Common Naming prototype

Nearby: Common Naming Project

Approach taken in the Common Naming prototype: The URIs begin (We will probably decide that a separate domain name is needed, although to exploit the redirect and authorization services at, the new domain name might end up just pointing to


When a URI of this form is accessed, does a 302 redirect to a script at Science Commons, which then does a 303 to a script-generated page that documents the intended use of the URI, and links to encodings of the database record.

The provisional URIs have the form, where:

  • 'database' is a short name for the database (there is no registry but anticipate that there will be one)
  • 'type' may be record (the database record without commitment to representation), xml (an XML version of the record), html, or occasionally the type of the thing described (e.g. 'article' for journal articles)
  • 'key' is usually the native key or identifier for the particular record within its database

Provisional URIs coined so far are described below.

These URIs seem to be catching on, so although we say they are experimental, we may be shamed into saying that they are the real thing. The choice of type/databank as opposed to databank/type is one point of doubt. Their documentation leaves much to be desired.

The specific 'xml', 'html', 'asn' etc. URIs forward directly to pages on various servers. The 'record' URI leads to a page generated by a Neurocommons server. It does not lead to the record itself, but rather gives (via a 303 redirect) a basic description of the record and a suite of useful links, including links to the specific record encodings and to third-party information sources (such as scripts providing RDF renderings of the records). This meta-page is (or rather will be) provided in both RDF and human-readable form.

Specific URIs

Prefix Description Databank records, considered abstractly, without commitment to a particular representation. Particular representations include but are not limited XML, ASN, and RDF. HTML renditions of databank records. XML renditions of databank records, using a predictable format (e.g. DTD or schema); documentation pending. PubMed records (not the articles themselves). Example: Entrez Gene records (not the genes themselves). Example: MeSH records for descriptors and qualifiers. (I'm not sure, but I suspect Neurocommons may be mistakenly using these URIs to identify the corresponding SKOS concepts, which would be wrong.) Example: This are misnamed, since they're not really records. They are subject headings (SKOS 'concepts') that are qualified versions of particular descriptors (i.e., descriptor/qualifier pairs). Examples:, Not part of common naming system really, thus /science/ = science commons. Journal articles (not their metadata records), each identified using the PubMed id of a PubMed record that describes it. Example: -- Articles may have other URIs as well. This one can be identified by info:doi/10.1007/s00253-005-0186-4, but unfortunately info: URIs are not unresolvable by most web clients. Better candidate: .