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Sci Data. 2018 May 8;5:180029. doi: 10.1038/sdata.2018.29.

Uniform resolution of compact identifiers for biomedical data.

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European Molecular Biology Laboratory, European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI), Wellcome Trust Genome Campus, Hinxton, Cambridgeshire CB10 1SD, UK.
University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PL, UK.
California Digital Library, University of California, Oakland, CA 94612, USA.
Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, OR 97239, USA.
ELIXIR, Wellcome Trust Genome Campus, Hinxton, Cambridgeshire CB10 1SD, UK.
University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093, USA.
Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA 02114, USA.
Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


Most biomedical data repositories issue locally-unique accessions numbers, but do not provide globally unique, machine-resolvable, persistent identifiers for their datasets, as required by publishers wishing to implement data citation in accordance with widely accepted principles. Local accessions may however be prefixed with a namespace identifier, providing global uniqueness. Such "compact identifiers" have been widely used in biomedical informatics to support global resource identification with local identifier assignment. We report here on our project to provide robust support for machine-resolvable, persistent compact identifiers in biomedical data citation, by harmonizing the and (Name-To-Thing) meta-resolvers and extending their capabilities. services hosted at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory - European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI), and services hosted at the California Digital Library (CDL), can now resolve any given identifier from over 600 source databases to its original source on the Web, using a common registry of prefix-based redirection rules. We believe these services will be of significant help to publishers and others implementing persistent, machine-resolvable citation of research data.

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