DOIs for articles published in two languages/ translations

Good morning. Do any of you deal with content that is published in two languages (eg: translated versions)? I’m assuming the best practice is to assign a unique DOI for each, but was wondering if any other approaches are used. Merci bien! Jennifer

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My understanding is that the best practice is to assign a unique DOI for each and to add a related identifier to link the two objects.

If you are minting a DOI with DataCite, there is no specific relationType for translations. I think either “IsVariantFormOf” and “IsOriginalFormOf”, or “IsDerivedFrom” and “IsSourceOf”, could work, but I’m not sure if there is a recommendation.You can view the full list of relationTypes here in the Appendix on p. 46:

If you are minting a DOI with Crossref, the choice is clearer with the “isTranslationOf” and “hasTranslation” types:

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Hi there,
the problem with 2 different DOIs for different languages is that citations or almetrics will be counted separated, and this would be a disadvantage for the metrics of the research output, that can of course affect h-index, etc.
I can share the case of examples of 2 journals, that assign 1 DOIs per article:


I hope that helps.
Best wishes,

Hi all. My name is Isaac Farley, technical support manager at Crossref. @KellyStathis (thank you) is right in her response about Crossref’s recommendation here.

When a single journal article is published in two languages, each should be assigned its own DOI. In the example below are published in the same journal. The original language instance has metadata that contains no indication of the translation instance. The alternative language instance includes in its metadata a relation to the original language instance. Here is a screenshot of the relevant section in the code. Please refer to the code snippet below to see it in context.

Put differently, best practice is twofold:

  1. In the translation DOI’s metadata, include the element in the metadata for the article


  1. In the translation DOI’s metadata, include an isTranslationOf relationship, pointing back to the original article’s DOI

You can find more information on Relationship types and an example of a translated article here:

A good way to remember our best practice is to note that DOIs are “citation identifiers” not “work identifiers.” That means that if two publications will be cited differently, they should have distinct DOIs. And the same work would be cited differently if it’s in another language, so each language version should get its own DOI.

My best,

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Thanks for the information, Isaac. I wanted to make a broader point that it would be better to not talk about DOIs in a generic way - e.g DOIs do “x”, or best practice for DOIs is “x”. There are 10 different DOI Registration Agencies each with its own policies and services. So in terms of the discussion above - Isaac is referring to Crossref DOIs as citation identifiers. I think it’s also correct that DataCite DOIs are also citation identifiers. This then leads to the policy about translations. For example, for a journal article in two different languages, it’s important to cite the correct version since the interpretation of the work may be different. If the relationship is captured properly in the Crossref metadata, then this can be factored into metrics with the related Crossref DOIs being counted together.