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Quotes & Notes
"If any number can be said to encapsulate our times, 404 is it."

Michael Bywater, Computer Science. Lost Magazine, January 2006, No. 2.
"The [DNS] service translates into a specific IP address so I don't get mistakenly sent to another website. We do that very well for resolving domain names but we don't do it very well in the real world for resolving entities. What do we mean by entity? Frankly almost anything qualifies: a person, a place or a thing, real world and digital objects, even concepts or ideas. ...As an industry we're picking off these domains one-by-one, but we will need increased cooperation and standards for solving problems like identity."

Bradley Horowitz, The Tech Lab. BBC News, 29 June 2007.
"Although Tim Berners-Lee once famously declared that "Cool URIs don't change," factors beyond our control make it hard for most of us to avoid link rot. Geoffrey Bilder is the director of strategic initiatives for CrossRef, a company whose mission is "to be the citation linking backbone for all scholarly information in electronic form." CrossRef, in other words, is in the business of combating link rot.

The world of scholarly and professional publishing revolves around reliable citation. In previous podcasts with Tony Hammond and Dan Chudnov I've explored some of the technologies and methods used by these publishers -- including digital object identifiers and OpenURL -- to assure that reliability.

CrossRef plays a key role in that technological ecosystem. In this conversation, Geoffrey and I discuss how everyday blog publishing systems could offer the same kinds of persistence, integrity, and accountability provided by scholarly and professional publishing systems. And we explore why that might matter more than most people would think."

Jon Udell, ITConversations. Interview with Geoffrey Builder, CrossRef. "Winning the Battle Against Linkrot", April 2007.
"Simplicity and utility -- a judgement of StatLink by one of our readers. And now we are further encouraged by winning a Highly Commended Award from ALPSP. We want to make it easier for all readers to use our analytical and data publications, whether from a printed page or from a computer screen. With DOI-driven Statlinks we think we've hit on a winning solution to enable readers to go beyond the limits of the page and access the numbers underlying a chart or graph. It's great that our readers and now ALPSP seem to agree!"

Toby Green, Head of Dissemination and Marketing, OECD Publishing
"Another interesting new area for grid security is the growing discussion around developing a handle system for the grid. This Handle System could be an alternative implementation that you could use for attribution servers and naming servers in general. The handle system, which is being worked on by the Corporation for National Research Initiatives (CRNI), would not only provide attribute services but it would also serve as an infrastructure and root service able to resolve resource names globally. It is very much a domain name system (DNS) type of model. You have a global naming system and values or attributes that are bound to that name. It's like the DNS on steroids -- security is truly integrated into the whole fabric. It will have all the good features of transparent applications, and it allows individuals to administer their own bindings, so you can push the access rights of the bindings down to the individual names."
"The concept of having a centralized root system for registering grid resources is interesting, as we consider the future of 'extra-grids,' where coordinated resource sharing requires us to think about distributed policy requirements and resource discovery issues."
"Managing millions of domain names was a tremendous challenge, but the idea of accounting for billions of resources participating in a global grid is mind-numbing ... Having the inventory of resources consolidated in a central broker seems like a logical step to solving the issues. One lesson I've learned from the bad-boy days of the early commercial Internet is that harnessing distributed power is not so much a matter of leveraging the sum of the individual components but of building an appropriate framework so that each constituent can derive value from the whole without being forced to make one-off tactical decisions in the enterprise. Building a handle system empowers the lowest management point in the organization to fully utilize the technology without constantly building organizational consensus."

InfoWorld, GRID METER, Three Networking/Grid computing questions for Vint Cerf, "What Would a Grid Domain Name System Look Like?", posted 14 September 2005 by Greg Nawrocki
"3. Do you see any possible future directions for how resources (both hardware and software) are registered, discovered and identified in Grid environments? Will there be a next-gen resource registry (like the DNS on steroids)?"
"Vint Cerf: There certainly could be a higher level of resource registration. I would expect that registration of services would want to be bound to an identifier space that is well above IP addresses. These identifiers could be found to IP addresses dynamically or they could be bound to domain names that are in turn bound to IP addresses. But one would want the identifiers to survive changes in the IP layer. Examples of such bindings can already be found in instant messaging services such as ICQ, MSN, AIM and the like. There, the instant messaging identifiers are bound dynamically to the IP addresses of the clients. These change with time and the systems are generally very adaptive to these changes. I think the Grid environment needs to have similar flexibility. One might turn to the Object Identifier community for some insights into the possible uses of new classes of identifiers for service and data objects."

