A vibrant discussion on DOIs took place last month on the Google group. The consensus opinion seemed to be in favor of the inclusion of the DOI, if it exists, as a metadata field to be captured on the article page. We would second that opinion and so would Robert Tansley (we bet). Robert Tansley was a, if not the, key developer of DSpace. He spoke at the DSpace user meeting in Zurich last year and he explained that handles like DOIs should not be the URLs for the full-texts. Tansley said that people want to immediately get to a paper, but the handle put them 2 times removed from the PDF as the reader first has to go to a handle splash page. Also, DOIs don’t perform as well with Google indexing because the URL is not owned by your institution.
In addition to the issues Robert Tansley identified, there is another argument against making a DOI the URL for a paper: it lacks institutional branding. People click on URLs that they understand and view as authoritative, so the usability and discoverability of the URL matters to readers.