Persistent Identifiers: Weighing the Benefits of In-house Systems Versus External Registries
McCloud, Joanna M.
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Cultural heritage institutions are struggling with how they will manage their digital assets for long-term visibility, accessibility, and preservation. To date, being able to share digital content and associated metadata for re-use has been at times a haphazard process, resulting in the loss or inaccessibility of many valuable objects. Persistent identifiers (PIDs) assigned to digital assets are unique, actionable, and effective in correcting this problem. The challenge has been to develop a system or systems that are inexpensive and easy to use by content owners. Some institutions use external systems, while many institutions have chosen to develop their own. Through analysis of the literature about PIDs, expert interviews, and link reliability testing, the advantages and disadvantages of both locally developed systems of creating, assigning, and maintaining PIDs versus the services of external registries such as Persistent Uniform Resource Identifiers (PURLs), Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs), and Archival Resource Keys (ARKs) and the EZID service are examined.