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On Tue, 2004-11-30 at 07:31, Bruce D'Arcus wrote:

> > the SAME identifier by different people/databases, and there is no
> > universal identifier that currently is one-to-one with the article.
>
> Well, DOI.

Far from universal -- there have been DOI's assigned to many articles,
but nothing like the whole universe of articles. Remember that the D in
DOI is "digital" and it is mainly used for items in digital formats.
Many citations will be to articles that are in print formats only.

> And what of isbns or lccns?

The ISBN is essentially a product number for publishers. Every publisher
that has put out a version of Moby Dick has given it a different ISBN.
It's not unique to the work. It's only for books. (Well, and the
occasional teddy bear, but that's another story.)

The LCCN identifies the machine-readable record created by the Library
of Congress. Again, not a work identifier, and there aren't LCCNs for
anything that LoC hasn't cataloged (i.e. the entire universe of
articles).

Basically, if you have an ISBN or an LCCN, you should keep it -- it
might be useful for locating the item in another database. But it's
hardly any guarantee that you have a shared identifier with someone
else.

kc

>
> as you say, this doesn't help for all of those items that don't have
> these sort of identifiers, but my thinking is that info solves one
> obvious problem in that it actually identifies the type of a given
> identifier, and so gives some flexibility to use different kinds in a
> single system.  So, if a DOI is present, that would be used, and the
> fallback might be SICI.
>
> A tricky problem; this.
>
> Bruce
--
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Karen Coyle
Digital Library Specialist
http://www.kcoyle.net
Ph: 510-540-7596 Fax: 510-848-3913
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