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Re: ISSUE-50 Bilder, Geoff. Identify This! Identifiers and Trust.

From: Jonathan Rees <jar@creativecommons.org>
Date: Thu, 29 Sep 2011 08:58:27 -0400
Message-ID: <CACHXnarWz7r4JGd-md0JL4f70G4vyjVUArD49Ym2N8TDKeghMA@mail.gmail.com>
To: Martin J. Dürst <duerst@it.aoyama.ac.jp>
Cc: www-tag@w3.org
On Wed, Sep 28, 2011 at 8:48 PM, "Martin J. Dürst"
<duerst@it.aoyama.ac.jp> wrote:
> On 2011/09/29 1:29, Jonathan Rees wrote:
>> FYI. Note the interesting syntax used for the DOI.  -Jonathan
> Hello Jonathan - Can you say what you found noteworthy?  Thanks,  Martin.

I hope the noteworthiness of the article relative to the ISSUE-50
discussion is clear, so I assume you mean the noteworthiness of the
syntax. The article's landing page has a line that says "doi:
http://..." which, read naively, says that the DOI of the article is
http://... (of course we don't really know what the publisher intends
it to mean). The DOI specification says that technically the DOI is
only the part starting with "10."  Remember that the old URL/URN
debate revolves around whether http: URIs can serve as "persistent
identifiers". My naive reading says that in practice, among journal
publishers, they do - that some community (other than W3C) is actually
treating some http: URIs (those in the dx.doi.org domain) as
persistent identifiers (DOIs are supposed to be persistent). If this
is true, the practice requires some explanation (would ICANN agree
with the statement that at least one URI beginning http://dx.doi.org/
can be considered "persistent"?), but it suggests that the URL/URN
debate is in some sense over, in some quarters, with URLs having won.

This idea is reinforced by the interesting practice of putting
http://dx.doi.org/ hyperlinks in PDF files that are intended to
persist indefinitely (e.g. through the LOCKSS system). This applies to
nearly every bibliographic citation in nearly every research article
published by a major publisher. There are so many of these hyperlinks
that, I speculate, if dx.doi.org URIs were to stop resolving
correctly, you would suddenly see PDF viewers and/or browser plugins
and/or network stacks and/or DNS resolvers and/or DNS roots sprout up
that would "fix" the problem. That is, I speculate, ICANN and PIR have
in fact already lost "authority" over this part of the URI namespace
(although the question is, at present, totally academic since the URIs
*do* resolve correctly, aften enough).

I'm certainly taking liberties here; I intended my brief comment to be
impressionistic and provocative, not rigorous.

Received on Thursday, 29 September 2011 12:58:58 UTC

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