InfoWorld, GRID METER, "Three Networking/Grid computing questions for Vint Cerf", September 13, 2005, posted by Greg Nawrocki.
"The governance of the DNS will not completely encompass future Internet addressing and navigation, which is a good thing, not a shortcoming. The system of domain names, IP numbers, root servers and protocol identifiers is not static but a technology capable of evolving into a better form. As such, the current system should not be treated as sacrosanct, but amenable to innovation. The paradox of Internet governance is that any institutional arrangement will by nature be a collusion of political power and financial interests that acts to freeze into place the current technical design, and make new and better approaches almost impossible to emerge -- much as the system of national telecom operators dominated communications for a century until the Internet emerged as the unlikely force that upended it. We can already see that future Internet navigation will not simply be addresses linked to computers, but to billions of devices, file-documents, real-time video and audio streams, objects though RFID tags, and even constantly changing instantiations of information -- all which will make today's DNS and its governance seem anachronistic. Allowing for alternative addressing and navigation across the network, alongside a sanctioned 'legacy' DNS, will be a balanced way to achieve diversity, experimentation and progress, while also ensuring stability and reliability."

Kenneth Neil Cukier (Technology Correspondent, The Economist) at the OII Forum on Internet Governance, 6 May 2005.
STUDY SHOWS ONLINE CITATIONS DON'T AGE WELL: A study conducted by two academics at Iowa State University has shown a remarkably high rate of "decay" for online citations. Michael Bugeja, professor of journalism and communication, and Daniela Dimitrova, assistant professor of communication, looked at five prestigious communication-studies journals from 2000 to 2003 and found 1,126 footnotes that cite online resources. Of those, 373 did not work at all, a decay rate of 33 percent; of those that worked, only 424 took users to information relevant to the citation. In one of the journals in the study, 167 of 265 citations did not work. Bugeja compared the current situation to that of Shakespearean plays in the early days of printing, when many copies of plays were fraught with errors due to the instability of the printing medium. Anthony T. Grafton, a professor of history at Princeton University and author of a book on footnotes, agreed that citation decay is a real and growing problem, describing the situation as "a world in which documentation and verification melt into air."

Chronicle of Higher Education, 14 March 2005 (sub. req'd)
"DOIs will address fundamental weaknesses in the web - addressing actual content rather than locations that cannot be wholly relied on."

-- Julian Perkin. "Digital Standards (2): Avoiding Identity Crises". Financial Times, Wednesday, December 1, 2004. (Available on-line by subscription to only.)
Some OECD Statlink customer responses regarding the use of DOIs. (OECD's StatLink is an electronic publishing solution that enables links between publications, whether they are in print or e-book format, and the underlying data in MS Excel® spreadsheets.)
"This is excellent!! - More like this would be great!" - (Senior Policy Analyst, Canada)
"I have accessed the Web book for the OECD STI Scoreboard - it is wonderful to be able to see the numbers behind the charts!!" - (Policy Adviser, Australia)
"The Web book edition is great. It is extremely useful to be able to access the data in Excel. Well done!" - (Scoreboard user in the UK)
"This is the best service I have found for a long time." - (A user at the University of Tampere, Finland)
"Yesterday I had the chance to go through your Statlink service, I think it has real promise, much easier to navigate than many sites, and nicely presented. I can see it being really popular." - (Senior Economist, UNCTAD).
"Hell is a place where nothing connects with nothing."

-- T.S. Eliot (1888-1965)
"The original Internet presumed a single, global address space. The addresses serve two purposes -- they provide both an indication of the location of the end point, and an indication of its identity. We concluded (as have many others) that these assumptions must be rethought. The design of a new scheme for location and identity is a critical architectural requirement to address issues of security, mobility, routing, and regional autonomy... We argue that it is possible to separate the ideas of location and identity, both of which are represented by the IP address in today's Internet, and that the resulting architecture facilitates mobility as well as solving other problems with today's network. For reasons of management and security, the Internet has abandoned the single, global address space, although there has been no formal recognition of this in the architecture. We concluded that there is in fact no fundamental need for such a global address space, although the consequences of avoiding it is more complexity in application session establishment and less homogeneity in network management and fault diagnosis. However, a network without a single global address space is feasible, and it meets practical needs. A future Internet should be designed without the requirement of a global address space."

-- David Clark, New Arch: Future Generation Internet Architecture. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DoD) Information Technology Office (ITO)
"It is likely that the internet in five years' time will be wholly unrecognisable from the inter networking environment that we use and complain about today...These arguments have nothing to do with line speeds or bandwidth, though that progressive trend lies behind everything. They mostly have to do with communication, and the increasing difficulty of organising connectivity -- between people or objects, digital or real -- within the vastly expanded information universe of the web, and across the network more generally. There are two ways in which the post-Google world can operate on the web. On one flank we have the adherents of meaning-based searching, and the long slow haul up onto the commanding heights of the Semantic Web...and the other flank is occupied by numbering systems."

