IUPAC has just released the final version (1.02) of its InChI software, which generates Standard InChIs and Standard InChIKeys. (InChI is the IUPAC International Chemical Identifier.)
The Standard InChI “removes options for properties such as tautomerism and stereoconfiguration”, so that a molecule will always generate the same stable identifier - a unique InChI - which facilitates “interoperability/compatibility between large databases/web searching and information exchange”. Note also that any “shortcomings in Standard InChI may be addressed using non-Standard InChI (currently obtainable using InChI version 1.
A quick straw poll of a few folks at London Online yesterday revealed that they had not heard of CURIE’s. And there was I thinking that most everybody must have heard of them by now. 🙂 So anyway here’s something brief by way of explanation.
CURIE stands for Compact URI and does the signal job or rendering long and difficult to read URI strings into something more manageable. (URIs do have the particular gift of being “human transcribable” but in practice their length and the actual characters used in the URI strings tend to muddy things for the reader.) So given that the Web is built upon a bedrock of URIs, anything that then makes URIs easier to handle is going to be an important contributor to our overall ease of interaction with the Web.
Oh wow! A rather remarkable plea here from Dan Brickley on the public-lod mailing list which calls for the registrant of the dbpedia.org DNS entry to top it up with another 5+ years worth of clocktime. Some quotes:
_“The idea of such a cool RDF namespace having only 6 months left on the DNS registration gives me the worries.”
“If you could add another 5-10 years to the DNS registration I’d sleep easier at night.
So, the big guns have decided that XRI is out. In a message from the TAG yesterday, variously noted as being “categorical” (Andy Powell, eFoundations) and a “proclamation” (Edd Dumbill, XML.com), the co-chairs (Tim Berners-Lee and Stuart Williams) had this to say:
“We are not satisfied that XRIs provide functionality not readily available from http: URIs. Accordingly the TAG recommends against taking the XRI specifications forward, or supporting the use of XRIs as identifiers in other specifications.
The NIH Public Access Policy says “When citing their NIH-funded articles in NIH applications, proposals or progress reports, authors must include the PubMed Central reference number for each article” and the FAQ provides some examples of this:
Varmus H, Klausner R, Zerhouni E, Acharya T, Daar A, Singer P. 2003. PUBLIC HEALTH: Grand Challenges in Global Health. Science 302(5644): 398-399. PMCID: 243493
Zerhouni, EA. (2003) A New Vision for the National Institutes of Health.
Following on from my previous post about prism:doi I didn’t mention, or reference, the ongoing ISO work on DOI, Indeed I hadn’t realized that the DOI site now has a status update on the ISO work:
_“The DOI® System is currently being standardised through ISO. It is expected that the process will be finalised during 2008. In December 2007 the Working Group for this project approved a final draft as a Committee Draft (standard for voting) which is now being processed by ISO.
BISG and BIC have published a discussion paper called “The identification of digital book content” - https://web.archive.org/web/20090920075334/http://www.bisg.org/docs/DigitalIdentifiers_07Jan08.pdf. The paper discusses ISBN, ISTC and DOI amongst other things and makes a series of recommendations which basically say to consider applying DOI, ISBN and ISTC to digital book content. The paper highlights in a positive way that DOI and ISBN are different but can work together (the idea of the “actionable ISBN” and aiding discovery of content).
Dan Cohen at Zotero reports (Zotero and the Internet Archive Join Forces) on a very interesting tie up that will allow researchers using Zotero to deposit content in the Internet Archive and have OCR done on scanned material for free under a two year Mellon grant. Each piece of content will be given a “permanent URI that includes a time and date stamp in addition to the URL” ( would Handle or DOI add value here?
Another DCMI invitation. And a list. Lovely.
See this message (copied below) from Douglas Campbell, National Library of New Zealand, to the dc-general mailing list.
I’ve just returned from Frankfurt Book fair and noticed that there has been some recent in the The NLM Style Guide for Authors, Editors and Publishers recommendations concerning citing blogs.
Which reminds me of an issue that has periodically been raised here at Crossref- should we be doing something to try and provide a service for reliably citing more ephemeral content such as blogs, wikis, etc.?