means a DOI will always be associated with your textbook, regardless of its web address.

Getting a DOI for Your Open Textbook

You can get a DOI for your textbook by registering for a DOI registration agency (RA) service. DOI Registration agencies:

  • allocate DOI name prefixes
  • register DOI names
  • provide infrastructure for declaring and maintaining metadata and state data.

Most academic libraries already provide DOI minting services through DataCite, however this is usually for research data and outputs stored in institutional repositories, so you may need to choose a different DOI provider for your open textbooks.

You can use the areas of coverage table on the International DOI Foundation (IDF) website to find a suitable DOI provider. For example, Crossref is designed for scholarly and professional research content such as journal articles, books and conference proceedings so they may be good choice for open textbooks.

Adding DOIs in Pressbooks

Once you’ve minted your DOI, you can add it to your textbook in Pressbooks on the Book Info page

DOIs for open textbooks published in Pressbooks should be set to resolve to your webbook’s home page.

International Standard Book Numbers (ISBNs)

An ISBN or international standard book number is a unique 13-digit number designed to help readers, libraries and bookstores find information about your textbook, including:

  • title
  • author
  • publisher
  • publication date. 

Getting an ISBN for Your Open Textbook

Publishers in Australia can purchase ISBNs through the Thorpe-Bowker ISBN agency.

In New Zealand, ISBNs are allocated by the National Library of New Zealand (NLNZ).

Many academic libraries already provide ISBNs for in-house publications, so before you buy an ISBN for your open textbook, it's a good idea to discuss this with whoever is responsible for purchasing in your library (e.g. your acquisitions team).

If you’re publishing your textbook in multiple formats, each format should have its own ISBN, including:

  • ebook
  • print
  • audio. 

Adding ISBNs in Pressbooks

You can add ebook and print ISBNs to your textbook in Pressbooks on the Book Info page.

Pressbooks will add the ebook ISBN to the metadata file in your ebook and include it on the webbook home page.


Adapted from:

Marketing an Open Textbook’ in Open Textbook Publishing Orientation (PUB 101) by Open Education Network, licensed under a CC BY 4.0 licence.

Book Info’ in Pressbooks User Guide by Pressbooks, licensed under a CC BY 4.0 licence.