Standardized Handling of Digital Resources: An Annotated Bibliography

5. Identifiers

Efforts to control the wealth of information available in both electronic and non-electronic form have included several standards for assigning identifiers to documents and resources. While many of these (ISBN, ISSN, etc.) have been known to the library community for years, the unique properties of electronic resources have led to the development of several new identification standards. The following section provides a list of resources discussing standards for identification which are relevant to the handling of electronic resources.

Association of American Publishers & Corporation for National Research Initiatives (1997, June 21). Digital Object Identifier system [On-line]. Available on the World Wide Web: http://www.doi.org
The Digital Object Identifier system is a system for marking digital objects in order to facilitate electronic commerce and enable copyright management systems. This site provides an overview of and background information regarding the system, a calendar of events regarding the system, and a Frequently Asked Questions page.
Berners-Lee, T. (1994, June). Universal Resource Identifiers in WWW: A unifying syntax for the expression of names and addresses of objects on the network as used in the World-Wide Web: Request for comments 1630 [On-line]. Available on the World Wide Web: http://www.internic.net/rfc/rfc1630.txt
This informational Request for Comments defines the syntax used by the WWW to encode the names and addresses of objects, and thus forms the basis of Uniform Resource Locators as they are commonly used today.
Berners-Lee, T., Masinter, L., & McCahill, M. (1994, December). Uniform Resource Locators (URL): Request for comments 1738 [On-line]. Available on the World Wide Web: http://www.internic.net/rfc/rfc1738.txt
This RFC specifies an Internet standards track protocol for Uniform Resource Locators, the "syntax and semantics of formalized information for location and access of resources via the Internet." It derives from RFC 1630 for URIs (see above).
Connolly, D., & Berners-Lee, T. (1997, June 4). Web naming and addressing overview (URIs, URLs, ...) [On-line]. World Wide Web Consortium. Available on the World Wide Web: http://www.w3.org/Addressing/Addressing.html
This WWW page provides a basic introduction to Uniform Resource Identifiers (URIs), Uniform Resource Names (URNs), and Uniform Resource Locators (URLs). It includes a timeline of the development of the different addressing schemes, with pointers to the relevant standards documents. It also includes information on how to get involved in discussions on these schemes, and links to relevant background literature.
Corporation for National Research Initiatives (1997, June 16). The Handle system [On-line]. Available on the World Wide Web: http://www.handle.net/
"The Handle System is Internet naming scheme software developed by the Corporation for National Research Initiatives (CNRI). A Handle is a name used to identify digital items or other Internet resources." The Handle System provides for a distributed information system which stores resource names and the information necessary to locate and retrieve the named items, and conforms to all of the requirements of Request for Comments 1737 (Uniform Resource Names). This WWW page provides an introduction to the Handle System, technical documentation on the system, access to Handle System software, and access to the administration system for creating and editing handles.
Fielding, R. (1995, June). Relative Uniform Resource Locators: Request for comments 1808 [On-line]. Available on the World Wide Web: http://www.internic.net/rfc/rfc1808.txt
An Internet standards track RFC, this document is probably both the most authoritative and accurate description of URLs as they are currently known on the World Wide Web. It updates the notion of URLs specified in RFC 1738 so that resource locations specified within a document can inherit the context of the document in which they are embedded.
International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC) (1997, April 9). ISAN: International Standard Audiovisual Number: CIS brief no. 3 [On-line]. Available on the World Wide Web: http://www.cisac.org/isanfly.htm
International Standard Audiovisual Numbers are intended by CISAC to provide for audiovisual works what ISBNs and ISSNs provide for books and serials. ISANs are being allocated by the Association de Gestion Internationale Collective des Oeuvres Audiovisuelles (AGICOA) and CISAC. This page provides a simple explanation of ISANs and their allocation.
International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC) (1997, April 9). ISWC: The International Standard Works Code: CIS brief no. 2 [On-line]. Available on the World Wide Web: http://www.cisac.org/iswcfly.htm
The International Standard Work Code (ISWC) is a number which may be assigned to any creative work, and is part of the WorksNet project, a global information network among societies of authors, which in turn has been developed as part of the Common Information System project sponsored by CISAC. This page provides an extremely simple description of ISWCs and how they are assigned.
International Organization for Standardization, Joint Technical Committee 1 / Subcommittee 21 (1997). ISO/IEC 7498-3:1997 Information technology -- Open Systems Interconnection -- Basic Reference Model: Naming and addressing. Geneva: International Organization for Standardization/International Electrotechnical Commission (ISO/IEC).
