John Ben DeVette's Blog

Thoughts experiences & learnings about the world of academic publishing …

PERMALINKS, TinyURL, and shortDOI …What’s the Difference? Which One Should I Use?

Permalinks, TinyURL and Mini-URL are all condensed, space-saving versions of an original full-length URL address.  As a link they are all permanent, as long as the original content is still hosted at the original URL address then a mini-URL “pointer” will take you the website just as effectively as a permalink.  However, all publishers eventually move their old content to a digital archive somewhere.  The better publishers of the world plan ahead and the URL that appears when an article is first published will stay with it for “eternity”, regardless of which server the fulltext is hiding in today.  But not all publishers are as technically savvy, and chose instead to offer us a permalink, which the publisher guarantees will always find the content even after being moved into a digital archive somewhere.  And, yes, permalinks are considered permanent.

Permalinks are 2-3 times longer than a mini-URL.  And they are obviously longer than the technology requires, but they also serve as a form of visual bookmark.  So if you want your blog readers to know exactly where the shortened URL is taking them before they click, permalinks do this.   This is especially helpful when pasting several URL links close to each other, using a permalinks instead of a TinyURL will certainly reduce confusion about which link is going to what website.  A TinyURL is usually shorter than a permalink.

The New York Times uses permalinks.  Here’s what one looks like: (80 characters)

As an example, I subsequently created a TinyURL link to the NYT’s permalink: (26 characters)

As you can see, if you want to go through the hassle, it is not difficult to make a (very short) mini-URL that points directly to the content VIA a (not as short) permalink.  Ergo. clicking on the TinyURL takes you directly and immediately to the article, AND it will continue taking you directly to the article five years from now because the TinyURL is piggy-backing onto the permalink which will always know where the content has been archived.

In conclusion, if you want the shortest URL possible:  Use TinyURL.  If you want the most durable:  Use a permalink.  If you want BOTH a short & durable link, then create a mini-URL that links to a permalink (or a DOI) that links to the content.

If you are still reading this post, you must be really interested in this stuff!

So, you will certainly want to know about a NEW SERVICE that shortens lengthy DOI URI addresses called shortDOI™ Service.  The shortDOI Service functions exactly like TinyURL, but is operated by the International DOI Foundation, whom the whole world trusts implicitly.

This is an excellent 149 word introduction to DOI:

DOI is the acronym for a Digital Object Identifier.  On the surface, a DOI functions the same as a mini-URL or a permalink.  But DOI’s are really only used for journal articles, academic books (book chapters), and soon datasets.  They are used primarily by the academic and scientific communities, and are created and managed by a small group of not-for-profit organizations ( ).  A DOI is really not an URL or an URI, but acts like one and it will always link to the same article or book.   Within the publishing industry DOI’s are considered 99.99% permanent (more reliable than TinyURL).  The main advantage of a DOI is when citation of the original content is required (footnotes, bibliographies, etc.).  The DOI is now an integral part of the global bibliometrics system whereby authors (professors, scientists, students, etc.) receive recognition and funding (money) based on how much they publish.  Short DOI


Have you seen my earlier post?  TINY URL – Now Everyone Can Make Permanent Mini-URL Addresses on the Fly (Just like Twitter)




14 October 2010 Posted by | Archival, Self Publishing, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

XML: A SIMPLE & SHORT INTRODUCTION for people who want to understand WHY IS XML SO IMPORTANT?

Attached is a brief, 7-slide PowerPoint presentation explaining in very simple English why XML is important to publishers, authors, universities, and almost anyone who is creating content to be loaded onto websites, published as an e-book, stored in a digital archive / institutional repository, or needs to be findable via Google or other search engines.

[This PowerPoint presentation is a excerpt of a longer presentation I gave to the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) on 2010 September 17, entitled:  FUTURE TRENDS OF ACADEMIC PUBLISHING:  Creating an Efficient Access & Distribution System for Japan’s Research Output.  A copy of the JST presentation has been translated into Japanese and is available either from JST or by contacting me directly.]

4 October 2010 Posted by | Archival, Digital Publishing, Self Publishing, University Publishing | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


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