[tdwg-guid] BioGUID

Roderic Page r.page at bio.gla.ac.uk
Wed Mar 21 17:31:01 CET 2007

Dear Donald,

There is a tension here. URN-based identifiers (which include both  
LSIDs and DOIs) have the advantage of persisting independently of HTTP.  
One could argue that HTTP URIs could be treated in the same way (just  
strip off "http://"), but that might be thought of as cheating ;-)

Since I'm arguing for DOIs and Handles, I'm in favour of URNs. But we  
then have to be able to de-reference them, which today means that we  
need to be able to be treated as HTTP URIs, especially if we need to  
play ball with the the Semantic Web.

This is why I set up bioguid.info to play with things like DOIs. It  
acts as a proxy server that takes a URN and returns RDF (and tries to  
play by Semantic Web rules such as returning a 303 and redirecting to  
the RDF representation of an object).

My problem with LSIDs (and it kinda breaks my heart to say this given  
how much I've played with them) is that I don't see them offering any  
real advantages that outweigh the hassle of supporting their own  
resolution protocol, if what we ultimately need is HTTP URIs, then why  
go through the pain of LSID server software?



On 21 Mar 2007, at 15:38, Donald Hobern wrote:

> Rod,
> I'd just like to support your suggestion that DOIs are the obvious  
> choice wherever we need a GUID for interacting with publishers or  
> ensuring citability, and certainly for any elements which may require  
> special handling (e.g. alternate views for subscribers and the general  
> public).  
> In case there is any confusion over the outcomes of the TDWG workshops  
> on GUIDs, the conclusion there was that different identifier models  
> were likely to be appropriate in different situations.  The general  
> recommendation to adopt LSIDs was because they were lightweight at the  
> time of issuing (no need to register them centrally) and could be  
> resolved without a dependency on a single central service.  At the  
> same time, the choice of a URN-based identifier scheme rather than  
> HTTP URIs still seems (at least to me) to be a benefit because we want  
> to be able to assign identifiers which (at least in principle) are not  
> tied to the current (albeit seemingly omnipresent) HTTP technologies -  
> many of the objects we wish to identify have already had a valuable  
> existence far longer than the Internet Age.  In cases needing a more  
> centralised and potentially robust solution, and where linkage to the  
> publishing world is desired, DOIs are often likely to be the preferred  
> choice.
> Donald
> On Mar 21, 2007, at 4:21 PM, Roderic Page wrote:
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> Donald Hobern (dhobern at gbif.org)
> Deputy Director for Informatics 
> Global Biodiversity Information Facility Secretariat 
> Universitetsparken 15, DK-2100 Copenhagen, Denmark
> Tel: +45-35321483   Mobile: +45-28751483   Fax: +45-35321480
> ------------------------------------------------------------
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
iChat:    aim://rodpage1962
reprints: http://taxonomy.zoology.gla.ac.uk/rod/pubs.html

Subscribe to Systematic Biology through the Society of Systematic
Biologists Website:  http://systematicbiology.org
Search for taxon names: http://darwin.zoology.gla.ac.uk/~rpage/portal/
Find out what we know about a species: http://ispecies.org
Rod's rants on phyloinformatics: http://iphylo.blogspot.com
Rod's rants on ants: http://semant.blogspot.com

More information about the tdwg-tag mailing list