A URN is a syntax that, amongst other things, you can embed on a web page, like a URL.
There is an IETF RFC 2288 from 1998, status "informational":
Using Existing Bibliographic Identifiers as Uniform Resource Names
It puts forward the following URN syntaxes:
The SICI code, which is new to me, is a standard syntax for constructing a string to identify a particular journal issue or article.
RFC 3187, from 2001, investigates the ISBN URN further:
Using International Standard Book Numbers as Uniform Resource Names
RFC 3044, also from 2001, expands on the ISSN URN:
Using The ISSN (International Serial Standard Number) as URN (Uniform Resource Names) within an ISSN-URN Namespace
ISBN and ISSN are both registered namespaces; SICI is not:
There's a good posting URNs, bibliographic citations in web authoring from benmeadowcroft.com
So... where are all the blogs that use urn:isbn?
Where are the websites? Not used on Amazon... not used on Chapters... not used in Google Book Search... not used in Innovative catalogue output...
I see lots of examples of people talking about the theory of how they could be used... but I don't actually see anyone using them.
Are we back to the Semantic Web trap I talked about before in my posting in which I learn the HTML acronym tag?
Is it a tool problem? Do we need more and better Firefox extensions for urn:isbn?
The only one I could find in Mozilla Extensions is URN Support, which will point ISBN URNs to Amazon.
Anyway, this leads me to LSIDs.
LSID is a proposed Life Science IDentifier, one of many projects working to address the data issue pointed out by Dr. Lyon in her presentation: "Persistent identifiers for data citation".
First, here are some links via Glen Newton:
Resolver: >> http://lsid.sourceforge.net/
Article: >> Bio-IT World, January 2004 LSID: An Informatics Lifesaver
Excamples: >> http://lsid.biopathways.org/
Purely by coincidence, I happened to then be reading iPhylo, just to come upon a couple relevant postings:
February 9, 2006 Globally Unique Identifiers
I attended the TDWG-GUID workshop on Global Unique Indenitifers (GUIDs) held at NESCent, which has issued a report. Essentially, the aim of this work is to deploy globally unique identifiers for digital objects in biodiversity informatics, such as taxon names, specimen records, images, etc. The workshop settled on LSIDs (Life Science Identifiers), which is a sensible choice.
LSIDs have been around, and there is considerable software support from IBM (see their project on SourceForge). I've used them in my Taxonomic Search Engine. Not everybody is thrilled by LSIDs (see Anyone using LSID? on NodalPoint).
February 15, 2006 LSID Firefox extension update
I've updated my extension to resolve LSIDs in Firefox so that it works with version 220.127.116.11 (the most recent version of Firefox). The extension is available from Mozdev. It may take a little while for the mirrors to update with the new version, so if you get a "404" when trying to download, you may need to come back later.
IBM's LSID project have their own Firefox extension LSID Launchpad for Firefox, which is a lot slicker than mine. It's in beta, but well worth a look.
The next part is perhaps a technical detail, but somewhat confusing to me:
urn:lsid:ubio.org.lsid.zoology.gla.ac.uk:namebankID:10386 becomes clickable, and you can see the metadata associated with the LSID. For the technically minded, they add support for the lsidres protocol to Firefox.
So should it be urn:lsid, or this lsidres:urn:lsid? Why do you need lsidres?
A side note, and a question:
1) LSID does not appear to (yet) be an IANA registered URN namespace
2) Are there any issues with just assuming that urn:isbn: should also take an ISBN13?
So we all work to promote the use of urn:isbn, with a browser extension that resolves to your choice of libraries and booksellers? Should we be lobbying Amazon, our OPAC vendors, and everyone who outputs web pages with ISBNs to start wrapping them with urn:isbn?