1 Use established identifiers

Stian Soiland-Reyes edited this page Mar 12, 2016 · 6 revisions

Rule 1: Use established identifiers

Permalink URI: https://w3id.org/id-rules/1

If you manage an online database (repository, registry, or knowledgebase), you are likely to have new entities to identify. You might also issue alternate identifiers for external entities, for example to reduce risks posed by dependency on an outside source or to identify meaningful differences in an entity, its state, or its representation.

If you must create your own alternate identifiers, you must document the relationship between the existing and alternate identifiers using established properties such as ro:derives_from, osl:sameAs, or skos:broader. If the motivation to create a new identifier is based upon the need to provide factual corrections of content, it is best to work with the database-of-origin to fix the source record rather than create a new one. Wherever the 1:1 relationship of identifier:entity breaks down, costly mapping problems are created. Wherever possible, reference well-established identifiers (even problematic ones; see Rule 10) rather than creating new ones.