Names Project Blog

DIGOIDUNA report on digital identifier infrastructures

Posted in identifiers, reports by Amanda Hill on 12 December, 2011


A report on identifiers for digital object and authorshas been made available on the website of the EU-funded DIGOIDUNA study team. The project team state that:

The final report of the study is focused on three key objectives:

1. analyzing the fundamental role of identifiers as enablers of value in e-infrastructures and presenting forward looking scenarios as examples of the benefits of a systematic usage of identifiers for digital objects and authors to locate and integrate information from multiple sources;
2. reporting the results of the analysis of the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) associated with establishing in Europe an open, dynamic and sustainable governance of e-infrastructure using identifiers for digital objects and authors;
3. presenting the main challenges and recommendations which European Commission and other relevant stakeholders should address to develop an open and sustainable e-infrastructure for locators of digital objects and identifiers of authors supporting scientific information access, curation and preservation.

The report provides a good analysis of the requirements for establishment of an infrastructure for digital identifiers and maintains that Europe is in a good position to set up initiatives in this area. Some of the issues identified by the report (and familiar to the Names Project team) include: fragmented current approaches, lack of financial sustainability, lack of consensus and resistance to change.

As the authors point out:

…technology is not the main driver in leading this process. Any identifier solution is always used within cultural, geographical, disciplinary and organizational boundaries through a technical system and the process of reaching an agreement between parties over possibly conflicting purposes and objectives is a process which is played out at the interfaces of these boundaries.