Work Package 2 of Telematics for Libraries project BIBLINK (LB 4034)
Table of Contents
Identification schemes are used throughout the life
cycle of a document and by all the parties involved in the production
and publication process, in the process of ordering and selling
and in copyright management systems. The different parties involved
will have different needs and requirements for an identification
scheme. For some of these purposes it may be relevant to identify
items smaller than a complete document, for example an article,
a chapter or an illustration.
Different distribution channels are followed for
text documents like books and journals, for sound recordings and
for video and film recordings; therefore different identification
schemes are used.
In libraries, unique identifiers are used for many
purposes. Records in the automated cataloguing systems are identified
by internal record numbers. «External» identifiers,
for example ISBN/ISSN, are used in both acquisition and the bibliographic
description and retrieval of documents.
National libraries use unique identifiers on all levels:
As we can see, the different parties involved in
handling electronic documents will have different requirements
for identifiers that will meet their demands. The idea of defining
one identification scheme to meet all these needs is unrealistic.
The use of identifiers is very much incorporated into the publishers
business methods and it might be difficult, if not impossible,
for the national libraries to impose one standard on all publishers
simply because this would be convenient for the national libraries.
The national libraries and BIBLINK must cope with several identification
For BIBLINK purposes the objective is to pinpoint existing standard schemes that meet the requirements of the national libraries with regard to the publication of national bibliographies. Specific publisher related requirements, e.g. the need to identify every right owner in a document or to track pieces of content through the production process, are not a part of the requirements. This is also the case with bar-coding, which is needed by trading parties, i.e. booksellers and subscription agents. Facilities such as these do not exclude identification schemes but they are regarded as secondary.
The identification scheme chosen for BIBLINK must cover all documents in the BIBLINK scope.
Quotation from Deliverable D0.1 Scoping document:
« [...]similar to the selection criteria
used by each national library when selecting items for inclusion
in their national bibliographies. [...] As a rule this criteria
are content based and do not consider the medium by which the
publication is made available. Another ruling principle for inclusion
in national bibliographies is that the publication must be publicly
The identifier should not only identify content,
but specific formats and carriers of a publication. The identifier
should apply to the «end products» of electronic publication,
which means that different versions of a publication (e.g. one
on CD-ROM and one on the World Wide Web) should be identified
separately and each have a unique identifier.
The level of granularity of the identifier will be
defined by whatever the publisher chooses to publish as a separate
item and present to the national library for deposit. The deposited
item is what the national library will have to record in the national
bibliography and preserve in its deposit. If a publisher presents
a monograph to the national library, the monograph should have
an unique identifier and if a publisher presents an article as
a separate document, the article should have an unique identifier.
The identifier should preferably not contain the
document location (if the document is an online document). A
general problem with Internet publications is that their location
tends to change. Documents move from one location to another whenever
this is convenient for the document owner. Users consequently
have problems in retrieving the document. In order to solve these
problems initiatives have been taken in the Internet community
to develop a persistent identifier for documents.
The identification schemes recommended for BIBLINK must meet the requirements of the national libraries and must be based on the conditions in section 4.2. In order to evaluate existing identification schemes a set of requirements has been drawn up.
The identification scheme(s) chosen for BIBLINK should
meet the following requirements:
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