[tdwg-tag] SourceForge LSID project websites broken - role for TDWG?

Donald.Hobern at csiro.au Donald.Hobern at csiro.au
Wed Apr 8 02:18:35 CEST 2009

The Hilse & Kothe document to which Hilmar refers is a great overview of technologies, issues and the steps that any institution should take if they wish to use persistent identifiers for data.

Aside from the documents produced from the two TDWG GUID workshops, and the LSID Applicability Statement currently under review, I don't think we have any such document under development for our community.

Personally I would like to see this developed as a package consisting of several elements.  The first of these should include the kind of general material found in the Hilse & Kothe document to give context to the whole idea of persistent identification and the processes and policies necessary to make it work.  The rest should be applicability statements for LSIDs and for other identifier technologies which might be adopted for biodiversity data.

One factor which has been somewhat ignored in all this discussion is the form which metadata should take when associated with different identifier types.  The LSID specification is relatively clear in this regard - requiring RDF metadata.  I believe that the main reason we are all interested in globally-unique identifiers (and in the persistent and resolvable flavours of such identifiers) is that we hope to simplify the task of cross-institutional data integration.  Our primary goal is to facilitate some level of machine interoperability around our data.  This means that we do need to mandate appropriate standard practices for associating machine-readable metadata with any identifier, whether it is an LSID, a PURL, a DOI or something else.  If we adopt a less challenging form of GUID, but do not increase the number of providers offering interoperable metadata through such identifiers, we will not have gained anything.

In other words, the most important thing of all is to make some real progress with the TDWG ontology work.


Donald Hobern, Director, Atlas of Living Australia
CSIRO Entomology, GPO Box 1700, Canberra, ACT 2601
Phone: (02) 62464352 Mobile: 0437990208 
Email: Donald.Hobern at csiro.au
Web: http://www.ala.org.au/ 

-----Original Message-----
From: Hilmar Lapp [mailto:hlapp at duke.edu] 
Sent: Wednesday, 8 April 2009 4:43 AM
To: Bob Morris; Roderic Page; Technical Architecture Group mailing list; Hobern, Donald (Entomology, Black Mountain)
Subject: Re: [tdwg-tag] SourceForge LSID project websites broken - role for TDWG?

There seem to be a number of strong viewpoints, expectations for  
social compliance as well as institutional commitment, and  
disagreements on the best suited technical avenues that I'm wondering  
whether this wouldn't be the stuff out of which a position paper could  
be distilled for e-Biosphere, with the aim of publishing it as a  
community paper in a journal later.

Maybe something along the lines of something like Hilse & Kothe,  
Implementing Persistent Identifiers (http://www.knaw.nl/ecpa/publ/pdf/2732.pdf 
) but focused on a comparison between a few alternatives for  
biodiversity informatics and their implementation and institutional  

Maybe that would help to better move the community forward in between  
those discussions?

Or is someone writing that already?

: Hilmar Lapp  -:-  Durham, NC  -:- hlapp at duke dot edu :

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