Two kinds of GUIDs?

Yde de Jong yjong at SCIENCE.UVA.NL
Fri Nov 4 11:55:31 CET 2005

Dear all,

Considering the last messages.

In my understanding (sorry for repeating part of your input) we can
distinguish two kinds of GUIDs:

(1) Universal GUIDs like the ISBN numbers of publications and the
GeneBank codes of sequences.

(2) Local GUIDs, which are uniquely linked to objects in your (local)
database, however, which metadata and metadata structure is
standardised (in our case by GBIF).

The Universal GUIDs we need for unambiguous cross-linking of
databases, because we can't match databases efficiently otherwise
(e.g. semantically). Indeed in the future everyone should add a
column to its taxon table and cross-reference to a universal GUIDs
system (=nomenclator) which keep the standard GUIDs for each name
(let's leave 'what's in the name' for the moment).

For me its clear that there is a difference between the use of a name
within a concept and the name itself. Such a universal GUIDs system
doesn't need to deal with the use of names and therefore not with
concepts. Actually names within a nomenclator should never change,
only the content should grow through time (like sequence data in

Local GUIDs are important for GBIF to show the origin of data. This
is essential not only for a proper acknowledgement, but also to
identify possible duplications (e.g. Fauna Europaea data sets are
being implemented in many other databases, GBIF needs to have a tool
to detect such duplications).

In addition those local GUIDs can be used, when cross-mapped with
universal GUIDs, to provide concepts for the GBIF portal in a
workable way. Meaning that a GBIF portal user can chose which species
concept (e.g. that of the CoL) he/she would like to use for
connecting the requested biodiversity data.

Kind regards,


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