Re: [urn] CTS and CITE2 URNs

"Hakala, Juha E" <> Thu, 07 March 2019 07:10 UTC

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From: "Hakala, Juha E" <>
To: "Dale R. Worley" <>, Peter Saint-Andre <>
CC: "" <>
Thread-Topic: [urn] CTS and CITE2 URNs
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Subject: Re: [urn] CTS and CITE2 URNs
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detailed CTS URN syntax specification and examples at

are helpful, at least for a librarian, although URN like 


does make even me tremble a bit ;-).  

The specification is based on RFC 2141 (it is dated February 2014). It might be a good idea to check if this version (2.0.rc.1) could benefit in one way or another from being made RFC 8141 -compliant. These URNs will not be actionable so it does not really matter if subreferences are treated as URN F-components (as I suggested) or not, but if the specification can easily be made more compliant with the current URN syntax, it would make no harm. 

Non-ascii characters in subreferences would be an issue if urn:cts and urn:cite2 provided resolution services. But that is not an intention, and since these URNs are intended mainly for humans, I would rather leave non-ascii chars un-encoded although that is against RFC 8141 (but not RFC 2141, if I remember correctly).     



-----Original Message-----
From: urn <> On Behalf Of Dale R. Worley
Sent: torstai 7. maaliskuuta 2019 5.56
To: Peter Saint-Andre <>
Subject: Re: [urn] CTS and CITE2 URNs

Comments on these registrations:

As Julian points out, using '#' as part of the URN assigned-name is not allowed.

CTS URN registration

   CTS URNs provide permanent, canonical, scholarly references to
   texts or passages of text associated with the unique cultural
   phenomena that humanists study.

s/unique cultural phenomena/cultural phenomena/ -- I can't see any manner in which the enormous number of humanistic phenomena are each "unique".


   The general structure of a CTS URN is as follows:



   A detailed definition of CTS syntax can be found at:

Unfortunately, neither this registration nor the pointed-to syntax definition gives an exact description of the syntax.  E.g., at every location where I noticed a part of the syntax described as "optional", there was no exact statement regarding what adjacent separating characters could or could not be omitted.  BNF is necessary.

   o An optional passage reference refers either to an individual
     passage or to a range of passages within a work. [...]

   o An optional subreference identifies a span within a single
     citation unit using indexed substrings. [...]

No assignment process is specified for either of these components.

CITE2 URN registration

All of the above comments for CTS URN apply to CITE2 as well.


   More detailed information about CTS URNs and the CTS architecture
   can be found at:

Was "CITE2" intended here rather than "CTS"?


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