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NISO Digital Identifiers Roundtable

March 13-14, 2006
Lister Hill Center
US National Library of Medicine
Bethesda, Maryland

Roundtable Final Report

Roundtable Agenda and Presentations

This NISO workshop brought together key stakeholders with established interest and experience. The invited experts were asked to share their insights and address questions relating to the needs for standards and functional frameworks for digital identifiers, and the role that NISO can play in developing and promoting practices that will further the mission of its community.

Problem Statement

Digital object identifiers are the underpinning of many information systems, used across many disciplines. The ISO (particularly ISO TC 46) and NISO have played roles in promulgating identifiers commonly used within the library community. With the rapid expansion of the World Wide Web, the IETF and W3C have come to play an important role in defining identifiers for Internet applications. The need for identifiers is encountered in industry, commerce, academia, and government, and is perhaps most pressingly felt in fields that are rapidly growing, such as human genetics and the life sciences. Several observations arise after examining the existing standards and activities related to digital object identifiers:

  1. There is no shared view of the nature of an identifier, its properties, and the requirements for its creation and use.
  2. There is considerable duplicative effort across disciplines and sectors; although each discipline considers its efforts unique because its underlying data is unique, at an information science level they are often pursuing the same ends by similar means.
  3. Identifiers can only be fully considered in conjunction with their supporting services, including systems for creating identifiers, binding them to information or objects, and resolving an identifier to obtain the associated object or information (metadata) about it.
  4. Although much of this work is being conducted outside of the traditional library community, it is inescapable that much of it will eventually impinge upon libraries, due to their traditional role in gathering, archiving and disseminating information across all domains of human activity. The experience of NISO and its member bodies could helpfully inform a broad interdisciplinary discussion of identifiers and their requirements.

Discussion Documents

Definitions of Terms Related to Identifiers
(click here to download PDF version)

Common Identifiers and Their Acronyms
(click here to download PDF version)

Workshop Agenda

Workshop Agenda (PDF)


(* indicates speaker)

Geoffrey Adams, Endeavor Information Systems
*Emmanuelle Bermes, Bibliotheque Nationale de France
Richard Boulderstone, British Library
Mark Conrad, National Archives and Records Administration
Karen Coyle, NISO
*Ron Daniel, Taxonomy Strategies LLC
Ray Denenberg, Library of Congress
Tim DiLauro, Johns Hopkins University
James Erwin, DTIC
Emily Fayen, MuseGlobal
*Dale Flecker, Harvard University
*Brian Green, EDItEUR / ISO TC46
*Juha Hakala, Helsinki University Library
Bill Hoffman, Swets Information Services
Paul Jessop, IFPI
Gunilla Jonsson, Swedish National Library
*Mark Jordan, Simon Fraser University
*Ted Koppel, ExLibris
Chuck Koscher, CrossRef
*John Kunze, California Digital Library
Maureen Landry, Library of Congress, Serials
*Larry Lannom, Corporation for National Research Initiatives (CNRI)
Jim Lichtenberg, Book Industry Study Group
*Catherine Lupovici, Bibliotheque Nationale de France
Sally McCallum, Library of Congress
Michael Mealling, Refactored Networks, LLC
Eva Muller, Uppsala University
*Jim Ostell, National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI)
Jerry Persons, Stanford University
*Norm Paskin, International DOI Foundation
Robby Robson, Eduworks
*R.P.C. Rodgers, U.S. National Library of Medicine
*Pamela Simpson, Library of Congress
Mackenzie Smith, MIT Libraries, DSpace
*Pat Stevens, NISO
*Robert Tansley, Hewlett-Packard Labs
*Herbert Van de Sompel, Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL)
*Ed Walker, IMS Global Learning
Ye Wang, National Library of Medicine
*Stu Weibel, OCLC