[Tdwg-tag] Why we should not use LSID

Gregor Hagedorn G.Hagedorn at BBA.DE
Wed May 3 15:17:15 CEST 2006

Ro Page wrote:

> If we adopt PURLs (or, indeed, Handles, or DOIs, both of which have a  
> proper management structure), we still need to sort out metadata, data,  
> etc., which means essentially reinventing much of what we have for  
> LSIDs. Personally, I've no particular stake in this (having taken a  
> devil's advocate position at TDWG-GUID and argued for Handles, just for  
> fun), but given we have stuff for LSIDs, I struggle to see why we  
> should spend time reinventing this stuff.
> I fail to see a logical reason for banning the use of LSIDs in  
> ontologies. Let people chose what technology they think works best. If  

No problem with this. 

>>>From an SDD standpoint I would argue to currently avoid using LSIDs for taxon 
names or descriptive terms if you plan to use RDF/OWL based reasoning in the 
future, otherwise you may end up having to reissue (P)URL-based identifiers for 
all your objects, and provide translation services for data that use your LSID-
based identifiers. I see no reason why people should not use LSIDs for 
specimens if they like.

However, on the contrary at the TAG-1 meeting I perceived exactly the opposite, 
that TDWG does intend to make recommendations. I proposed that we should expect 
people to even provide the same object under different GUID schemes or services 
(purl, lsids) but the (clearly justified) concern was that this would make the 
system much more complicated.

> >  If you want to define the genus Rhododendron as being an OWL DL class  
> > retrieved remotely then you should probably give it a URL. If you want  
> > to define it as a data item then use a LSID.
> Please God no. Why would the type of information I'm requesting  
> influence the GUID protocol? This just strikes me as crazy.

I agree (although with the conclusion that a good recommendation is to avoid 
LSIDs for taxon names and concepts).

Gregor Hagedorn (G.Hagedorn at bba.de)
Institute for Plant Virology, Microbiology, and Biosafety
Federal Research Center for Agriculture and Forestry (BBA)
Königin-Luise-Str. 19           Tel: +49-30-8304-2220
14195 Berlin, Germany           Fax: +49-30-8304-2203

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