[Tdwg-guid] DOIs and persistence -- when DOIs go bad

Roderic Page r.page at bio.gla.ac.uk
Fri May 26 00:07:51 CEST 2006

I know we've pretty much abandoned DOIs, but I thought the following  
example might serve as a reminder that persistence is a social problem,  
not a technical one. DOIs are perhaps the most widespread GUIDs  
relevant to our area, and have a lot of technical and financial  
resources behind them. But they can still fail.

For example, the DOI 10.1600/0363-6445(2003)028[0387:PORLFR]2.0.CO;2  
doesn't exist in CrossRef (try  
http://dx.doi.org/10.1600/0363-6445(2003)028[0387:PORLFR]2.0.CO;2). The  
paper with this DOI is here:  

This problem affects a lot of BioOne-hosted journals (for another  
example see my comments on using Flickr to store Open Access images -  
http://iphylo.blogspot.com/2006/05/open-access-taxonomy.html). I've  
been in touch with both CrossRef and BioOne about this, and it may be a  
few months before this is resolved (BioOne have installed some new  
software, and haven't registered their DOIs -- which as far as I can  
figure out violates CrossRef's rules).

The DOI example above is particularly annoying for me, because it  
relates to IPNI's LSIDs. One of my favourite plant taxa is Poissonia  
heterantha (lsidres:urn:lsid:ipni.org:names:20012728-1). The IPNI  
metadata for this name include the following:

<tn:publishedIn>Syst. Bot. 28(2): 401 (2003). </tn:publishedIn>

Wouldn't it be nice to have something like:

rdf:resource="doi:10.1600/0363-6445(2003)028[0387:PORLFR]2.0.CO;2" />

Given a DOI, users can locate the article quickly and, via CrossRef,  
extract metadata. The more taxonomic literature is associated with  
GUIDs such as DOIs, Handles, and LSIDs, the better.

It's interesting (and disconcerting) that even DOIs can be screwed up.


Professor Roderic D. M. Page
Editor, Systematic Biology
Graham Kerr Building
University of Glasgow
Glasgow G12 8QP
United Kingdom

Phone:    +44 141 330 4778
Fax:      +44 141 330 2792
email:    r.page at bio.gla.ac.uk
web:      http://taxonomy.zoology.gla.ac.uk/rod/rod.html
reprints: http://taxonomy.zoology.gla.ac.uk/rod/pubs.html

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