Uniform resolution of compact identifiers for biomedical data

Sarala M. Wimalaratne, Nick Juty, John Kunze, Greg Janée, Julie A. McMurry, Niall Beard, Rafael Jimenez, Jeffrey S. Grethe, Henning Hermjakob, Maryann E. Martone, Tim Clark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Most biomedical data repositories issue locally-unique accessions numbers, but do not provide globally unique, machine-resolvable, persistent identifiers for their datasets, as required by publishers wishing to implement data citation in accordance with widely accepted principles. Local accessions may however be prefixed with a namespace identifier, providing global uniqueness. Such "compact identifiers" have been widely used in biomedical informatics to support global resource identification with local identifier assignment. We report here on our project to provide robust support for machine-resolvable, persistent compact identifiers in biomedical data citation, by harmonizing the Identifiers.org and N2T.net (Name-To-Thing) meta-resolvers and extending their capabilities. Identifiers.org services hosted at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory - European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI), and N2T.net services hosted at the California Digital Library (CDL), can now resolve any given identifier from over 600 source databases to its original source on the Web, using a common registry of prefix-based redirection rules. We believe these services will be of significant help to publishers and others implementing persistent, machine-resolvable citation of research data.

Original languageEnglish
Article number180029
JournalScientific Data
Publication statusPublished - 8 May 2018


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