-- David Worlock. ENUM: looking at the future of the Internet. EPS Insights, 8 July 2004
"Take up of the DOI by publishers has been phenomenal. The DOI is our favourite persistent identifier because it's well established, it's easy to implement, it works, and it will help us deliver extra or more targeted services."

-- Cliff Morgan, Planning and Development Director, John Wiley and Sons, Ltd., at the Persistent Identifiers seminar, ERPANET, Cork, Ireland, June 2004.
"Where is DOI in the Innovation Cycle? Beyond the peak of inflated expectations, through the trough of disillusionment, the DOI has emerged onto the slope of enlightenment. Persistent identity is a vital element in the network marketplace environment. Users may rightly say "I don't care if I never see another DOI" -- and you probably won't, but your systems will depend upon them."

-- David Worlock, EPS Ltd., "DOI in Context", London, June 2004.
"There is a high degree of library trust and faculty satisfaction in DOIs from CrossRef. Increasingly, persistent identifiers are an expected part of the "plumbing" of online journals, comment-worthy only when the functions they allow are absent. But typecasting is at work. Better understanding of the DOI is needed by libraries."

-- David Seaman, Director, Digital Library Federation, "Use of Identifiers: a library perspective" London, June 2004.
"Internet Developments - the OPA Intelligence Report provides findings from Nielsen//NetRatings, which found that nonbrowser applications accounted for 76% of all Internet Access. According to the report, the most popular non-browser applications are media players, instant messaging, and file sharing software. The report suggests that browsers are not the only platform for delivering content and that the Internet is 'fast becoming part of every tool and toy we use, to the point that eventually, we won't think about it."'"

-- OPA Intelligence Report Email Bulletin. "NetRatings: 3 out of 4 Net users not using browsers", 06 Jan 2004.
"The use of Internet references in academic literature is common, and Internet references are frequently inaccessible. The extent of Internet referencing and Internet reference activity in medical or scientific publications was systematically examined in more than 1000 articles published between 2000 and 2003 in the New England Journal of Medicine, the Journal of the American Medical Association, and Science. Internet references accounted for 2.6% of all references (672/25548) and in articles 27 months old, 13% of Internet references were inactive. Publishers, librarians, and readers need to reassess policies, archiving systems, and other resources for addressing Internet reference attrition to prevent further information loss."

-- Dellavalle et. al., INFORMATION SCIENCE: "Going, Going, Gone: Lost Internet References", Science, 302: 787-788 (DOI: 10.1126/science.1088234).
"The 2002 OCLC Web Survey includes measurement of percent of IP addresses identifying a Web site in Year A also identifying a Web site in Year B. Almost half of web addresses registered in one year are no longer reachable after one year. As time goes on this compounds: only 13% of the web addresses registered in 1998 were still around in 2002 (19% of the sites created in 1999 survived to 2002, as did 33% of the 2000 ones and 51% of those from 2001). The folly of relying on URLs for persistence is dramatically brought home by this statistic."

-- OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Inc. Office of Research, Web Characterization (See sub entry Statistics: Miscellaneous: IP Volatility)
"the Handle System ... offers both better technology and lessons-learned governance ... but lacks the visibility of the DNS, which is an order of magnitude larger in the number of things registered ... But there is now a broader, outward-facing implementation, overseen by the International DOI Foundation."

-- Esther Dyson, Release 1.0. "Online Registries: The DNS and Beyond...", September 2003
"The Department of Defense is implementing the advanced Knowledge Resource System to link together heterogeneous repositories of content and we find the DOI to provide unique capabilities that are essential to the system and the overall architecture. I would recommend...the unique functionality of the DOI for government architecture."

-- Dr. Leslye McDade-Morrison, Office of the Chancellor for Education and Professional Development, U.S. Department of Defense, August 2003
"...from 2001 to 2003 DOI has steadily evolved from a single resolution solution to a multiple resolution environment and now to an effective way of marshalling and indicating metadata and associated data. Both elements are vital. Solving problems posed by content being held in identical form in several different locations is important, and it is even more important to point the user to this right place in an automated way. Helping users to discover the metadata that they need to make choices is critical to content organisation, and indeed at a basic level DOIs become a simple content organisation -- or management -- system in themselves.
There is now enough potential in DOI to unlock usage in every content domain, and also to have a real effect on web organisation in the short term. Asked at the recent SIIA summit in New York whether he approved of DOIs and other persistent identifier schemes, Tim Berners-Lee answered strongly in the affirmative, as long as they were linked, as DOIs are, to URLs. For the foreseeable future, numbering objects and associating knowledge about the object with the number may be the only way of protecting users against the overwhelming ability of a networked society to drown in its own output."

