Data Stewardship/State Of The Art/Identifiers

From Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP)


Data Stewardship Committee

Ruth Duerr, NSIDC,
Nancy Hoebelheinrich, Knowledge Motifs,
Curt Tilmes, NASA/GSFC,

Tags/Keywords: Data Stewardship, Identifiers
Stakeholders: ESIP Data Stewardship Committee, Data Centers, Data Publishers, Data Users
Technologies: DOI, UUID


Unique and lasting data identifiers are needed for a wide range of purposes and at various scales from data sets, to collections of data sets, to individual files or data objects. Likewise, a large variety of identification schemes have been developed, each of which satisfies a subset of the overall needs and is most appropriately applied at various scales. The ESIP preservation and stewardship cluster has recognized that as a consequence data centers will need to support multiple identification schemes and different identifiers at different scales.

Problem Statement

State of the Art in Addressing the Problem

A collaboration of members of the NASA Earth Science Data System Working Group and the ESIP Federation Data Preservation and Stewardship Cluster published a paper (Duerr, 2011) addressing data identifiers for digital earth science data.

Remaining Challenges

Data identifiers have been addressed at the granule and collection level, but data identifiers for equivalent content that can withstand data format changes or reproduction of content haven't been adequately covered yet.

Recommendations for identifiers for many other types of objects beyond earth science data are needed.


Data Identifiers
Greg Janée's versioning white paper

References Cited

Ruth E. Duerr, Robert R. Downs, Curt Tilmes, Bruce Barkstrom, W. Christopher Lenhardt, Joseph Glassy, Luis E. Bermudez and Peter Slaughter, On the utility of identification schemes for digital earth science data: an assessment and recommendations, doi:10.1007/s12145-011-0083-6.