CETAF-produced system of stable identifers for online referencing of collections

CETAF Stable Identifiers 3The Information Science & Technology (IST) committee from CETAF has designed a future-oriented and easy-to-implement system of stable identifiers for the online referencing of collections.

Biological collections are being digitized and made available online at an increasingly rapid rate. But a unique and  consistent global system of referencing does not yet exist. This is why several member institutions from CETAf have taken the lead on this question and created an HTTP-URIs and Linked Data principles-based system which has been successfully implemented by several CETAF institutions such as the Royal Botanic Garden of Endinburgh (RBGE), the Botanic Garden and Botanical Museum Berlin-Dahlem (BGBM), the Berlin Natural History Museum (MfN), the French National Museum of Natural History (MNHN), the Institute of Botany from the Slovak Academy of Sciences (IBSAS), Naturalis, and the Royal Botanic Gardens of Kew.  JACQ, the joint herbarium management system of the Natural History Museum of Vienna and  the Botanic Garden and Botanical Museum Berlin-Dahlem has also joined the list of regular users.

This referencing system is supported by a series of practical tools such as a set of guidelines and best practices and a PDF poster. The IST committee will now further develop the system and tackle the following improvements:

  • ensuring that “external” portals properly link out to CETAF identifiers so that they are appropriately visible in the biodiversity informatics world
  • equipping identifier implementations with cataloguing services to facilitate discovery and aggregation
  • implementing functions for tracking the use of specimen information
  • improving Linked Open Data (LoD) capabilities of specimen information by agreeing on metadata concepts and linking out to external services.


CETAF Stable Identifiers  CETAF Stable Identifiers 2