NISO Roundtable on Identifiers, March 13-14, 2006
1. Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
DOIs are names assigned to any entity for use on digital networks. They are used
to provide current information, including where they (or information about them)
can be found on the Internet. Information about a digital object may change over
time, including where to find it, but its DOI will not change.
A digital object identifier (or DOI) is a permanent identifier (permalink) given to a
World Wide Web file or other Internet document so that if its Internet address
changes, users will be redirected to its new address. … Essentially, the DOI system
is a scheme for Web page redirection by a central manager.
A Digital Object Identifier (DOI), is a unique string created to identify a piece of
intellectual property in an online environment.
2. International Standard Audiovisual Number (ISAN) (v-ISAN)
The ISAN (International Standard Audiovisual Number) is a voluntary numbering
system for the identification of audiovisual works. It provides a unique,
internationally recognized and permanent reference number for each audiovisual
work registered in the ISAN system…. A full ISAN with version identifier consists
of 24 hexadecimal digits…. ISO TC 46/SC 9 is developing a version identifier for
audiovisual works, sometimes referred to as the “V-ISAN”. This version identifier
supplements the International Standard Audiovisual Number (ISAN) that was
published as International Standard ISO 15706:2002.
ISO/TC 46/SC 9 Working Group 1 FAQ: http://www.lacbac.
3. International Standard Book Number (ISBN)
The purpose of the ISBN is to establish and identify one title or edition of a title
from one specific publisher and is unique to that edition, allowing for more
efficient marketing of products by booksellers, libraries, universities, wholesalers
US ISBN Agency. ISBN FAQ.
4. International Standard Identifier for Libraries (ISIL)
An ISIL identifies an organization, i.e., a library or a related organization, or one
of its subordinate units, which is responsible for an action or service in a
bibliographic environment (e.g. creation of machine-readable information). It can
be used to identify the originator or holder of a resource (e.g. library material).
ISIL web site: http://www.bs.dk/isil/scope.htm
5. International Standard Music Number (ISMN)
The International Standard Music Number (ISMN) is a unique number for the
identification of all printed music publications from all over the world, whether
available for sale, hire or gratis–whether a part, a score, or an element in a multimedia
International ISMN web site: http://www.ismn-international.org/whatis.html
6. International Standard Recording Code(ISRC)
The ISRC (International Standard Recording Code) is the international
identification system for sound recordings and music videorecordings. Each ISRC
is a unique and permanent identifier for a specific recording which can be
permanently encoded into a product as its digital fingerprint. Encoded ISRC
provide the means to automatically identify recordings for royalty payments.
ISRC Home Page: http://www.ifpi.org/isrc/
7. International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)
The ISSN (International Standard Serial Number) is an eight-digit number which
identifies periodical publications as such, including electronic serials. More than
one million ISSN numbers have so far been assigned.
ISSN Home Page: http://www.issn.org:8080/pub/
8. International Standard Technical Report Number (ISRN)
[I]nternational standard technical report number (ISRN): Alphanumeric identifier
containing a maximum of 36 characters which, when printed or written, is
preceded by the letters ISRN; the international standard technical report number
serves to uniquely identify a single technical report.
ISO TC 46 SC 9 web site:
9. International Standard Text Code (ISTC)
The International Standard Text Code (ISTC) is a numbering system that is being
developed for the unique identification of textual works.
ISTC FAQ: http://www.collectionscanada.ca/iso/tc46sc9/istc.htm#What
10. International Standard Musical Work Code(ISWC)
The ISWC (International Standard Musical Work Code) is a unique, permanent
and internationally recognized reference number for the identification of musical
works. … The ISWC identifies musical works, not their manifestations, objects, or
expressions. … The ISWC will not identify recordings, sheet music or any other
type of performance associated with the musical work.
ISWC web site FAQ: http://www.iswc.org/iswc/en/html/FAQA.html
11. Internationalized Resource Identifiers (IRI)
Internationalized Resource Identifiers (IRIs) are a new protocol element, a
complement to URIs [RFC2396]. An IRI is a sequence of characters from the
Universal Character Set (Unicode/ISO10646). There is a mapping from IRIs to
URIs, which means that IRIs can be used instead of URIs where appropriate to
12. Organizationally Unique Identifier(OUI)
Organizationally Unique Identifier (or OUI) is a term referring to a 24-bit number
assigned to a company or organization for use in various computer hardware
products, including ethernet Network Interface Cards and Fibre Channel Host Bus
Adapters. For Ethernet use, the OUI is combined with an internally-assigned 24-
bit number to form a MAC address.
13. Uniform Resource Identifiers (URI)
(a) Uniform Resource Identifiers (URIs, aka URLs) are short strings that identify
resources in the web: documents, images, downloadable files, services, electronic
mailboxes, and other resources. They make resources available under a variety of
naming schemes and access methods such as HTTP, FTP, and Internet mail
addressable in the same simple way.
(b) A Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) is a compact sequence of characters that
identifies an abstract or physical resource.
RFC 3986 http://www.gbiv.com/protocols/uri/rfc/rfc3986.html
(c) A global identifier in the context of the World Wide Web.
14. Uniform Resource Locator (URL)
(a) The term “Uniform Resource Locator” (URL) refers to the subset of URI that
identify resources via a representation of their primary access mechanism (e.g.,
their network “location”), rather than identifying the resource by name or by some
other attribute(s) of that resource.
RFC 2396 http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc2396.txt
(b) The Uniform Resource Locator (URL) that we are all familiar with on the Web is
a locator rather than an identifier. If an object moves, its associated URL changes
and people using the old URL are likely to get a failure indicating that it is no
longer available. A true identifier must remain the same whatever the current
location of the object.
Powell, Andy. “Unique Identifiers in a Digital World.” Ariadne, 8 (March,
15. Uniform Resource Name (URN)
Uniform Resource Names (URNs) are resource identifiers with the specific
requirements for enabling location independent identification of a resource, as well
as longevity of reference. URNs are part of the larger Uniform Resource Identifier
(URI) family [RFC3305] with the specific goal of providing persistent naming of
RFC 3406: http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc3406.txt
1. Any URI which is not a URL.
Free Online Dictionary of Computing (FOLDOC) http://foldoc.org/
16. Universal Unique Identifier (UUID)
A UUID (Universal Unique Identifier) is a 128-bit number used to uniquely
identify some object or entity on the Internet. Depending on the specific
mechanisms used, a UUID is either guaranteed to be different or is, at least,
extremely likely to be different from any other UUID generated until 3400 A.D.