The persistent identification of digital, and human, resources is a crucial issue for the whole information society. Location, discoverability and citability of resources (ranging from raw data to datasets to publications etc.) and people depend on Persistent Identifiers (PI). Some notable experiences have emerged in different domains, like URN in use by research institutes and libraries (NBN) or DOI in use by publishers and libraries, but some weak points still remain:
- some institutions have not yet implemented a standard identifier system
- a global unique technology cannot be expected/imposed
- a unique access point to a joint cross-domain service is missing
- added value services tailored on different user communities are still inadequate
Moreover the user communities have different visions and approaches to PI concepts, different objects, granularity of what an identifier must refer to, different legal and cost models. Some experience with semantic web approaches have arisen and sound promising but adoption by user communities is still not very wide and mature. For the identification of people, the ORCID  initiative aims to provide unique identifiers for researchers linkable to an individual’s research output, to enhance the scientific discovery process and improve the efficiency of funding and collaboration. To overcome these weaknesses, this WP aims to:
- provide an overview of the current PI systems and criteria for evaluation
- design a reference model to describe an interoperability framework and provide an integrated entry point
- define community-driven added value services
Description of work and role of partners
Task 2210: Survey and benchmarking (M2-M5) (Lead UT)
Existing PI solutions present a fragmentary landscape because each of them addresses only a particular set of domain requirements. This task aims to defining a complete state of art of the available identifier systems adopted by different user communities. The initial study will include an analysis of user requirements, use cases and scenarios, to help to outline a set of criteria in terms of organisational framework, object management, infrastructure and security. The final objective is to provide a benchmarking model, with criteria for evaluation, to support user communities and institutions in the identification of the appropriate PI system.
Task 2220: Identifier evaluation and integration into an Interoperability Framework and Reference Model (IFRM) (M5-M12) (Lead FRD)
The various identifier systems will be evaluated against the requirements. It is likely that no one system will satisfy all requirements. Therefore in order to create the conditions for an effective interoperability between credible PI systems, we believe it is necessary to define an Interoperability Framework which takes into account both organisational and technical issues. This task will take advantage of work ongoing in partners, and intends to provide a Reference Model that addresses functions, roles and responsibilities to implement a dynamic interoperability of heterogeneous PI systems checked by user communities against the benchmarks developed in Task 2210. Moreover the IFRM will be tested through a proof of concept, for example as a root name resolver.
Task 2230: Citability advanced services (M8-M32) (Lead FRD)
Due to the unprecedented growth of electronic resource (e-resource) availability, one of the questions currently being explored is: “how often are e-resources being cited in my research community?” The IFRM would allow the citability of cross-domain stable resources and consequently to build a number of services tailored on specific community requirements. The pervasiveness of the adopted services is in fact one of the key factors for an extensive consensus building and for the long term sustainability of the service itself. In particular, by addressing the citability issues, it is possible to design advanced services for resources identified by different PI systems, such as:
- bibliometric statistics to quantify original research and reviews
- cross citations allowing the user to move from one article to another at the citation level, regardless of journal or publisher
- a European register of certified resources for an automatic citation indexing system
- the ORCID initiative aims to provide unique identifiers for researchers linkable to an individual’s research output
Particular attention will be devoted to experiences like Europeana, PersID aiming to implement some first pilot services and ORCID. These services are addressed to all the different communities but it is envisaged to identify new prospective services oriented to cluster communities at national or international level. A series of success indicators will be identified to evaluate the pervasiveness of the proposed services.