[Tdwg-guid] Demise of Phyloinformatics journal

P. Bryan Heidorn pheidorn at uiuc.edu
Fri Nov 24 23:20:56 CET 2006

I agree this is an institutional or social issue.  The Berners-Lee  
document is an attempt to get people to stop changing URL/URIs  
because they do.
His arguments are sound but system administrators do not follow them  
DOIs do not have as much of a problem.

Also the second line of the document pertains directly to the issue  
at hand of the Phyloinformatics Journal, insolvency.

"In theory, the domain name space owner owns the domain name space  
and therefore all URIs in it. Except insolvency, nothing prevents the  
domain name owner from keeping the name."

The reality is that if you now type http://www.phyloinformatics.org  
you are offered the chance to buy the name.

Also, the critical issue is the support of multiple locations for  
reference schemes like DOI. A URI is one place on the internet, or a  
place that used to be in the internet and is no more. A unique naming  
scheme like GUIDs or DOI identify a digital object which may exist in  
several copies in several locations (e.g. URLs). The URLs can change  
or one can even be deleted but the others can persist. I am not  
advocating DOIs as the solution to everything because of the costs.  
Essentially we are paying someone to maintain a level of indirection  
in names so that URLs can change. For that matter DOI metadata can  
tell you where to find a paper copy. We could make Persistent URLs  
but this does not solve the problems.

On Nov 24, 2006, at 3:45 PM, Renato De Giovanni wrote:

> Hi Bryan,
> Just a quick comment about this part...
>> On the smaller issue, DOIs for publications, electronic or paper is a
>> no-brainer. URLs were never designed to be permanent. URLs were
>> designed to be reused and be flexible. With DOIs we can place the
>> same paper in multiple digital or physical locations and reliably
>> find copies.
> URLs were also not designed to be particularly impermanent - they
> were simply designed to be used. Technically there's nothing about
> DOIs that makes them more permanent than URLs. It's the management
> strategy behind it that makes it a "safer" choice. Nothing prevents a
> similar strategy to be built on top of URLs.
> By the way, there's a classic document by Tim Berners-Lee about the
> persistence of URIs: http://www.w3.org/Provider/Style/URI
> The big truth there is that "URIs don't change: people change them".
> Best Regards,
> --
> Renato
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   P. Bryan Heidorn    Graduate School of Library and Information  
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