[tdwg-guid] Permanent LSID Proxy

Chuck Miller Chuck.Miller at mobot.org
Fri Nov 30 18:18:13 CET 2007

How to turn LSIDs into a clickable link guaranteed to work forever?

Rich's vision:
http://<some proxy server>.org/?urn:lsid:zoobank.org:act:1234

This sounds to me like a question more about networking infrastructure,
than TDWG's charter about data exchange protocols and content standards.
I have always presumed that TDWG's standards would work using whatever
networking infrastructure was available to them - e.g. DNS, HTTP, local
provider servers, etc.  

But, then lsid.tdwg.org was created--a server. Servers are operational
infrastructure.  I don't think TDWG has (yet) a "forever" funding stream
to enable operational infrastructure - ongoing operation of server room,
system administrator, network connections.  But, something like
lsid.tdwg.org would serve a valuable purpose as Rich notes of enabling
LSIDs as a clickable link in publications or other online sources.

Is there an existing international body that could operate a forever
functioning LSID proxy (say like, proxy.lsid.org--which unfortunately is
already lost to Lindsay-Strathmore Irrigation District)?

Maybe we will be forced to accept that there is no "forever" on the
Internet and accept instead the "forseeable future".  I would think for
the forseeable future that GBIF would be a good place to put a new LSID
infrastructure like this since they are in the "operations center"
business already and TDWG is by charter not. So, maybe the proxy should
be lsid.gbif.org?


-----Original Message-----
From: tdwg-guid-bounces at lists.tdwg.org
[mailto:tdwg-guid-bounces at lists.tdwg.org] On Behalf Of Richard Pyle
Sent: Friday, November 30, 2007 6:39 AM
To: 'Roger Hyam'; 'Roderic Page'
Cc: tdwg-guid at lists.tdwg.org
Subject: [tdwg-guid] Embedding LSID links within Publications

Thank you, Roger, for launching the next conversation I wanted to start
this list (not to interrupt the previous conversation....but this one is
actually more pressing for me right now): 

> Would it be better to take the approach we have with LSIDs 
> where we always cite a proxied version?
> What do other people do?

As many of you already know, I'm planning to publish the description of
new species of Chromis in Zootaxa on Jan 1 to:

- launch ZooBank
- Commemorate the 250th Anniversary of the start of Zoological
- Create an "exemplar" cybertaxonomy publication

I was talking this up at Bratislava, and things are still on track.
who wants to know more about the project, let me know and I'll send a
document describing it in more detail.

For now, I'll just provide a basic synopsis: This publication will
the first 5 zoological names proactively registered in ZooBank. As such,
there will be five ZooBank LSIDs, which I will want to include within
publication itself (published in both paper version to comply with ICZN
rules; and as an online PDF version, which 99.9% of people will actually
read).  The plan is to have the PDF version marked up as much as
with taXMLit & TaxonX markup files, SDD files for the character data,
ZooBank LSIDs, Images deposited in MorphBank, links to GenBank records
Barcode sequences, links to Museum specimen databases, links to BHL for
literature cited, etc., etc.

So....this will be a document intended to show what could be possible
all this TDWG stuff we've all be working on for all these years -- i.e.,
cybertaxonomy could/should be done in the age of the internet.

Now, the PDF file itself will be rather simple -- a standard PDF file as
normal Zootaxa practice -- except in this document, there will be MANY
embedded links that allow point-and-click access to all sorts of online
resources -- each of which will in some way showcase TDWG and TDWG-like

A bunch of these links will be LSIDs (e.g., ZooBank LSIDs, plus maybe
others).  However, some of them may be other links (DOIs, URLs, etc.).
HTTP and other self-resolving links will be pretty straightforward, but
not sure yet how to embed links associated with the LSIDs.

Obviously, LSIDs are not, by themselves, completely self-resolving via
web browsers, so simply embedding the LSID as a link will not do the
user much good.  Thus, I'm now thinking of how I can make the LSIDs
"clickable" from the PDF, to allow the cicker/user to be directed to
something meangiful.  And that has caused me to think a lot about HTTP
proxies for LSIDs.

Thus, assuming I have a ZooBank LSID that is
how do I represent that as a "clickable" link?  One way to do this would
to embed the LSID within the TDWG HTTP proxy:


However, what I'm shooting for is to have a document that can, as best
possible, withstand the test of time, such that 250 years from now, some
all of those embedded links will still work (I know, I know -- they
won't --
but humor me....) I'm a little neverous about simply assuming that the
LSID resolver will still be around in 250 years.  Besides, 99.9% of
will look at the returned RDF and scratch their heads.

My gut feeling is that LSIDs have a better chance of surviving the
than URLs do.  And following this premise, the LSID
"urn:lsid:zoobank.org:act:1234" will only survive as long as the
"zoobank.org" survives (in theory), so it seems to me a slightly more
appropriate solution would be to build a custom LSID resolver at
zoobank.org, and thereby format the clickable link as:


Does this make sense to anyone?  Am I missing something fundamental
Is there a better way to embed clickable links to LSIDs in a PDF

I have a bunch of other questions to follow up with, but let's tackle
one first.

Many thanks!!


Richard L. Pyle, PhD
Database Coordinator for Natural Sciences
  and Associate Zoologist in Ichthyology
Department of Natural Sciences, Bishop Museum
1525 Bernice St., Honolulu, HI 96817
Ph: (808)848-4115, Fax: (808)847-8252
email: deepreef at bishopmuseum.org

tdwg-guid mailing list
tdwg-guid at lists.tdwg.org

More information about the tdwg-tag mailing list