Like many organisations, the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative (DCMI) relies on PURLs as persistent identifiers for the namespaces used in our vocabularies.
The DCMI Metadata Terms constitutes one of the world’s most widely used vocabularies, and the PURL used to identify its namespace - http://purl.org/dc/terms/ - appears millions of metadata records and RDF triples.
Originally developed by OCLC, the PURL system is now hosted and managed by the Internet Archive, and we are grateful to them for taking responsibility for this.
However, for some time DCMI has been experiencing problems with the management of its PURLs, to the extent that questions are now being asked by members of the wider metadata community about the stability and viability of this system. We are also aware of other organisations experiencing similar problems.
If the PURL system were to fail - either catastrophically, or even gradually with organisations unable to update the PURLs they have minted - then the consequences for a huge number of metadata and linked data systems could be disastrous…
I have two questions for this forum:
- Does anybody else have concerns about the PURL system? I mean operational concerns, rather than philosophical…
- Would anyone be interested in an ad hoc discussion about this at the PIDaPalooza event in Lisbon later this month?
I will also write directly to the PURL system team, to see if they might join such a discussion.
Thanks for reading this far