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Interoperable identification infrastructure

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on August 6, 2009 at 5:32:15 am


Repository Interoperable Identification Infrastructure

Draft Action Plan for International Coordination

Document information

Version: 0.3



This action plan describes work to enable/assist us to do a better job of identifying entities within our repositories as well as making connections across repositories. For the purposes of this action plan, these entities are limited to: Author, Institution, Repository and Object entity (eg research paper, dataset or collection).  We know that we will have researchers contributing to an increasingly complex and diverse mesh of stores (including institutionally-supported, discipline-mandated, and publisher-hosted). We also know that we need to work on the underpinnings that will enable us to stitch these together (possibly via something like OAI-ORE or FRBR) and support a range of useful services. Note that the purpose of the workshop is not to debate competing information models, but to focus on what concrete steps we can take to improve the identification of entities in a coordinated way. However, we need to be aware that some of the interoperability challenges will come down to divergent information models.



NOTE: This action plan does not make any explicit recommendations about the particular identifiers to be used in each instance; this will need to be the subject of work under this action plan.




International coordination to set up an effective interoperable identification infrastructure for repositories (and other web entities) will enable:

-         researchers to navigate and interact with other people and systems, with a level of reliability that enables those interactions to be richer than possible now

-         publishers to have an infrastructure that includes the DOI-based systems currently used, but that also covers other entities related to the papers and datasets they publish

-         research managers or funders to have a reliable set of assertions about the relationships between papers, authors and projects; that is, those assertions are explicit and can be machine processed[1]

-         service providers and repository managers to be able to build much richer services for their users.




See Alma’s briefing materials, in particular these:

·        https://wiki.jisc.ac.uk/display/digitalrepositories/Author+identification

·        https://wiki.jisc.ac.uk/display/digitalrepositories/Institution+identifiers

·        https://wiki.jisc.ac.uk/display/digitalrepositories/Persistent+identifiers




























Undertake a significant round of workflow/usecase modelling, building on significant work already undertaken, and combined with iterative prototyping, to identify “good enough” solutions for a range of stakeholders.

6 person months

In parallel with other activities; total of 24 months elapsed time

Distributed activity across different domains, single place to share results

·         Any whose funders wish to support this

·         incidental activity in existing projects/services

·         dependent on people with the right Agile dev/reqts skills to do this well


Review and update existing relevant mindmaps provided as input to the workshop (and keep up to date for life of project as a resource)

1 person month


Single place to share/maintain results (in coordination with other activities)

Alma Swan (funded through Sherpa)

May need a way of pivoting/refactoring existing mindmaps to align with this program of work


Repository identifiers: build on things like DOAR and ROAR to produce a registry of available repositories. This would need to accommodate both open and closed access repositories, the ability to refer to things not in the registry, some sanity-checking on entries, temporal scope, and automated pings to detect ‘repository death’

12 person months

12 months

·         Probably mix of centralised and federated solution

·         Hub and spoke model?

Europe TBD

·         Build in an incremental way

·         Need benefits from inclusion

·         Draw on existing lists from other domains


Organisation identifiers: by geographical region, need to deal with temporal scope changes

12 person months

12 months

·         Probably federated solution

·         Hub and spoke model?

Everyone who cares

·         Many to many relationship between organisations and repositories

·         Base on existing lists (incl. DNS)

·         Governance model required


People identifiers: develop a people identifier collection service (both human and machine queryable) to enable people to create equivalence/non-equivalence assertions between a subset of their different digital identities, and to store these equivalences

36 person months for a prototype, plus user testing and marketing

18 months

Could be federated or centralised

·         SURF?

·         And anyone else who cares

·         Builds on existing author identifier systems

·         May be benefits in parallel approaches as a risk-mitigation strategy

·         Support for optional semi-automatic assistance with identifying possible candidate identities

·         Add different personas in version 2.0

·         What about authority files?


Object identifiers – phase 1: recognising the existence of a wide range of existing object identifier schemes, provide a simple object equivalence service. In version 1, this would operate at the level of FRBR Manifestations, and enable the ability to say (for instance) “the object in repository A identified by this Handle is the same as the object in repository B identified by this ARK”. Service would be queryable by both machines and humans.

12 person months dev time, plus subsequent marketing

9 calendar months

Could be federated or centralised

·         Potential for JISC to take this forward

·         Also links with DRIVER and other national activities

·         Motivated primarily by citation tracking, enhanced publications,  usecases




Object identifiers – Phase 2: Move to Expression level








·         Work or Expression version of this is more like people equivalence service

·         Build on RIDIR, and VALREC projects, as well as plagiarism detection

·         Other types of relationships could be picked up here



[1] Which is not to say those assertions are necessarily ‘valid’, that is, true.




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