EZID: Easy Identifier and Metadata Management

John Kunze, Greg Janée, Joan Starr


EZID (pronounced easy-eye-dee) is an innovative service supporting the creation and management of identifiers, their accompanying metadata, and long-term access to things on the Internet. It is one of the few services that can supply a diversity of identifier and metadata types, and do so at the earliest stages of content development, long before the content is archived or its value is understood. Based at the University of California, EZID is a member of global organizations such as DataCite and CrossRef, partners with national libraries, and has over 90 customers in three continents with users on all continents. In fact it is the largest and fastest growing member of the DataCite consortium. The EZID user interface is being revised to support multiple languages. A number of features make EZID unique. Its identifiers and metadata can describe anything of any type: documents, films, digitized maps, datasets, fossils, stars, vocabulary terms, people, etc. Moreover, it is designed to support any kind of identifier (currently ARKs and DOIs) and a variety of metadata profiles, such as Dublin Core, Kernel, and DataCite. Its affiliated "resolvers," n2t.net (standing for Name-to-Thing) and doi.org, support persistent identifier reference for any Internet user. The n2t.net resolver has an unusual scaling feature called "suffix passthrough" that permits a customer to manage one identifier (eg, for a top level collection) in such a way that it is capable of resolving many thousands of sub-identifiers. Applications of EZID are numerous. Its identifiers support citation, credit, visibility, and impact tracking; for example, its ARK and DOI identifiers are listed in Thomson Reuters' Data Citation Index.

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