Well, DOIs (or digital object identifiers) are very handy to know about if you’re doing digital learning content curation. Articles and talks about learning curation tend to focus on social media, but at its heart, this type of curation is about finding, filtering, organising and sharing valuable learning content.
In her post about the skills of learning curation on this blog, Lumesse Learning’s Carole Bower encourages a healthy scepticism about any content found on the web. She encourages curators to ask: ‘who wrote this piece? Why did they write it? Did they have an agenda? Is it a primary source?’ An important function of of curation, she says is to ‘build a library of trusted sources’.
Clearly, establishing the value and trustworthiness of a piece of learning content is important for curators, and as we know, that is often a problem on the web. But there his another big problem with web content, too.
It moves around. Websites come and go, or are redesigned, content libraries change ownership; all of which leads to broken links, and 404 messages – a phenomenon often referred to as ‘link rot’.
So as a curator, once you’ve found a piece of content and deemed it trustworthy, how can you make sure when you share it that it will still be accessible on that link in six month’s time, next year, or the year after that?
DOIs can help with both these problems.