Encyclopedia of Database Systems

2018 Edition
| Editors: Ling Liu, M. Tamer Özsu

Resource Identifier

  • Greg JanéeEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-8265-9_141


Document identifier; GUID; Uniform resource identifier; URI; UUID


In a networked information system, a resource identifier is a compact surrogate for a resource that can be used to identify, retrieve, and otherwise operate on the resource. An identifier typically takes the form of a short textual string. An identifier must be resolved to yield the associated resource.

Key Points

Resource identifiers can be broadly characterized as either locations, which identify resources by where they reside, or names, which identify resources by properties intrinsic to the resources [ 2]. This distinction is not absolute, and identifiers can exhibit characteristics of both classes. Nevertheless, the distinction is useful in defining the relationship between identifiers and resources. Consider:

Can two distinct, yet identical resources have the same identifier?

If a resource changes, must its identifier change?

If the answer to these questions is yes, then the identifiers should be...
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Recommended Reading

  1. 1.
    Hilse HW, Kothe J. Implementing persistent identifiers: overview of concepts, guidelines and recommendations. London/Amsterdam: Consortium of European Libraries and European Commission on Preservation and Access; 2006. http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:gbv:7-isbn-90-6984-508-3-8.
  2. 2.
    Jacobs I, Walsh N, editors. Architecture of the World Wide Web, Volume One. 2004. http://www.w3.org/TR/webarch/.
  3. 3.
    Sollins K, Masinter L. Functional requirements for uniform resource names. IETF RFC. 1737, 1994. http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc1737.txt.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of California-Santa BarbaraSanta BarbaraUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Amr El Abbadi
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept. of Computer ScienceUC Santa BarbaraSanta BarbaraUSA