Welcome to the Globally Unique Identifiers (GUID) Wiki
Welcome to the TDWG GUID Wiki. This is a collaboration area used to discuss the use of Globally Unique Identifiers (GUIDs) in our community. The first Wiki discussion about GUIDs in the lead up to the two TIP sponsored GUID meetings (see below) was hosted on the GBIF site.
A Definition of Globally Unique Identifiers (for the purposes of this group)
A globally unique identifier, or GUID, is a system that provides mechanisms to identify and access data objects on the Web. The main characteristics of a GUID system are:
GUID systems have identifiers, which are character strings associated with data objects. urn:lsid:tdwg.org:TaxonName:12345 and doi:10.1000/182 are examples of identifiers.
An identifier in a GUID system is persistent, i.e., it is permanently associated with a data object.
An identifier in a GUID system is globally unique, i.e., it identifies a single data object uniquely within the system.
Identifiers in a GUID system are actionable, i.e., the system provides mechanisms for clients to access a data object from its associated identifier. This is equivalent to saying that objects in a GUID system are locatable.
A GUID system also provides mechanisms to describe data objects, i.e., it provides metadata about them.