Using National Bibliography Numbers as Uniform Resource Names (RFC3188)
Original Publication Date: 2001-Oct-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2001-Nov-13
Internet Society Requests For Comment (RFCs)
This document discusses how national bibliography numbers (persistent and unique identifiers assigned by the national libraries) can be supported within the URN (Uniform Resource Names) framework and the syntax for URNs defined in RFC 2141. Much of the discussion is based on the ideas expressed in RFC 2288.
Network Working Group J. Hakala
Request for Comments: 3188 Helsinki University Library
Category: Informational October 2001
Using National Bibliography Numbers as
Uniform Resource Names
Status of this Memo
This memo provides information for the Internet community. It does
not specify an Internet standard of any kind. Distribution of this
memo is unlimited.
Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2001). All Rights Reserved.
This document discusses how national bibliography numbers (persistent
and unique identifiers assigned by the national libraries) can be
supported within the URN (Uniform Resource Names) framework and the
syntax for URNs defined in RFC 2141. Much of the discussion is based
on the ideas expressed in RFC 2288.
As part of the validation process for the development of URNs the
IETF working group agreed that it is important to demonstrate that
the current URN syntax proposal can accommodate existing identifiers
from well established namespaces. One such infrastructure for
assigning and managing names comes from the bibliographic community.
Bibliographic identifiers function as names for objects that exist
both in print and, increasingly, in electronic formats. RFC 2288
[Lynch] investigated the feasibility of using three identifiers
(ISBN, ISSN and SICI) as URNs.
This document will analyse the usage of national bibliography numbers
(NBNs) as URNs. The need to extend analysis to new identifier
systems was briefly discussed in RFC 2288 as well, with the following
summary: "The issues involved in supporting those additional
identifiers are anticipated to be broadly similar to those involved
in supporting ISBNs, ISSNs, and SICIs".
Hakala Informational [Page 1]
RFC 3188 Using National Bibliography Numbers as URNs October 2001
A registration request for acquiring a Namespace Identifier (NID)
"NBN" for national bibliography numbers has been written by the
National Library of Finland on the request of the Conference of
Directors of National Libraries (CDNL) and the Conference of the
European National Librarians (CENL). Chapter 5 contains a URN
namespace registration request modeled according to the template in
The document at hand is part of a global co-operation of the national
libraries to foster identification of electronic documents in general
and utilisation of URNs in particular. Some national libraries,
including the national libraries of Finland, Norway and Sweden, are
already assigning NBN-based URNs for electronic resources.
We have used the URN Namespace Identifier "NBN" for the national
bibliographic numbers in examples below.
2. Identification vs. Resolution
As a rule the national bibliography numbers identify finite,
manageably-sized objects, but these objects may still be large enough
that resolution to a hierarchical system is appropriate.
The materials identified by a national bibliography number may exist
only in printed or other physical form, not electronically. The best...