Thursday, February 18, 2010

Digital Identifiers

Abstract Modelling of Digital Identifiers by Nick Nicholas, Nigel Ward and Kerry Blinco appears in the latest Ariadne.
Discussion of digital identifiers, and persistent identifiers in particular, has often been confused by differences in underlying assumptions and approaches. To bring more clarity to such discussions, the PILIN Project has devised an abstract model of identifiers and identifier services, which is presented here in summary. Given such an abstract model, it is possible to compare different identifier schemes, despite variations in terminology; and policies and strategies can be formulated for persistence without committing to particular systems. The abstract model is formal and layered; in this article, we give an overview of the distinctions made in the model. This presentation is not exhaustive, but it presents some of the key concepts represented, and some of the insights that result.

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