Servicetypename PID resolver
Description Need an ID resolver which is really persistent:

There is no shortage of things which are claimed to be Persistent Identifier systems. The issues associated with these are the scalability of the solutions and the longevity of the underlying organisational structure. A name resolving system whose persistence is guaranteed by an international, government based organisation is needed. This could build on one or more existing name resolving systems, strengthening the organisational structures underpinning the resolver.

Contact David Giaretta, Barbara Bazzanella (UNITN); OKKAM srl
Source PARSE.Insight, OKKAM, EPIC: the European Persistent Identifier Consortium Service for the European Research Community
Keywords Persistent ID, OKKAM IDs, global and unique identifiers, ENS, alternative IDs, entities, data integration
Scenario A researcher reads a paper in a journal which refers to a dataset which he realises can be re-analysed and combined with some new data he has recently obtained. The paper has an identifier string for the dataset which after some investigation he sees is some sort of a "persistent identifier". Unfortunately the originator of that system is long gone, the DNS entry for the identifier name resolver system host has lapsed and the database system which was used is not available. A more permanent persistent identifier system is needed which itself has the appropri-ate longevity with committed long-term financial and social support.
John is a Project Officer who works for the European Commission. He is filling the Impact Assessment Form, which is part of the final evaluation report of a project he has been assigned. The project adopted the new EC policy on persistent identifiers (PIs), which means that any relevant entity connected to the project has a unique identifier. This means that the project itself has an identifier, together with every contributor (scientists, PhD students, developers, experts, ...) and every involved organization (universities, research institutes, companies, public bodies, ...). John interrogates the ENS to get the PI of the project assigned to him. Once accessing the Project Management System of the EC, John uses the project ID to collect all he needs to know to fill the form: the complete list of papers published or submitted for publication by the project team, a rich collection of metadata about them (type of publication, degree of inter-organizational collaboration, impact factors of journals, statistics on external and self-citations, and the like), a list of patents filed in the course of the project. He can browse the graph of EC funded projects and explore the history of past collaborations. He can retrieve (and visualize on a map) other data, which prove the impact of the project in terms of jobs created within the participating partners, number and location of startup companies and compute an overall impact indicator. This scenario shows how the integration of data through unique global IDs may allows policy makers to make much better informed decisions on the assignment of funds and provide a much more complete account to member states governments and European citizens.
Implementations APARSEN PI Framework as a prototype URN:NBN Resolver for Germany, Austria & Switzerland - The German National Library assigns and administrates URNs from the namespace "urn:nbn:de" and offers an URN resolving service for Germany, Austria and Switzerland. URN:NBN Resolver for Italy - The Florence National Library assigns and administrates the "urn:nbn:it" for the resources that are legally deposited in the National Library such as PhD Dissertation.

OKKAM Entity Name System (ENS) is a large scale infrastructure for supporting the systematic creation and reuse of identifiers for entities which are named on digital documents and resources. The vision behind the ENS is that of enabling the Web of Entities, namely a virtual space where any collection of digital data and information about any type of entities (e.g. people, locations, organizations, events, products, ...) can be integrated across the boundaries of local systems, like the Web did for hypertexts. The idea is to cut to the root the proliferation of unnecessary new identifiers for naming the entities which already have a public identifier and support the interoperability between these identifiers. To this purpose, the system provides a set of core functionality, i.e. searching for entities, adding new entities, creating new IDs, adding/searching for alternative IDs. Through these basic services, the system provides content creators, editors and developers with a global infrastructure and a collection of new tools and plugins which support them to easily find public identifiers for the entities named in their contents/services, use them for creating annotations, build new network-based services which make essential use of these identifiers in an open environment (like the Web or large Intranets).

EPIC: the European Persistent Identifier Consortium Service for the European Research Community is a PID service based on Handle for the allocation and resolution of persistent identifiers to the European Research community. The service is based on Handle and uses as a prefix the number 11858.

Nextsteps The OKKAM team is now working on the development of the ENS 2.0 which aims to implement a new identification schema by integrating the Persistent Identifiers approach with that of Cool URIs.

Finaldestination An identifier system for locating and cross-referencing digital objects which has adequate organisational, financial and social backing for the very long term which can be used with confidence.

A large scale distributed service which permanently stores identifiers for entities and provides a collection of core services (e.g. entity matching, ID mapping and resolution) needed to support their pervasive reuse, on top of which several value added services can be built (e.g. global resolution service, citability and provenance services).

A PID service, based on the handle system ( ), for the allocation and resolution of persistent identifiers.

Relevantprojects DOI (, DNS (Domain Name System), CASPAR (, URN (Uniform Resource Name), nestor catalogue of criteria for trusted PI-systems (, XRI (Extensible Resource Identifier), DPE ( , OKKAM Project (Large Scale Integrating Project co-funded by the EC); DOPA project
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Topic revision: r5 - 2012-10-29 - BarbaraBazzanella
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