NISO RP-8-2008, Journal Article Versions (JAV): Recommendations of the NISO/ALPSP JAV Technical Working Group was published in 2008. Publication practices have changed rapidly since then, and the recommendations need updating. Preprints have become very important as a publication type in scholarly publication workflows and practice, as they are made publicly available through pre-publication repositories, and various publishers are experimenting with different ways to publish, update and keep research alive. Versions are important and citeable, and for many publishers the concept of a ‘version of record’ no longer applies or can apply to more than one instance of an article.
As a result, the assigning of persistent identifiers in the form of DOIs to versions is varied, and the inconsistency with which this is done prevents the ecosystems and services surrounding publishers from adapting appropriately. Should there be a single DOI for an article, regardless of version? Different DOIs for each version? How are the identifiers connected and used? How do we define a version? The current landscape has created many questions and a lot of confusion and inconsistency - there is a lack of standard ways for content to be managed, indexed and tracked.
This working group will define a set of terms for each of the different versions of content that are published, as well as a recommendation for whether separate DOIs should be assigned to them. Input will be needed from publishers, indexers, librarians, researchers and DOI registries to ensure the proposal can be supported by the infrastructure.