This little app adds support for resolving doi: and hdl: URLs on MacOS X. The app is based around a simple little AppleScript that redirects such URLs to the appropriate resolvers at http://dx.doi.org or http://hdl.handle.net. For more information on these url schemes, see the doi: and hdl: pages.

To install the resolver, download and extract the contents of OpenDOI-1.0.zip, and then copy OpenDOI.app to /Applications/Utilities or somewhere permanent. You may need to restart Safari. You should then be able to resolve DOIs such as doi:10.1145/973097.973100 by simply clicking on them.

There are two known "problems" with this app:

  1. Unfortunately this solution doesn't work for a doi entered directly using Safari's URL bar: Safari seems to use a different resolving mechanism for such URLs. A workaround is to select the doi text and then use the "Open URL" service. I find it very useful to bind this service to a custom hot key (tutorial video).
  2. This solution likely will not work for Firefox or Mozilla browsers as they use their own URL handling mechanism. The CNRI provides a Firefox/Mozilla plugin to do this however.

Note: This resolver been tested on MacOS X 10.4, 10.5, and 10.6. You may want (need?) to recompile the script on 10.6, however.

Full credits to the following Apple page: http://www.apple.com/applescript/linktrigger/.

Placed in the public domain.

Brian de Alwis
bsd at mt.ca