Identifying PIDs playing FAIR

Tracking #: 597-1577

Joakim PhilipsonORCID logo

Submission Type: 

Position Paper


This is an extended, revised version of [37]. Findability and interoperability of some PIDs, Persistent Identifers, and their compliance with the FAIR data principles are explored, where ARKs, Archival Reource Keys, were added in this version. It is suggested that the wide distribution and findability (e.g. by simple 'googling') on the internet may be as important for the usefulness of PIDs as the resolvability of PID URIs - Uniform Resource Identifiers. This version also includes new reasoning about why sometimes PIDs such as DOIs, Digital Object Identifiers, are not used in citations. The prevalence of phenomena such as link rot implies that URIs cannot always be trusted to be persistently resolvable. By contrast, the well distributed, but seldom directly resolvable ISBN, International Standard Book Number, has proved remarkably resilient, with far-reaching persistence, inherent structural meaning and good validatability, through fixed string-length, pattern-recognition, restricted character set and check digit. Examples of regular expressions used for validation of PIDs are supplied or referenced. The suggestion to add context and meaning to PIDs, making them "identify themselves", through namespace prefixes and object types is more elaborate in this version. Meaning can also be inherent through structural elements, such as well defined, restricted string patterns, that at the same time make PIDs more "validatable". Concluding this version is a generic, refined model for a PID with these properties, in which namespaces are instrumental as custodians, meaning-givers and validation schema providers. A draft example of a Schematron schema for validation of "new" PIDs in accordance with the proposed model is provided.


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Tuesday, July 30, 2019