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  Preservation Procedure Policy: Persistent Identifiers
Related Guidance Policy
Bit preservation
Definition/ Description Digital material can easily be copied and altered. Assigning a persistent identifier to the digital object will improve its identification and searchability. The persistent identifier, together with other aspects, will also add to the authenticity of the object. It is important that the organisation develops a policy related to the assignment of the persistent identifiers in their collections. In cases where the received objects already have a persistent identifier, the organisation should decide whether they add their own as well. There is a variety of methods for choosing persistent identifiers, see reference to Persistent Identifiers Interoperability Framework of the APARSEN project in Further Reading.
To increase the safety the persistent identifier should be stored separate from the digital object itself.
Why Assigning persistent identifiers to digital material minimize risks of loss caused by loss of identification.
Risks Not assigning persistent identifiers to digital material endangers the future identification and authenticity of the digital material.
Life cycle stage Create or Receive, Ingest, Community Watch and Participation, Preservation Planning
Stakeholder Technology Manager:responsible for ensuring the proper systems for bit preservation
Operational Manager/Information Operator/System Architect/Technology Operator/Solution Provider: responsible for administrating systems and performing bit preservation
Cross Reference Functional Preservation
Authenticity, Standards
Examples State Library of Queensland : “The State Library will record preservation metadata about each digital object and allocate unique persistent identifiers to successfully manage and preserve its digital content over time.” (Source:,
Control Policy
  • All files MUST have a persistent identifier
  • The persistent identifier scheme SHOULD be <value> 
Questions to foster discussions
  • Has your organisation planned for measures on how to assign a persistent identifier to every digital object in the repository?
  • Has your organisation decided which persistent identifier methodology suits their domain best (DOI-publishers, NBN-libraries etc.)
  • Has your organisation decided how to treat the persistent identifier already in the object?
  • Will the persistent identifier be part of the search facilities for the digital object?
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