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> The injunction against citing DOI-less documents is unfortunate, because people deserve to get credit for the interesting things they say–and it turns out that they have, on rare occasion, been known to say interesting things in formats other than the traditional peer-reviewed journal article.

Ain't that the truth. There's a paper that came out a few years ago which said that new method B is 3x faster than old method A. That's well and good. But there were two widely-used free software projects which had done the same thing, blogged about it, and for one case had the old code still available as a #define option. While the published article was based on a proprietary in-house package.

I pointed the two previous reports to one of the authors, who had heard of one, but because it wasn't an academic paper, it wasn't worth citing. Grr! Because free software developers really have the time and money to write a paper for the $1,000 per pop open access journal in the field.

I've been reading old literature, from the 1980s and older. There used to be a "Letters to the Editor" section, which was sometimes used to point out or correct these sorts of issues. No more. That same open access journal says my only options are to write a comment on their comments section (which unlike an old Letter to the Editor, no one reads, which is not indexed, and is not citable), or submit an entirely new article, at $1,000.

The other thing a requirement for a DOI does it prevent citing the older literature, which doesn't always have a DOI.

> [Quoting Neuron's author guidelines] "References should include only articles that are published or in press. For references to in press articles, please confirm with the cited journal that the article is in fact accepted and in press and include a DOI number and online publication date. Unpublished data, submitted manuscripts, abstracts, and personal communications should be cited within the text only."

This would make certain publications impossible. For example, in my historical research, I tracked down the paper "Ciphering Structural Formulas – the Zatopleg System", Zator Technical Bulletin No. 59 (1951). This was cited by many chemical information papers in the 1950s and 1960s, and in some patents. However, the only copy I could find was in the Mooers archive at the Charles Babbage Institute. (Mooers founded Zator.) The archive controls the copyright, and lets people make copies for research purposes, so long as the archive/box/folder information is included in the citation.

Which is why if you look at a paper like http://trafficways.org/ascii/ascii.pdf it has citations like:

> Thomas E. Kurtz, letter to Secretary, X3, December 21, 1965, Calvin N. Mooers Papers (CBI 81), Charles Babbage Institute, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, box 20, folder 1.

Try doing that "within the text only".

My PhD advisor had a paper which was rejected by a few major journals, so he decided to keep it as a preprint and see how many citations it could acquire. It has hundreds now.

These days he'd stick it on arxiv. Arxiv doesn't appear to issue DOIs, you're supposed to add the DOI from a real journal after the preprint gets published.

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