Describes the architectural principles which should be followed in the creation of any standard for the identification and location of objects for the purpose of interconnection within the OSI environment.
International Organization for Standardization, Technical Committee 46 / Subcommittee 9 (1986). ISO 3901:1986: Documentation -- International Standard Recording Code (ISRC). Geneva: International Organization for Standardization.
The international standard identifying code system for sound recordings.
International Organization for Standardization, Technical Committee 46 / Subcommittee 9 (1986). ISO 3297:1986: Documentation -- International Standard Serial Numbering (ISSN). Geneva: International Organization for Standardization.
The international standard identifying code system for serial publications.
International Organization for Standardization, Technical Committee 46 / Subcommittee 9 (1992). ISO 2108:1992: Information and documentation -- International Standard Book Numbering (ISBN). Geneva: International Organization for Standardization.
The international standard identifying code system for published books.
International Organization for Standardization, Technical Committee 46 / Subcommittee 9 (1993). ISO 10957:1993: Information and documentation -- International Standard Music Number (ISMN). Geneva: International Organization for Standardization.
The international standard identifying code system for published editions of printed music.
International Organization for Standardization, Technical Committee 46 / Subcommittee 9 (1994). ISO 10444:1994: Information and documentation -- International Standard Technical Report Number (ISRN). Geneva: International Organization for Standardization.
The international standard identifying code system specifying a uniform format for the creation of unique numbers designated for the identification, use and location of technical reports.
ISSN International Centre (1997, May 2). ISSN and serial publications [On-line]. Available on the World Wide Web: http://www.issn.org/
This is the home page of the ISSN International Centre, which coordinates the activities of national ISSN registration authorities and also assigns ISSNs for international journals. This page provides a variety of information about ISSNs, as well as access to the services of the ISSN International Centre.
Martin, D. (n.d.). A standard identifier for book items and contributions: A report prepared for Book Industry Communication and the British National Bibliography Research Fund [On-line]. Available on the World Wide Web: http://www.bic.org.uk/bic/bicidrft.doc
The Book Item and Component Identifier (BICI), a book version of the SICI, has been drafted by Book Industry Communication, an organization sponsored by The Publishers Association, the Booksellers Association, the Library Association, and the British Library. BICI is very closely based on the SICI, with the ISBN replacing the ISSN and with a number of other changes, either needed because of the different characteristics of books versus serials, or designed to make the code distinctive. The above URL provides the draft of the BICI standard in Microsoft Word 6.0 format. People interested in BICI might also want to examine another document at BIC's WWW site, Unique Identifiers: a brief introduction ( http://www.bic.org.uk/bic/uniquid.html), which provides a general discussion of identifiers, with specific examinations of SICI, BICI, PII, URNs and PURL, and DOI.
National Information Standards Organization (1996). Z39.56-1996: Serial Item and Contribution Identifier (SICI). Oxon Hill, MD: NISO Press.
This standard defines the requirements for providing in coded form an identifier for each issue of a serial and each contribution in an issue of a serial.
OCLC Online Computer Library Center (1996). Persistent URL home page [On-line]. Available on the World Wide Web: http://purl.oclc.org/
Persistent Uniform Resource Locators (PURLs) are URLs which, instead of pointing directly to the location of a resource, point to an intermediate location resolution service. The PURL resolution service associates the PURL with a URL, which it returns to the client. PURLs therefore constitute an intermediate step towards the development of Uniform Resource Names. This WWW page provides documentation on PURLs, software for resolving PURLs, and links to mechanisms for interacting with OCLC's PURL resolution service.
Publisher Item Identifier as a means of document identification [On-line] (n.d.). Available on the World Wide Web: http://www1.elsevier.nl/homepage/about/pii/
The Publisher Item Identifier (PII) is a means of providing unique identification of documents which has been adopted by the American Chemical Society, the American Institute of Physics, the American Physical Society, Elsevier Science, and IEEE for all articles they publish as of January 1, 1996. This document provides an overview of the principles of identification, outlines the mechanism used for generating PIIs, and discusses the relationship between PIIs and SICIs.
Sollins, K., & Masinter, T. (1994, December). Functional requirements for Uniform Resource Names: Request for comments 1737 [On-line]. Available on the World Wide Web: http://www.internic.net/rfc/rfc1737.txt
This informational RFC specifies a set of requirements for an Internet resource identifier known as Uniform Resource Names (URNs). URNs are intended as a mechanism for identifying objects, while URLs are intended for locating them.

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