Re: [urn] URN:DOI namespace registration request Thu, 14 January 2021 17:41 UTC

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Subject: Re: [urn] URN:DOI namespace registration request
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Dear Juha,
My apologies for not acting on this earlier.
I have some issues with the current registration template.
Relation to doi URI scheme
As Julian already noted, the document lacks information on how the urn:doi namespace relates to the doi URI scheme. This is particularly imporant since the registration claims that "no scheme registration for DOI has yet been made by the DOI Foundation". This is clearly an error, since the IANA registry of URI schemes includes "doi:" (even if it's only a provisional registration) [1].
Lexical Equivalence
The part on urn comparison lacks information on how to compare percent-encoded characters, e. g. if %7f and %7F are considered equivalent. If they should be -- which I think is correct -- this can easliy be solved by a statement at the beginning of the section stating that "in addition to the equivalence rules defined in RFC 8141 the following rules for lexical equivalence apply:". I also think that you should future-proof this section with regard to the doi:... syntax: Since there are obviously plans to register doi: as a fully-fashioned URI scheme, you must ensure that the URI doi: syntax remains compatible with the urn:doi namespace when it comes to lexical equivalence.
Character Set
In the section on character set, you write that
URI percent encoding (see RFC 3986, section 2.1) is required for characters in a DOI that are:
(a) outside the ASCII printable character set, or
(b) reserved in the URI syntax (see RFC 3986, section 2.2).
The same rule is applied in creating a URN.
RFC 3986 does not speak of printable ASCII characters but uses the term "unreserved characters" [2]. In order to ensure that the doi:urn rules for percent-encoding are equivalent to those of URIs in general, I would suggest to phrase (a) as "characters that are not URI unreserved characters (see RFC 3986, section 2.3), or"
The syntax section says that the doi NSS contains of prefix, slash and suffix, where the prefix consists of directory indicator, full stop and registrant  code. It the goes on to say that there are plans to remove the requirement that the directory indicator be "10" and to allow DOIs without a registrant code. I cannot see how this is compatible with the specified syntax and think it would be helpful if you provided an example for this.
DOI Assignment
The document says that the DOI Registration Agencies manage the registration process. It is, however, silent on how it is ensured that DOIs are not duplicated (i. e. only one referent for each DOI). The linked DOI handbook says in §2.3.5 that "Each DOI name shall specify one and only one referent in the DOI system. While a referent can be specified by more than one DOI name, it is recommended that each referent has only one DOI name." It does not say how this is achieved, so some text clarifying this or a link to external documentation would be helpful.
In the introduction the use of the R-component is mentioned, but there is no information on that in the section on resolving.
[2]" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">
Gesendet: Freitag, 02. Oktober 2020 um 06:26 Uhr
Von: "Hakala, Juha E" <>
An: "" <>
Cc: "Larry Lannom" <>, "John C Klensin" <>, "Paul Jessop" <>, "Jonathan Clark" <>
Betreff: [urn] URN:DOI namespace registration request

Hello all,


please find attached a URN namespace registration request for DOI, Digital Object Identifier. I have assisted Paul Jessop in writing the request and therefore shall exempt myself from evaluating the request. Any questions should be sent to Paul and Jonathan Clark.


Handle.Net resolver (" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"> already supports URN representation of DOIs (" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><doi>) so every DOI is actionable also as URN. The resolver does not support URN R- or Q-components, but such functionality may be added to a future version.  


Handles may be presented and resolved as URNs as well, with the NID HANDLE. I do not know if DONA Foundation (" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"> intends to request a URN namespace for Handles. However, NID “HANDLE” should not be granted to some other community.


All the best,




PS. The National Library of Finland has rebuilt its URN resolver. Following a beta test last summer, we are currently in the process of taking the new resolver into production. As far as I know, it is the first one supporting R component. The first service implemented was linking of a single URN to multiple URLs.  


Once the resolver is “battle proven” and there is basic documentation available in English, the resolver will be made freely available in GitHub.  


Juha Hakala

Senior advisor

Library Network Services, The National Library of Finland

P.O.Box 15 (Yliopistonkatu 1), 00014 Helsingin yliopisto



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