DOI Handbook (Version 2.5.0, November 2002) is the primary source of information about the DOI. It codifies the main elements in a form that can be easily assimilated by the non-technical reader, provides a central point of reference for more complex technical content, and enables updated information to be disseminated.
Bill Rosenblatt recounts the story of DOI. He explains what the book and journal publishers who developed the DOI were trying to do, what decisions they made, and why. (The Journal of Electronic Publishing 3(2) December 1997)