-- David Worlock, EPS Update Note 8, May 2003
"When you don't have decent metadata, it's hard to provide decent services. That's why I am an enormous fan of unique identifiers for objects, and systems that allow you to obtain well-structured metadata by using those identifiers. For me the big deal of the DOI/CrossRef framework is not necessarily the links they provide, because that might be done in other ways. The crucial importance of that work is in the mere fact that objects are being identified, and that identifiers can lead to metadata about objects. That changes the whole game."

-- From Interview with Herbert Van de Sompel, Creator of OpenURL/SFX, The Charleston Advisor, Volume 4, Number 4, April 2003.
"We predict that, within five years, the DOI standard will be used to tag any "published" material from any industry -- that is, all content or information that is officially released for consumption, whether within or outside of your firewalls."

-- Patricia Seybold, "Protecting Your Digital Assets -- Technical Journal Publishers Lead the Way Using Digital Object Identifiers", 2003.
"I've been a supporter of the DOI since my participation on the Enabling Technology committee of the AAP a number of years ago when it was first developed -- but I have to say that I had no idea of its usefulness until I started working with publishers to implement it within their operations."

-- Ken Brooks of Publishing Dimensions, Inc.
"...Amy Brand, CrossRef's business development manager, explained: 'Citation linking enables the user to navigate the scholarly record, moving from one article or idea to another across journals and publishers. It can be a matter of a click or two to get to the full text.'... It sounds just like navigating links on the Web, but it's not quite the same. ' A key benefit is that a DOI is a persistent link, unlike a URL,' continued Brand. 'The CrossRef database holds the threepart record for a publication, consisting of metadata, DOI and URL. If the URL changes, the publisher simply informs CrossRef, but the DOI link that has already populated the Web remains constant. This system uniquely avoids stale links in citations or database records.'"

-- From Research Information, "Journal Cross Linking: The Web's Potential Untangled ", Vanessa Spedding, Spring 2002.
"...according to Robert Ubell, dean of online learning at Stevens, Stevens is the first school to use the DOI to market its courses. The agreement will provide DOIs for 14 programs and more than 50 online courses offered under them. According to Patricia Titone, director of operations at Content Directions, when Stevens's courses are listed through online partnerships, the DOI link will offer a menu that shows course descriptions or reviews, related courses, tuition information and more. 'It will give the consumer a rich assortment of information,' she said."

-- From Publishers Weekly, "Stevens Institute Web Courses Use DOI", Calvin Reed, 2002.
"We've been helping some of our clients understand an emerging publishing standard called the Digital Objective Identifier (DOI). That standard appears to be gaining momentum... McGraw-Hill signed an agreement with Content Directions, Inc., one of the pioneering registration agencies, to register DOIs on a wide range of its digital and traditional content. McGraw-Hill intends to register DOIs for whole works, such as its college textbooks, as well as for chapters, so that it can sell content 'by the slice.' Another Content Directions customer, Stevens Institute of Technology, will register DOIs for its e-learning courses, which will make them more easily found through search engines. Yahoo, working with Content Directions, is evaluating a pilot that uses DOIs from 11 publishers."

-- From Greenhouse Effects - Our Newsletter, "More Votes of Confidence for Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs)", February 2002.
"The DOI Foundation's expedient way of collaborating with the e-learning community is to make Learning Objects Network (LON) a DOI Registration Agency. In this way, LON will be able to register Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) for use in the management of learning objects. It will also be able to provide a bridgework between SCORM and the increasingly prevalent - and thus valuable - publishing standard created by the Online Information Exchange (ONIX). "

-- From EPS Update Note, "DOI: GETTING THE STANDARDS IN LINE FOR E-LEARNING", 16 November 2001.
"One of the web sites I maintain is the Lisweb directory of library homepages. Every week, I run a link checker that contacts each page to see if it is still there, and every week about 20 sites that were in place seven days before have vanished. Across the Internet, the rate at which once-valid links start pointing at non-existent addresses -- a process called "link rot" -- is as high as 16 percent in six months. That means that about one sixth of all links will break.""

-- From NetConnect, "One Step at a Time", by Thomas Dowling, Library Journal, Fall 2001, page 36.
"The record producers might want to take a page from stodgy old book publishers, who are quietly building a system to distribute digital text, which could help see to it that owners of that text get paid for its use. Along the way, publishers are developing a system for locating and retrieving material on the Web--especially the sort of copyright works now found mostly in libraries... The underlying technology, called the Handle System, was designed by the government-funded Corporation for National Research Initiatives. CNRI President Robert E. Kahn, one of the original designers of the Internet, describes the mission as 'reconceptualizing the Net from the movement of data packets to the management of information.' "

-- From Business Week, "A Library to End All Libraries", July 23, 2001, page 10.
Updated 15 September 2009