Tuesday, January 6, 2009

International Standard Collection Identifier (ISCI)

International Standard Collection Identifier is under review now. The purpose of the document is to make various collections and fonds to be identified by a system in a systematical way. An identifier is an important metadata element, so far, there is no standard way to construct an identifier. Different entities have their own ways to create identifiers.

With the appearance of metasearch engine, an identifier has played an important role in locating information. Especially electronic resources have been exponentially increased in a recent decade, an identifier is usually generated by local practices. There is no systematical way to guide local practices to formulate an consistent identifier. Now more and more digital libraries have created digital collections including digital archives, descriptive metadata are used to describe those resources. An identifier is a key element of descriptive metadata. Today, knowledge sharing is an effective learning process. Knowledge sharing can not be alive on its own, metadata sharing and exchange inevitably accompany with knowledge sharing.

When a variety of organizations use different local identifiers, the metasearch engine has to do duplicate searching because of irregular formation of the identifiers. This irregularity greatly reduces search engine efficiency. To increase search effectiveness, we need to build standard identifiers for collections and fonds, to facilitate global metadata exchange. The proposed standard way is:

ISIL:Collection identifier string

ISIL is the identifier for the organization, the collection identifier may contain up to 16 characters.

e.g. FI-Ht:Up Helsinki University Theology Library, Psychology of religion collection. (example from ISO/CD 27730)

If ISCI becomes a standard, it will greatly reduce duplicate detection of a search engine, users will be able to identify collections and fonds through ISCI.

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