[okfn-discuss] doi equivalent?

graham graham at theseamans.net
Thu Sep 3 15:15:23 UTC 2009

The two suggestions so far are PURLs and OpenURLs.

I'm pretty sure openURLs are out. As I understand it these basically
summarise the metadata associated with a publication and depend on one
metadata item already being a unique id (eg an ISBN), which is just what
I don't have. I'm also not sure about the interaction I'd have with link
resolvers which don't recognize my site as a valid data source.

PURLs sound more promising, but I still don't think they're quite right.
They assume a permanent location associated with a particular
publication, whereas if the ebooks I generate are free I don't care what
their location is (in fact it would be better for me if others host
them), though I do care if two copies in different locations are the
same (and so have the same uniqueid). I think I want two things: a
unique id independent of location (a URN), which would be stored in the
epub metadata, and a PURL which would give a constant reference to my
particular copy of the epub, for use by library link resolvers.

And I still haven't found a suitable URN type. ISBNs, NBNs and ISSNs are
out. So are DOIs. OIDs (http://www.oid-info.com) sound possible, but I
can't work out how to find a registering authority. So far of the ones
I've looked at UUIDs seem the best as not needing a central registration
authority, just ironic they're a Microsoft-derived standard.

How does CKAN id its entries? Or does it just reference external urls
and rely on the external hosts to manage their own URNs?


Peter Suber wrote:
> Hi Graham,
> You should consider OpenURL (a NISO standard since 2005),
> <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OpenURL>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OpenURL
> Here's an argument that OpenURL is superior to DOI,
> <http://www.chemspider.com/open-chemistry-web/openurl.html>http://www.chemspider.com/open-chemistry-web/openurl.html
>      Good luck,
>      Peter
> At 03:38 PM 9/2/2009, graham wrote:
>> Hi,
>> I'm new to this list so this may be a faq - if so please point me in the
>> right direction!
>> Is there any free equivalent to the DOI naming system (http://doi.org/) ?
>> I'm looking for something to generate unique ids for a potentially large
>> set of publications in .epub format. I'd like something which would let
>> them be part of a larger ecology when released (as with doi numbers) but
>> which doesn't cost money (don't have any) and isn't a proprietary system
>> (not certain about doi - it's certainly copyrighted and trademarked)
>> Thanks
>> Graham
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