[tdwg-content] delimiter characters for concatenated IDs

Chuck Miller Chuck.Miller at mobot.org
Mon May 5 16:54:11 CEST 2014

A “global” resolver that manages globally unique resolvable identifiers for every single specimen record in the world (billions?) as a web-service should be operated by a hosting facility with a global charter and globally funded resources.  That is the definition of GBIF to my understanding.  What other specimen/observation repository has greater critical mass to “mint” and maintain GUIDs for all the world?


From: hilmar.lapp at gmail.com [mailto:hilmar.lapp at gmail.com] On Behalf Of Hilmar Lapp
Sent: Monday, May 05, 2014 9:47 AM
To: Robert Guralnick
Cc: Chuck Miller; tdwg-content at lists.tdwg.org; John Deck; tomc at cs.uoregon.edu
Subject: Re: [tdwg-content] delimiter characters for concatenated IDs

I couldn't agree more.

I would also ask why there still isn't a global resolver as a web-service that takes specimen metadata as input (such as the DwC triplet) and returns globally unique resolvable identifiers, minting them if necessary. If the technologically savvy people of this community came together, this could be built at least as a prototype in a couple of days. As I've suggested to iDigBio before, they could hold a hackathon on this, commit to hosting and further developing the outcome, and the problem would be solved once and for all. It would arguably be fully within their mandate.

If instead of the many workshops that have been held on talking about the problem we as a community would finally will ourselves to actually solving it, that part really isn't so difficult.


On Mon, May 5, 2014 at 10:23 AM, Robert Guralnick <Robert.Guralnick at colorado.edu<mailto:Robert.Guralnick at colorado.edu>> wrote:

  We've been examining the use (ad mis-use) of the DwC triplet, and how that propagates out of local portals and platforms into other ones.   The end message from this work (and I am happy to share the manuscript and all the datasets we have compiled and examined) is that it is a _terrible_ choice for a global unique identifier.

   There are so many better choices, that don't rely on delimiters or on what is ultimately a non-globally unique, non persistent,  non resolvable choice for a (permanent, resolvable, globally unique) identifier.  As opposed to having this conversation, I wonder why we aren't having one about ALL the other more rational choices...

Best, Rob

On Mon, May 5, 2014 at 8:14 AM, Chuck Miller <Chuck.Miller at mobot.org<mailto:Chuck.Miller at mobot.org>> wrote:
Didn’t we reach a general consensus within the last couple of years that the vertical pipe (|) was the preferred concatenation symbol?


From: tdwg-content-bounces at lists.tdwg.org<mailto:tdwg-content-bounces at lists.tdwg.org> [mailto:tdwg-content-bounces at lists.tdwg.org<mailto:tdwg-content-bounces at lists.tdwg.org>] On Behalf Of Markus Döring
Sent: Monday, May 05, 2014 8:49 AM
To: "Dröge, Gabriele"
Cc: tdwg-content at lists.tdwg.org<mailto:tdwg-content at lists.tdwg.org>
Subject: Re: [tdwg-content] delimiter characters for concatenated IDs

Hi Gabi,
can you explain a little more what you are trying to do giving an example maybe?

It appears to me you are creating (globally) unique identifiers on the basis of various existing fields which is fine. But when you use the identifier to create resource relations they should be considered opaque and you should not need to parse out the underlying pieces again. So in that scenario the character used to concatenate the triplet does not really matter for the end user as long as its unique and points to some existing resource, indicated by the occurrenceID in case of occurrences or the materialSampleID for samples.


On 05 May 2014, at 15:24, Dröge, Gabriele <g.droege at BGBM.ORG<mailto:g.droege at BGBM.ORG>> wrote:

Hi everyone,

I guess there might have been some discussions about proper delimiter characters in the past that I have missed.

In several projects, first of all in GGBN (Global Genome Biodiversity Network, http://www.ggbn.org<http://www.ggbn.org/>), there is a need for making a decision now. We need to reference between different records and databases and within Darwin Core we want to use the relatedResourceID to do so.

During our GGBN workshop at TDWG last year we agreed on concatenating the traditional triple ID (Catalogue Number, Collection Code, Institution Code) and add further parameters if required too (e.g. GUID, access point). We have checked those parameters and can definitely not use a single character as delimiter.

So my question to you is, if there are already some suggestions on using two characters together as delimiters. It would be great if we could find a solution more than one community could agree on.

Otherwise I would like to open the discussion and suggest "\\", "||", "\|", "§|", "§§", or "\§".

Best wishes,
Gabriele Droege
Coordinator - DNA Bank Network
Global Genome Biodiversity Network (GGBN)
Berlin-Dahlem DNA Bank
Women's Officer ZE BGBM

Botanic Garden and Botanical Museum Berlin-Dahlem
Freie Universität Berlin
Koenigin-Luise-Str. 6-8
14195 Berlin

+49 30 838 50 139<tel:%2B49%2030%20838%2050%20139>

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