[OAI-implementers] persistent IDs: DOI vs Handle

Jewel Ward jewelw at usc.edu
Thu Dec 23 18:36:38 EST 2004

Many thanks to all of you who responded both online and offline.

Just some responses to a few of the comments/suggestions.

(1) Yes, I understand that Handle vs DOI is technically a non-issue.  
The issue with this is policy/overall infrastructure/cost, which is, 
IMO, a stickier issue to wade through, hence my asking for advice on 
*how* it was waded thru by others on this list.

(2) I do understand the difference between an OAI-PMH metadata record ID 
and the item ID.  Really.  If I didn't at this point, I think both 
Michael Nelson AND Herbert Van de Sompel would petition UNC-CH to 
nullify/take back my master's degree.  ;-)

The problem is that currently I have a multi-media archive, but will 
eventually integrate into the current archive an Institutional 
Repository (which will contain both multi-media and text-based items).  
For the IR text-based content, I'd prefer to have DOIs.  But the overall 
DOI/Handle is not for multi-media (per the DOI web site) and as I am in 
Los Angeles at a school heavily involved in the movie industry, I can't 
exactly ignore that.  Which means I should look elsewhere than 
Handle/DOI for a persistent ID scheme to cover all objects (which I 
did), or use multiple persistent ID schemas for different formats (which 
sounds like a real pain and I considered for a nanosecond).  I've seen 
use of Handles for multi-media content (LC, DSpace) so in spite of what 
the DOI web site says, in application, it doesn't seem to be a problem.

As one person caught...yes, we have multiple .gifs of different sizes 
for each .tiff image (the .tiff rendition is not available to the 
public) tied to one metadata record with one unique (USC-centric) ID for 
the "unique item" and one unique ID for the metadata record (to be added 
in the OAI DP implementation).   We want to take the USC-centric unique 
ID and make it persistent outside our universe here. :-)

I did seriously look at ARK, also, but...have recommended to my 
colleagues at USC that we go with DOI, and that recommendation has been 

Happy Holidays to you all.




Jewel H. Ward
Digital Resources Librarian &
Program Manager, USC Digital Archive
Leavey Library, Information Services Division
University of Southern California
Tel: (213) 821-2298

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